Calling from an Outlook Contact does not work

Last reviewed on August 8, 2013   —  38 comments

Applies to: Applies to: Microsoft Outlook 2010 and Outlook 2007

A user recently asked about a problem with the dialer in Microsoft Outlook 2010:

In Microsoft Outlook 2007 (32 bit), I could initiate a telephone call from a contact by clicking on the appropriate icon. A screen for the call asked if I wanted the as journal entry started for the call. I could proceed to make a call out of Outlook whether I did or did not want a journal entry. I purchased Office 2010 Home & Business several weeks ago. After opening a “Contact” Clicking on the “Call” icon in the Ribbon does not initiate a telephone call to the Contract. Nothing happens. Should I uninstall and then reinstall?

No, you don’t need to uninstall Microsoft Office and reinstall it. There is a known issue with Office Communicator and TAPI (which Outlook uses for making calls). Outlook will not use TAPI if Office Communicator 2007 R2 is running. Both Outlook 2007 and 2010 are affected and the fix is the same for both: You can either exit Communicator and retry or create a TAPIOVERRIDE registry entry.

Note: If you have Outlook 2007 or Outlook 2010 32-bit installed on Windows 64-bit, make sure you edit the correct registry value. If you don’t want to edit the registry yourself, a *reg file is available for download

Other applications that can be used for calls, including Windows Messenger and Skype, may also cause this problem.

Using Windows 32-bit or Outlook 2010 64-bit

If you are using Windows 32-bit or Windows 64-bit with Outlook 2010 64-bit, you’ll need to add the following value to your registry.

Press Windows key + R to open the run command, type regedit and press Enter. Browse to the following registry key and add the TAPIOVERRIDE DWORD value. If the Call Integration key does not exist, you’ll need to create it.

Edit the registry using the registry editor

HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\Software\Microsoft\Office\Outlook\Call Integration
DWORD: TAPIOVERRIDE
Value: 1

Restart Outlook for the change to take effect. At least one user needed to re-select the modem in the dialer, so if the fix does not work, verify the modem is selected.

Using Windows 64-bit with 32-bit Outlook

If you are using Windows 64-bit and a 32-bit version of Outlook, you need to add the TAPIOVERRIDE value to the registry keys used by the WOW64 node.

Press Windows key + R to open the run command, type regedit and press Enter. Browse to the following registry key. If the Call Integration key does not exist, you’ll need to add it.

HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Wow6432Node\Microsoft\Office\Outlook\Call Integration
DWORD: TAPIOVERRIDE
Value: 1

Restart Outlook for the change to take effect. At least one user needed to re-select the modem in the dialer, so if the fix does not work, verify the modem is selected.

Do It For Me

Download and run the correct registry file for your installation to add the TAPIOVERRIDE value to your registry.

Windows 32-bit or Outlook 2010 64bit

Windows 64-bit with 32-bit Outlook

Tip: While you can choose Run, we recommend you Save the file to your hard drive, then view it in Notepad before double clicking on it to add to your registry. It’s just good practice to know what you are installing, even from trusted sites.

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.

38 responses to “Calling from an Outlook Contact does not work”

  1. Dennis Cappel

    I am running window 7 and Office Professional 2007.

    When I try to make call from contact page, the system tells me that 'another deceive is using my telephony, try later when dive has stopped'

    I have unplugged my fax printer and closed scipe?

  2. Bryce Elkins

    Diane -

    Ran the version Windows 64-bit with 32-bit Outlook program; it worked as suggested.

    My auto dialer now performs as expected.

    Thanks, Bryce

  3. greg

    How do you reselect the modem?

  4. greg

    additional info:

    I am using a VOIP system with 3cx MyPhone and X-Lite softwares. I am trying to integrate the programs to where I can call my clients by simply clicking the contact information in Outlook.

    Thanks for the help

  5. Carl Heissenberger

    I have the same problem, Win7 64bit home version. I do not have "call integration" all I have is HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Wow6432Node\Microsoft\Office\Outlook\ xxxx. I ;like the features in Outlook 2010 but I miss not being able to dial from contacts it worked perfectly with Outlook 2007. What can I do?

