How to share contacts between Outlook profiles

This article describes how one user can share contacts between different Outlook profiles. The concepts in this article also apply to other Outlook components, such as the calendar and mail.

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You may want to share contact items between Outlook profiles. Alternately, you may want to copy the Contacts folder from one Outlook profile to another to use the Contacts folder within the default personal folders (.pst) file, or as a separate Contacts folder in its own personal folder file.

If you want to share the Contacts folder between profiles, you must use profiles that point to the same Microsoft Exchange Server mailbox. If the profiles do not point to the same Exchange Server mailbox, the profiles will not share the Contacts folder and updates cannot be automatic.

The following steps discuss how to copy or move contact information from one profile to another. After you move or copy the contact information, changes to the information in each profile are unique. Additionally, if your Contacts folder is stored in a personal folder file, that file cannot be opened by two different profiles simultaneously.

The Contacts folder can be:

Imported from the .pst file in one profile to another .pst file in a separate profile.
Exported from a personal folder in one profile, to a .pst file in another profile, and then opened separately on the folder list.

How to Import from the Personal Folders (PST) File in One Profile to the Personal Folders (PST) File in a Second Profile

To import from the .pst file in one profile to the .pst file in a separate profile:

1. On the File menu, click Data File Management.
2. Click Personal Folders (if you have renamed your personal folder to a different name, click that name), and then click Settings. Make a note of the path to the .pst file.
3. Click OK, and then click Close.
4. On the File menu, click Import and Export.
5. In the Choose an Action to Perform box, click Import From Another Program or File, and then click Next.
6. In the Select File Type to Import From box, click Personal Folder (.pst), and then click Next.
7. In the File to Import box, type the path or click Browse to find the .pst file that you identified in steps 1 through 3. Select the option that you want, and then click Next.
8. In the Select the Folder to Import From box, click the Contacts folder that you want to import. Make sure that you click to select the Include Subfolders check box if necessary.
9. Click Import Items Into the Current Folder, and then click Finish.

Outlook imports the Contact items to the target folder.

How to Export Contacts from a Personal Folder in One Profile to a Personal Folders (PST) File in Another Profile, and then Open the Contacts Separately on the Folder List

1. On the View menu, click Folder List.
2. In the Folder List pane, select the folder that you want to share.
3. On the File menu, click Import and Export.
4. In the Choose an Action to Perform box, click Export To a File, and then click Next.
5. In the Create a File of Type list, click Personal Folders File (.pst), and then click Next.
6. Click the Contacts folder that you want to export from (choose to include subfolders if necessary), and then click Next.
7. In the Save Exported File As dialog box, type a new name for the .pst file, type the path that you want the personal folder to be located in, and then click Next.
8. In the Create Microsoft Personal Folders dialog box, click OK. The Contacts folder that you selected is exported to the new .pst file.
9. Open Outlook by using the profile that you want to import the contacts to.
10. On the File menu, click Open, and then click Outlook Data File.
11. Browse to the exported .pst file that you created in steps 1 through 8, click the .pst file, and then click OK.

Outlook opens the .pst file with the Contacts folder that you selected on the Folder List.

How to Use Public Folders to Share Contacts

If your Exchange Server administrator creates public folders, you can create a public Contacts folder that can be shared by multiple profiles and multiple users simultaneously.

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Microsoft Knowledge Base Article

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