Contacts are not available in the Outlook Address Book

When trying to use the Address Book to address a message to a contact you could find that the contacts from your Contacts folder aren’t listed. Here are the two things you’ll need to check and set correctly.


Make sure the Outlook Address Book service is added to the profile

Outlook can only show contacts from your Contacts folder(s) in the Address Book when the Outlook Address Book Service has been added to your mail profile. You can add this service in the following way.

  1. Open the Address Book lists for your mail profile;
    • Outlook 2003
      Tools-> E-mail Accounts-> View or change existing directories or address books-> Next
    • Outlook 2007
      Tools-> Account Settings…-> tab Address Books
    • Outlook 2010 and Outlook 2013
      File-> Account Settings-> Account Settings…-> tab Address Books
  2. If the Outlook Address Book service is added already, you should mark your Contacts folder as an Outlook Address Book.
  3. If the Outlook Address Book service has not been added yet, press the New… or Add… button.
  4. Select “Additional Address Books” and click Next.
  5. Choose “Outlook Address Book” and click Next.
  6. You’ll be prompted that you must close and restart Outlook for changes to take effect.
  7. Press OK and close and restart Outlook.
  8. The service is now added.

Make sure that the Contacts folder is marked as an Outlook Address Book

If the Outlook Address Book service is added into the profile you can make any Contacts folder (so even the additional ones you may have made yourself already) show in the Address Book. To do so right click the Contacts folder and choose Properties-> tab Outlook Address Book-> select option Show this folder as an e-mail Address Book.

You should now be able to select Contacts by using the Address Book.

Contacts folder selected as Outlook Address Book
Your default Contacts folder should already be selected and not removable.

Address Book service is broken

When the Outlook Address Book service has already been added and the option to select the Contacts folder as an Outlook Address Book is still disabled and greyed out, it means that the Outlook Address Book service is corrupted.

To fix this you can remove the Outlook Address Book service, restart Outlook, and then add it again as indicated by the steps above.

Sadly this workaround will not work in Outlook 2007, 2010 and 2013 as removing the Outlook Address Book service is not supported in these versions. In this case, you must recreate your mail profile.