Expert Tips For Fixing Blank Shared Contacts In Outlook

Updated On - January 24, 2024 by Nasir Khan | Reading Time: 5 minutes

If you are facing blank Shared Contacts or fail to open the Shared Contacts list, then this article might be helpful for you, in this blog we learn how to fix blank shared contacts issue in Outlook.

Outlook provides options to share the Contacts list in your address book with other users or team members in your organization. You can share your contacts or ask other users in your organization for permission to access their contacts by sending a request from your Outlook account.

One of Microsoft Outlook user faced a problem when the shared contacts were not present while composing a new email –

I have some external contacts on the Contacts page. But, when I am trying to create a new email, the ‘To’ part does not show shared contacts. They do not appear in search, or the entries in the shared contacts folder are not in the contacts list. How to resolve this? Am I missing any settings here!

A similar query from one of the Microsoft Outlook user:

When I try to share a contact list with someone else in my organization, it sends as a blank attachment. How do I fix this?

Few Outlook users no longer able to open “shared contacts” in outlook. This might be due to permission error and receive error message as – “You do not have permission to view this contacts folder. Do you want to ask XXX to share his or her Contacts folder with you?” and the permission for “Default” is Reviewer.

Fix Blank Shared Contacts Issue in Outlook

Troubleshooting Guide: How to Fix Blank Shared Contacts Issue in Outlook

Related Blog: How to Merge Duplicate Contacts in Outlook

Most Common Reasons for Blank Shared Contacts Issue

You may see blank contacts or error messages while accessing the Shared Contacts due to various reasons such as:

  • Incorrect sharing process where the sender did not send the complete information.
  • Issues with the permissions
  • Corrupt Outlook profile
  • Damaged MS Office program files
  • Corrupt Outlook PST files
  • Corrupted Address Book
  • Sync Issues in Cached Mode
  • Corrupted Autocomplete List
  • Corrupted Office/Outlook Installation
  • Wrongly Configured User Profile
  • Non-encryption Between Exchange Server & Outlook

12 Workarounds to resolve blank shared contacts issue in Outlook

1st: Add the Address Book to the mailbox profile

  1. Launch Microsoft Outlook.
  2. Click File, then click Account Settings > Account Settings. The Ultimate Solution for Blank Shared Contacts Problem in Outlook
  3. In the Account Settings wizard, click Address Books tab > click the New option.Resolving Blank Shared Contacts: A Step-by-Step Guide for Outlook Users
  4. In the Add Account wizard, select Additional Address Books option and then click Next.Fixing the Blank Shared Contacts Issue
  5. Select Outlook Address Book and click Next.Solving the Blank Shared Contacts Dilemma
  6. Choose the address book that you want to add to the account.
  7. Restart MS Outlook and try to create an email with contact present in Address Book.

2nd: Mark the Contact folders as Outlook Address Book

  1. In Outlook, open the Contacts folder and right-click on it. Then, choose Properties.Fixing Blank Shared Contacts
  2. In the Contacts Properties window, 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.A Comprehensive Guide to Fixing Blank Shared Contacts in Outlook

3rd: Ask for User Permission to Access Shared Contacts

  1. Launch Microsoft Outlook.
  2. Go to People > click Share Contacts.Demystifying Blank Shared Contacts: Expert Fixes for Outlook Users
  3. Enter the user’s email address, click Request permission to view the recipient’s Contacts folder, and uncheck Allow recipient to view your Contacts folder (if you do not want to share your Contacts with the user).
  4. Click Send.Steps to Resolve Blank Shared Contacts Issue in Outlook
  5. The user will receive a new email. Ask the user to grant the permission.
  6. Once the permission is granted, navigate to People in Outlook and click Open Shared Contacts to access the Shared Contacts.Understanding and Resolving the Blank Shared Contacts Error in Outlook

Related Blog: Best Way to Find the Content in the Office 365?

4th: Update Microsoft Outlook

  1. Click File > Office Account > Update Options > click Update Now.Say Goodbye to Blank Shared Contacts: Effective Solutions for Outlook Users
  2. Check and update Outlook to the latest version.

If this didn’t work or you can’t find the Update Now option, open Settings and go to Update and Security. Check if there are pending updates. If yes, install those updates and restart the system.

Check if you can now access the Shared Contacts.

5th: Repair Outlook Profile

  1. Open Control Panel.
  2. Search and click on Mail. Proven Methods to Fix the Blank Shared Contacts Issue in Outlook
  3. Click Show Profiles. Overcoming the Blank Shared Contacts Hurdle in Outlook: A Comprehensive Guide
  4. Click Add. Fix the Blank Shared Contacts Issue
  5. Enter the profile name > click OK. Mastering the Art of Fixing Blank Shared Contacts in Outlook: A Step-by-Step Approach
  6. Follow the wizard to set up your new profile with the same email account.
  7. Once added, restart Outlook and then choose the new profile.
  8. Go to people and then click Open Shared Contacts.

