Exchange UM Voice Auto-Attendant custom greeting and those pesky system prompts

Microsoft Exchange Unified Messaging is a very cool tool to put into your corporate telephony arsenal.  You get a very nice, voice activated auto-attendant with some very nice features.
One feature the Exchange UM team didn’t get fully right is customization of the initial greeting.

Out of the box, your voice enabled AA (auto-attendant) will say:

Thank you for calling [your company name] To reach a specific person, just tell me their name

If you are like ArmgaSys, you will want to customize your greeting via the ECP (Exchange Admin Center).  You hire voice talent and record a really nice greeting along the lines of “Thank you for calling my company, if you know your parties extension, you may dial it now or simply tell me their name”.  You then upload your greeting in the UM and are shocked to hear the following:

Thank you for calling my company, if you know your parties extension, you may dial it now or simply tell me their name. To reach a specific person, just tell me their name.

You just discovered a UM system prompt, specifically the Voice AA prompt which says (in a female voice) “To reach a specific person, just tell me their name”

At this point, you have only one option:  You must replace the system prompt with a audio file containing silence.*  Fortunately, this is very easy to do!

The solution:

  1. On your Exchange UM server, navigate to
    C:\Program Files\Microsoft\Exchange Server\V[#]\UnifiedMessaging\prompts\en\
  2. Delete the file vuiAADsearch_Yes_Custom_No_main.1.wav
  3. Make a copy of Silence-250ms.wav
    (This .wav file is also located in the prompts\en directory)
  4. Rename your copy of the silence file to vuiAADsearch_Yes_Custom_No_main.1.wav

That is it!

Warning! Warning! Warning!
Installing cumulative updates (CU) and service packs will revert this file back to its original state.  You will need to repeat these steps after each CU and Service Pack!


*Some of you will be asking “Why not just delete the file”.  Well, it is a system prompt which means Exchange UM pretty much requires the file to be there.  Deleting the file can (and will) cause your UM service to fail.

7 thoughts on “Exchange UM Voice Auto-Attendant custom greeting and those pesky system prompts

  1. Mark Domansky

    Sorry to tell you, but you’ve done it entirely wrong.
    1. Do not delete the system audio files. Ever.
    2. Auto Attendants have Greetings “Thank you for calling ” and Prompts “Just say the name of the person”. They can both be configured in Exchange on the same tab.
    3. You should just take your professionally recorded audio file, split it into two pieces, and re-uploaded it into UM.

  2. ArmgaSys Post author

    Thank you for your comment. But, we respectfully disagree 🙂

    1) The article does not call for deleting an audio file, but rather to replace it with an audio file containing silence. This effectively removes the prompt without deleting the prompt.
    2) Auto Attendants only allow the altering of three prompts via the UI when using a non-menu based AA. They are Business Hours Greeting, Non-Business Hours Greeting, and Informational Announcements. None of these prompts resolves the issue described in the blog entry. That being said, if you are aware of another method to change the system prompts to achieve the desired effect, we would love to know about it! Please post links so others can also utilize the knowledge!
    3) Splitting the audio file up does not resolve the issue because of the number of actual user modifiable prompts (see our #2 above).

  3. Ken Landymore

    We tried this, but the prompt we replaced seems to be cached somewhere even after restarting the UM server.

  4. ArmgaSys Post author


    We also ran into this. Windows updates (and potentially other processes) seem to update/fix the file randomly and without warning.
    We solved this by creating a Windows scheduled task which overwrites the “vuiAADsearch_Yes_Custom_No_main.1.wav” with “Silence-250ms.wav” file every couple of hours. We have this solution implemented in several installations with no issues!

    As a side note: Make sure you are replacing the right file. This can be done by listening to the file and verifying it is the one you actually hear from the auto-attendant.

  5. Bruce Clay

    Since we are using the “menu Navigation prompt” as our initial prompt, i just pointed the “Business Hours Greeting” to the Silence-1.wav and that solved my problem with having the Microsoft advert as the first thing our customers hear.

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