AGGGGHHHH!!!! - Address Books and Contact Subfolders

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Outlook version
Outlook 2016 32 bit
Email Account
POP3
OK,

I understand the "Show this folder as an email address book" check/tick box functionality....this is not the answer I am after!

From the Contacts/People page of Outlook, selecting any one of the My Contacts folders in the left hand pane, and then clicking on the "Address Book" icon in the Find section of the ribbon above, I am presented with a window which has a drop down list of Address Books on the right. The top of the list has my default email ID name and then indented to the right under it, a list of what I BELIEVE are subfolders. They include SOME of the folders in my left navigation pane, and also some folders that are NOT visible in the left hand pane.

If choose a contact from a folder visible in the left navigation pane and then choose "All Fields" from the Show section of the ribbon, and then "All Contact Fields", the contact will have an entry in the "In Folder" field.

1) I cannot edit that field.
2) I cannot find anywhere in Outlook, or in my Outlook data folder (USERS->*ME*->Documents->Outlook Files) where those subfolders which are NOT listed on the left hand pane are shown.
3) How can I find these subfolders such that I can move the contact to another folder?
 

Diane Poremsky

Senior Member
Outlook version
Outlook 2016 32 bit
Email Account
Office 365 Exchange
2) I cannot find anywhere in Outlook, or in my Outlook data folder (USERS->*ME*->Documents->Outlook Files) where those subfolders which are NOT listed on the left hand pane are shown.
What are the folder names?


3) How can I find these subfolders such that I can move the contact to another folder?
Find a Contact in the folder, click Ctrl+Shift+F to open Advanced find. Click the Browse button. This will show you where the folder is.


If choose a contact from a folder visible in the left navigation pane and then choose "All Fields" from the Show section of the ribbon, and then "All Contact Fields", the contact will have an entry in the "In Folder" field.

1) I cannot edit that field.
the in folder field is read only.
 
Outlook version
Outlook 2016 32 bit
Email Account
POP3
Diane,

Thank you for you very prompt reply...which raises some new questions!

I won't bore you with the actual (sub)folder names other than to say they match many (but not all) categories I have assigned to each record. For example, a number of my records are categorised as "Work" and in all cases of "Work", the name of a company I worked for in the past. Thus, using categories I can easily distinguish personal from work contacts, and separately, identify contacts from particular previous employers. Now, looking at the (sub)folders revealed by your Advanced Find + Browse technique I can report a number of phenomena:

1) If I select from the left navigation pane a folder called "Contacts from iCloud" and then click Address Book, select on the right an Address Book I now know contains a particular contact, and then double click to open the contact, at the bottom left, it states "In Folder [card icon] XXX" (XXX being another company I worked for in the past). If I now do CTRL+SHIFT+F as you advised, I can see at the top of the find box: "Look 'Contacts'[drop down list]" and "In:'XXX'". If I then click Browse, a "Select Folder(s)" window appears and the XXX folder has a tick/check against it.

2) Not all my categories are represented in the (sub)folder list (e.g. IBM, for whom I once worked, is a category but has no (sub)folder in the list revealed) even though it has dozens of Contact records categorized as "IBM".

3) All of these (sub)folders in the "Select Folder(s)" tree structure are sitting under a folder "Contacts from iCloud" which, in turn, is sitting under the "Deleted Items" folder of my primary (POP3) email profile in the tree.

4) If, instead of going via the Address Book button, I select in the left hand navigation pane, the "Contacts from iCloud" folder, using the categories drill down to company XXX, select and open the APPARENTLY same contact record *, I note that in the bottom left, it states "In Folder [card icon] Contacts from iCloud". Now if I do CTRL+SHIFT+F and Browse, the (sub)folder checked/ticked is "Contacts from iCloud" and it sits in the tree beneath "iCloud Archive" (which is NOT under "Deleted Items")...!

* But it may not be the same record...as a test I put some dummy information into the Job Title field in the record from 1) above. That dummy information does not appear in the Job Title field in the record from 4). This suggests I'm making some progress in getting to the bottom of my issue but I'm terrified to start trying to delete stuff!

5) I note also that in SOME of the Address Books (selected in the drop down) representing particular companies, contact records or particular people don't appear. Whereas if I go in through the Category method (4 above), they are listed.

All this leads me to think that at some point in the past, I must have had some folders (sub or otherwise) in my left navigation pane, for different companies in which SOME of my contacts sat. Subsequently, I merged/copied those contact records into a "full" list, categorised them, and then deleted the redundant folders in the left navigation pane.

The question that then springs to mind is that IF I actually DID delete folders in the left navigation pane in the past (i.e. "IBM"), why on earth do they appear when I click "Address Books"? That is probably main source of my confusion! If I delete a MAIL folder, it is clearly still visible in the Mail Deleted items until I specifically delete it from there. This doesn't appear to be the case with Contacts.

Does that make any sense at all?

To cut a long story/rant short, ultimately, what I think ** I want to achieve is the following:

A) One list of all contacts
B) Each contact categorised appropriately (Friend or Work, IBM (or XXX) etc).
C) One Address book revealed under my main email profile when clicking the Address Book icon
D) Any contact listed in that address book being available from the "To" field of an email I am composing.

** or do you have a more powerful/rational approach to storing/accessing contacts/categories etc. which you can suggest?


Many thanks in anticipation!
 

Diane Poremsky

Senior Member
Outlook version
Outlook 2016 32 bit
Email Account
Office 365 Exchange
If I select from the left navigation pane a folder called "Contacts from iCloud"
This (and likely the iCloud Archive folder) contain contacts that are/were in icloud - when you signed out of icloud addin in outlook, it created a backup copy of the contacts. If you don't have copied of these contacts in your default Contacts folder, I would move them to that folder and delete the Contacts from icloud folder.


The question that then springs to mind is that IF I actually DID delete folders in the left navigation pane in the past (i.e. "IBM"), why on earth do they appear when I click "Address Books"? That is probably main source of my confusion! If I delete a MAIL folder, it is clearly still visible in the Mail Deleted items until I specifically delete it from there. This doesn't appear to be the case with Contacts.

Right click on the folders you deleted and choose properties then outlook address book tab. Is it still checked to be used as an address book?


A) One list of all contacts
B) Each contact categorised appropriately (Friend or Work, IBM (or XXX) etc).
C) One Address book revealed under my main email profile when clicking the Address Book icon
D) Any contact listed in that address book being available from the "To" field of an email I am composing.

** or do you have a more powerful/rational approach to storing/accessing contacts/categories etc. which you can suggest?
I would put all of the contacts into the default contacts folder. The assign categories as needed. For C) you can remove the tick from 'show as an outlook address book' But I would work on reducing the number of contact folders.

D) should always happen - if the contact has an electronic address (email or fax) you should see it in the address book.
 
Outlook version
Outlook 2016 32 bit
Email Account
POP3
Thanks again Diane; I've pretty much got this all under control now!

Now then... what if I don't want to have to manage both the "My Contacts" and the "iCloud Contacts" folders in order to keep them identical? I assume that this ->Sync Outlook with iCloud - free tool is a straightforward solution.

Have you any advice;
a) is this a sensible approach?
b) is there a better way?
c) or am I just asking for trouble ;-) ?
 

Diane Poremsky

Senior Member
Outlook version
Outlook 2016 32 bit
Email Account
Office 365 Exchange
yes, its straightforward to use that... but you might want to consider a utility that will sync outlook's data file folders directly with the icloud server, rather than having two copies of the contacts in outlook (in your contacts folder and in the icloud contacts). The only drawback is the utilities that sync with the server aren't free. These utilities such as companionlink and akrutosync
 
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