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AddIn going to inactive state in Outlook 2007 and Outlook 2010 RRS feed

  • General discussion

  • We have developed AddIn for Outlook 2007 and 2010. It's running fine and at times, it goes to inactive state.

    Then, we will uninstall and reinstall the plugin to bring it back.

    Outlook goes to inactive state, if there are any unhandled exception, in my knowledge. Can someone guide me that in any other scenario, this would happen?

    I have signed the plugin with a valid certificate and it's also installed in each machine. Also, we are using clickone web installer to deploy the Addin across organization.

    Tuesday, July 28, 2015 5:40 PM

All replies

  • Hello Praveen,

    > Outlook goes to inactive state, if there are any unhandled exception, in my knowledge. Can someone guide me that in any other scenario, this would happen?

    You are absolutely correct. See How to: Re-enable a VSTO Add-in That Has Been Disabled for more information.

    Also Outlook 2013 monitors add-in performance metrics such as add-in startup, shutdown, folder switch, item open, and invoke frequency. Outlook records the elapsed time in milliseconds for each performance monitoring metric.

    For example, the startup metric measures the time required by each connected add-in during Outlook startup. Outlook then computes the median startup time over 5 successive iterations. If the median startup time exceeds 1000 milliseconds (1 second), then Outlook disables the add-in and displays a notification to the user that an add-in has been disabled. The user has the option of always enabling the add-in, in which case Outlook will not disable the add-in even if the add-in exceeds the 1000 millisecond performance threshold. Read more about that in the Performance criteria for keeping add-ins enabled section in MSDN.

    Tuesday, July 28, 2015 5:48 PM
  • We have a large customers base and we cannot afford call from a customer every time when add-in become inactive and got disabled by Outlook. Why is it happen perfectly described by Eugene. In our case we mostly have troubles when user upgrade Outlook to newest 2013 from any previous version. At this time start up is usually slow and we got into inactive state by timing. Same would be valid for Outlook 2010, 2007 when unhanded exception happen in the add-in. Again all of said described perfectly by Eugene. What I would like to add is how we deal with the situation.

    We've created a small app we installing with our product which runs all the time as background process. This app is monitoring two registry entries:

    1. HKCU\Software\Microsoft\Office\Outlook\AddIns\<your add-in id>\LoadBehavior This key has to be 3 or doesn't exist at HKCU branch at all. See more on load behavior Registry Entries for VSTO Add-ins

    This key will be set to 2 mostly when there are issues with time of load.

    2. HKCU\Software\Microsoft\Office\<outlook version>\Outlook\Resiliency\DisabledItems\<your add-in id> This key should not exist.

    This key will be set mostly when add-in had unhadled exception.

    when one of those keys are found we inform user from the system tray that add-in was disabled by Outlook and user able to click on notification balloon and re-enable the add-in. Well, Outlook restart is required. This is our story. If you asked how to avoid uninstall/ re-install add-in, you may just go to registry and check those two keys. If they set delete them manually, restart Outlook and your add-in will be available.

    At the end I would like to mention that if add-in get inactive because of unhandled exception , you should try to fix it, other than camouflage it. And if it's timing issue, you should take a look how to improve start up time, if it is possible. Those registry I mention are the last resort!

    Happy coding.


    Slava Ivanov

    Friday, July 31, 2015 4:08 PM
  • I always recommend fixing the issue - improve the startup time and prevent unhandled exceptions. And you will never trap into situations when any additional software/service is required.
    Friday, July 31, 2015 4:30 PM
  • After fixing any issues that cause unhandled exceptions Outlook 2013 may still disable the add-in for performance reasons.  If you wish to avoid this you can use the following registry key:

    From https://support.microsoft.com/en-us/kb/2758876

    If you click Always enable this add-in, the registry is updated to include details about the add-in that is to be exempted from this automatic disabling feature.
    Key: HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Office\15.0\<application>\Resiliency\DoNotDisableAddinList
    DWORD: <ProgID of the add-in>
    Value: Hex value between 1 and A indicating the reason the add-in was originally disabled. (see table below)
    0x00000001 Boot load (LoadBehavior = 3)
    0x00000002 Demand load (LoadBehavior = 9)
    0x00000003 Crash
    0x00000004 Handling FolderSwitch event
    0x00000005 Handling BeforeFolderSwitch event
    0x00000006 Item Open
    0x00000007 Iteration Count
    0x00000008 Shutdown
    0x00000009 Crash, but not disabled because add-in is in the allow list
    0x0000000A Crash, but not disabled because user selected no in disable dialog





    • Edited by RLWA32 Friday, July 31, 2015 5:05 PM delete duplicats sentence
    Friday, July 31, 2015 5:01 PM
  • In my case, it's not getting disabled. It's getting inactive. I have fixed all the unhandled exceptions. Is it due to the slowness on start-up, it's going to inactive state? How to identify the root cause for this??

    Wednesday, August 19, 2015 9:55 PM
  • Using the Event viewer look in the Application log to see if Outlook has recorded any events relating to your add-in
    Wednesday, August 19, 2015 10:39 PM
  • Name: Woodruff.ActivityManager.Outlook.Addin
    Description: Woodruff.ActivityManager.Outlook.Addin
    ProgID: Woodruff.ActivityManager.Outlook.Addin
    GUID: {00000000-0000-0000-0000-000000000000}
    Load Behavior: 03
    HKLM: 0
    Location: http://wsamsapp/BenboardOutlookAddin/Woodruff.ActivityManager.Outlook.Addin.vsto
    Boot Time (Milliseconds): 3947

    I could see close to 4 seconds it took to load the plugin.. Is it the root cause for going to inactive status?

    Wednesday, August 19, 2015 11:13 PM
  • Yes, if the median startup time exceeds 1000 milliseconds (1 second), then Outlook disables the add-in and displays a notification to the user that an add-in has been disabled. Read more about that in the Performance criteria for keeping add-ins enabled section in MSDN.    

    I'd suggest improving the add-in performance and moving long-running tasks to secondary threads that don't block the main thread.

    Thursday, August 20, 2015 5:34 AM