Windows address book

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Windows address book
Basic data

developer Microsoft
Publishing year 1996
operating system Windows NT , Windows 95 , Windows 98 , Windows 2000 , Windows ME , Windows 2000 , Windows XP
category directory
License EULA

The Windows Address Book is a component of Windows . It enables users to maintain a list of contacts that is available to multiple programs. It is mainly used by Outlook Express . It was introduced in 1996 with Internet Explorer 3 and improved in subsequent versions. The API of the Windows address book LDAP can query servers or .wabwrite or read data in local files. In Windows Vista , the Windows address book has been replaced by Windows contacts .


Windows Address Book is an application with a local database and user interface for finding and editing information about people; it enables directory services to be queried via the Lightweight Directory Access Protocol . Other applications can also use the Windows address book. Microsoft Office Outlook uses its own PSTformat for saving emails. However, it can .WABimport contacts from the format. Microsoft Exchange and Windows Live Messenger use .PABfiles as personal address books.


  • Can store extensive tabbed contact information including personal and business information.
  • Is integrated with Outlook Express.
  • Has a more programmable API for collaboration with other applications. Applications can also be functionally expanded, for example by adding tabs and fields to store additional information, or by customizing the toolbar.
  • can save contacts in contact groups and folders.
  • Can only send plain text e-mails to certain contacts for security reasons .
  • Can export and import records in vCard 2.1 and CSV formats .
  • Can also import from LDIF and other formats.
  • Can search for entries in the contact database or sort contacts by first name or last name.
  • Automatically add contacts from received emails.
  • Prints contact lists as a memo, business card or phone list.

Security risk

In May 2004, the ILOVEYOU virus showed that the Windows address book can be misused to distribute malicious software by accessing user contacts and sending emails to them. This approach has since been adopted by many commercial spammers .

Integration with MS Outlook

One of the undocumented features of the Windows Address Book is its integration with Microsoft Office Outlook. A registry value must be added to this registry key:

(Note: make a backup copy of the registry before making any changes)


A DWORDvalue called "UseOutlook" (if not already there) can be created with a value of 1. After that Outlook contacts will be shared with the Windows address book. This only works up to Windows XP and Outlook 2003. Windows Contacts, introduced with Windows Vista, does not support the sharing of contacts with Outlook. The above method works with any version of Outlook up to Outlook 2003, although newer versions don't list it as a configurable option in the user interface.

Individual evidence

  1. How to Add Contacts in Your Windows XP Address Book . Wiley. Retrieved August 26, 2015.
  2. Internet Explorer History
  3. To share contacts between Microsoft Outlook and Outlook Express

Web links