How to Disable Outlook Social Connector

Organizations may need to disable Outlook Social Connector to protect their privacy, business contact data, and employees' personal information. It also makes for fast and consistent replication. This document describes how to restrict Outlook Social Connector using active directory group policy, local group policy and Windows registry.
 

Run the Batch file or by using a new Group Policyfor Domain Machines

For proper Contact Sync, you will need to run a batch file as admin on the destination users Machine, or simply create a new group policy with the batch file below  and set to run on windows startup for all domain machines (on machine boot, not on user login).

The "Microsoft way" we suggested prior didn’t work  - forever – it would reactivate and reload on Outlook updates and had too many exceptions to proper operation.  

This batch file can and should also be run on any “off the domain” box as administrator *accept UAC prompt) and it sets the load procedure to Unloaded for that entire machine of the OSC permanently or until enabled manually or by some other policy.

 

The batch file is located on the Add2Exchange Machine in the directory:

C:\Program Files (x86)\OpenDoor Software®\Add2Exchange\Setup\OSC_Disable.bat

 

See below for automatic creation of Group Policy.  It can be downloaded from here: GPO_Creation
 

This will work for any known version of Outlook client and is essential for consistent and fast synchronization.

 

 

Gal Sync – automated load behavior fix – must be set to "unloaded" (once) on destination Outlook Machines

 

The Problem:

Outlook Social Connector is changing the modify times of all contacts which leads to long sync times due to the unnecessary mass updates to the destination side Contacts.  This prompts Add2Exchange to resync all of these items for no reason other than the social status of the contact.

 

The Fix:  Running a batch file  to unload the OSC (Outlook Social Connector) as part of Group policy or by copying the file directly on the users destination machine and running the batch file (as Administrator), accepting the UAC prompt if required or putting in a local administrator credentials to load it.

 

Enabling this fix stops the users Outlook (all versions) from loading the OSC on startup of Outlook and thereby periodically updating the contacts in their mailbox based on the contacts exterior “social status”, or with Active Directory when doing GAL Sync.

 

In order to circumvent the issue, we were suggesting the Microsoft Preferred way of disabling Outlook Social Connector found HERE but this option does not work in all cases.

 

Unfortunately, we have found that this MS solution suggested in the link above does not work specifically for non-domain Outlook clients (home or laptops), or E1 accounts since E1 configuration and MS Online account type does not take part in the Group Policy rules.  Also there could be trouble applying the default group policy on every user, so to apply to the machine is the more direct and consistent way to apply.  It can be run every time  the computer boots, or once on a laptop.  If you run the batch file as administrator it will prompt for UAC if applicable and then continue.

 

The enclosed batch file should be set up as a group policy for domain machines on boot. It should be set to run on next boot of each machine and is ok to leave there.

 

This batch file will Set the Outlook Social Connector load behavior to “unloaded” for any version of Outlook we have encountered so far. This process effectively and efficiently gets rid of the Social Connector interference for any user with Outlook, at the machine level and regardless of any applied Group Policy for Outlook.

 

This file is also able to run on any “off domain” Outlook clients syncing with Add2Exchange.

 

OSC_Disable.bat

reg query HKLM\SOFTWARE\Wow6432Node\Microsoft\Office\Outlook\Addins\OscAddin.Connect

 

if %ERRORLEVEL% EQU 0 (

reg add HKLM\SOFTWARE\Wow6432Node\Microsoft\Office\Outlook\Addins\OscAddin.Connect /t REG_DWORD /v LoadBehavior /d 0 /f

)

 

reg query HKLM\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Office\Outlook\Addins\OscAddin.Connect

 

if %ERRORLEVEL% EQU 0 (

reg add HKLM\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Office\Outlook\Addins\OscAddin.Connect /t REG_DWORD /v LoadBehavior /d 0 /f

)

 

reg query HKLM\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Office\15.0\ClickToRun\REGISTRY\MACHINE\Software\Wow6432Node\Microsoft\Office\Outlook\AddIns\OscAddin.Connect

 

if %ERRORLEVEL% EQU 0 (

reg add HKLM\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Office\15.0\ClickToRun\REGISTRY\MACHINE\Software\Wow6432Node\Microsoft\Office\Outlook\AddIns\OscAddin.Connect /t REG_DWORD /v LoadBehavior /d 0 /f

)

 

reg query HKLM\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Office\15.0\ClickToRun\REGISTRY\MACHINE\Software\Microsoft\Office\Outlook\AddIns\OscAddin.Connect

 

if %ERRORLEVEL% EQU 0 (

reg add HKLM\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Office\15.0\ClickToRun\REGISTRY\MACHINE\Software\Microsoft\Office\Outlook\AddIns\OscAddin.Connect /t REG_DWORD /v LoadBehavior /d 0 /f

)

 

reg query HKLM\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Office\ClickToRun\REGISTRY\MACHINE\Software\Wow6432Node\Microsoft\Office\Outlook\AddIns\OscAddin.Connect

 

if %ERRORLEVEL% EQU 0 (

reg add HKLM\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Office\ClickToRun\REGISTRY\MACHINE\Software\Wow6432Node\Microsoft\Office\Outlook\AddIns\OscAddin.Connect /t REG_DWORD /v LoadBehavior /d 0 /f

)

 

reg query HKLM\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Office\ClickToRun\REGISTRY\MACHINE\Software\Microsoft\Office\Outlook\Addins\OscAddin.Connect

 

if %ERRORLEVEL% EQU 0 (

reg add HKLM\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Office\ClickToRun\REGISTRY\MACHINE\Software\Microsoft\Office\Outlook\Addins\OscAddin.Connect /t REG_DWORD /v LoadBehavior /d 0 /f

)

 

 

Creating a New GPO For Outlook Social Connector

 

To facilitate this, we have created a directory in the setup with the necessary files to automatically create the group policy

C:\Program Files (x86)\OpenDoor Software®\Add2Exchange\Setup\GPO_Creation

Copy the directory to the Domain Control and as the Domain Admin, run the powershell:

\GPO_Creation\GPO_OSC.ps1

 

 

The following is the manual way to create and apply the group policy

 

 

Step 1. Open Administrative Tools in Control Panel and select Group Policy Management

Step 2. Right click on the empty space and click New

Step 3. Name the New Group Policy and click OK 

Step 4. Right click and Edit the new Group Policy Object 
Step 5. Drill Down to Scripts (startup/Shutdown)

Step 6. Double Click Startup and then click Add 

Step 7. Browse for the OSC_Disable.bat and click OK. Note: (Put the Batch file in a location that is safe) 

Step 8: Click Apply and OK

Step 9: Go back to the Group Policy Management Window and Double Click on your new Group Policy

Step 10. Add Security Filtering (Domain Users and Domain Computers) and click ok

Add Domain Computers or apply to the the workstations container and apply.

 

This should eventually get all Domain Computers

 

Finally

This batch file must be run on Laptops not on the domain or not checking in to the domain (Cached Credentials)

Copy the batch file to the computer and Run as Administrator.  If prompted, allow UAC elevation, or allow with a local admin credentials.

 

Close Outlook on the machine and reopen it. 

To make sure the fix worked, within Outlook go to  Tools, Options, Add ins.  Select GO for the add ins.  Select Outlook Social Connector and make sure status says “Unloaded”

 

IF so, you are done and you will have fast, consistent and accurate Contact Synchronizations.

 

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