I’m occasionally asked if the address book can be customized. While it can’t be customized to the degree some users desire, unnecessary fields can be removed from the view used by the Global Address List using an old Outlook registry edit that still works in Outlook 2016.
The Global Address list in Outlook’s address book displays the following fields: Name, Title, Business Phone, Location, Department, Email Address, Company, and alias. Any or all of these fields, with the exception of Name, can be hidden, leaving users with a cleaner looking address list.
To hide the fields, you’ll need to edit the registry.
- Open the Registry editor and browse to the Outlook\Preferences key for your version of Outlook. In Outlook 2016, it’s at HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Office\16.0\Outlook\Preferences.
- Right click on Preferences and select New, Binary value.
- Type or paste ABHiddenColumns and press Enter.
- Right click on the new value and choose Modify.
To hide all fields except for name, business phone and email address, type the following in the dialog:
05 00 00 00 1f 00 00 3A 1f 00 16 3A 1f 00 17 3A 1f 00 18 3A 1f 00 19 3A
The change should take effect immediately. If the address book is open, you’ll need to refresh it by changing folders.
What do the numbers mean? The first group (05 00 00 00) tells Outlook to hide 5 fields. To hide fewer fields, change the 5 to the correct number of fields you are hiding.
Each block of 4 (1f 00 ## 3A) following it represents a different field:
|Title||1f 00 17 3a|
|Business Phone||1f 00 08 3a|
|Location||1f 00 19 3a|
|E-mail Address||1f 00 fe 39|
|Company||1f 00 16 3a|
|Alias||1f 00 00 3a|
|Department||1f 00 18 3a|
Do It For Me
If you want to try it but don’t want to edit the registry, I have some ready to use reg files for Outlook 2007 through 2016. My files leave the name, business phone, and email address fields visible.