technical solutions and commentary

April 26, 2012

Open Shared Contacts in Outlook Web App (OWA)

Filed under: tech — Jason Hartley @ 9:49 am

Using the full Office Outlook client on a PC or Mac, you can easily share your contacts with another person in your organization. Opening the a colleagues shared contacts with the Office Outlook client is also simple to do.

However when it comes to using Outlook Web App, the browser based Outlook client, there are some limitations with using shared contacts. The good news is, it can be done. The bad news is, that you cannot client the Email address another persons shared contact and send them an Email directly. This is because when you click the shared contact’s Email, OWA attempts to launch a new Email message Windows in the contact of the person sharing the the contacts. The work around to this of course would be to find the shared contact, and then copy the Email address from their profile, then Compose a New Message from you Inbox and paste the address in the To line. So while, workable its not very convenient.

In order to Open Shared Contacts (you obviously need to have permission to the contacts), first you login to your mailbox in OWA  as you normally do. Second, open a separate Tab or Browser windows and type in your custom URL in the following format:

Where is the host name used to access OWA (for example:, and is the email address of the shared mailbox (for example: So using the example it would look like this: “”

6 Responses to “Open Shared Contacts in Outlook Web App (OWA)”

  1. Courtney Says:

    THANK YOU SO MUCH! I seriously looked on at least 20 other websites to find an answer to this problem. This was so helpful! I work a lot out of the office at our client’s offices and can never access my boss’s contacts! I always have to call the office in order to find out someone’s number. So irritating. Outlook’s Web App is a little ridiculous. But anyways, seriously, thank you so so much!

  2. Jason Says:

    Awesome tip! Thank you!

    I only wish the ‘search’ box was still there. having to scroll thru someone’s 5,000+ contacts to find something is a pain.

    Still much appreciated!

  3. Michael Says:


    You can use the built in Find functionality in any browser.

    Thanks for the tip!

  4. petey Says:

    Has the link to access the shared contact changed? I can’t seem to get this to work. is my server but appending..

    with my shared contacts info didnt’ work.

  5. Charles Says:

    This is GREAT. This works very well, and I am currently experimenting to see if I can see just a shared subfolder. No luck yet, but this was a huge leap in terms of trying to get there.

  6. Robert Says:

    Yeah, some of us would like to find a way for this to work with office365, but it may not be possible without a dedicated exchange environment.

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