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Home > Outlook Email Software > Email Address Collector > Switching Address Books
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How to switch between Outlook Contacts and Windows Address Book.

Both the Outlook Contacts and the Windows Address Book are designed by Microsoft to store contacts information. By default, Microsoft Office Outlook is using Outlook Contacts, while Microsoft Outlook Express is using the Windows Address Book. Both of them can hold local or shared contacts.

For MAPI compliant email software, such as Outlook, Thunderbird, Outlook Express, IncrediMail or other products, Microsoft Windows creates and loads mail profiles or identities - you can manage them from the Windows Control Panel. Each mail profile or identity can hold one or more email accounts, but each profile / identity has its own Outlook Contacts and Windows Address Book.

If you decide to switch your emailing activities from Outlook Express to Microsoft Outlook, you will discover that your Outlook Express contacts are not loaded by the Outlook Contacts. This happens because Outlook Express is using the Windows Address Book, which is not intended for use with Microsoft Outlook.

Moreover, if you now run Outlook Express, you may notice that its contacts book is now empty - because it now loads the contacts from the newly installed Outlook Contacts book. To switch back to the Outlook Express contacts, you need to modify the following Windows registry key: "HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\WAB\WAB4" and set the "UseOutlook" value to "dword:00000000". This will make Outlook Express to load the Windows Address Book and not the Microsoft Outlook Contacts.

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To migrate your current contacts from Outlook Express to Outlook, you can use Email Address Collector to export the contacts from the Windows Address Book to a CSV file, then to import the CSV file into the Outlook Contacts, using the Outlook "File->Import and Export" utility.

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    System Requirements: Microsoft Windows Me, Windows 2000, Windows XP, Windows Vista, Windows 7 / Microsoft Office 2000, 2002 (XP), 2003, 2007, 2010, 2013 / Outlook 2000, 2002 (XP), 2003, 2007.
    Email Address Collector is an email extractor for Microsoft Outlook, Outlook Express, Vista Windows Mail, Thunderbird, Microsoft DBX files, Windows Address Book, Outlook Contacts folders, HTML pages, DOC, XLS, PDF or other documents.

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