To Link an Outlook Item to a Contact

Last reviewed on December 8, 2011   —  6 comments

Beginning with Microsoft Outlook 2000, linking between Contacts and other items in improved – you can link contacts using the Contact linking field and don’t need to insert shortcuts in the item. The instructions below are for linking appointments, but you can use them to link any type of Outlook item to Contacts.

Beginning with Microsoft Outlook 2007, the Contact linking field is hidden by default. Enable its display in Tools, Options, Contact options.

Enable contact linking in Outlook 2007

In Microsoft Outlook 2010, you’ll go to File, Options, Contact options to enable Contact linking.

Enable contact linking in Outlook 2010

More Information

Outlook 2007, Outlook 2010

The contact linking box at the bottom of an Outlook form.After enabling the option to show the Contact linking field, create (or open) an appointment, click the Contacts button and choose the contact(s) you wish to link with the appointment. Items linked in this manner are visible through the Activities page on the contact item, once you include the items’ folder in an activity group for the Contacts folder.

Outlook 2000, 2002, 2003

Create (or open) an appointment, click the Contacts button and choose the contact(s) you wish to link with the appointment. Items linked in this manner are visible through the Activities page on the contact item, once you include the items’ folder in an activity group for the Contacts folder.

Outlook 97/98

Select a contact, and use the right mouse button to drag it to the Calendar icon on the Outlook Bar or in the Folder List. Release the right mouse button and choose Copy Here as Appointment with Shortcut from the pop-up menu. This will create a calendar entry whose subject is the name of the contact, with a link back to the contact record.

About Diane Poremsky

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 Outlook forums by Slipstick.com.

6 responses to “To Link an Outlook Item to a Contact”

  1. Cameron Piper

    I noticed that MS deprecated the links function completely in Outlook 2013. Is there a recommended way to keep track of tasks that belong to specific contacts?

    1. Diane Poremsky

      You can enable contact linking in the registry -
      HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Policies\Microsoft\Office\15.0\outlook\preferences
      DWORD: showcontactfieldobsolete
      Value: 1

    2. Diane Poremsky

      Enable contact linking in Outlook 2013 - I was using my ipad yesterday and couldn't find this page. :) It has a reg file that can set the key for you.

  2. Simcha

    In Outlook 2010 I can't see any link from the calender using Activities page at the contact.

    1. Diane Poremsky

      Activities are broken in Outlook 2010, gone completely in Outlook 2013. Make sure you have all outlook updates installed (via Microsoft update)- a recent one (last several months) fixed the problems with journal items not displaying. I'm not sure which update it was though.

  3. Simcha

    In Outlook 2010 I can't see any link from the calender using Activities page at the contact.

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