Outlook: Share a custom contacts folder

Shared_Contacts_IDefault contacts folder
Everyone who uses Outlook has a default contacts folder. All their personal contacts will be stored in this folder. This is not typically the folder you would want to share. I meet a lot of people who have large business contacts folders. They created those folders themselves. The question that regularly returns is how to share that specific contacts folder or create a custom contacts folder.

Create your own custom contacts folder to share
First let’s start with creating a custom contacts folder which we will share with our co-workers.


From the Ribbon select the “Folder” tab. On the left click on the “New Folder” button. The following dialog will pop up:


In this dialog (which is in Dutch but you get the picture right?) fill in a name for you custom contacts folder. I named it Customers. Next click on the contacts folder from the available list. This will automatically set the second combo box to this folder contains contact items. Click OK and your custom list will show up in your contact list directory (as shown below)


Share this contacts folder
Since this is not a default outlook folder you have to share it yourself. To do so follow these steps. In the contacts directory right-click on the list you have just created and click Share Contacts.

Shared_Contacts_VThe big advantage sharing this way is the option to set the Folder permissions as you go. You can see this also appear in the menu below Share Contacts. You will see a mail window appear where you can check the box for permissions. So it is possible to work together in this list. If you want to be the only one that has exclusive rights leave the check box unmarked. That way the recipients can only view the list.


Click Send and as software usually does you will get another confirmation box to respond to:


The recipient will receive a mail which contains the link to the custom contacts folder. If he or she clicks on the link they will see the contact list appear in their contacts directory.

How the recipient sees it
And this is how the recipient will see it:

First the mail which tells the recipient to click on the button ‘open’ which is actually hard to see. The text in the red square states “Open contacts folder
mailAnd in their contacts directory he or she will see the custom contact list appear under shared contacts (image shows dutch version of outlook).

contactpersonenThere you go. Your own custom contacts folder shared with other recipients. Remember you can set individual permissions per recipient. So multiple people can edit, add and delete and if you want to the others have ‘read only’. In this day and age of sharing only one contacts folder would be sufficient for the whole company don’t you agree?

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