Troubleshooting Autodiscover for Office 365 and cPanel Hosting

Office 365 is becoming more and more popular as a solid solution to business email and enterprise communication facilities without the hassle and expense of running your own servers.

cPanel is a piece of software for Linux servers and is widely used in the website hosting industry.

If you use both of these softwares with one domain name, there’s a good chance you’ve experienced inconsistent functioning of the auto-discover functionality for Microsoft Outlook and other email clients. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn’t.

Assuming your DNS entries are all present and correct, and being verified by the Office 365 DNS configuration screen, then there is likely another issue at play.

cPanel may be answering HTTP requests to the primary domain autodiscover URL

domain.com/autodiscover/autodiscover.xml 

in an attempt to auto-configure cPanel’s own email service. When that fails, theoretically an auto-discovering email client should move on to trying

autodiscover.domain.com/autodiscover/autodiscover.xml

However, some clients neglect to do this it seems.

If your cPanel hosting account is answering requests to the primary domain autodiscover URL (i.e. you get anything except a 404 not found error when opening this URL in your browser) then it is interrupting your autodiscover process.

cPanel should be configured to use a “Remote Email Exchanger”, which allegedly fixes this issue in some versions.

 Configuring cPanel to use a remote mail exchanger

Configuring cPanel to use a remote mail exchanger