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Given the prevailing remote work situation, where a majority of the workforce operates from their residences, the need for sharing information and data among users is inevitable. MS Outlook facilitates the sharing of details with fellow users to accomplish tasks. It offers support for multiple accounts and protocols such as Exchange, IMAP, POP, SMTP, and more. This enables businesses to seamlessly exchange various types of information, including emails, contacts, calendar invites, and notes, across different environments.

Outlook’s contacts feature proves highly beneficial, streamlining email sending for users. Shared Contacts emerge as a distinct category within the contacts section, offering convenient accessibility. A recent issue arose for one of our employees who encountered a scenario where shared contacts were absent during the composition of a new email.

“I’ve listed external contacts on the Contacts page. However, when attempting to compose a new email, the ‘To’ field fails to display shared contacts. They don’t show up in searches, and the entries in the shared contacts folder aren’t reflected in the main contacts list. It’s possible that I’m overlooking certain settings or viewing methods.”

If the recipients find the shared contacts section empty, one possible explanation is an incorrect sharing process in which the sender failed to provide all the necessary information. You can request the sender to resend the contact details. However, if the sender did indeed provide all the information, there may be alternative explanations for this issue.

If shared contacts are not appearing in your Outlook or new email, utilize the methods below to ensure they become accessible and visible:

Mark the Contact folders as Outlook Address Book

If the shared contact folder exists solely as a folder, consider utilizing it as an Address Book to ensure its suitability for emailing.

  1. In Outlook, open the Contacts folder and right-click on it. Then, choose the Contacts folder and right-click on it
  2. Go to the Outlook Address Book tab and click the checkbox to ‘Show this folder as an email address book.’ You can also rename the address book. Click Apply.Show this folder as an email address book
Add the Address Book to the mailbox profile

Outlook will display contacts exclusively from the contact list after integrating the address book into the mailbox. You can accomplish this by following the method outlined below:

  1. Click File in Outlook, then click Account Settings >> Account Settings.Click File in Outlook
  2. In Account Settings, go to the Address Book tab and click the New option.go to the Address Book tab and click the New option
  3. Choose the Additional Address Book option and click Next.Choose the Additional Address Book option
  4. Choose ‘Outlook Address Book’ and click Next.Outlook Address Book
  5. Choose the address book that you want to add to the account. Restart Outlook and try to create an email with contact present in Address Book.
Repair the broken Address Book

It’s possible that you’re facing difficulties in efficiently accessing contacts within the address book due to issues related to data consistency in the contacts. Some essential fields might be absent, and the email addresses could be incorrect.

If the contacts were entered accurately, there might be data loss in the address book due to corruption. You have the option to either establish a new address book or mend the data file to retrieve the address book from it. For this, you can try a professional tool like Kernel for Outlook PST Repair.


If corruption occurs in the Outlook Data File, it may not always display an error message but instead render it inaccessible. To safeguard your mailbox data and retrieve any corrupt or deleted items, it is advisable to employ specialized PST file repair software.

You can also utilize a proficient Outlook repair software to recover Outlook contacts from backup. The Kernel for Outlook PST software enables the retrieval of the entire address book, encompassing shared contacts. Once recovered, these contacts become visible within the Contacts folder. Additionally, you have the option to recover and save deleted outlook contacts in a new PST file, keeping them separate from the existing data file.

Kernel for Outlook PST Repair