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Skype for Business – Office 2016 Client Address Book Download Failure

While I am on the bug hunt at the moment another issue has caught my eye. Using the Office 2016 Skype for Business client it appears it has trouble downloading the Address Book cache file. Therefore, when users are moved over the 2016 client they will not be able to search the company address book for contacts. Instead they will receive the following error at the bottom of the Skype for Business client

By default it seems that the client prefers to download a copy of the address book rather than bother the Front End server’s web services too much with web requests. I understood the logic of the default action to failback to the web service if the downloading of the address book failed. In the 2016 client this does not seem to happen, so the users receive the above error.

To work around this issue, we need to create an Office 2016 client policy on the Skype for Business server to force the client to use web searching only. In addition to that we also need to define the time interval the client will query the web service for updates. I suggest 10 minutes be a good starting point.

Creating the Office 2016 compatible client policy

New-CsClientPolicy –Identity Office2016 –AddressBookAvailability WebSearchOnly –WebServicePollInterval “00:10:00”

Now we need to grant this policy to Office 2016 users

Grant-CsClientPolicy –Identity user@domain.com –Policyname Office2016

Once the user signs out of the 2016 client and back in the problem should now be resolved


  1. Hi Mark, Basically I’m seeing the same… the latest Skype for Business 2016 client (16.0.4266.1001 32bit) is asking for F-4fce.lsabs, from ABS/Handler, and on the file share the latest is F-151d.lsabs… which is correct… going on that the number is 0-based hex in days from 1st Jan 2001… 151d = 5405 = which is 20/10/2015 = today… But the 2016 client asking for 4FCE = 20430 = 1st December 2056 ?? (it also asks for the previous 7 days in full, but that still doesn’t reach us back here in 2015).

    Both dates / regional settings / daylight savings is the same on the client OS and the servers, Lync 2013 works fine on the same machine.

  2. Hello, seeing similar behavior here.. However, what is the reason why the address book isn’t downloading on the 2016 client for local searches? Is this another compatibility support situation that needs a new policy? Lync 2010 Servers with Skype for Business 2016 Client.

    I have also tested moving the two address book cache files (GalContacts.db, GalContacts.db.idx) which download successfully on Lync 2010 over to the appropriate location in Skype for Business – Users\example\AppData\Local\Microsoft\Office\16.0\Lync\sip_example@example.com. This is successful and makes the “Cannot Synchronize Address Book” error go away, however I need to figure out how to get these address book cache files to download automatically on the Skype for Business 2016 client…

    Any suggestions?

    • Its a bug with the client application. Microsoft know about it. Another of my readers commented above that shows the issue. Basically the client requests the address book using the wrong date, and as such downloads nothing. For now the workaround is change the client policy to websearchonly as per this post.

  3. Can anything be done from the client side of single users to work around, or does it have to be done at the server level?

  4. Have you only seen this happen on 32bit clients, or 64bit too? I’m experiencing it on a 32bit client at the moment, version 16.0.6326.1022 (32-bit) however the exact same version for 64-bit is working fine.

    Thanks for the post!

  5. Hi guys, I am having this problem with all Skype for Business 2016 users. How can I grant this policy to all Office 2016 users please?. I don’t want to have to do it individually for every user. Thanks

  6. Hey Mark,

    I have a user who is not able to access his address book as well as the chat history. Does this command work for both the problems. if so where do i need to type in this command in skype for business client?

    • Hi
      this fixes the ABS but not the chat history. If you want chat history then you need to ensure the user can integrate with their Exchange Mailbox properly as all conversation history is stored in there

  7. Hey Mark,
    Has there been a patch or a hotfix released by Microsoft to fix it or we are still going to put that modified client policy on the user accounts?

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