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When Outlook is configured with an Exchange account, the default address book is the Global Address List. As a result, when a user clicks the To.. button in a new email, Microsoft Outlook displays the Global Address List instead of their personal Contacts folder. Sometimes this needs to be changed.

I know I can manually make Outlook use personal contacts by default by opening the Address Book in Outlook, clicking Tools > Options... and then Start with contact folders:

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How can I change this setting for multiple users, without logging in as the user? I'm open to Registry edits, Group Policy settings, etc. Anything but having to do it manually.

Environment:

  • Windows 7 and higher
  • Outlook 2007 and higher

What I've tried on my own:

  • Reviewed the Group Policy settings for Outlook. I didn't see any that control the default address book.
  • Google. Found this, but that's how to do it manually. And plenty of similar results.
  • This SO question, but it changes the When opening the address book, show this address list first option (not what I want)
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The setting When sending e-mail, check address lists in this order can be changed by modifying the following the Registry as follows:

Key: HKEY_CURRENT_USER\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Office\[OutlookVersion]\Outlook\Profiles\[OutlookProfileName]\0a0d020000000000c000000000000046

  • [OutlookVersion] is the version of Outlook (e.g. 15.0)
  • [OutlookProfileName] is the user's Outlook profile name (e.g. Outlook).

Value name: 00033d1b (type: REG_BINARY)

Data:

  • 01 00 00 00 enables Start with Global Address List
  • 02 00 00 00 enables Start with contact folders

PowerShell to Change Setting

Assuming Outlook 15.0 and a profile name of "Outlook":

Enable Start with Global Address List:

Set-ItemProperty -Path "HKCU:\Software\Microsoft\Office\15.0\Outlook\Profiles\Outlook\0a0d020000000000c000000000000046\" -Name 00033d1b -Value ([byte[]](0x01,0x00,0x00,0x00))

Enable Start with contact folders:

Set-ItemProperty -Path "HKCU:\Software\Microsoft\Office\15.0\Outlook\Profiles\Outlook\0a0d020000000000c000000000000046\" -Name 00033d1b -Value ([byte[]](0x02,0x00,0x00,0x00))

Notes:

  • This can be changed while Outlook is open; the change takes effect immediately.
  • Use of Set-ItemProperty assumes the value 00033d1b already exists in the Registry.
  • Credit to this SO answer for explaining how to use the [byte[]] syntax.
  • Credit to this SO question for providing a starting place for finding this answer.

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