Find people and contacts

Over time your list of contacts grows, and it can be hard to quickly find the right person or contact without a lot of digging. To locate people quickly, take advantage of Outlook’s handy Search Contacts feature.

Here’s how:

  1. Click People at the bottom of the screen.

    Click People

  2. Above your contacts list, click the Search Contacts box.

    Click Search Contacts on the People tab

    Note    You might be tempted to use the Search People box, which is in the top right corner on the Home tab. That works, but only if you type the person’s name (or part of their name). You can’t use this box to search on things like phone numbers or addresses.

    Search People box compared to the Search Contacts box

  3. Start typing the person’s name, or other information you want to search for, like a phone number or company name.

    Tip    You can search for complete or partial information. For example, if you are searching for someone named Chris Preston, you can type their full name, or simply type “pre”.

  4. Click the person you want from the search results.

    Click the person you want from the Search results

Narrow your search

Getting too many results when you search on complete or partial information? Consider further refining your search. When you click the Search People box on the People tab, the Search Tools tab appears.

Tip    You can also open the Search Tools tab by pressing Ctrl+E.

Search tools tab

There are a lot of options here to help narrow your search, including the following groups of options on the Search Tools tab:

  • Scope    Change the folders you want to search in.

  • Refine    Search for people who have phone numbers in their contact information, or other specific types of information.

  • Options    Use previous searches or change advanced search options.

Search from your inbox

You also can search for contacts from any folder in your mailbox. For example, if you are sending an email and you want to look someone up, do the following:

  • In the Find group, in the Search People box, type the name of the person you want to find.

    SearchPeople box

    You can enter a partial name, such as Robin, a first or last name, an e-mail address, a display name, or a company name.

Applies To: Outlook 2013, Outlook 2016

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