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SHared Contacts

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We are new to this and not adept and have no IT person.


We are setting up our 6 person company on the Beta, how to we import one MASTER contacts list (CV file from Outlook) that all users can share and update at will?  I can import the file for one user, but don't se any way to import it for the team to share.

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  • Hello Paul,

    If you'd like to import a list of contacts into your Global Address List, you'll need an Enterprise subscription.  In Enterprise, you can use Remote Powershell to take advantage of the New-MailContact cmd-let.  If you create a script you can import all of your users from that CSV file quite easily.

  • Our office has 6 people, individual e-mail with a shared contact list is the only function we truly need. Your advise?

  • I have just verified on my test account that Small Business admins can also connect using Remote Powershell and import contacts via CSV as Alexander described above.  

    For help on connecting, please see

  • Hi dgcasting,

    Does your question has been resolved?

    Best Regards,

    Reken Liu

  • I also have the same problem. I just have 8 in my organization, but we need to share the contacts.

  • Hello cscvea,

    Have you been able to sign in with Remote PowerShell and import your contacts as described above?

  • Well, I don't have any contacts to import right now. In fact, we need to start building our database of customers. So, is it possible to share the contacts that we start to imput?

  • Hello cscvea,

    Yes, you just create the contacts in the Exchange Control Panel and they will appear in your company GAL.  You don't need to import them if you don't have a large list of pre-existing contacts.

  • Hi all! Copying post from

    Regular users (without admin permissions) can import their personal contacts themselves. These contacts will remain "private" to the users who imported. See That topic explains how to do it, and this topic ( explains how to export contacts from other accounts.

    If you want the contacts to be accessible to everyone in your company, the admin needs to create "external contacts" (This is explained at Regular non-admin users won't be able to edit/add/delete the external contacts.

    The admin can create external contacts one by one in the Exchange Control Panel. (In the Office 365 portal, in the header, click Admin. In the Services section, under Exchange Online, click Manage. On the Exchange Online settings page, click Exchange Control Panel. Then select Users & Groups > External Contacts > New.)

  • Alexander, can you please provide a MSFT resource URL for in depth learning?

  • Hello Neteffects,

    If you're interested in the procedure for bulk importing contacts, you can review this document:

    If you just want to add individual contacts, you can launch the Exchange Control Panel, bring up the Users & Groups, and go into the Contacts section to add an individual mail contact.

  • Hi, Alex!  (Hope it’s OK to give you a nick name:)

    I've reviewed the external contacts with Power Shell approach.  Problem with that is that only the administrator or someone with admin priviledges can update the shared contact list.  This is really a living, continually updating customer contact and activity list.  So that approach isn't practical.

    Maybe you can help me.  I’ve seen lots of chatter about a group of users sharing a single business contacts file/db.  I’m attempting a fairly simple collaboration platform for 10 users.  All use Outlook, but not all have exchange on premise or hosted, but all keep their business contact info with various amounts of detail and history for each.  They are using the “Contacts” function of Outlook.  Since all are pretty weak PC users, I’d like to keep their tools as familiar as possible.

    The group needs/wants to pool all contacts from each via .pst export from their current Outlook Data Files (.ost).  My intention was to normalize each probably through excel and to combine them and then import them to a single business contact file  or other facility within O365.  It seems the various suggestions have focused more on shared email lists, but not on the native Outlook Contacts function.

    I saw a post that the O365 product management team suggested that they were promoting Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online to meet this need and not the former very functional Business Contact Manager (BCM).  Do you know of a change with that?  That post is about three months old now.

    My goal for document sharing and collaboration is well served by the Team Site function of O365.

    Can you offer advice for the proper approach to the shared contacts needs?

    Kind Regards,


  • Hello Dan,

    Indeed, if you want those contacts to go into the GAL, you'll need an admin to do it.  If you're just looking for something to share between several users and it doesn't matter that they're in the GAL or not, and in fact it would be easier so that you can manage it on the fly, then I think what you'll want is actually a shared mailbox, instead of a shared database.

    You can connect 10 users at once to a shared mailbox, and the shared mailbox can store a complete contact list of its own, which each of those 10 users can keep up to date.

    Unfortunately, I don't have any information for you about when Dynamics CRM will be integrated with Office 365, but I believe it is in the plans.  In the meantime, try creating the shared mailbox and see if that suits your needs.  Here are some instructions on how to create one:

  • Dan,


    See the valuable Slipstick article, "Display Public Folder and Other Contacts in the Address Book" in the "Display Other User's Contacts in Address Book" section at


    My needs are about the same as yours, and this method (which does not require Powershell) solved my goal of giving several users access to a shared database that is easy to see, update and also easy to use when creating messages.


    Tom Y

  • We are having the same issue. We do not use SharePoint. I have been researching this for a while now. Currently all the fixes remove the ability for people to update the contacts, which is the only reason for it in the first place...

    I did find a third party fix though. But it will cost some $$ it's a product called CodeTwo public folders.

    This will create local public folders. You create a new contact list and past your contacts here. Then using another tool (free to use) "CodeTwo FolderSync Addin" you sync this public folder with your main shared contacts. So now when people update the shared via outlook the sync folder syncs it with the public folders and the public folders, in this case "Master Contacts" now appears in the Address Book under the "To:" field.