Outlook’s Social Connector and Contacts Sync

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When the Social Connector is enabled in Microsoft Outlook and you have an Exchange mailbox, the social connector will sync changes in the GAL to contacts. It requires the user add contacts from the GAL to the local contact folder. (Many users save contacts so they can sync with phones or to have the contacts available offline)

Yes, every change made to the GAL should be updated to Outlook's Contacts. However, it's not instant - in fact, it can take 4 days for the changes to process and sync down to contacts.

The default setting for syncing with the GAL is 4 days. This can be changed using a global policy that adds or edits the following key. Note that the value is in minutes. (While you could sync as frequently as every minute, that is a bit excessive and can result in high network traffic - we recommend using the default, but if you need more frequent syncs, set it for no less than 24 hours (1440 minutes).


DWORD: ContactSyncInterval
VALUE: Any integer between 1 and 10080 (number is in minutes)

You can also sync changes immediately for any contact. Simply open the contact and click the Update button.

If the administrator doesn't want Outlook's contacts updated with data from the GAL, they can disable the synchronization using group policy (Active Directory). (Users can disable or control sync within Outlook, from the Social Connector's Settings dialog)

Outlook's Social Connector and Contacts Sync

The registry key that controls this is:


DWORD: DisableContactGALSync

Possible values:

1 = The OSC does not synchronize Active Directory information with contacts.
0 = Policy disabled. (default) The OSC synchronizes data in the GAL.

How to turn on Social Connector

To enable Outlook Social Connector we'll need, first, to go on Outlook's options and then on Add-Ins section:

Outlook's Social Connector and Contacts Sync

Then click on "Go..." button and then verify that the addin called "Microsoft Outlook Social Connector" is checked, if not, check it (you won't need to restart Outlook):

Outlook's Social Connector and Contacts Sync