Configure Outlook Anywhere in Outlook 2010

At the Office, the Exchange guy activated the Outlook Anywhere feature without knowing that it would have an impact on internal Office 2010 clients. He probably failed to read the following warning:
Warning Outlook anywhere
I’ve been tasked to remove the Outlook anywhere configuration being pushed to our internal Oulook 2010 clients.
I’ve first checked group policy objects but there’s only one setting that would disable the access to the UI…
outlook anywhere UI

Then I’ve checked our default outlook configuration profile that was created by the OCT (Office Customization Tool). The following technet page has more info about this topic.

NB: To launch OCT, you just execute the setup.exe of Office with the /admin argument.

However the default profile is being created for new users, it’s set to not replace existing Outlook profile and the Outlook anywhere profile was of course not activated and configured.

Then I’ve found that Microsoft provides an adm template for Office 2007 to deploy Outlook anywhere settings. It can be found on http://support.microsoft.com/kb/961112

Sounds cool but it first requires the hotfix to be installed. There isn’t any for Outlook 2010.
It’s also the old format for GPO templates instead of XML based admx templates (their syntax is case-sensitive).

Instead I’ve fired up the procmon tool and found an old vbscript on this page: http://www.sys-admin.co.uk/?p=94

After few minutes of reverse engineering, I was confident that:

  • I don’t need to use a recusive query of subkeys as I can find the default (active) outlook profile as a string under the HKCU:\Software\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\Windows Messaging Subsystem\Profiles key in the Value named DefaultProfile
  • The “GUID” of the outlook profile parameters is always located under the HKCU:\Software\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\Windows Messaging Subsystem\Profiles\<DefaultProfileName>0a0d020000000000c000000000000046 key in the value named 01023d15
  • Deleting the value 00036623 and closing/reopening Outlook was unticking the following option
  • Outlook Anywhere setting

  • Instead of setting a GPO, I can directly write into HKCU:\Software\Microsoft\Office\14.0\Outlook\RPC

Here’s the code I’ve been using to fix our issue

#Requires -Version 2.0

# Get the default outlook profile being used by default
try {
    $defaultprofile = Get-ItemProperty -Path "HKCU:\Software\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\Windows Messaging Subsystem\Profiles" -Name DefaultProfile -ErrorAction Stop
} catch {
    Write-Debug -Message "Cannot find a default outlook profile"
    return
}
if ($defaultprofile) {
    # Get the Outlook profile "GUID"
    try {
        $OLprofile = Get-ItemProperty -Path "HKCU:\Software\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\Windows Messaging Subsystem\Profiles\$($defaultprofile.DefaultProfile)\0a0d020000000000c000000000000046"  -Name '01023d15' -ErrorAction Stop
    } catch {
        Write-Debug -Message "Failed to find a specific outlook profile"
        return
    }
    if ($OLprofile) {
        # $($OLprofile.'01023d15') is an array of system.byte
        $hexlocation = -join ($($OLprofile.'01023d15') | ForEach-Object -Process {
            '{0:X2}' -f [int]$_   
        })
        try {
            # Delete 
            Remove-ItemProperty -Path "HKCU:\Software\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\Windows Messaging Subsystem\Profiles\$($defaultprofile.DefaultProfile)\$($hexlocation.ToLower())" -Name '00036623' -Force -ErrorAction Stop 
        } catch {
            Write-Debug -Message "Failed to find the 'Connect to Microsoft Exchange using HTTP' setting in the registry"
            return
        }
        # If we've deleted the above value, we can now grey out the option in the UI:
        try {
            New-Item -Path "HKCU:\Software\Microsoft\Office\14.0\Outlook\RPC" -Force -ErrorAction Stop
            Set-ItemProperty -Path "HKCU:\Software\Microsoft\Office\14.0\Outlook\RPC" -Name enablerpctunnelingui -Value 4 -Force -ErrorAction Stop -Type DWORD
        } catch {
            Write-Debug -Message "Failed to grey out the option in the registry"
        }
    }
 }

Bonus: the URL of the target proxy server for Exchange is located in the 001f6622 value.

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