Posted by: kurtsh | August 19, 2020

HOWTO: Create contacts databases in Teams/SharePoint Online – Part 2: Syncing the Contacts database with Outlook

Anyone that establishes a Contacts database in Teams/SharePoint Online can synchronize that database to their personal installation of Outlook.

Note: This synchronization does NOT mix the online database’s contacts with your personal contacts.  It establishes a new database in Outlook for you which is selectable to view & edit from the Contacts section of Outlook.

The following is for ANY person with access to the Contact database that wants to synchronize the contacts locally to Outlook:

To synchronize the database’s contacts with Outlook:

  1. Open Outlook on your desktop. 
    This will make the next step smoother as
  2. Go back to your browser and jump to the Contacts web view for your Contact database. (If you’re using Teams, see the first 3 steps of the blog post, “Part 1: Creating a Contacts Database”)
  3. Click the “Return to classic SharePoint” link at the bottom of the page.  The view should change with 3 menu items appearing near the top of the screen: “BROWSE, ITEMS, LIST”
    (It is possible that this might not work the first time – so you may need to click it AGAIN, a second time.)

  4. Click “LIST”.  This should reveal a “ribbon” of options.
  5. Click “Connect to Outlook
    This will immediately open a dialog box in Outlook requesting permission to establish a SharePint Contacts list sync.
  6. imageClick the “Yes” button. Outlook will immediately establish a new Contacts database locally and sync it with the SharePoint Contacts database.
    The new Contacts database should appear on the left.
    (Note: In some rare cases, the new Contacts database will not appear in the Contacts database list despite having been created & synced. Simply restart Outlook to have it appear.)

That’s it.  At this point, you can:

  1. Copy Contacts from your personal contacts database to the new Contacts database established within Outlook.
  2. Any changes – additions, edits, deletions – you make to the newly created/synchronized Contacts database will be synced to the online database as well for others to see – and sync.

Caution: Any changes that OTHER people make to the synced contacts will also be synced back & reflected in the online database so be sure you trust those people you provide access to.


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