You should now be able to access the Shared Contacts.

6th: Repair MS Office

  1. Open Control Panel > click Program and Features. Insider Tips for Resolving Blank Shared Contacts Problem in Outlook
  2. Select Microsoft Office (in our example its Microsoft Office 365) > click Change. Demystifying the Blank Shared Contacts Issue in Outlook: Expert Solutions
  3. Select Quick Repair option > click Repair. Resolving Blank Shared Contacts
  4. Follow the repair wizard to repair the MS Office installation and restart the system.

After restarting the system, launch Microsoft Outlook application and check if Shared Contacts are accessible now.

Related Post: How to Open Outlook Emails in Web Browser

7th: Use Online Mode of Outlook

  1. Launch Microsoft Outlook.
  2. Click on the File > Account Settings > Account Settings.
  3. In the Email tab, click Change after selecting your account.
  4. Click More Settings.
  5. Click on the Advanced tab and then uncheck the option “Use Cached Exchange Mode”.
  6. Click Apply > click Ok.
  7. Restart Outlook and check if it is operating without any problem.

8th: Enable Encryption of Data Between Exchange Server & Outlook

  1. Launch Microsoft Outlook.
  2. Click File > Account Settings > Account Settings.
  3. In the Email tab, select the user account > click on Change.
  4. Click More Settings.
  5. Click on the Security tab and then check Encrypt Data Between Microsoft Outlook and Microsoft Exchange option is checked.
  6. Restart Outlook and check if Outlook Address Book has started to function properly.

9th: Empty the Autocomplete List

  1. Click File > Options > select Mail.
  2. In the Send messages section, click Empty Auto-Complete List.
  3. A confirmation dialogue box appears, click Yes.
  4. Restart MS Outlook application and check if Outlook Address Book is functioning normally.

10th: Remove Address Book and then Add it Back

  1. Launch Microsoft Outlook application.
  2. Click File > Account Settings > Account Settings.
  3. Click on the Address Books tab.
  4. Select your current Address Book > click Change.
  5. In the Address Book window, click Remove the Address Book.
  6. A confirmation window appears > click Yes.
  7. In the Address Book tab > click New.
  8. Click Additional Address Books > click Next.
  9. Select Outlook Address Book type > click Next.
  10. Click OK when prompted to restart.
  11. Click Finish.
  12. Restart Microsoft Outlook application.
  13. In the Folder list, right-click the folder that will be used with the address book for example Contacts folder and then click on the Properties.
  14. Click the Outlook Address Book.
  15. Select the checkbox Show this folder as an e-mail Address Book > click OK.
  16. Restart Outlook and check if Outlook Address Book has started to function properly.

11th: Delete Offline Address Book Folder Contents

  1. Exit Outlook application.
  2. Press Windows+E to open File Explorer and enter the following address in it.

C:\Users\%USERNAME%\AppData\Local\Microsoft\Outlook\Offline Address Books

  1. Press Ctrl+A to select all the contents of the folder and then press Shift+Delete to delete all the contents.
  2. Launch MS Outlook application and check if Outlook has started working fine.

14th: Delete the User Profile and Create a New One

  1. Open Control Panel.
  2. Click on Mail.
  3. In Mail Setup, click Show Profiles.
  4. Select Outlook profile > click Remove to delete that profile.
  5. Add a new Outlook profile.
  6. After the new profile is added and configured, launch Outlook.

An alternative approach to fix the error

Use a professional Regain Outlook PST Repair tool to repair the Outlook PST data file and recover the address book from it. The tool solves the issue with Shared Contacts in an effective manner. Although there is an inbuilt utility – SCANPST.EXE to repair corrupt PST file. In case, the PST file is large, it is recommended to use an advanced Inbox Repair tool. The software fixes a PST file without any file size limitation and helps recovering all contacts to vCard and CSV format. The tool recovers and saves deleted Outlook contacts in a new PST file separately from the existing data file.

Free Download100% Secure Buy NowPrice: $39


This article discusses the manual method to resolve the blank shared contacts issue in MS Outlook application. Here, we also recommended using a third-party professional Outlook PST Repair tool to recover Outlook contacts. The tool retrieves the complete address book, including the shared contacts.

Author: Nasir Khan

I am Nasir Khan from India, working as a Content Developer in Regain Software. Here I am writing about our products and their updates. And writing some free solutions from converting emails or Cloud Migration process. We have tools like Email Converter, Emails backup and Cloud migration.

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