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.
 

Using AD Group Policy

Organizations that use Windows Active Directory may use GPO to restrict access to Outlook Social Connector. To configure that:
 

  1. Go to Start-Control Panel-Administrative Tools, double click on Group Policy Management. Group Policy Management Console will appear
  2. Expand the Domains container, expand DomainName, then expand the Group Policy Objects. Select any previously created GPO or create a new GPO
  3. If you are creating a new GPO, give it a meaningful name
  4. Download Group Policy template from microsoft site Extract OutlookSocialConnector.adm file from the downloaded zip file and save it into any accessible network share.
  5. Open the newly created GPO and expand the User Configuration section. Expand Policies and select Administrative Templates; right-click on it and choose Add/Remove Templates.
  6. Add/Remove Templates Window appears. Click on 'Add' button and browse to the network share where you saved the OutlookSocialConnector.adm file; select that file.
  7. Close Add/Remove templates
  8. Expand the User Configuration section. Expand Policies and then Administrative Templates. You will see a new folder called Classic Administrative Template (ADM) has been created
  9. Expand Classic Administrative Template (ADM) and select Outlook Social Connector. You will see a set of configuration or policies on the right panel
  10. Focus on the right panel; double click on the following three policies as it's depicted below and enable each of them

    Image

 

  1. Close the GPO
  2. Within GPMC, select the GPO and assign it to any Active Directory Organizational Unit

 

In a Workgroup Environment

In a workgroup environment where there's no Windows Active Directory, an alternate method needs to be used. The administrator may use Local Group Policy to disable Outlook Social Connector in workgroup computers.
 

  • Download Group Policy template from microsoft site. Extract OutlookSocialConnector.adm from the downloaded zip file and save it on desktop.
  • Open Local Group Policy Editor (gpedit.msc)
  • Expand the User Configuration section. Expand Policies and choose Administrative Templates. Right-click on it and choose Add/Remove Templates.
  • Locate the OutlookSocialConnector.adm on user's desktop
  • Close Add/Remove Templates Window
  • Expand the User Configuration section. Expand Policies and then Administrative Templates. You will see a new folder there called Classic Administrative Template (ADM)
  • Expand Classic Administrative Template (ADM) and select Outlook Social Connector. You will see a set of configuration or policies on the right panel
  • Double click on the three policies shown in the above picture and enable each of them
  • Close Group Policy. Open a command shell and run 'gpupdate' to update GPO immediately. Thus, Outlook Social Connector will be restricted.


In a workgroup environment, instead of walking to every single computer console or doing that via remote desktop, Administrator may use gpedit.msc /gpcomputer: ComputerName command to remotely configure another computer's Local Group Policy. Simple share option needs to be disabled to make use of it.
 

Image

 

Using Windows Registry

If there are very few computers, the administrator may use Windows registry to disable Outlook Social Connector. To do that:
 

  • Open Start-Run-Notepad
  • Copy and paste the following lines in notepad

 

Windows Registry Editor Version 5.00

[HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Policies\Microsoft\office\outlook\socialconnector]
"RunOSC"=dword:00000000
"UnmanagedInfobars"=dword:00000001
"DisableSocialNetworkConnectivity"=dword:00000001

 

  • Select 'Save as type' to 'All Files (*.*)'. Name the file as res-osc.reg and save it on your desktop
  • Run the res-osc.reg from your desktop
  • Necessary registry keys will be created and Outlook Social Connector will be blocked.
Live Help for Exchange Sync