  6. John Climenhaga

    I am running Office2010 32bit with Communicator on Win7 64 bit and this allowed me to use our third party TAPI. Thank You!

  7. dlowrie3

    I made the Registry Edit as described. I'm using a Polycom IP 550 phone. We are tied into a Talkswitch (Fortinet) unit. I have downloaded and installed the Click-to-dial Fortinet software. I set up New Call - very simple as we have DLA. Still doesn't work. After about 20 seconds Outlook tells me to click the 'Talk' button in the call window. Very frustrating.

  8. Graham

    Diane,
    Thanks for the fix. It worked fine.

    BUT you should not need to edit the registry to stop MS coercing your use of their services. This should be readily available in the Outlook options. Usual MS story.....

    Graham

  9. Tom

    Yes, works! Thx!

  10. Steve Tutt

    It looks like this thread is being ignored but Diane, your fixes are not in the least helpful. First of all I am running 32 bit windows and 32 bit outlook and secondly I cannot find "communicator installed anywhere on my computer. Thirdly your incomplete registry chart is not in the least bit helpful for a user like myself that is not a professional techie. How about a solution for us mere mortals with no 32/64 bit issues?

  11. Steve Tutt

    Windows 7 32 bit, Outlook 32 bit. No Skype, or other VOIP stuff. Thanks.

    I get an error message saying another program is using the telephony device. Try again after the other program is finished.

  12. Steve Tutt

    Sorry, Outlook is 2010 32 bit

  13. Steve Tutt

    To my surprise, I found Yahoo messenger (never used), uninstalled it and re-booted. No change. I went through the entire program list in the control panel and found nothing else looking like it has anything to do with phone.

  14. Steve Tutt

    I finally found and selected the proper modem. Now it say it can't detect a dial tone. I am using a USB modem plugged into a a splitter with my phone plugged into the other side of the splitter.

  15. Steve Tutt

    I must have a digital phone line and modem literature says it will no only work with analog...

  16. Steve Tutt

    Just tried another modem. Still can't find a dial tone. Funny, all the stuff MS publishes says nothing about differentiating between voice and data modems. Not doubting you, just lamenting all the time I've spent chasing what seems to be a dead end when better information from both MS and the modem manufactures would have save a lot of my time. But in this day and age manufacturers and service providers have thrown the concept of placing value on their customer's time completely under the bus. Time is the only resource a person possesses that absolutely cannot be replaced. Thank you for your information on the difference between POTS and Digital lines Diane, great for the knowledge based but chalks up another big zero in the usefulness to the problem at hand category.

  17. Stephen Wilson

    Hi Diane,
    I've been using dialer.exe for at least 12 years. Every time I upgrade the OS (currently W7 64b) I have to spend at least an hour to get it working. Latest issue was with Cisco Jabber. Turned it off, but Outlook still wouldn't dial. Found out Jabber is like the old DOS TSR programs that lurk in memory. discovered how to make Jabber turn off and viola! Dialer works again.
    I must have over 1,000 names and phone numbers in Outlook Contacts and use dialer at least 10 times a day.
    Thanks!

  18. Walter Teague

    Thanks for the help with turning off the Skype hijacking of Outlook. Your registry edit worked on my Outlook 2010, 32bit and Windows 7 64 bit. Also found that I could just turn off Skype and then Outlook worked ok, but this works better. Skype is great except when they try to take of the world!!!!

  19. CG

    "Yeah, the dialer feature is one of the most useless and most misunderstood features in Outlook. It's more bother than its worth for most people - especially when it can only dial the call - then passes it off to a handset to talk. Only a few speakerphone drivers work with it."
    You have killed off my search but thank you. I have been working under the misapprehension that given I can make a call using Outlook, I might have be able to communicate using my Microphone and speakers. Ah well.
    Regards CG

  20. Jay

    You guys rock!

