Why does my “Settings” area disappear during a demo of Microsoft CRM 3?

I have only ever seen this to be an issue on one machine Virtual PC demo environments. But you are in Outlook and you want to show customizations, you open the Web Client and no customization area, and sometimes, no Settings area at all. Why you ask?

This is related to a caching issue with the sitemap.xml file, which controls the entire left-hand navigation and is generally common between the web client and the Outlook clients.  The one exception is Settings, which is only available in the web client.  If you start on the server with Outlook first and then open the web client, you may run in to this problem.

If you export the Site Map customizations and look at the file you will see that the Settings area is set to Client = “Web”.  This means that the area will only appear in the CRM Web client.  This is what is getting cached.  When you open up the CRM Outlook Client the Sitemap settings say to not display the Settings button since it is only available in the CRM Web Client. (And please do try and change that, I am not sure what the ramifications are of doing that…)

You can fix this in a demo environment pretty easily.

  1. Make sure CRM Web and Outlook are closed completely

  2. Start | Run “Regedit”

  3. Browse to HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\MSCRMClient\

  4. Look for the ServerURL Key

  5. Change it to from http://localhost:5555/MSCRMServices to  (The IP of the local machine)

Now you should be able to demo both at the same time with your settings appearing where they should in the Outlook client.

Thanks to Dana Martens for providing a easy fix for something that has been driving me nuts since the early days of 3.0’s VPCs… This is something that Anne Stanton and others have been talking about for a while. While this is not for use in production, it should work. (I have ONLY ever ran into this in my VPC environments.)


This post contains information about modifying the registry. Before you modify the registry, make sure to back it up and make sure that you understand how to restore the registry if a problem occurs. For information about how to back up, restore, and edit the registry, click the following article number to view the article in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:

256986 (http://support.microsoft.com/kb/256986/) Description of the Microsoft Windows Registry

Comments (17)

  1. mattp65 says:

    This is actually a common problem for any user that uses both the Web & Outlook clients.  It is the result of a cookie that is written by the Outlook client.  Changing the URL causes the cookie to not be shared.

    Another option is to have 2 aliases for the CRM server, 1 that is used by the Outlook client and another that is used for the web client.  Different "name", differnt cookie.


  2. A CRM Riff says:

    Ben Vollmer tilts his lance at this issue I have seen asked many times and in many forums:

    "I have only…

  3. Ben Vollmer says:
  4. DonPlaster says:

    We have had the same problem occur periodically in VPC demos. Our solution has been to exit all the clients then clear the IE cache. Once, I had to tell IE to stop caching, but usually just clearing the cache has worked.

    Don Plaster, Compass Technology

  5. Ben Vollmer says:


    That is what I used to do as well. But this makes clearing the cache not necessary… 🙂 I have not checked the latest image, but this is a change I wanted to make on it, but may have slipped. 🙂

    Thanks for reading!


  6. Achim Gounar says:

    If this happens with Virtual Server, it can happen in production environments.

    Thanks for explaining.


  7. Ben Vollmer says:


    It should not happen in production. This article is ONLY addressing the VPC and what happens with it. How often do you have both of them running on the same machine? In a production enviroment, we block installing CRM on the CRM server, so this should only happen in the VPC and outside of it IF you are running both at the same time, which your shouldn’t be doing. 🙂

  8. Bjorn says:

    I’ve got this problem on the clients in a test environment (but not VPC). If you have Outlook started then Settings does not appear in the Web client. Wierd!

  9. Ben Vollmer says:

    This is by design. You should not have both open at the same time.

  10. It was annoying enough that someone considered this to be a "by design" feature.  I’m on early days of implementation and finding myself wanting to flit between Outlook and "Settings" a lot; was this not foreseen as a common requirement?

    But now I’d just like to chip in my experience that it certainly does happen in a production environment.  I wish I’d been running it under Virtual PC, but it’s my main working copy that’s now denying me my access to "Settings" altogether.

    I’ve Restarted and done a full cold reboot and cleared IE’s cache of Temporary Internet Files, I’m still not getting my "Settings" area in my CRM browser window.

  11. I find it a bit strange that there is a limitation to using both clients at the same time.

    Despite good intentions on making both versions Outlook-like it is only true for the Web-version. The Outlook client menu is not very user friendly and many customers I have talked to complain (rightfully) that the webclient gives a lot more overview but they like the concept of working in Outlook.

    My current customer have decided to use the Web-client for most tasks but Outlook for booking meetings (since they can’t see when they’re free in the webclient). They havn’t gone live yet but I fear they will have problems with the problem above. We will probably solve it using a new CNAME.

    Any comments would be greatly appreciated!


    Gustaf Westerlund, gustaf @ humandata.se

  12. Karla Lowe says:

    I have this problem, in production, all the time.  I am the system admin, and rarely use CRM, except to make settings and customization changes. I am in Outlook all day long, however.  And I do the documentation for my users, so I need the CRM Outlook client available for when I’m creating instructions for them.

    This "feature" is a major pain in my butt. I have to Remote Desktop to my CRM server, and run the web client directly on the server to change any settings or do any customizations.

    Microsoft — please give me a way to have both Outlook and the Settings button available on my production pc!!!!!

  13. Ben Vollmer says:


    See above for a VERY simple fix. Go to the Web Client using an IP address instead of the DNS Name… It does work…



  14. We tend to use a different version of the fix.  Rather having to remember the IP, set up a second DNS for CRM2.  From there we use the CRM2 URL for the Outlook Clinet install, as once done it’s done, nothing more to remember.  Then the CRM URL is still good for web access, without the two bumping heads.

    Note that one reason we do this is because our clients are running the SPE version, so https is the norm, which won’t work with IP without generating the SSL warning screen.  Using crm.clientdomain.com and crm2.clientdomain.com, along with a wildcard SSL cert, covers the bases.

  15. I recently installed CRM 3.0 for a long time client. He’s been bothered ever since with the issue of…

  16. CRM OnTarget says:

    I read your other thread Larry.  In you update on the new install, you mention changing just the one reg entry.

    Instead of doing the regedit after the install, you can simply use the alternate CRM reference in the Outlook Client install itself- where it asks for the CRM server.  Works for us every time that way.


  17. Eshwar says:

    hi , we are using ms crm 4.0 ,in that i have configures my sitemap file by commenting Settings area, and uploaded into crm , again if want to enable my settings means ..there is no settings area to upload the new sitemap file.

    So,what to do for this Problem.

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