What is Autodiscover

So what is Autodiscover?

Autodiscover is a mechanism that allows users to easily configure their email client knowing only their email address and password. Autodiscover also enables additional features for Microsoft Exchange including:

  • Downloading the Offline Address Book
  • Viewing Free/Busy time in your calendar
  • Configuring your Out-of-Office

E-mail clients that make use of Autodiscover includes Outlook 2007, Outlook 2010, Outlook 2013/16, Outlook 2011, Mac Mail, Entourage 2008 WSE and many smartphones.

Note: Autodiscover for Computer House Email configures email clients for IMAP and SMTP, however does not work in Outlook 2011 or Mac Mail.

Autodiscover is simple to set up for your domain, it only requires that you create a CNAME resource record. CNAME records are a type of DNS record, other types include A records and MX records.

Note: We recommend that you create an Autodiscover CNAME record for every domain on your account, this includes domain aliases and accepted domains.

Creating a CNAME DNS record:

Contact your DNS hosting provider and ask them to create the following CNAME record. If you have access to the control panel for your DNS, you can make this change yourself.

Hostname: autodiscover

Record Type: CNAME

TTL: 300 (if required)

Address: autodiscover.emailsrvr.com.


Setup a DNS record for Autodiscover - What is Autodiscover

Setup a DNS record for Autodiscover

Note: Depending on your DNS provider’s requirements, you may need to add the fully qualified domain name as your hostname e.g. if your domain is example.com your hostname would be autodiscover.example.com. instead of autodiscover.

It could take 24 hours or more for this change to take effect, even though most DNS providers update their DNS records within three hours. You may want to ask your DNS provider what their “update time” is.

Checking for the Autodiscover CNAME record:

To confirm your e-mail client, e.g. Outlook 2013, has access to your new Autodiscover record perform the following actions from your Windows computer:

    Click the Windows Start button and select Run.

    Type “nslookup” and press the Enter key on your keyboard.

    Type in the name of the hostname you created above (e.g., autodiscover.example.com), and press the Enter key on your keyboard.

    If your records were correctly created, you should receive results similar to the following:

Name: autodiscover.emailsrvr.com


Aliases: autodiscover.example.com

Type quit and hit enter to exit nslookup.

Internal DNS and Autodiscover:

If you are running Windows Server 2003 or 2008 with internal DNS, you will need to perform the following steps:

  1.     On your remote desktop session, select Start / Programs / Administrative Tools / DNS.
  2.     Right-click your domain name and select New Alias (CNAME).
  3.     Under Alias Name enter: autodiscover
  4.     Under Fully qualified domain name (FQDN) for target host enter: autodiscover.emailsrvr.com
  5.     Click the Ok button.