  21. Kevin

    Diane,
    I am running Win7/64, Outlook 2010/64 and Lync Basic 2013/64. When I attempt to initiate a call from the Outlook interface, Outlook attempts to engage with Lync to dial the call. However, I need Outlook to interface with Windows dialer, instead. I use Lync only for IM, screen sharing and presence. I have a cloud hosted SIP/PBX service, so I don't need Lync for voice calling. I've tried your TAPIOVERRIDE registry entry to fix the problem (HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Wow6432Node\Microsoft\Office\Outlook\Call Integration - DWORD TAPIOVERRIDE, Value =1), but it is not working on my system. Outlook seems to be ignoring the TAPIOVERRIDE registry entry and continues to hand the call over to Lync. Can you advise?

  22. Kevin

    Lync and PBX are separate and are not integrated. I have a TSP that I've installed in System32 that "should" allow me to send Windows dialier commands to the PBX; however, the dial command in Outlook sends me to Lync rather than Windows dialer. If I could get Outlook dial to connect to Windows dialier, I think I would be in business.

  23. Kevin

    Sorry, Diane, I should have read your reply more carefully. I haven't tried uninstalling Lync to see if that fixes the problem. Based upon other posts to this and other discussion boards, I suspect it would. However, that would come at the cost of not having the IM, presence and screensharing functions of Lync that I rely upon.

    My cloud-based PBX service is new, and I am working to implement a solution whereby Windows dialer can send commands to the SIP server. I "think" I have that solution ready (siptapi TSP from provider IPCOM), the only hitch is that Lync is hijacking the Outlook dial commands that would otherwise (I believe) go to Windows dialer.

    I am also led to believe that your recommended "Call Integration" registry key may work on 32-bit installations, but I have seen one other post in a Microsoft TechNet discussion board from another user with a 64-bit installation that is having the same problem I am having. Might there be an added wrinkle in 64-bit installations that we're either not addressing or not aware of? I really don't want to uninstall MS Office and reinstall as 32-bit. Besides being a pain the rear-end, I'd lose some performance capabilities in Excel that I need.

    Any insights?

  24. Kevin

    Diane,
    Several of my previous attempts to reply have disappeared from this page, so let me try again. In the intervening time, I have uninstalled Lync and that does, indeed, fix the issue. Without Lync installed, Outlook call function brings up the Windows dialer, as it should.

    Just so you know, my cloud-based SIP/PBX service is new, and I've installed a TSP named SIPTAPI that is supposed to be able to send commands to the SIP/PBX. I'm optimistic that it will work. However ...

    I'm now in the unhappy position of having to choose between (i) being able to dial from Outlook contacts, or (ii) using Lync for IM, presence and screen sharing. Or I suppose I could uninstall MS Office and reinstall as a 32-bit installation. Other than being a huge time inconvenience and a pain, I would then be without the power of the 64-bit installation for Excel. None of these are good choices.

    Do you have any further suggestions on how we can get Lync Basic 2013/64 to stop hijacking the call function of Outlook 2010/64? I've been scanning the Win7 registry for any other settings that might bear upon the problem, but I'm clearly in way over my head with that.

    Thanks.

  25. Kevin

    Thanks, Diane. I'll take a look at the link you sent over. Very best,

    Kevin

  26. Kevin

    Diane,
    I wanted to follow up with you as my problem is now solved. As it turns out, these Call Integration/TAPIOVERRIDE registry keys do indeed work (as a precaution, I created both); however, it appears they have to be in-place when you install Lync to have any effect on a 64-bit installation. I'm guessing that these keys may impact how Lync installs. I had uninstalled Lync so that I could use Outlook with Windows dialer, but when a Microsoft technician had me reinstall Lync 64bit (after the keys had already been created), presto, Outlook still uses Windows dialer rather than Lync to try to place a call. I thought I'd update you on this just in case it might be helpful to you or someone else who happens upon this page having the same problem.

    All the best,

    Kevin

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