It’s good to have few tips in hand while working on Dynamics CRM-Outlook connector issues. The aim of this blog is to list few known troubleshooting tips for diagnosing Dynamics CRM for Outlook issues. Issues could be like:

  • The CRM ribbon in Outlook is greyed out.
  • Outlook keeps crashing when you are trying to load the CRM Add-in.
  • The ‘Track’ and ‘Set Regarding’ buttons have disappeared from the Outlook ribbon.
  • Users cannot successfully track records.
  • Users are getting CRM object error messages.
  • Users are receiving generic error messages like “An error has occurred. Please contact your system administrator,” or “We can’t connect to your CRM server” or “Communication was blocked“.
  • Users are receiving permissions error messages like “Logon failed because credentials are invalid” or “Authentication failed”.

One of the Outlook connector issue commonly seen is Dynamics CRM tab not seen in the Outlook ribbon, however you would see the CRM organization on the left navigation pane. The issue would be as in the screen shot below:


What to do?

#1 Reconfigure and Restart Outlook

It would be good to confirm the URL set in the Configuration wizard and restart Outlook to see if the issue is fixed. Also, you could confirm the version compatibility. Quick and Easy if it fixes the issue!

#2 Check for the Dynamics CRM Add-in

Issues like Outlook failed to load or CRM tab not being displayed/greyed out are due to end users being impatient and trying to access mailbox before it has finished loading. Dynamics CRM Outlook extension is an add-in to Outlook and therefore has to compete for resources and load in conjunction with the mailbox. This often cause issues and the CRM is not accessible from Outlook

Here is how we can quickly get up and running again:

  • In Outlook, Click on File > Choose Options > Click Add-Ins.
  • You will see a list of Active and Inactive Application Add-Ins.
  • If you see Dynamics CRM in the inactive list, then you have found the cause of CRM not working as expected in Outlook.

Note: You would see two add-ins for Dynamics CRM. The main reason there are two add-ins is to extend the CRM Outlook client to be able to use multiple organizations. Each organization may have their own set of ribbon customization and we can only register one set of ribbon controls with Outlook at a time.  The second add-in only generates the ribbon for the current organization and resets it (unload from Outlook and reload) when switching organizations. We only need the second add-in with the Load Behavior of Loaded and the Description of “This add-in is for Microsoft Dynamics CRM” when we have multiple organizations.



  • To re-enable the Add-in, click on the Manage COM add-ins > “Go” button
  • In the pop-up list, choose both Microsoft Dynamics CRM add-ins and click OK.



  • Now, go ahead and restart your Outlook. You will see that CRM is active again!
  • In File > Options > Add-Ins, we’ll see the two Dynamics CRM add-Ins in the Active list.



#3 Use Diagnostics

For issues that seem to be generic like the Microsoft error messages stating “An error has occurred. Please contact your system administrator,” you would need to go a step further to get to the roots of the problem. For this you need to be the system administrator and you would need to use the Dynamics CRM for Outlook Diagnostics.

This is advanced troubleshooting and hence not recommended for the end users. This certainly can be used by the system administrators to identify root cause of the issue.

To use the tool:

  • Go to Start menu > All Programs > Microsoft Dynamics CRM 20xx > Diagnostics.



  • The tool’s welcome screen is displayed.



  • Go to the Advanced Troubleshooting tab.



  • We can start Tracing by clicking on the “Tracing” check box and select the level of tracing. The four levels of tracing available are Error, Warning, Info, and Verbose.

The levels of traceability vary from very detailed (verbose) to light tracing (errors and warnings). Once the tracing is running, the user needs to recreate the issue and then return to the Diagnostics screen and disable the Tracing.

The Trace files will be on the user’s computer. Navigate through the user folder to AppData > MSCRM Trace directory and look for the most recent log file. When looking at a Trace file, search for “CRM Exception.” This gives the most obvious errors and also contains an MSCRM Error Report which explains what is going on.

  • We can delete the temporary client files from a previous error checking session. Click the “Delete” button as seen in the screen above. This would isolate the error messages for just a short space of time and not have large log files.
  • We can re-enable the CRM Outlook add-in from the Diagnostics wizard by Clicking on the “Enable” button as seen in the screen above.

#4 Other Tools

There are other troubleshooting tools for working with Dynamics CRM and the Outlook client.

SARS is a great tool to help diagnose CRM for Outlook and Outlook issues:

Also, the diagnostic tool used often by the Microsoft team (OffCAT) is something else we can consider for further troubleshooting.