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How to Create an Outlook Public Folder for Contacts and Share it

Outlook Public Contact List

If your organization has public folder capabilities,  we have put together the steps to create a Public Folder of contacts.  If you have done this before, there wont be any particular tricks in this post. It is just a simple step by step guide.

 

1. Go to Outlook Navigation Bar, Click on the three dots and click ‘Folder’ to go to Folder View.

Outlook Navigation Folder View

 

2. Right click on the Public Folder where you want to create the Contact Folder/List and select New Folder.  Note that you will need to be an owner of the parent folder to create new folders.

Outlook Public Folder New Folder

 

3. Select ‘Contact Items’ under Folder Contains, create a Contact List name and Click OK.

Outlook Public Folder Contact Items

 

4. Select the newly created Contact Folder under Contacts (In this case, newly created Contact Folder is named ‘New Contact List).

Outlook Public Folder New Contact List

5. Double-click or right click and select ‘New Contact’ to add one.

Outlook Public Folder New Contact

 

6. Enter all the important information for a user contact record then click Save & Close in the upper left.

Outlook Public Folder User Contact Record

 

7. To edit the Permission level for each user who has access to the Contact Folder, right click to the Contact Folder and select Properties.

Outlook Public Folder Properties

Add a user and setup Permissions level for each.

Click Add button

Search for the user

Click Add button and OK

Outlook Public Folder Permissions

 

I always recommend trying to use Distribution groups instead of individual users. If someone adds a user to the group, they automatically get access to the public contact list.  If you have multiple public folders, the groups are even more critical — you don’t want to manually set permissions on a dozen public folders when you can simply add a new member to a group.

 

8. Next, Edit the permission level based on your business requirements.

Outlook Public Folder Permission Level By User

Anonymous refers to users outside your company. We recommend setting these permissions to None.

Default refers to authenticated users within your company. We also recommend setting these permissions to None.  

We suggest adding explicit permissions for the users or groups that need access.

Once you have this public folder established, you can allow users to view the contacts from smartphones using CiraSync.

This procedure works for both Office and 365 and Exchange 2106.

Vern Weitzman
Vern Weitzman
CTO and Founder of Cira Apps Limited. I have been building Exchange applications and related contact management for 15 years.