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Lync 2013 client – Force Instant Address Book (GalContacts.db) Download: “Address book synchronizing. Results may not be current.”

Published 23/11/2012 - 39 Comments

Like Lync 2010, Lync 2013 has a random back-off period before downloading the locally cached address book file. This is to avoid a storm of downloads if a large number of users sign in at the same time.

This is why you may see “Address book synchronizing. Results may not be current.”



Also like 2010, you can set a registry key to override this behaviour and have the client download the file on sign in. The key has moved slightly in 2013.

To add the key, run the following from Run/PowerShell as administrator:

reg add HKLM\Software\Policies\Microsoft\Office\15.0\Lync /v GalDownloadInitialDelay /t REG_DWORD /d 0 /f

The location of the cached files has also changed, it is now

C:\Users\<user>\AppData\Local\Microsoft\Office\15.0\Lync\[email protected]

GalContacts.db and GalContacts.db.idx are the files you are looking for to show the address book has downloaded


You now see “no matches” rather than a warning about results not being current.

Tom Arbuthnot

Tom Arbuthnot

Principal Solutions Architect at Modality Systems
Tom Arbuthnot is Principal Solutions Architect at Unified Communications specialist Modality Systems. He is a Microsoft Certified Master and MVP, blogger, has a regular podcast with UCToday at and is a regular speaker at events including Microsoft TechEd and Ignite. He co-runs The Microsoft UC User Group London.


Kemal - 27/03/2013 Reply


I followed your steps and it gave the result you got. But i still can´t call contacts using my numbers provided by the SIP-trunk. Any thoughts on this?

    Tom Arbuthnot - 14/04/2013 Reply


    That’s a really different question. Please try posting to the technet blogs for assistance


Mike Minter - 29/04/2013 Reply

Is there any registry setting that can be added to force a specific path for the Lync cached files? We have a “locked down” Citrix environment running Lync 2010 that is preventing users from getting the cache created.

Libin Joseph - 19/09/2013 Reply

I have 2010 ms office and 2013 lync in my office but in lync we are no able to search the user who are our domain .can you please help me on this

    Tom Arbuthnot - 19/09/2013 Reply

    Sounds like an address book issue, look into address book. Try setting Lync to use online address book only as a troubleshooting step.

John Bower - 19/09/2013 Reply

Hello Tom,

I have a Lync 2010 server up and running. I am having one issue with one client. Everyone else is having no issues at all. The one client cannot search by username to add the contact. The user gets the message “Address book synchronizing. Results may not be current.”. Users searching for that client will get the same thing. The only way the user has been able to add contacts is putting in the full sip path ex: sip:[email protected]*****.****
When I look in the comunnicator folder both GalContacts.db and GalContacts.db.idx files are missing. How can I get them added and this working correctly for this one user?

    Tom Arbuthnot - 19/09/2013 Reply

    user specific or computer specific issue?

    suspect computer, in which case the easy option (without trying to troubleshoot over internet) it to rebuild the PC

      John Bower - 19/09/2013 Reply

      Good question, it very well may be machine related. If that is the case, no way of resolving this without reimaging?
      I am pretty sure it is machine related because I signed onto that machine and the files were not created under my profile as well.

Brian - 24/10/2013 Reply

I have a user, who after we added him to our new Lync 2013 server, lost all of his contacts, stored in Lync.

Does anyone know about anything that could cause this?


    Tom Arbuthnot - 24/10/2013 Reply

    If you tick “force” on moving a user, it wont take the contacts over. That could be the issue

      Brian - 24/10/2013 Reply

      Thanks Tom.

      If that is the case, do you know of any way to restore the old contacts?

      Like copying from the old sip_…. folder to the new?

Todd LaRiviere - 22/01/2014 Reply

Hello Tom,

Issue we are having here, is when we search a user by user name sometimes we get message that says. Address book synchronizing. Results may not be current. However if we search full email address we are able to find them. Any idea why this is happening?

    Tom Arbuthnot - 24/01/2014 Reply

    Yes, this is because the address book hasn’t downloaded yet. If you set the key it should download straight away

Jose Lopez - 09/02/2014 Reply

Hi Tom,

Where would the Regostry setting be configured if running Lync 2010 as a Published Citrix App? I cannot see the Lync 2010 key mentioned in either the Lync Server or any of the Citrix servers.

Thanks in advance for any help!


    Tom Arbuthnot - 11/02/2014 Reply

    It would work like any other citrix app I guess, so it depends how you pubish/xenapp/xendesktop

Ryan Degner - 14/02/2014 Reply


First off, Thank you for putting so much effort into the community. It is very much appreciated for those of us who are very “new” :)

I have an issue that Im looking for some direction.

