How to copy multiple contacts from Outlook to Lync

It is kind of amazing how crippled the co-operation is between Microsoft Outlook and Microsoft Lync. (Note:  I am talking about Microsoft Office Professional Plus 2010, with Outlook version 14.0 32-bit and Lync 2010.) All I wanted to do was to copy contacts from the Outlook contacts list to the Lync contacts list. Never mind the fact that these two programs should be sharing the exact same contact list and I should not have to do anything of that sort; it sounds like a simple task, right?  Copy contacts from one program to another. These two programs belong to the same Office suite and are supposedly seamlessly integrated with each other. Well, seamlessly my @$$. You can copy single contacts from Lync to Outlook. But if you want to copy a contact from Outlook to Lync, or copy multiple contacts, then you are completely out of luck.  No-can-do, apparently.

Well, I found a trick to do it.  Here is how:

1. Select all the contacts within Outlook that you want to copy to Lync.
2. Hit "Send email", and a new email will be prepared, with all the selected contacts in the "To:" field.
3. Select all the contacts in the "To:" field.
4. Drag and drop the contacts from the "To:" field into a group (not contact) in Lync.
5. Discard the new email.


If you know of a simpler way, please let me know.

Also, if you know of any way to do perform the incredibly advanced operation of... (drum roll please) PRINT YOUR OUTLOOK CONTACTS WITH PICTURES, (duh!) please let me know.



  1. I do this but the phone numbers don't come across. I just see the contacts email address added to Lync. Is this what you're seeing?

  2. Anonymous, I won't be able to check it so as to answer your question until Tuesday.

  3. Thanks Michael.
    Works a treat.

  4. Does not work on my pc.
    have Lync 2013, outlook 2010, Win7
    any other methods?

  5. @Anonymous of March 22: (Sorry for the delay!) My contacts were transferred with phone numbers, so I do not know what is wrong in your case.

    @Anonymous of April 10: I would bet that your problem is due to the different versions of Lync and Outlook. Sorry, I do not have any other ideas.

  6. anyone know how to do the same with Office 2013?

  7. First week in a new company and you made my day. Thanks.

  8. Thanks, works but had some issues as above where the number's didn't come across. Strange thing for me is that I got mixed results depending on the contact although they have the same fields populated.

  9. Thanks much Michael, I appreciate your sharing!

  10. Michael, as for Outlook 2013 and Lync2013 it doesn't work. I tried. Does anyone have any ideas?

  11. Anyone had any luck with this running in an Office 2013 environment? Cheers.

  12. Doesn't work with Lync 2013. Thanks anyway for your help! Also, how stupid is this Microsoft? Two communication programs that are part of the same software suite that can't share contacts!!

  13. Hi had problems to do that way with contacts from Outlook 2007 to Lync client 2010. Know anyone of you that there is a known issue with that task and that different product versions? Anyway I think a Outlook contact is not a real Lync contact because it is not a lync contact or lync user behind and therefore also no sip address. So in my point of view it is expected that a normal outlook contact will not display correctly on an lync client if there is no other information about that outlook contact into the lync system. But maybe there is another better reason for that. I am not 100% sure. :)