Share a contacts folder with others

You can grant permission to other people in your organization to view, modify, or add contacts that you have saved in Outlook.

 Note    This feature requires a Microsoft Exchange Server account.

In this article


What is contacts sharing?

When you use Microsoft Outlook with a Microsoft Exchange Server account, contacts can be shared between people. Contact sharing is not limited to the default Contacts folder that is created in all Outlook profiles. You can create additional contacts folders and choose which of those folders to share. For example, you can create a contacts folder for a specific project and share it with your coworkers. Optionally, you can grant them permission to modify the contacts.

 Tip   Any message, contact, or task in Outlook can be marked private so that others don't see the item in a shared folder.

Contact sharing works through sharing invitation and sharing request e-mail messages. Sharing invitations offer the recipient access to your contacts folder. When you send a sharing invitation for your default Contacts folder, you can request access to the recipient's default Contacts folder.

 Note   If you want to request access to an additional contacts folder that the recipient has created — not the default Contacts folder — you must send an e-mail message asking for permission to access that folder. The recipient can then send you a sharing invitation for the specific contacts folder.

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Share a contacts folder with specific people

The default Contacts folder in Outlook is created in each Outlook profile. This folder cannot be renamed or deleted. You might have additional contact folders that you created or were automatically created by the Outlook Social Connector for each of the configured social networks. You can share any of these folders by doing the following:

  1. In Contacts, in the Navigation Pane, under My Contacts, click the contact folder that you want to share.
  2. On the Home tab, in the Share group, click Share Contacts.
  3. In the To box, enter the name of the recipient for the sharing invitation message.
  4. If you want to, you can change the Subject.
  5. If you want to, request permission to view the recipient's default Contacts folder. To do so, select the Request permission to view recipient's Contacts folder check box.

 Note   If you want to request access to a contacts folder other than the default Contacts folder, you must send an e-mail message asking for permissions to that particular folder. This option only requests access to the recipient's default Contacts folder.

  1. In the message body, type any information that you want to include.
  2. Click Send.
  3. Review the confirmation dialog box, and then if correct, click OK.

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Share a contacts folder with everyone

  1. In Contacts, in the Navigation Pane, under My Contacts, click Contacts.
  2. On the Folder tab, in the Properties group, click Folder Permissions.
  3. In the Name box, click Default.
  4. Under Permissions, in the Permission Level list, click Publishing Editor or any of the other options.

ShowView descriptions of permission levels

With this permission level (or role) You can
Owner Create, read, modify, and delete all items and files, and create subfolders. As the folder owner, you can change the permission levels that other people have for the folder. (Does not apply to delegates.)
Publishing Editor Create, read, modify, and delete all items and files, and create subfolders. (Does not apply to delegates.)
Editor Create, read, modify, and delete all items and files.
Publishing Author Create and read items and files, create subfolders, and modify and delete items and files that you create. (Does not apply to delegates.)
Author Create and read items and files, and modify and delete items and files that you create.
Contributor Create items and files only. The contents of the folder do not appear. (Does not apply to delegates.)
Reviewer Read items and files only.
Custom Perform activities defined by the folder owner. (Does not apply to delegates.)
None You have no permission. You cannot open the folder.

You can create custom permissions by selecting the appropriate check boxes and options under Permissions.

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Revoke or change other people's access to your contacts folders

At any time, you can change or revoke someone's access permissions to your contacts folders.

  1. In Contacts, in the Navigation Pane (Navigation Pane: The column on the left side of the Outlook window that includes buttons for the Mail, Calendar, and Tasks views and the folders within each view. Click a folder to show the items in the folder.), click the contacts folder for which you want to change permissions.
  2. On the Folder tab, in the Properties group, click Folder Permissions.
  3. Do one of the following:
    • Revoke or change access permissions for everyone    
      1. In the Name box, click Default.
      2. Under Permissions, in the Permission Level list, click None to revoke permissions or any of the other options to change permissions.

ShowView descriptions of permission levels

With this permission level (or role) You can
Owner Create, read, modify, and delete all items and files, and create subfolders. As the folder owner, you can change the permission levels that other people have for the folder. (Does not apply to delegates.)
Publishing Editor Create, read, modify, and delete all items and files, and create subfolders. (Does not apply to delegates.)
Editor Create, read, modify, and delete all items and files.
Publishing Author Create and read items and files, create subfolders, and modify and delete items and files that you create. (Does not apply to delegates.)
Author Create and read items and files, and modify and delete items and files that you create.
Contributor Create items and files only. The contents of the folder do not appear. (Does not apply to delegates.)
Reviewer Read items and files only.
Custom Perform activities defined by the folder owner. (Does not apply to delegates.)
None You have no permission. You cannot open the folder.

You can create custom permissions by selecting the appropriate check boxes and options under Permissions.

  • Revoke or change access permissions for one person   
  1. In the Name box, click the name of the person whose access permissions you want to change.
  2. Under Permissions, in the Permission Level list, click None to revoke permissions or any of the other options to change permissions.

ShowView descriptions of permission levels

With this permission level (or role) You can
Owner Create, read, modify, and delete all items and files, and create subfolders. As the folder owner, you can change the permission levels that other people have for the folder. (Does not apply to delegates.)
Publishing Editor Create, read, modify, and delete all items and files, and create subfolders. (Does not apply to delegates.)
Editor Create, read, modify, and delete all items and files.
Publishing Author Create and read items and files, create subfolders, and modify and delete items and files that you create. (Does not apply to delegates.)
Author Create and read items and files, and modify and delete items and files that you create.
Contributor Create items and files only. The contents of the folder do not appear. (Does not apply to delegates.)
Reviewer Read items and files only.
Custom Perform activities defined by the folder owner. (Does not apply to delegates.)
None You have no permission. You cannot open the folder.

You can create custom permissions by selecting the appropriate check boxes and options under Permissions.

  1. Repeat step 2 for each person whose access permissions you want to modify.

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Applies to:
Outlook 2010