Setting up Outlook with local Autodiscover

The Problem

Ideally the modern Outlook setup process uses a DNS CNAME for autodiscover.outlook.com.

Due to changes, out of the hands of my web hosting provider (due to cPanel updates), my DNS record started to produce re-directs, preventing automated setup.

My hosting provider was informative, helpful and accommodating but unfortunately not able to address a cPanel bug (feature?) that might have repercussions for other customers on their shared hosting.

Due to this cPanel bug my DNS record for https://noxcivis.com/autodiscover/autodiscover.xml redirects to https://cpanelemaildiscovery.cpanel.net/autodiscover/autodiscover.xml, at a hosting level, with no possibility for me to override it at DNS or elsewhere.

This results in the following web page being served, at which point Outlook no longer continues to try any other autodiscovery methods and just fails with an error.

The Solution

To resolve this I performed the following steps…

Add the highlighted registry key, changing the “noxcivis.com” to your domain.

(Computer\HKEY_CURRENT_USER\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Office\16.0\Outlook\AutoDiscover and value C:\Autodiscover\Autodiscover.xml)

Create the file C:\Autodiscover\Autodiscover.xml with the following contents…

<?xml version=”1.0″ encoding=”utf-8″ ?>
<Autodiscover xmlns=”http://schemas.microsoft.com/exchange/autodiscover/responseschema/2006″>
<Response xmlns=”http://schemas.microsoft.com/exchange/autodiscover/outlook/responseschema/2006a”>
<Account>
<AccountType>email</AccountType>
<Action>redirectUrl</Action>
<RedirectUrl>https://autodiscover-s.outlook.com/autodiscover/autodiscover.xml</RedirectUrl>
</Account>
</Response>
</Autodiscover>

Add an account in Outlook

(After pressing Connect you may get a password prompt to authenticate to Outlook)

Success !

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