The latest update rollup for the Dynamics CRM 2011 client fixes some compatibility issues with Outlook 2013.  However, we are finding some issues with users that have upgraded from Outlook 2010 to Outlook 2013.  There was a similar issue when Office 2010 was released.  At that time, we had a client who purchased new computers that had Office 2010 pre-installed, but their corporate standard was Office 2007.  They uninstalled Office 2007 and installed Office 2010 – and CRM for Outlook no longer worked.

It seems that other versions of Outlook can sometimes leave some “footprints” behind even after you uninstall it.  The result is that if you upgrade (or, potentially, downgrade) your Outlook, CRM for Outlook will no longer function correctly.

The first symptom of this problem is that the CRM toolbar is visible in Outlook, but none of the buttons are highlighted (i.e. you can’t track an email).  When you try to reconfigure CRM to resolve the issue, you run into the second symptom which is something like the following error: CRM cannot be configured until and Outlook profile has been setup (I cannot remember the exact error message and now that we have no machines requiring the fix, I can’t reproduce it.  If you encounter this issue, then please post the exact error message and I will update this post accordingly).

After going through many uninstalls and reinstalls of Outlook 2010, Outlook 2013 and CRM for Outlook – all to no avail – we found that a simple change to the registry can fix this. 

WARNING: Whenever you edit the registry, make sure you back it up first.  We highly recommend you work with your IT support desk for all changes to the registry, rather than attempting them on your own.

Here are the instructions:

  1. Open Registry Editor (if you don’t know how to do this, then you probably shouldn’t – contact your IT support group or do a web search for more information).
  2. Navigate to HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\TypeLib\{2DF8D04C-5BFA-101B-BDE5-00AA0044DE52} .
  3. Under this key,  you may see multiple entries.  On the machine we most recently updated we found entries labeled 2.5 and 2.6.  If you’ve had older versions of Office on the machine, you may see other numbers.
  4. Delete all of the entries (but do not delete the parent entry that you navigated to in step #2).  It may also work if you just delete all but the most recent entry (we have not tested that).
  5. Restart Outlook

Outlook may re-configure Office 2013 upon startup – so it could take a few minutes to start.  If CRM is still not working, then close Outlook and go to the CRM Configuration Wizard to point it to your instance of Dynamics CRM, then restart Outlook again.  You should be back in business!