Exchange 2010 SP1 address lists not displaying correctly

In working in a client’s environment with Exchange 2010 SP1 after a mostly successful migration from Exchange 2003, the client had issues with users who were showing up in particular address lists that they should not have been included in according to the Exchange server.  When the client would preview their address list in the Exchange Management Console, the filtered users would show up correctly, however, when the address list was selected in Outlook, the users were not displaying correctly.  A closer investigation of the individual users finally led us to discover the “showinAddressList” attribute was set incorrectly on the individual users showing where we did not want them to display.

We are still investigating why this attribute is set incorrectly on the users, but we are suspicious of the attribute getting set incorrectly as RUS was decommissioned from the Exchange 2003 environment.  The way we went about correcting this in Active Directory was to mass update this attribute on all user accounts that were affected.

You can check and see what the “showinAddressList” attribute is set to in Active Directory Users and Computers, Attributes Tab.  You may need to go to the View menu and select the Advanced Features option if you don’t see this tab.


Our tool of choice to mass update Active Directory and perform various housekeeping items is Powergui.  In a previous how-to article we explained how to use this tool to mass update attributes, so just to build off those steps, we simply used the syntax below to update the “showinAddressList” attribute and we were good to go.

@{showInAddressBook=’Your Address List DN Goes Here’}

Final Thoughts

After updating the attribute for the user objects that we wanted to display, Outlook once again correctly displayed the address lists as we wanted them to be.


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Brandon Lee

Brandon Lee is the Senior Writer, Engineer and owner at and has over two decades of experience in Information Technology. Having worked for numerous Fortune 500 companies as well as in various industries, Brandon has extensive experience in various IT segments and is a strong advocate for open source technologies. Brandon holds many industry certifications, loves the outdoors and spending time with family.

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