Exchange - Update Global Address List in Outlook for Windows


  • How do I update the Global Address List in Outlook?
  • Why can't I find a new mailbox/calendar/distribution list in my Address Book?


  • Oregon State University
  • Employee, Student Employee
  • Exchange Email
  • Outlook 2016 for Windows


One of the features of the Exchange email service at OSU is the Global Address List (GAL). The list is automatically maintained by mail servers on campus, and includes a list of every mailbox, calendar, and distribution group at our institution. This enables users across different colleges and administrative units to communicate more seamlessly, and helps get mail to the right recipient every time.

For most users, the GAL is not updated in real-time. It is downloaded and cached on your computer, and periodically updated when changes are made on the server. For example, when a new shared mailbox is created technicians will often recommend you restart your Outlook client before looking for it in the GAL. Restarting your client usually causes it to check-in with the server, and download changes to the GAL.

Occasionally, users looking for a new mailbox, calendar, or distribution group will not be able to find it, even after restarting Outlook. In that case, you can manually cause Outlook to update the GAL using the steps below.


  1. In your Outlook client, select the Send/Receive tab on the ribbon.
     Outlook Send/Receive tab.
  2. Open the Send/Receive Groups menu.
  3. Click Download Address Book...
    "Send/Receive Groups" and "Download Address Book" are highlighted.
    • If you can't find this button, you're not using Cached Exchange Mode. Contact the Service Desk to get help troubleshooting missing entries in the Global Address List.
  4. When prompted, make sure Download changes since last Send/Receive is checked, and Global Address List is selected in the dropdown menu. Shows "Download changes since last Send/Receive" selected.
  5. To monitor the progress of your download, click the Show Progress button.
     Example progress window if "Show Progress" is selected.


For assistance, contact the Service Desk.


Article ID: 88411
Thu 10/3/19 9:36 AM
Thu 10/6/22 1:56 PM