Access to contacts, calendar, tasks... from 3rd party applications

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Senior Member
Outlook version
Outlook 2021 64 bit
Email Account
I guess I never thought "in these terms" before owning a tablet or a smartphone... but how exactly is Outlook (2010) on a "desktop" Windows OS protecting 3rd party applications' access to its sensitive data (contacts, calendar(s), etc.)?

I get the feeling it's in there for grabs for just about any app that asks for it (without user intervention). At least judging from the magical appearance of Outlook contacts in my Skype years ago (definitely before MS bought Skype), or using various sync tools over the course of years -- all of which never prompted me to allow access to Outlook data before accessing them.

Diane Poremsky

Senior Member
Outlook version
Outlook 2016 32 bit
Email Account
Office 365 Exchange
The only way to access outlook contacts (in a pst) from a 3rd party app is with an add-in. If you use or exchange server, you need to enter your password in the app to give it permission to access the contacts on the server. Nothing can access the contacts without your permission (installing an app that installs an add-in is considered permission) - if something tries to use a script, you'll have to give it permission.


Senior Member
Outlook version
Outlook 2021 64 bit
Email Account
Is this the case from version 2013 on? Because I never got the feeling that in version 2010 or earlier any permission or add-in was required. Skype never added any add-ins, yet it had access to contacts way before MS acquired them. I don't remember any of my sync tools (be it Nokia, SonyEricsson, Samsung, or Apple) putting any add-ins there (but OK, sync was my "request") -- except maybe MyPhoneExplorer.

The only Apple add-in right now is Outlook Change Notifier ("detects changes to contacts and calendars"), and no Skype add-in there.

(As you say "installing an app that installs an add-in is considered permission", this probably also means that you're not necessarily asked for add-in permission separately during the installation, so you have to check it later and disable it if you don't want/need it? Sort of like Android does it, except that the latter will ask you, but you won't be able to do much about it unless you're a power user. :) )

(OK, I may be wrong about Skype -- I rechecked it and my current installation doesn't seem to have option to display Outlook contacts, so maybe that wasn't installed after all. Outlook 2010, on the other hand, can display online indicator next to each contact when Skype is running.)
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