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Sharing contacts between Outlook and Outlook Express

Not too long ago I was installing a fax machine for someone that supported Outlook Express’ addressbook, but not Outlook’s default addressbook. My first thought was to get Outlook (2002)/Outlook Express using the same contact format and then we’d be in business… But…, they had an exchange server so, Outlook was installed in Corporate/Workgroup mode, which means, officially “you can’t get there from here.” But…. there is still a way. Details from slipstick.com, it turns out there is a registry edit that can get you around the Corporate/Workgroup “limitation”. This may not work for all installs, and is not guaranteed or supported, but…


back up your registry, then navigate to HKEY_CURRENT_USERSoftwareMicrosoftWABWAB4 In that key, create a new DWORD called UseOutlook and it’s value needs to be 1 This should enable the contact sharing between the two. (and in our situation we got the contacts dealt with, the fax program fell into place.) Outlook express shows the default store contacts from Outlook now. If you want to disable the sharing of contacts between the two, you can set the UseOutlook value to 0 to cut off the sharing.

Some other notes from slipstick.com….

This is a valid registry entry for Outlook Express 5.0 and later versions. Outlook MVPs have tested it with Outlook 2003, Outlook 2002, and Outlook 2000 CW and OE 5.0 and 6.0 so far. Thanks to MVP Frank Saunders for pointing it out.

Note that this technique shares only contacts. Outlook Express cannot read information about Outlook distribution lists that might be stored in the Contacts folder.

Also note that when you use Outlook Express you’ll see Outlook.exe running in Task Manager even if you don’t have Outlook open.

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Posted by on September 8, 2006.

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Categories: Computers, Windows Software, Windows Tech Support

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