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New/edited contacts in People app won't get promoted to Mail and Calendar (always reproducible) RRS feed

  • Question

  • Short description:

    Mail and Calendar apps creates its own local copy of contacts from People app when the device is connected to the Microsoft account first time. It becomes out of sync (non-updated) when a contact in People app is created/updated/deleted later.

    • it is always reproducible on multiple devices and various Microsoft accounts
    • it affects a lot of customers
    • both Mobile and PC version of Mail application have the same issue
    • there is no fix yet

    Steps to reproduce:

    1. open People app and add a new contact:

    Name: John Smith

    Email: js@something.abc

    2. open Outlook Mail app (use default Outlook.com account, no other accounts are setup)

    3. create a new email

    4. on To field, press the people contacts blue icon on the right side

    5. select the John Smith from contacts and confirm, you are back in Outlook Mail app

    Expected: email To field have blue 'John Smith' recipient added with email address js@something.abc inside

    Actual: email To field have blue ' js@something.abc' recipient added with email address js@something.abc inside

    The recipient name is not copied from the people contact list anymore. The same issue is when you start to type name in To field, new contacts are not displayed in the popup window. And the issue is of course the same in new calendar event, invite people.

    Technical background (discovered on PC version but the issue on Mobile version is the same)

    I used Process Explorer and Process Monitor tools to watch I/O operations to understand what is behind the scene.

    The Mail and Calendar app creates its local copy of People app contacts when first started, stored in C:\Users\<user>\AppData\Local\Packages\microsoft.windowscommunicationsapps_8wekyb3d8bbwe\LocalState\HxStore.hxd file.That's why it seems to work at first glance. When you create/edit/delete a contact later in People app, the local copy of contacts in HxStore.hxd file won't get updated. That's why Mail and Calendar app can not find name of the new contact and uses the email address only.

    On PC, if you delete the HxStore.hxd file (which may lead to a data corruption !), the process related to Mail and Calendar app recreates the HxStore.hxd file using actual contacts from People app. EDIT WARNING do not do this, it has another side effect that no new emails are received then.

    Possible fix

    Please either promote changes of contacts from People app to the local HxStore.hxd file immediately or at least refresh it from actual People app contacts when the [Sync] button of Mail app is pushed.

    Again, I don't know where to post it to get attention. The text is too long for Feedback app.



    • Edited by Petr Vones Friday, December 23, 2016 2:26 PM
    Monday, December 19, 2016 11:46 PM

All replies

  • Huh! Go figure. I thought I'm the only one to experience this.

    This explains why some contacts that were linked to multiple accounts have lost their thumbnails. You are a genius!

    The key issue here: it is always reproducible on multiple devices and multiple Microsoft accounts

    I solved this by unlinking linked contacts. Seems like the storage file is linked only to main Microsoft account. All other email accounts, their contacts AND properties, are NOT updated.

    Petr might not agree with me here, but I think this issue is related. It all looks like synchronization broke in last builds of RS1. Not only for email accounts, but for Microsoft accounts as well. I have recently added a Lumia 950 XL phone and a Windows 10 Enterprise laptop to my account, and none of the devices got synchronized. Lost my favorites and settings.


    Well this is the world we live in And these are the hands we're given...




    Tuesday, December 20, 2016 1:22 PM
  • I use single default Outlook.com account of the Microsoft account only. I have my own mail server and forwarding emails to the outlook.com one for mobile devices only. For send/reply I use Outlook email aliases that have its own set of issues, especially after the Outlook.com server upgrade in October. So I don't use any of these advanced linking account features nor people thumbnails. Better not to when I read about all its issues :-)

    The question is, how to get it fixed ? There is no bug reporting system if you have exact reproducible steps (I am software developer so this is natural for me to report bugs this way). The Feedback app is full of "Edge is slow" or "Mail does not work" useless reports that are most voted. It's kind of frustration that you know what the issue is and how to reproduce it but there is no place to report it. That's why I started it in Technet forum hoping to get a more "pro" feedback from Microsoft here.

