How do I Fix Issues with Shared Contacts in Outlook 365? 

Outlook 365

A Microsoft Outlook user can share their contacts with others through a folder called Shared Contacts. An authorized user can access the contacts shared by another user. Sometimes, issues can crop up while accessing the Shared Contacts folder in Outlook 365, such as Shared Folder not showing contacts, contacts list is blank, contacts not appearing in search, etc. In this article, we will look at some solutions to fix these issues.

Solutions to Fix Issues with Shared Contacts in Outlook 365

Here are some solutions you can try to fix the issues with Shared Contacts.

Check Permissions

You’re not able to access the shared contacts if the sender has revoked or changed the permissions of the Shared Contacts folder. Also, if the sharing was for a limited time only, then you can’t access the contents after its expiry. If such cases, you can request the sender to provide access to the contacts folder.  

If you’re the sender, you can share your contacts with any user. To do this,

  • In Outlook, go to People > Share Contacts.
  • Enter the email address of the recipient and check the “Request permission to view the Contacts folder” option.
  • In the message body part, you can type any message you want. 
  • Click Send.
  • The recipient will receive an email and start accessing your contacts. 

Update your MS Outlook Version

If your Outlook is not updated, it can create problems while accessing, sharing, or receiving the shared contacts. You can update the Outlook application to resolve the issue.

To update MS Outlook, go to the File option and then select Office Account > Office Options > Update Now. It can take a few minutes for Outlook to update.  

Now, check if you can view the shared contacts. 

Create New Outlook Profile

A corrupted or damaged Outlook profile may also cause issues with contacts folder. If this is the case, you can create a new one. To do this, 

  • Open Control Panel and click Mail.
  • In the Mail setup, click on the Email Accounts. 
  • In the Account Settings window, click on New under the Email tab. 
  • Choose your Account types, add account details, and give the same email address.
  • Follow the wizard to complete the process.
  • Restart Outlook.

Resynchronize Your Contacts

If contacts are not synchronizing between devices, you can resynchronize your contacts. You can do this by clearing the offline items and forcing Outlook 365 to resync the contacts. To do this, 

  • Go to the Contacts folder. 
  • Right-click on the shared folder and select Properties.
  • Navigate to the Synchronization tab. 
  • Click on the “Clear Offline Items” button.

This will resync your contacts across devices. 

Repair MS Office

Repairing your MS Office can also help resolve the issue. To do this,

  • Open Control Panel and click Uninstall a Program.
  • Select Microsoft Office and click Change.
  • In the dialog box, choose Repair. This will open the Repair wizard. Simply follow the wizard’s instructions to finish the process.
  • Outlook will automatically restart after the repair process.

Now, check if the issues with the Shared Contacts folder are resolved. 

Repair Offline Outlook Data File

Outlook stores your messages and other items in Offline Folder File (OST). If this file gets corrupt or damaged, it can cause problems in accessing the contents of the Shared Contacts folder. In such a case, you can repair this file using the built-in tool in Outlook, called Scanpst.exe. However, this tool may not fix large or heavily-damaged OST files. 

Rebuild the OST File

If the OST file is corrupt or damaged, you can recreate the file. To rebuild the OST file, you can follow the below steps: 

  1. Open Outlook and go to File > Account Settings > Account Settings.
  2. In the Account Settings window, open the Email tab and select your email account.
  3. Click Change and click More Settings.
  4. Open the Advanced tab and click Outlook Data File Settings.
  5. In the File field, enter the path for the OST file and click OK.
  6. Close all the windows.

Outlook will rebuild the OST file at the provided location. 

  • 1. Go to the File menu > Account Settings in Outlook > Account Settings in Outlook. 
  • 2. Select your email account in the Account Settings window’s Email tab. 
  • 3. Select More Settings after selecting Change. 
  • 4. Click Outlook Data File Settings Options under the Advanced tab. 
  • 5. Enter the path to the OST file in the File the field and press OK. 6. Ensure that all windows closed down.

Outlook will rebuild the OST file at the provided location. 

Final Thoughts

The Shared Contacts folder of Microsoft Outlook makes it easy to share your contacts with colleagues. If you’re experiencing problems with shared contacts, the solutions mentioned above can help in resolving the issues. You can check the sharing permissions to ensure they’re set up correctly. If that doesn’t work, try repairing Outlook program or reinstalling Outlook to see if that fixes the problem. Another effective solution is to repair or recreate the Outlook data file (OST). However, repairing or recreating the file can cause some data loss. In such a case, you can use a third-party tool, called Stellar Converter for OST that can help convert inaccessible OST to PST, which you can easily import into your Outlook.