Everything You Need to Know About Contact Linking in Outlook 2013

The latest release of Outlook 2013 made quite a few terminology changes when it replaced Outlook 2010. You have probably noticed that the Contacts tab is now called the People tab. It is not just the name that has been changed, Microsoft has redesigned how contact cards look and even function. The new contact card design is sleeker and has a bit more functionality than its predecessors.

Contact Card 2010

Contact Card 2013

What is contact linking?

Contact linking is a new feature with the release of Microsoft Outlook 2013 that allows you to link contacts with other contacts, emails, tasks, and even appointments. Linking contacts virtually consolidates matching contacts into a single contact card. The contact information in the linked contacts is not actually merged together, it is just virtually displayed in a single contact view. If you want to permanently merge your duplicate Outlook contacts, give Scrubly a try.

Another change is how contact linking is enabled in Outlook 2013. In Outlook 2007 and 2010 you were required to go into contact options to enable contact linking. Now Outlook 2013 users can link contacts from the contact’s card without having to go through the options dialog box.

How to enable contact linking in Outlook 2013

1. Open Microsoft Outlook 2013
2. Select the People Tab


3. Select the contact you want to link and click the Link Contact option to the right.


4. A dialog box will open displaying all contacts that are currently linked to this contact. The second box allows you to search for other contacts to link to this one. Type the name of a contact you would like to link to this contact.


5. Click the contact that appears below the search box to link the contact to this one.

6. Click OK

How to manage linked contacts

All of the linked contacts display information in a single contact card. You can easily manage these linked contacts by editing the contact card.

Outlook 2013 also made it very easy to unlink contacts that you no longer want linked. The following steps will guide you through unlinking contacts:

1. Click the People tab
2. Select the contact you want to unlink
3. Click the option to “Link Contacts“.


4. In the dialog box under the section for “Linked Contacts”, click the (X) next to the contact you want to unlink from this contact.


5. Click OK.


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