    • Edited by Petr Vones Tuesday, December 20, 2016 8:14 PM
    Tuesday, December 20, 2016 7:39 PM
  • Regarding the Feedback Hub app. That are exactly my thoughts and feelings when I open this app. I remember I've worked for some big itsec company. And we've had some sort of feedback collection there. That was basically a mailbox that collected all the feedback responses from the customer. You known what? That mailbox was once removed just because IT expenses for cleaning it were too high. Noone of the guys who were responsible for reading the mailbox was reading it. Ever. And those who might have had some desire to read it were not allowed to read and respond. ;-)

    Well this is the world we live in And these are the hands we're given...

    Wednesday, December 21, 2016 7:07 AM
  • Regarding the Feedback Hub app. That are exactly my thoughts and feelings when I open this app.

    I understand your frustration.

    Check what I have just found https://developer.microsoft.com/en-us/microsoft-edge/platform/issues/ Public bugtracker for Microsoft Edge browser issues ! All I want is the same one for Windows 10 issues.

    • Edited by Petr Vones Wednesday, December 21, 2016 3:58 PM
    Wednesday, December 21, 2016 3:56 PM
  • Regarding the Feedback Hub app. That are exactly my thoughts and feelings when I open this app.

    I understand your frustration.

    Check what I have just found https://developer.microsoft.com/en-us/microsoft-edge/platform/issues/ Public bugtracker for Microsoft Edge browser issues ! All I want is the same one for Windows 10 issues.


    Fantastic find! Thanks for letting me know. Let's see if direct reporting to Edge team could help speedup the works on the issue.

    Well this is the world we live in And these are the hands we're given...

    • Marked as answer by Petr Vones Thursday, December 22, 2016 7:20 PM
    • Unmarked as answer by Petr Vones Thursday, December 22, 2016 7:20 PM
    Thursday, December 22, 2016 8:20 AM
  • Fantastic find! Thanks for letting me know. Let's see if direct reporting to Edge team could help speedup the works on the issue.
    Here is my naive try but I am aware it is completely offtopic there https://developer.microsoft.com/en-us/microsoft-edge/platform/issues/10290983/
    Thursday, December 22, 2016 7:21 PM
  • Again, I don't know where to post it to get attention. The text is too long for Feedback app.

    Nevertheless that is what they want us to use to report issues.  They have even taken over Win-F to support this.  That proves they want it.  FWIW what I usually do is provide a concise title and try to put it into the most appropriate possible category, then just paste in a link of whatever discussion provoked the discovery. Note also that you can capture the URL that refers to your post but no browser will recognize it as one (because of the "protocol prefix").  Nevertheless I think it would be a good idea to post it into your discussion so then people could vote on it.  Supposedly getting votes helps ensure better visibility for your feedback and increases the likelihood of something being done about it.


    Robert Aldwinckle
    ---

    Thursday, December 22, 2016 8:51 PM
  • Nevertheless that is what they want us to use to report issues.

    Sorry I am not convinced. There are more basic functionality issues in the Mail app you find after first minute of its use (it still doesn't build the From/To email fields right) reported many times in the Feedback Hub without any response for over one year. None of these issues were in the Windows 8.1 Mail app so it is not a feature request.

    I don't want anyone to vote for it. It is bug, it is clear, it is reproducible -> must be fixed. If Microsoft is wondering why people are moving to different platforms, this is the top reason. Many bugs reported here and there without any respose.

    • Edited by Petr Vones Thursday, December 22, 2016 10:25 PM
    Thursday, December 22, 2016 10:21 PM
  • Even worse scenario:

    1. create a new contact with a typo in name like: John Smithhh

    2. synchronize it to your Microsoft account cloud that your other devices see that

    3. buy a new device, connect it to your Microsoft account (now the static local copy of people contacts of Mail and Calendar app is created) and setup everything.

    4. create a new email and select the John Smithhh as a To recipient

    5. now you realize there is a typo, open People app and edit the name from "John Smithhh" to "John Smith", his email address is unchanged of course.

    6. create a new email and select the (edited) John Smith from People app

    The Mail application will assign the old John Smithhh name as a recipent and sends it as "John Smithhh" instead of "John Smith" !

