Show Contact Linking fields in Outlook 2013

Last reviewed on October 30, 2013

Outlook has a neat feature called Contact Linking that allows you to link a contact with any appointment, task, other contacts, or even email. Prior to Outlook 2007, the forms had a field with a Contacts button. In Outlook 2007 and Outlook 2010 you needed to go into Contact Options and enable a setting to see the Contact Linking field. In Outlook 2013, this option is gone. You can still link Contacts in File, Properties (or Options dialog) of an open item but that is an extra step.

If you are looking for information about the new Linked Contacts feature, see Outlook 2013's Linked Contacts

Contact Linking in Outlook 2013

Fortunately, there is a way to enable the Contact Linking field: edit the registry.

Type Windows key + R to open the Run command then type regedit and press Enter.

Browse to the preferences key, right click on it and choose New > DWORD. Type or paste showcontactfieldobsolete and set the value to 1 to show the Contact linking field. Set it to 0 or delete the DWORD or to turn it off.

Outlook user key

HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\office\15.0\outlook\preferences
DWORD: showcontactfieldobsolete
Value = 1

Group Policy key

HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Policies\Microsoft\office\15.0\outlook\preferences
DWORD: showcontactfieldobsolete
Value = 1

Do It For Me

If you don't want to edit the registry yourself, I have a ready-to-use reg file available for download.

showcontactfieldobsolete showcontactfieldobsolete - group policy key

To use the reg key, download the file then double click to run it. Answer the prompts to add it to the registry. Restart Outlook for the change to take effect.

(Either file will work for home or SOHO users; the group policy key is generally used in corporations.)

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.

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