How to Set a Custom Form as the Default for a Folder

Last reviewed on December 30, 2013   —  27 comments

You can easily change the default form used for new items for any folder type except Mail folders.

  1. Contact forms propertiesRight click on the folder name and choose Properties.
  2. Then select the new form from the General Tab, When posting to this folder use: field.
  3. Select the form you want to use.

If the form is published to the current folder, it will be listed in the dropdown; otherwise, you’ll need to select Forms… then browse to find it.

Once you do this, when you click the New button or otherwise create a new item of that item type, Outlook will use the form you selected.

Note that you cannot change the default form used for email.

More Information

To convert existing items to use the new form, use DocMessageClass or the macro at Set Existing Contacts to use Custom Form using VBA

Note that you can’t apply a new form to change the business card on existing contacts. See Changing Microsoft Outlook’s Business Card layout for more information.

Written by

Diane Poremsky
A Microsoft Outlook Most Valuable Professional (MVP) since 1999, Diane is the author of several books, including Outlook 2013 Absolute Beginners Book. She also created video training CDs and online training classes for Microsoft Outlook. You can find her helping people online in Outlook Forums as well as in the Microsoft Answers and TechNet forums.

Please post long or more complicated questions at Outlookforums.

27 responses to “How to Set a Custom Form as the Default for a Folder”

  1. David McGee

    My custom form is set as my default but I cannot use it. When I try to add a new contact, I get the following message - "The form required to view this message is not available. Contact your administrator." It worked fine until I started using using iCloud.

    The new iCloud folder uses the custom view I setup to view my contacts. I can add columns in the view with the custom fields from my form.

  2. Jim May

    I have created a new contact form and wish to make it the default form to use with several contacts sub-folders. The new form is currently setup as the default for the Contacts folder, but not for the sub-folders to Contacts. The problem is when I click on the sub-folder > properties I do not have the option to choose or enter the new default form name in the "When using this folder, use _________" field.

  3. Tomas Jankowski

    I was able to change the default form for Contacts folder to user defined. The problem is that each time I pick up an entry from GAL and I choose 'add to contacts' - Outlook will use the default MS form, instead of user defined. Thus I can't force it to pick up certrain non-standard fields from AD and make them appear in locally stored copy of contact details for particular person. I tried in particular to change the default 'home phone' to 'business phone 2'.
    It works fine for direct entry to Contacts folder, once default form has been customized. When using GAL though, 'home phone' is still there instead of 'business phone 2'.

  4. Wayne

    Hi Diane
    I have quite a few public folder calendars that I need to migrate to resource rooms.
    For each of my public folder calendars I designed a custom form, published the forms to my organizational library, then assigned each form to its corresponding calendar. When any user in the domain added a calendar item it always used the form I designed and all was good.
    Can you tell me how I can get all my users to see these same forms when adding an item to a resource room calendar??
    I logged into the mailbox with the resource room account and set the calendar to use my custom form(TC5500) and added an item and the form shows all my customizations. When I open the calendar in my outlook from the room list, the properties show TC5500 when posting to this folder, however my customizations are not there
    Any ideas???

  5. Marjolein

    Hi Diane, thank you for your very helpful tips that I have used often. I have a very simple (stupid) question about the above explanation: what comes BEFORe the first step you describe above ("Right click on the folder name and choose Properties')? In other words: where do I find this Folder that I have to right click on? Am I IN the Calendar already? Thanks from a sunny Amsterdam. Outlook 2010.

  6. Andrew

    Hi Diane, I second what others have said, your posts have been amazingly helpful so thank you. I created an account as per your article Now, I want to use a custom form as the default for a new calendar item, but the option to browse in Forms is greyed out. Suggestions?

  7. Ben

    Thanks for the great tutorials, Diane. I have a Meeting Request template/form created with some tables and images/colors. I have set this form to be the default for the calendar as you instructed, and it seems to be working, except that the invite displays as plaintext (no images/tables).

    Any ideas on how to fix this?

  8. Andrew

    Diane, I sync OL 2013 with Google Calendar etc. Is there any way to insure that a user-created Calendar form is used when an appointment created in Google Calendar is synced to OL?

  9. Andrés

    I have a doubt, I customee a form and i set it as default but this folder is shared and my collegues cannot see the same form, how can I fix it?

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