    There is absolutely no way to fix that other than hard reset your phone and setup everything again. Microsoft, are you serious ? Are you sure such system is suitable for a business use ?

    The fix is easy, synchronize the Mail and Calendar local copy of contacts from People app everytime the [Synchronize] button of Mail app is pushed.

    • Edited by Petr Vones Thursday, December 22, 2016 11:34 PM
    Thursday, December 22, 2016 10:55 PM
  • Fantastic find! Thanks for letting me know. Let's see if direct reporting to Edge team could help speedup the works on the issue.

    Here is my naive try but I am aware it is completely offtopic there https://developer.microsoft.com/en-us/microsoft-edge/platform/issues/10290983/

    Great! Let's look for the response.

    Well this is the world we live in And these are the hands we're given...

    Friday, December 23, 2016 10:37 AM
  • Again, I don't know where to post it to get attention. The text is too long for Feedback app.

    Nevertheless that is what they want us to use to report issues. 


    Robert Aldwinckle
    ---

    Or, better yet, where they have supposed all the defects and feature requests would be submitted to.

    However, lack of response from Microsoft makes Feedback a hopeless place that gets bloated with useless 'My app is crashing constantly fix that asap' messages. It's understood, that's VERY hard to handle such a 'bugtracker' for multiple markets, but when nobody tracks it, what's the use?

    For a bugtracker you expect the item you submit to be handled somehow. At least, you expect some work statuses like: Pending, In Progress, Need info, Rejected, etc.

    With Feedback Hub it turns to be a game with throwing stones into a black hole. You can't even track your own submitted Problems and Suggestions, how does it feel? I've seen rare comments on some posted items and I see that XX% of positive feedback in the Feedback Hub app, but that did't make any sense to me.

    What does this percentage for the feedback mean? Are the defects I've submitted handled by any respective specialist at Microsoft? Are they pending info or were they overlooked? I can't even track how well where they prepared, because I don't see the view rate. If I could track my own submitted cases, I'd now how well they were baked.

    Again, the main problem with Microsoft is that they have VERY TALENTED people who research and innovate, but they definitely have problems with their mid-level management who don't do what they have to: they mostly fail to finish the started project and then they change the department, or the project name, and move on. Examples? Microsoft Passport. Then we've had Windows Live ID, then it turned out to be Microsoft Account. It all looks the same thing that snowballs into a complex thing with intrinsic complex issues, like this one with linked accounts.

    In a position of an outsider on the consumer mobile market you cannot say 'we want out customer to', you'd rather follow 'we ask our customer to' moto.

    I cannot believe Windows Mobile is an outsider. That's a shame. Windows 10 Mobile is superior to any other platform in every aspect. It is the ONLY platform with the UX ready for mobile. Yet it loses its position and its market share decays day by day. Shame.


    Well this is the world we live in And these are the hands we're given...







    Friday, December 23, 2016 11:00 AM
  • Short description:

    Mail and Calendar apps creates its own local copy of contacts from People app when the device is connected to the Microsoft account first time. It becomes out of sync (non-updated) when a contact in People app is created/updated/deleted later.

    • it is always reproducible on multiple devices and various Microsoft accounts
    • it affects a lot of customers
    • both Mobile and PC version of Mail application have the same issue
    • there is no fix yet

    Steps to reproduce:

    1. open People app and add a new contact:

    Name: John Smith

    Email: js@something.abc

    2. open Outlook Mail app (use default Outlook.com account, no other accounts are setup)

    3. create a new email

    4. on To field, press the people contacts blue icon on the right side

    5. select the John Smith from contacts and confirm, you are back in Outlook Mail app

    Expected: email To field have blue 'John Smith' recipient added with email address js@something.abc inside

    Actual: email To field have blue ' js@something.abc' recipient added with email address js@something.abc inside

    The recipient name is not copied from the people contact list anymore. The same issue is when you start to type name in To field, new contacts are not displayed in the popup window. And the issue is of course the same in new calendar event, invite people.

    Technical background (discovered on PC version but the issue on Mobile version is the same)

    I used Process Explorer and Process Monitor tools to watch I/O operations to understand what is behind the scene.

