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Article ID: 2701035 - Last Review: August 22, 2012 - Revision: 4.1

Summary

Outlook publishes x number of months of free/busy data for a user every y minutes, as specified in the Free/Busy Options dialog box, and upon Outlook shutdown (Outlook 2003 only). The default number of months of free/busy publishing information is 2 months and the maximum duration is 36 months.

Note If you have no new calendar information, Outlook does not update the public folder free/busy message every x minutes.

You can deploy the following two free/busy publishing settings via the Office Customization Tool (OCT) for Office 2010 and Office 2007, the Office 2003 Custom Installation Wizard (CIW)/Custom Maintenance Wizard (CMW), or group policy (GPO).

- Publish [ ] months of Calendar free/busy information on the server
- Update free/busy information on the server every [ ] minutes

Whether you deploy these two settings or you manually configure them in the Outlook UI, they are persisted in the registry as the following data, respectively:

Non-policy key:

HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Office\x.0\Outlook\Preferences

Note, in the above registry path, x.0 corresponds to your Outlook version (14.0=Outlook 2010, 12.0 = Outlook 2007, 11.0 = Outlook 2003)

Policy key:

HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Policies\Microsoft\Office\x.0\Outlook\Preferences

Note, in the above registry path, x.0 corresponds to your Outlook version (14.0=Outlook 2010, 12.0 = Outlook 2007, 11.0 = Outlook 2003)

Settings:

DWORD: FBPublishRange
DWORD: FBUpdateSecs
Note, the value listed for FBUpdateSecs in the registry is the number of seconds between free/busy publishing updates whereas the setting in the Outlook user interface is minutes. For example, the registry value should be 600 decimal/258 Hex if you want to publish free/busy every 10 minutes.

In Outlook 2007 (and later versions), Outlook also stores the number of months of free/busy data being published in a hidden message in your mailbox. This is done to provide better functionality in scenarios such as delegation. If you subsequently change the number of months of free/busy being published, using the setting in the following figure, the value stored in the hidden message is also updated.

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In Outlook 2010, for example, use the following steps to display the Free/Busy Options dialog box.
  1. On the File tab click Options.
  2. In the Outlook Options dialog box, click Calendar and then click Free/Busy Options.
  3. In the Calendar Properties dialog box, click Other Free/Busy.

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  4. Configure the desired settings in the Free/Busy Options dialog box.


More information

There is one scenario where you deploy the FBPublishRange value (for example, using a .msp file) and it is written into the non-policy hive in the registry, but it appears to not be used by Outlook. What happens is the end-result of storing the free/busy publishing months setting in the hidden message in your mailbox. In this scenario, when you launch Outlook and there is one setting in the registry (for example, pushed out via .msp) and another setting in this hidden message, only one setting can win (and it’s the setting in the hidden message).

You will see not this problem for mailboxes that have never been touched by Outlook 2007 or Outlook 2010 because the hidden message is not in the mailbox until you first use Outlook 2007 or Outlook 2010. You should only see this on clients where Outlook (2007 or 2010) has already been deployed and users have already logged into their mailbox with Outlook 2007 or Outlook 2010 (possibly in a pilot Outlook rollout).

Here is the order of precedence used by Outlook if it finds the free/busy publishing range value set in one or more of the three possible places:
  1. Policy key in the registry. (highest priority)
  2. Hidden message in your mailbox.
  3. Non-policy key in the registry. (lowest priority)
If you need to push out the FBPublishRange value to configure the default number of months of free/busy data being published by Outlook, use group policies in situations where Outlook has been deployed in your organization for some time (because the hidden message is written on first use). According to the above order of precedence, group policies win any conflict that may occur between values.


Note This is a "FAST PUBLISH" article created directly from within the Microsoft support organization. The information contained herein is provided as-is in response to emerging issues. As a result of the speed in making it available, the materials may include typographical errors and may be revised at any time without notice. See Terms of Use (http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/?LinkId=151500) for other considerations.
Keywords: 
KB2701035
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