Understanding Outlook's new Contact Cards

Last reviewed on January 11, 2013   —  2 comments

Outlook 2013's Contacts have a new default view called People and new Contact Cards. I think the People view is confusing and contact cards make using contacts more complicated. They are definitely not my favorite new features, and based on the number of questions I receive, the People view and Contact cards are a source of confusion for many users.

"I cannot change the contact photo while editing."

The contact photo can't be changed from the Contact card. Switch to the View ribbon and apply a different view. Open the familiar contact form to access the Picture button on the Home ribbon, Options chunk. (Or double click on the photo to select a new one.)
You can also open the contact form from the new Contact card, if it has links under View Source. When the card is in Edit mode, the entries under View source are not clickable - click Cancel to exit Edit mode.

"I cannot find the attachment I just added to a contact."

The new contact cards don't display the attachments. To access attachments added to contacts you'll need to switch to another view and locate the contact or click the link under View Source to open the contact form.

Share your opinion in our poll: Do you like the People view and contact cards?
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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.

2 responses to “Understanding Outlook's new Contact Cards”

  1. Roger Brooks

    I hate the new contact cards and find their behaviour unpredictable. When I am in Outlook, I want to see the information I have stored in Outlook, not LinkedIn or any other social networks. In previous versions of Outlook, I could type a name into the contact search field in the upper left and open the desired contact with one click in the resulting list. Now I don't know what I will get form this list. Occasionally, if I am lucky, it will open a n Outlook contact for me (what I want). More often it will display a contact card, which sometimes has a link that I can click through to reach the Outlook contact. Sometimes, it just displays an e-mail address properties dialog, from which there is no way to reach the Outlook contact, even though a corresponding Outlook contact exists. As a result, I have resorted to other methods of searching for and opening contacts, but all are far more cumbersome than the previous method described, and require me to go through the link in the contact card. Is there some magical registry entry I can hack to restore the previous functionality and ban the contact cards?

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