    The Mail and Calendar app creates its local copy of People app contacts when first started, stored in C:\Users\<user>\AppData\Local\Packages\microsoft.windowscommunicationsapps_8wekyb3d8bbwe\LocalState\HxStore.hxd file.That's why it seems to work at first glance. When you create/edit/delete a contact later in People app, the local copy of contacts in HxStore.hxd file won't get updated. That's why Mail and Calendar app can not find name of the new contact and uses the email address only.

    On PC, if you delete the HxStore.hxd file (which may lead to a data corruption !), the process related to Mail and Calendar app recreates the HxStore.hxd file using actual contacts from People app.

    Possible fix

    Please either promote changes of contacts from People app to the local HxStore.hxd file immediately or at least refresh it from actual People app contacts when the [Sync] button of Mail app is pushed.

    Again, I don't know where to post it to get attention. The text is too long for Feedback app.

     Based on Gustave's post, you were right, the DB file is the culprit:

    "what you're looking for is ESED databases. Which are actually files stored on disk. To clean them, you need to uninstall the concerned app."

    Have you tried accessing the file system and removing the HXD file?


    Well this is the world we live in And these are the hands we're given...

    Friday, December 23, 2016 12:12 PM
  • For a bugtracker you expect the item you submit to be handled somehow. At least, you expect some work statuses like: Pending, In Progress, Need info, Rejected, etc.

    There is, sort of.  Let's try using this as an example.  I got it by Sort: Most recent Filter: Problems Category: Apps and Games  Search terms:  contacts sync

    https://aka.ms/Qhj52v

    alias

    feedback-hub:?contextid=143&feedbackid=950be395-bce7-4c0a-838e-3c813f27ae19&form=1&src=1

    I didn't know we now can share HTTPS links too.  That should help with the voting.

    Notice that it says:  We've got it!   <eg>

    Some things that sound more like suggestions (and may have been treated as such) get "An official response has been posted".   You can see some of those by switching the Sort to Upvotes.

    So I think it would be worthwhile finding something in there that sort of matches what you are complaining about and at least post a link to this discussion.  If necessary add your own problem report as a new topic.   And then post its link in here so you can have anyone reading this discussion to help vote on it AND NOT be forced to use its horrible search tool.  I don't think it is a "black hole" as much as I think its search is deficient AND not enough detailed feedback is being provided to help people use what functionality already is there.



    Robert Aldwinckle
    ---

    Friday, December 23, 2016 2:11 PM
  • Have you tried accessing the file system and removing the HXD file?

    No. I played with that on PC where it is much easier and found that deleting the HXD file fixes the contacts issue but introduces another one, no new emails are received since that, even when [Sync] button is pushed. So this is not a workaround.

    I am still wondering how Microsoft could have ever released it with such basic terrible bug. Are everyone satisfied with a need of hard reset their mobile everytime an update in people contact list is made ? Or they just moved to another platform ?




    • Edited by Petr Vones Friday, December 23, 2016 2:34 PM
    Friday, December 23, 2016 2:29 PM
  • Great! Let's look for the response.

    As expected https://developer.microsoft.com/en-us/microsoft-edge/platform/issues/10290983/

    On the other hand please feel free to post this issue on “Windows Feedback App” which will be prioritized and investigated.

    Indeed :-/


    • Edited by Petr Vones Monday, January 9, 2017 4:03 PM
    Monday, January 9, 2017 4:03 PM
  • The issue is fixed now on both PC and Mobile version by recent updates of Mail & Calendar and People apps.

    • Marked as answer by Petr Vones Wednesday, March 8, 2017 1:08 PM
    • Edited by Petr Vones Wednesday, March 8, 2017 1:15 PM
    • Unmarked as answer by Petr Vones Wednesday, November 1, 2017 7:06 PM
    Wednesday, March 8, 2017 1:08 PM
  • The issue is back in Fall Creators Update ! On both PC and Mobile devices.
    • Edited by Petr Vones Wednesday, November 1, 2017 7:08 PM
    Wednesday, November 1, 2017 7:08 PM