Outlook 2016 doesn't show contacts in address book

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Currie Carter

Outlook version
Outlook 2016 32 bit
Email Account
Installed Outlook 2016. Imported contacts from Windows Live Mail by exporting WLM into a .csv file. Imported same into Outlook 2016. Import was successful. However, the contacts do not appear in the Outlook Address book so that when one clicks on the To... button no address appear.

I've found plenty of articles about the problem in Outlook 2013 and earlier but nothing on point for Outlook 2016. Does anybody have a solution for this? Thanks in advance. Currie Carter [removed personal info]
If the issue is the same any fixes you found will likely work in 2016 too.

if you type in a new contact in the folder with the imported contacts, does it appear when you click to? If yes, then the import didn't handle the addresses correctly. Test it by deleting an address, saving the contact, then retyping the address then save and close the contact. If this contact shows when you click to, then the email address wasn't recognized as an address so it doesn't show in the address book. If you only have a few, retyping the addresses is the fastest, or you can use a macro to fix it (i should have one somewhere). if you found other solutions that are reported to work, try them too.
Dear Ms. Poremsky,

Thank you so much for your timely and comprehensive reply.

FYI, I got through to the MS Help Desk (their consumer support arm) and spoke with a really knowledgeable tech about this issue. I can say with confidence that the tech who resolved this issue has seen this problem before. It appears that the problem occurs in one of two ways: (1) either during the initial configuration of a POP email account (I don’t know whether this also happens when configuring MAPI or not) something occurs that keeps the account from being properly configured within Outlook or (2) something occurs during the import of the data from WLM that prevents the contact list from being seen by the address book.

One thing MS did say will cause this problem is if contacts are imported that do not have an email address populated in the WLM database address field.

MS suggests that when initializing Outlook that one choose the option of initializing it without email and then after that reopening Outlook and adding the email info to the account.

The fix in my case was (1) to create a new user profile from within Control Panel, (2) set the new profile as the default profile, (3) open Outlook and initializing w/o email support, (4) adding the email info and then (5) doing the import of contacts and email messages from WLM. For the contacts import I made sure that the import function knew to map the existing WLM email address to the Outlook Contacts email address field. This process solved the problem nicely.

As an aside, one would think that by now MS would have enough experience w. Outlook that (1) they would have written a routine that precluded this kind of behavior or (2) at least would have a KB about it. But I suppose the ever-increasing complexity of Windows and Office precludes their ability to do the first and the press of time and other priorities prevent the latter.

Let say how much I appreciate your knowledge, the amount of time you have spent developing that knowledge, and your willingness to share that w. the public.

Thank you so much,

Currie Carter
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