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  1. #1
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    Outlook 2010 on Win10: address book suddenly empty

    I found outlook 2010 (Win10) address book empty on my wife's win10 pc. so I brought her .pst file to my pc, (Also Win10), renamed my own .pst file, put hers into Documents\Outlook files, opened Outlook, but address book still empty. So I deleted her .pst file, renamed mine back to .pst, and opened Outlook. Lo and behold, MY address book is now empty!!??

    So I brought back my .pst file from a backup folder to Outlook files, which was working perfectly when it was backed up, but that .pst also has an empty address book.

    So there must be some system setting which is preventing contacts from appearing in the address book. I have hunted Google for answers, but to no avail.

    Hope you guys can help! I had hundreds of contacts there before these actions.

  2. #2
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    Go to "People", right click the contact file name in the navigation pane on the left. Then, in the Outlook Address Book tab make sure that "Show this folder as an email address book" is checked.

    Joe

  3. #3
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    Joe, I don't find "People" anywhere in Outlook. How do I navigate to this menu. Sorry for my ignorance, but I would be grateful for step-by-step notes! Many thanks

  4. #4
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    I believe the "People" terminology only started with Outlook 2013 and higher, prior to that Microsoft used the term "Contacts".

    You can navigate to Contacts using any Contact display element in Outlook. The one I usually use is found in the left hand navigation pane, at the bottom. Outlook has 4 major data types and they are all found there: Mail, Calendar, Contacts and Tasks.

    I'm getting the message that you and your wife use separate e-mail accounts, yes? That would be a conventional setup. Thus, you can perform an initial population of your wife's e-mail contacts, but without a specific plan, that's all it would be. There would be no ongoing coordination of contacts between you and your wife.

    I occasionally copy my contacts (and only my contacts). What I find works well is to use Select All and copy them via the clipboard. Another technique is to save them to a .msg file for inter-system moves (often in conjunction with the first technique).

  5. #5
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    This is a precise set of steps to copy a complete user's contacts, from one PC and e-mail account, to another. It assumes Outlook 2010, though the basic steps work on any extant version of Outlook:

    1). Open Outlook and navigate to Contacts (or People);

    2). Click the following (note the Open/Import/Export semantic weirdness!):

    File | Open | Import | Export To A File | Next | Create A File Of Type: Outlook Data File (.pst) | Next | Select The Folder To Export From: Contacts | Include Subfolders (Check) | Next | Export File Location: C:\Temp\All Errol's Contacts.pst | Option: Replace Duplicates | Finish | Add Optional Password (no password) | OK

    3). Copy the resulting data file to a USB stick, DVD or other storage device;

    4). Move the USB stick to the destination PC and copy the file to C:\Temp on that system. All subsequent instructions assume you remain on the destination PC;

    5). Open Outlook and navigate to Contacts (or People);

    6). Click the following:

    File | Open Outlook Data File | C:\Temp\All Errol's Contacts.pst | OK

    7). In the navigation pane at the left near the top, you will see an entry labelled "Contacts - Outlook Data File". Click that to select it;

    8). Type [Ctrl-A] to Select All. The data pane at the right will highlight all entries in response;

    9). In the navigation pane at the left near the top, you will see an entry labelled "Contacts - (your wife's e-mail address)". Click that to select it;

    10). Given your description, the data pane at the right should be empty. If so, skip now to the next numbered step! Otherwise, Type [Ctrl-A] to Select All. The data pane at the right will highlight all entries in response. Press [Delete] and confirm Yes/OK if it asks you to;

    11). Click inside the empty data pane on the right. Type [Ctrl-C] to copy from the clipboard. You will see all the contacts appear;

    12). All done! Close Outlook and it will automatically close the external, ad-hoc .pst file. It will not re-open that file unless you ask it to.


    This sequence works slowly and carefully, with no combined steps or actions. If anything goes wrong it is easy to go back a step and try again. You will therefore have to clean up the C:\Temp folders and the USB stick yourself, when it is convenient.
    Last edited by BHarder; 2016-01-05 at 12:05. Reason: Removed errant link

  6. #6
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    The point is this. Now my own separate PC with my own Outlook has also lost all my contacts. This in addition to my wife's own PC Outlook, which has the same problem.

    So, on my PC, I brought back a system image backup from a few days ago, when all was fine with my contacts. This totally wiped the existing hard drive, and replaced all the partitions from it with the image vackup from a usb external drive. After restarting the PC with its recovered image now back on my HD, guess what? The contacts are missing from the address book! They were DEFINITELY there when I made that image backup. THERE MUST BE SOME WAY TO MAKE THE CONTACTS APPEAR IN THE ADDRESS BOOK. The .pst file MUST contain the somewhere!!!

  7. #7
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    Whoops! I made one mistake.

    Step 12 is incorrect, Outlook will in fact retain the open link to the ad-hoc .pst file. To correct this, switch to the Mail view in the navigation pane. In the pane just above, scroll down until you see the .pst file entry. Right click that and select Close.

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