Tip 1084: Add to Contacts in Outlook 2013

When reading or replying to an email I used to be able to right-click on a email address in the From or To fields and the context menu would give me an option to add that person to my Outlook Contacts. I used to use that all the time - a great time saver - but I don't see it in Outlook 2013?

It's still there, but Add to Outlook Contacts is only visible if the contact does not exist in any of your Contacts folders, including connected Social Networks.

Add to contacts

Tip: Add to Favorites adds the contact to the People Peek that comes up when you hover over the People icon or the word People in the Folder List Navigation bar.

If the contact exists, you'll have an option to Edit Contact or Open Contact Card, both of which opens the new Contact card, not the familiar contact form.

edit contact context menu

Choose Open Contact Card to see where the Contact is stored.

Both Add to Outlook Contacts and Edit Contact will open the following dialog. Edit it as needed and click Save when finished.
edit contact card

Open Contact Card will open this dialog. Click the link under View Source to view the traditional Contact form. Tip: click Cancel when in Edit mode (in previous screenshot) to drop into this card with clickable links.
View contact card

Published May 6, 2013. Last reviewed on October 15, 2013.

  • Dale Unroe

    The complaint that opens this 'tip' is never fully addressed. What if the user is in a 'social network' but you want them available in Outlook in a local Contact folder with personal information added and you want this info available offline too? Now you have to go through a very inconvenience from-scratch method of creating a new contact moving your context from the message to Contacts with nothing copied over into it to get started. Then when done you go back to try and find the message where you started. This is not fluid. This is a big PIA in my world as I've just moved to a new company and need to build up my contacts list in a big way.

  • Dale Unroe

    BTW ...what I just had a breakthrough in learning was that there is a way to get somewhat back what has been lost from Outlook 2010 convenience ...just a lot more clicks - notice in that very last screen shot that above and to the right of the highlighted box containing "View Source and a LinkedIn link" is another 'edit' link. Well if you actually click that and then save, you will then notice that under "View Source" is an entry for Outlook ...when then if clicked gets you back to the desired Outlook Contact form where all the options exist so to ensure your display name, company name, 'file as' fields, and ...etc. are consistent with your preferences.

  • sbsisyphus

    now much later I'm trying to follow these steps to add a colleague at the office into Contacts and the "edit" link referenced above is not there. Instead is a link to "Add" with the options under the ...menu being to Link Contacts, Add to Favorites, or Add to a Social Network - these all end without producing the result needed

  • Diane Poremsky

    It sounds like a contact exists for the colleague. Is there anything under View Source?

    This contact exists:
    Contact card

  • Smack Boy

    How do I directly add a new contact from the sender's email using the full blown contact form (the way it used to work)? Often I want to apply a category or examine their digital certificate. Can't do any of that from the Contact Card.

  • Diane Poremsky

    You need to save the contact, then open it, which is 1 - 3 additional steps (depending if you use the legacy gal key). Or you can use VBA, but I'm not sure if a cert is added automatically this way. I'll have to test it.