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How to Stop Automatic CRM to Outlook Syncing for Contacts

Post Author: Joe D365 |

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!

By Joe D365
Joe D365 is a Microsoft Dynamics 365 superhero who runs on pure Dynamics adrenaline. As the face of PowerObjects, Joe D365’s mission is to reveal innovative ways to use Dynamics 365 and bring the application to more businesses and organizations around the world.

20 comments on “How to Stop Automatic CRM to Outlook Syncing for Contacts”

  1. Hello, what about, if we already started the synchronization, and then we applied your steps. It seems that the synchronization process doesnt`count the new settings of the filters and diagnostics. Please your comment.
    *How to Stop Automatic CRM to Outlook Syncing for Contacts

  2. Is there a way to automatically roll out this kind of setting for new installations of the Outlook CRM plugin? I've got 200 users who will be using the CRM plugin, and while the installation is relatively easy with an XML File for the access configuration; I'd like ideally to predefine the filters for my users, to ensure that their contacts list data integrity remains as is. Sometimes users can't wrap their heads around going through menus to do this, and it would therefore be easier for our sysad team if we could somehow roll out these settings as part of the installation.

    1. Hi LIsa - Yep - this is doable and we would recommend for any type of med to large size implementation. There are a couple choices. if crm online then you can use custom code and the sdk to roll out custom rules. There is also a codeplex tool: http://crm2011ldgmanager.codeplex.com/

      1. Hi, Joe

        OK, so I've been looking at this for the last week! And it's well above my head/skillset.... It is exactly what I'm after; as turning off the sync and then attempting to apply the filter turns the sync back on, which means it still syncs all contacts.

        Before I push on with this, we're using the MS hosted version of Dynamics CRM, not a local copy. I believe that what you're saying is that this will work; and if that's the case, then I'll continue with struggling to understand this... 🙂

        1. Hi Lisa - Yep - the SDK supports manipulating the filters even in crm online. The team here did test the above tool and worked but had some issues with crm online. Trying to find out what issue sthey had. IN any case, we may be making our own tool that allows us to easily reset everyone's filters and the defaults filters.

  3. Hi, is there anything that can be done if a user has already fired up Outlook, gotten her contacts synced and only after that the filter is deleted (which effectively leaves the contacts in Outlook) - how to get rid of the already synced contacts or is manual deletion the only way?

      1. Hi guys,

        If you have already sync'd CONTACTS into Outlook, and you want to identify them (like needles in a haystack) you will need to do the following:

        1. Open Outlook's Contact views (change to one of the list views with columns)
        2. Right click the column headings, and select View Settings
        3. Click on COLUMNS button
        4. Click New Column.. button
        5. Name = crmLinkState
        6. Type = Integer

        This crmLinkState column represents the sync status of the record.
        (you can now sort by this column)

        0 = untracked
        1 = pending track
        2 = tracked

        You can sort by the column, and DELETE any unwanted CONTACTS.
        These will not be deleted in Dynamics.

        Hope this helps

        1. I tried this and the column crmLinkState is empty.
          I had turn off the synch and then turned it back on and re-syched hoping that would populate this field but it didnt
          We are using Outlook 2013. Could that be the issue?

  4. Hi I have Microsoft CRM Dynamics and suddenly when we reinstated and renamed a deactivated user login, hundreds of contacts were gone. System shows as if they were deleted. What happened? How to get them back? Desperate for advice as support teams not reachable. Thanks

  5. Hello, I have installed CRM 2013 on my home computer, but wanted to install it on my working computer also. Didn't work very well, it says something about the syncronization cannot happen two places or so. Please help asap

  6. Hi we want to automtically sync incoming e-mails in order to have them in CRM, but we want to exclude our domain as we don't want to have internal communication between relationship managers in CRM (and all relationship managers are also clients[. Is this possible? Do you have any tips? Thank you very much.

    1. Hi - Yes - we have done something like this a while back for a client. The approach we took was to use an on create plugin. The plugin then checked all recipients email addresses and the from address. If they were all @yourcompany.com then we deleted the email. This was enhanced so the client could then upkeep a list of domains to delete - thier company, subsidiary, and key suppliers.

    1. Hi Kayla,

      Anything is possible 🙂 But most likely the cause of contacts being deleted from outlook is NOT a plugin. To rule this out, turn on audit tracking and look at audit logs. Is the contact being deleted just from Outlook OR also from Dynamics CRM ? if just from your phone, and if your crm is on premises, verify you have the latest and greatest update rollup.

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