DFS Referral Cache Is Invalid and Not Automatically Refreshing

Brass Contributor

After updating existing DFS-N target folders, clients (Win10, Win2019, etc.) with existing cache DFS-N referral gives ‘Element Not Found’ (in File Explorer GUI) or ‘Cannot find path ... because it does not exist’ (in CLI) errors.

Upon investigation, finding DFS-N referral cache entry listed as 'Type: 0x10 ( OUTSIDE_MY_DOM )' but Expires is not honored and entry is stuck in local cache. The entry is a DFS-N domain path entry, the cached result is incorrect.

Work-around: Only restarting the client, or installing RSAT DFS Management tools (DFSUTIL) can flush the referral cache. Because DFSUTIL is not something that can be remotely executed, there is no solution without touching the client to install the utility.


Updated DFS-N target folder



Client referral cache contents



Client error message



Recovery step 1. Delete original DFS-N target folder, re-create a new target to eliminate the false ‘Type:0x10’ ‘( OUTSIDE_MY_DOM )’ error condition.



Recovery Step 2. Restart Client. Or Use Recovery Procedure 3.


Recovery Step 3a. Add RSAT DFSUTIL to client.



Recovery Step 3b. DFSUTIL cache referral flush.



This seems very much like a bug in the client-side DFS-N cache. 

1. Referral Cache is getting an incorrect Type when the Domain DFS-N server is updated.

2. Invalid entry in Referral Cache subsequently does not automatically timeout and flush after 1800 seconds.


I already have a work-around, but need a Microsoft software bug fix, please.

3 Replies



Great finding. I was stuck with the same problem and it was driving me crazy. Hopefully, Microsoft will grab this and work on a solution. My next step was having chatgpt write me a script solution. 

See also
Might be helpful to [Like] up-vote that (and this) thread. Thanks.
It is not clear to me which forum these technical questions belong in. Microsoft? Are you monitoring your own forums?

@Lino11855 any luck getting a permanent fix (instead of a work-around)?
@Ned Pyle Can you take a look?