Changes to contacts don't sync to the phones
Posted by Jim Beveridge, Last modified by Jim Beveridge on 10 July 2017 11:39 PM

(Applies to: Epicenter Server)

Symptom: Contacts synced to the phones, but when you make a change to the GAL (or other source address book), the change doesn't appear on the phone.

Cause: Varied.


Do the changes show in Outlook? Look in the Epicenter folder in Outlook for a user showing the problem. (Do not look in Outlook on the computer running Epicenter.)

Yes, Outlook shows the changes, but the phone does not.

  1. Did you wait long enough? Changes can sometimes take a few minutes.
  2. If you have an iPhone, is Push disabled? If so, open Mail to force the iPhone to sync with Exchange.
  3. Try manually editing a contact in Outlook and see if the change appears on the phone. If not, there's a problem with ActiveSync.

No, the changes do not show in Outlook or on the phone.

  1. Is Outlook's address book up to date? On the computer running Epicenter, open Outlook and click the Address Book icon in the toolbar. Switch to the desired Address List (such as Global Address List) and find the contact that you changed. Review the fields to see if the change is appearing. If the changes are NOT appearing, this is a problem with Outlook's synchronization and you will need to work with Microsoft to resolve the problem.
  2. Has the field been set as a Reserved Property? Look in Tools | Reserved Properties and ensure that the field you changed is NOT selected. Selected fields will never be sync'd with mailboxes. After you change this setting, go back to the Task pane, select the task, and click Send Now.
  3. Has Epicenter sent an update since you made the change? Go to Epicenter's Log pane and click on the most recent update. If the date on the update is before you made the change, then Epicenter hasn't distributed any updates. Go back to the Task pane, select the task, and click Send Now.
  4. Does Epicenter show that it updated the contact? In the bottom pane that shows the results for that update, use the Find box to search for the mailbox. The row should show at least one update for that recipient. If the recipient isn't in the list, then he isn't getting updates and needs to be added into the Recipients under the task's Settings. (You should also review earlier updates in case the change was sent earlier.) If the Updates column shows zero in all of them, then Epicenter isn't recognizing the change in the source address book (such as the GAL.) Make another change to the source address book, click Send Now in Epicenter, and look at the most recent update again.
  5. If you are using an Exchange Distribution List, see the comments at the end of this article**.
  6. Does Outlook show that the contact has been updated? Go to Outlook on the recipient's computer. Open the Epicenter contacts folder. Switch to List view. Add the Modified column using Field Chooser. If the contact hasn't been updated recently, then Outlook is not syncing with Exchange. If you are using an Exchange Distribution List, see the comments at the end of this article**.
  7. Are you using Outlook 2010 on the user's computer? See this related knowledgebase article:
  8. Does Epicenter show the change in its Checkpoint.AMI file? Use Notepad to open the file, which is in a directory similar to this path:

    C:\Users\your-account-name\AppData\Local\Connected Software\Epicenter Server\your-task-name.Task

    Search for the mailbox by name, such as The fields labeled "3003:" are the mailbox's email address.
    Once you find the correct contact, most of the fields are easy to read. However, anything that starts with two colons is base64 encoded. For example, the Comments field starts with "3004::" To read these fields, copy and paste the lines into a base64 decoder, such as Then click the DECODE button to see the original text. If the information in the Checkpoint.ami file does not include the changes you've made, then the most common cause is #1 above.

** Additional information about Exchange Distribution Lists. It's possible for Exchange Distribution Lists to be "stale" - to contain entries that are no longer valid. This prevents Epicenter from being able to update those recipients. To test this case, open Outlook, create a new message, add the distribution list as a recipient, hit Ctrl-K to force the name to resolve, and click the + sign next to the distribution list. After it expands, you may see entries in blue (possible problem) or red (definite problem). These entries need to be resolved.


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