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Exchange Online: Sharing Contacts in Outlook 2013

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We have Exchange Online with a 2 user licence (on Office 365).

Both users access Exchange using Outlook 2013.



We would like to have one fully (read/write/delete) shared "Contacts" file, is this possible and if so how?


I have tried:

On User 1's default "Contacts" file I [right clicked] Share -> Folder Permissions -> Add User 2 -> set as Publishing Editor. Result; the Contacts file does not even show up on User 2.


All ideas and comments much appreciated.

PS I am new to Exchange Server and Outlook (having used Thunderbird for ages)

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  • Hi Sybaris,

    Please refer to the following steps to share the contacts.

    1. Right click on the contacts folder and select Share-> Share Contacts. Select the user you would like to share the contacts with and click Send.

    2. After that, right click on the contacts folder and select Share-> Folder permissions. Select the appropriate permission you would like to configure.

    Kevin Cui

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  • Hi Kevin,


    Thanks for the quick response. Where I went wrong was that I only did Share->Folder permissions.
    I now also did the Share->Share Contacts and it works. User 2 now has a Shared Contacts folder with all my Contacts.


    Follow-up issues:

    My aim was for User 1 and 2 to share the one Contacts file in the true sense, i.e. seen as local Contacts by both users. This does not seem to be the case, here are two examples:

    1) User 2 cannot search in the Shared Contacts when sending new emails,

    New Email -> Address Book ->

    I can only choose addresses from the local profile, not from the shared Contacts!!

    2) When viewing emails avatars from the shared Contacts are not used to liven up emails with nice contact pictures like it does with Contacts from the local Contacts file


    The only usage of the shared Contacts for user 2 is to manually look at the file. I guess you could copy the contacts to the local contacts file, but then they will no longer be synchronised when either user makes any changes.



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  • Hi Sybaris,

    I have tested the two scenarios from my side and made some research about shared contacts. It is not available to search shared contacts and shared contacts’ avatars could not be shown in the message window. Currently this feature in client is by design. You would have to add the shared contacts to your account to be able to search that. For further concerns about this, you can post the issue at Microsoft Outlook forum. The forum address is provided as below.

    Kevin Cui

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