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The Outlook Client for Microsoft Dynamics CRM keeps your users’ inboxes from becoming silos of information that are accessible only to the user. One of the features of the Outlook Client is that it automatically syncs all the CRM contacts that user owns and creates contacts in Outlook. This automatic CRM to Outlook syncing can be a problem if the user owns thousands of CRM contacts. It can cause duplication if those contacts already exist as contacts in their Outlook. Once you configure the Outlook Client, it starts pulling the contacts down. Yikes! Can this be stopped? Yes.


Here are the high level steps of how to stop the madness of 20,000 unwanted contacts in your Outlook once you’ve installed and configured the Outlook Client:

  1. Stop the Outlook Synchronization
  2. Disable the Contacts filter in Outlook
  3. Re-start the Outlook Synchronization to allow CRM Activities to synchronize

I’m going to assume you know how to install and configure the client. The important part of this blog are the final three steps.


Here are the details. You’ve just completed the Configuration Wizard and are ready to launch Outlook. WAIT! Go to Diagnostics first. Following the steps below disables the filters for all the activities and contacts the client is designed to bring into the user’s Outlook. This allows you to access Outlook without triggering a synchronization, giving you time to stop the filter that dictates what contacts will be brought into Outlook. You’ll have to return here to turn the synchronization back on once you’ve disabled the Contact filter.

**NOTE: Turning this off does not stop users from being able to use the track functionality!**

For Windows 8 and 7 you can find Diagnostics by:

  1. Click on the Windows key
  2. Type Diagnostics in the search box
  3. Diagnostics should appear on the top of the list

For Windows 7 it can also be found by traditional means

  1. Click on Start menu
  2. All Programs | Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2011 | Diagnostics

The Microsoft Dynamics CRM Diagnostics window should appear. This is where you disable the synchronization process before opening Outlook.

  1. Uncheck Outlook Synchronization
  2. Click on Save

stop automatic CRM to Outlook syncing


The next step is to disable the Outlook Contact Filter. This can be done for both Outlook 2010 and Outlook 2007. The filters are the same, but the path to them is different:

  1. Open Outlook
  2. If you have Outlook 2007 installed, click on the CRM menu | Options


    If you have Outlook 2010 installed, click File menu | CRM | Options

  3. In the Set Personal Options dialog box, click the Synchronization tab
  4. Click on the Outlook Filters link

    crm to outlook syncing

  5. In the Outlook Filter dialog box, stop the Contact synchronization by selecting My Outlook Contacts and clicking on the delete button in the toolbar. This can be recreated in the future if the users would like the CRM contacts to come down.
  6. Click on OK


In order to make sure the CRM activities synchronize with Outlook, you must enable the Outlook Synchronization in Diagnostics.

  1. Follow the instructions in Step 1, except check the box this time.

Keep in mind that not every user will want to stop their CRM Contacts from syncing with Outlook. This means they might like to understand the interaction better. Check out this timeless blog on knowing the rules of the Dynamics CRM and Outlook Contacts interaction.

Happy CRM’ing!

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Joe CRM is a CRM superhero who runs on pure Microsoft Dynamics CRM adrenaline. As the face of PowerObjects, Joe CRM’s mission is to reveal innovative ways to use Dynamics CRM and bring the application to more businesses and organizations around the world.