Vista Mail and Vista Contacts will not see Outlook Contacts

Discussion in 'Windows Vista General Discussion' started by chunnel, Jul 21, 2007.

  1. chunnel

    chunnel Guest

    I had to reinstall Vista 64. I had had this problem in the past that was
    resolved after many conversations with Customer Support during my 90 days of
    free Tech support. The problem is that Mail and Vista Contacts will not see
    my Outlook Contacts, so when I wish to fax using Windows Fax and Scan, I have
    to cut and past the number from Outlook instead of it just being there and in
    all the right Contact folders. Since I am out of my free service time with
    Microsoft, I was hoping that someone out there knows of the resolution to
    this problem.
    chunnel, Jul 21, 2007
    1. Advertisements

  2. Hi Chunnel,

    For complicated historical and legal reasons, Outlook (the Office
    application) does not use the same Contacts folder as Windows itself.
    Whereas, Windows Mail and Fax both use the built-in Windows Contacts folder,
    not the one installed as part of Outlook.

    To synchronise the two, you need to export the contact information from
    Outlook, for example to a CSV (comma-separated values) file. Then import
    that CSV fiel into Windows Contacts.

    In Outlook, oprn your Contacts section. Then go to the File menu, Import and
    Export, and choose Export to a file. Click Next. Choose file type - CSV
    Winodws is probably the best/easiest type of file. Click Next again. Your
    Outlook Contacts folder will be already selected. Click next and save teh
    file in some convenient location, such as your Desktop. Click Finish. It
    will take a few seconds to run, and a new *.CSV file will appear on your

    Now, go to Start menu in Windows, Acessories, Contacts. Your Windows
    Contacts will appear. From teh Toolbar, click Import. The "Import to Windows
    Contacts" dialogue will appear. Select CSV in teh list of file types, and
    click Import. Browse to te CSV file you created on your Desktop. You will be
    presented with a mappings dialogue, where you can adjust the Outlook fields
    to teh Windows Contacts fields. Usually, nothing needs to be changed here.
    Then click OK to import the data into Windows Contacts. And, you're

    There may be nifty utilities out there on the Net, to automatically
    synchronise your Outlook and Windows Contacts. But otherwise, it's a matter
    of manually transferring the data from one to the other. Of course if you
    are on a corporate network, you can use Active Directory, for both Outlook
    and your Windows Fax contacts.

    Hope it helps,
    Andrew McLaren, Jul 22, 2007
    1. Advertisements

  3. chunnel

    chunnel Guest


    I appreciate your well researched answer to this question. However, in
    Vista 32, Fax and Scan will immediately read my address book. But in Vista
    64, it will not. exporting, I have 12 Contact folders with almost 10,000
    entries, is really not an option. This is a driver issue with Vista 64 and
    it should be resolved.
    chunnel, Jul 22, 2007
  4. Sorry, I kind of glossed over that. Yes, in 32 bit Windows it works, and in
    64 bit Windows it does not (the "complex reasons" I tangentially mentioned).

    I am not a mail specialist, by any means (I'm more a networking guy). But -
    the main underlying reason is that Outlook Contacts are stored in a PST
    file, and must be accessed programmatically via MAPI program calls exposed
    in an Outlook DLL (MAPI=="Messaging Application Programming Interface", the
    main API used by Outlook). Outlook, like all Office apps, is a strictly
    32-bit application. On 64 bit Vista, Windows Contacts and Fax run as 64 bit
    applications. They cannot thunk down to the 32 bit library in Outlook, to
    make the necessary calls to read the Contacts from the PST. If Windows Fax
    cannot make these calls, then it cannot access the Outlook Contacts
    information directly. On 32 bit Windows, it is very easy for 32 bit Windows
    Fax to load the 32 bit Outlook DLLs directly into its own process space (via
    a call to LoadLibrary(), or similar, and then extract data direct from the
    Outlook data store (Exchange or PST file).

    Windows Contacts, unlike Outlook Contacts, are just *.contact text files,
    sitting in the %UserProfile%\Contacts directory. They can be read and
    written by any app which can do file I/O (basically, any app). Likewise, 64
    bit calls to Active Directory and LDAP servers are well-supported, so
    Windows Fax can read contacts from Active Directory. But it cannot read data
    from 32 bit Outlook.

    Exactly why such thunking is not available, I dunno - I haven't studied that
    specific question closely before now. As a rough guess ... on 32 bit
    Windows, it is very easy for 32 bit Windows Fax to load the 32 bit Outlook
    DLLs directly into its own process space - this is a bog-standard
    programming design used by thousands of Windows apps every second. But you
    cannot load a 32 bit DLL directly into a 64 bit process - it's
    architecturally impossible, for any application. So, the guy writing the 64
    bit Windows Fax and/or Contacts would have needed to write some special
    out-of-process thunking mechanism, to reach Outlook data from the 64 bit
    Fax. I'm just guessing, but I can easily imagine some program managers
    saying "well, no-one needs to reach Outlook; except for rare, edge scenarios
    like ... oh I dunno, using Outlook Contacts from Windows Fax". So they
    didn't invest in the considerable development effort required.

    Anyway you're right - although it's not a driver issue, as such, because a
    "driver" refers to a very specific type of executable; which is not involved
    in this situation. But the underlying binary support to make what you want
    happen, doesn't seem to be there on 64 bit Windows. As far as I know, there
    is no workaround, and no easy solution. The ideal solution would be a 64 bit
    version of Office, but I believe the Office product group are very reluctant
    to go 64 bit.

    You can try asking in the
    newsgroup - it's very possible someone has discovered or developed some kind
    of workaround. I'm sure you're not the only one in this situation (and while
    I am advising you to the best of my ability, I am not, as I said, a
    Mail/Outlook/MAPI expert).

    Good luck!
    Andrew McLaren, Jul 22, 2007
    1. Advertisements

Ask a Question

Want to reply to this thread or ask your own question?

You'll need to choose a username for the site, which only take a couple of moments (here). After that, you can post your question and our members will help you out.