Showing results for 
Search instead for 
Did you mean: 

How to share Outlook Express Address book in XP


How to share Outlook Express Address book in XP


Does anyone know how to share Outlook Express address books across multiple accounts on the same XP system.

I know I can use shared addresses for multiple identities within the same XP user account, but this is not what I want.

Many Thanks....Paul

How to share Outlook Express Address book in XP

Is this too simplistic ... cut and paste a copy of your address book (whatever.wab) and paste it in the "Shared Documents" folder, then click on Start>Accessories and right-click Address Book, click on Properties and type C:\Ducuments and Settings\All Users\Documents in the "Start in:" box, then Apply and OK.

You may have to do this for all users on your system, or Add them on the Permissions section of the Security Tab if you know how to do that.

How to share Outlook Express Address book in XP

I'm not sure if too simplistic is correct. The help within Outlook Express does not give any clues on this. I had already tried looking within OE for a file properties option so I could point it somewhere else.

And it is start>programs>accessories>address book + right click

However I still end up opening the my documents version of the address book regardless of what is in the "start in" box.

I have copied the address book to

"C:\Documents and Settings\All Users\Documents\Address Book".

I tried setting the "start in" to

C:\Documents and Settings\All Users\Documents
C:\Documents and Settings\All Users\Documents\Address Book

Yet the address book still opens from

C:\Documents and Settings\Paul\Application Data\Microsoft\Address Book

If I delete it from here OE creates another one.

OE appears to be looking for user1.wab when signed on as user1 and user2.wab when signed on as user2

What I want is user1 to look at user2.wab or both to look for shared.wab. I don't see an obvious way of doing this.

More thinking required.

Or is this a limitation of the Express version of Outlook? In full product outlook you can additional personal and shared address books, specify full paths etc. as much as you want.

Sorted !


Discovered that you need to edit the registry for each XP user - when signed on as that user.

HKEY_CURRENT_USER>Software>Microsoft>WAB>WAB4>Wab File Name

Change the path and file name as required. I have called it

C:\Documents and Settings\All Users\Documents\Address Book\Shared.wab

Then each user can see the shared folder within the address book. Identity named folders appear to remain local to that identity.

If anyone tries this at home remember the usual cautions regarding editing the registry. Don't blame me etc.