Display Public Folder and Other Contacts in the Address Book

Last reviewed on May 22, 2013

Microsoft Outlook 2010 supports multiple Exchange server mailboxes. This allows you to open the other mailbox in your profile as another Microsoft Exchange account and once you do this, you will have full access to the contacts folder (along with all of the others folder in the mailbox.)

Delegates should not open their manager’s mailbox as a second mailbox in Outlook 2010. Continue opening it as a secondary mailbox in the profile.

For users who connect to Microsoft Exchange server, maintaining a contacts folder in the Public Folders hierarchy is one way to benefit from a group address book that individual users can contribute to. With some extra effort (see below), the Outlook Address Book can also display contacts from another user’s mailbox, making it easy for an assistant to use the boss’ contacts to address messages.

Display Other User’s Contacts in Address Book | Notes | More Information

Display Other User’s Contacts in Address Book

The process of adding another user’s Contacts folder to your own address book display is somewhat involved:

  1. Create a new Outlook profile that connects directly with the other user’s mailbox, not your own, then start Outlook with this profile. If you receive a prompt that Outlook cannot open the folders, you may need to ask the Exchange administrator to grant your Windows user account full access to the other user’s mailbox temporarily so that you can complete these steps.
  2. Right-click the other user’s Contacts folder, choose Properties, then switch to the Outlook Address Book tab. Make sure that the Show this folder as an e-mail Address Book box is checked. Under Name of the address book, change the displayname from Contacts (the default) to a name that will distinguish this address list, such as Joe’s Contacts if you’re in Joe’s mailbox.
  3. Close Outlook.
  4. In Control Panel | Mail, bring up the properties for the profile that you created in Step 1. In the Microsoft Exchange Server service, change the main mailbox from the other user’s to your own. On the Advanced tab of the Exchange Server service, add the other user’s mailbox as a secondary mailbox.
  5. Restart Outlook, using the same profile as in Steps 1 and 4.

After you restart Outlook, when you display the address book, you should see Joe’s Contacts listed in the Outlook Address Book along with your own Contacts folder.


Any contacts folder that you see in the Outlook Address Book can be used as the data source for a merge with Word. However, in some versions of Outlook, you will receive an error if you start a merge with a contacts folder in Public Folders from within Word. The workaround is to start the merge in Outlook instead, displaying the source contacts folder, then choosing Tools | Mail Merge.

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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