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Office programs say "Trying to connect to" or "Connecting" or "Contacting" before showing File Save dialog
Date Added: 7/25/2023

When you try to save an attachment in Outlook (or some other Save actions in the other Microsoft Office programs), you will see a small popup that says "trying to connect to [network path]".  It hangs there for several seconds.  Clicking Cancel will just show another popup.  After clicking cancel on enough popups, or waiting several seconds, the normal File Save dialog will appear.  This interruption is annoying, unnnecessary, and wastes everyone's time.

In mid-2022, Microsoft released a bug in their Microsoft Office software that causes a major slowdown for users who have redirected their Documents folder to a network SMB share.  This bug still exists in the latest release of Office as of July 2023.  The change in their software causes Office programs to first attempt to connect to your network share via DFS on port 80.  However, most companies do not use DFS on their file server, so the connection attempt times out (slowly).  Next, the program falls back to the SMB protocol, which works and lets you see the File Save dialog.

Wait for Microsoft to fix their software bug.  It could detect and remember that DFS is not in use by checking in the background as soon as the program loads, rather than in the foreground when the user tries to save something.

Create a firewall rule on the client PC that blocks outbound TCP to the remote port 80 on your file server's IP address.  This will cause the unwanted DFS connection attempt to fail immediately instead of slowly timing out, so the user will see the File Save dialog immediately as expected.  You can create a GPO to push out the firewall rule to everyone if you want.  Obviously, make sure you do not need port 80 on your file server, and that your file server has a static IP, before creating a rule that blocks it.

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