I have Lync 2013 server deployed with clients on 2010 and 2013. I have a few users that are not searchable from 2010 (even after MANY days)unless I use the sip:[email protected] name. This does not the case in 2013?

    Tom Arbuthnot - 24/02/2014 Reply

    you should be able to search for users by their name, sounds like you have some kind of issue there

Gael - 27/02/2014 Reply

Hello Tom,

First of all thanks for your great blog! I was wondering if you know of a similar setting on Lync for Mac 2011?


    Tom Arbuthnot - 28/02/2014 Reply

    No, not sure on the Mac, will ask around. Thanks Tom

Chetan - 01/03/2014 Reply

I’m not getting redistery key mentioned below(lync 2013 client)
reg add HKLM\Software\Policies\Microsoft\Office\15.0\Lync /v GalDownloadInitialDelay /t REG_DWORD /d 0 /f

    Tom Arbuthnot - 02/03/2014 Reply

    It is not there by default, just add it



Leo M. - 07/03/2014 Reply

Step 1:
Go to this folder on the client’s PC: “C:\Users\\AppData\Local\Microsoft\Office\15.0\Lync\[email protected]
Step 2:
Look for these two files on the client’s PC (As they can be missing!) GalContacts.db and GalContacts.db.idx
Step 3:
(If these files are missing from client’s machine and you need to get the client up and running FAST!)
Copy these two files GalContacts.db and GalContacts.db.idx from a working Lync program on another PC to the impacted PC (client’s machine.)

Yara - 13/05/2014 Reply

Hello Tom,
We are remove the photo´s user with: Remove-UserPhoto. The picture was deleted successfully in Office365 (not appears in outlook) but in Lync still remains. ¿Do you know where is the problem?.
Thanks in advance

    Tom Arbuthnot - 13/05/2014 Reply

    Sorry, I don’t follow, but there are some picture options in Lync that never go away, like the contact card. However this sounds like a cache issue, maybe try another machine for comparison?

Yara - 13/05/2014 Reply

I tried on another machine and now doesn´t show mi photo neither my colleagues.

Mike - 26/11/2014 Reply

Hi Tom
Just for clarification, does the registry entry simply force the client to download the full address book on each sign in.

The description of the key ‘GalDownloadInitialDelay’, implies that it avoids the random wait period and would download ‘what it should’ for that day on sign in.

I state ‘what it should’ as I’m referring to Deltas. For example when the registry entry is in place and a user logs in will it download the delta straight away as well? Or does it now bypass deltas and simply download full’s each time?

Thanks Tom

m.ali - 03/12/2014 Reply

hi tom.
unfortunately i still have this problem. i did all you said in this paper and all other either. all solution all like what you said. but i dont know why all my lync clients have “address book synchrnizing. the result…” . but there is something i should say that there is not that registry path you mentioned in your paper.
do you have any other idea?
i’d appreciate your censider for solving my prob.

    Tom Arbuthnot - 03/12/2014 Reply


    sorry this is a hard one to Tshoot over comments. maybe open a ticket with Microsoft or your support partner?

    Has it ever worked on any PC?

Deepika - 29/01/2015 Reply

Where we can find the location details ( GAL ) of employees through lync ? . In 2010 Lync we were finding through outlook properties directly.

Osman - 17/03/2015 Reply

HI Tom,

Please let me know how can i force my client to download Addressbook (GAL) via Group Policy.?

Anon - 05/05/2015 Reply

I’ve got thousands of contacts in my Outlook address book. I only want Lync 2013 to look at the Company address book. How do I get Lync 2013 Client to do that?

Seb - 18/05/2015 Reply

Is this still relevant to Skype 2015?
I’ve noticed some of my clients not downloading the gal files at all since the updates.

    Tom Arbuthnot - 19/05/2015 Reply

    Most likely is, a lot of the behaviors are the same. Are you saying they key doesn’t appear to work?

Marie Bulle - 11/06/2015 Reply


solution is working! added reg add HKLM\Software\Policies\Microsoft\Office\15.0\Lync /v GalDownloadInitialDelay /t REG_DWORD /d 0 /f – drag drop txt file into shell – executed.
Thank you very much. We are now able to help a lot of costumers…..

Ruben - 01/08/2016 Reply

My resolution to this issue after trying them all out was to simply copy the following files from a working user/PC to mine and worked like a charm.

GalContacts.db and GalContacts.db.idx copy them here:


Hope this helps someone out there…

    Tom Arbuthnot - 02/08/2016 Reply

    Thanks for sharing Ruben

    Ewoma - 17/01/2018 Reply

    All said and done, this should be flagged as the best solution. Worked perfectly.

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