Microsoft Teams is mainly thought of as a chat, video conferencing, online meeting, or online collaboration tool. While the app is all of these things, it is also a robust calling solution. Users can integrate Skype for Business, or enable Call Queues and link teams to phone numbers. Microsoft Teams also has mobile apps which, likewise, can be used to make calls.
Microsoft Teams can’t find contacts
While Microsoft Teams can be used to make calls, it doesn’t automatically detect contacts outside of those that are part of a team. You may have contacts saved on your phone, to Skype, or to Outlook but those contacts cannot be found by Microsoft Teams. Importing these contacts from Outlook is a somewhat tedious process but we’re going to detail it here. For good measure, all steps should be done by a user who has admin access and not an ordinary user.
Contacts can only be imported from Outlook into Microsoft Teams via Skype for Business. Skype for business is only available for users with a Business or Enterprise license (E3 or E5). If you do not have either of these licenses, this method will not work for you.
1. Set up Skype for Business
Before you get started, make sure you’ve installed Skype for Business on your system.
- Download the Skype for Business basic version here.
- Once downloaded, install the app.
- Sign in with your Skype for Business account. If you have an E3 or E5 license, your domain is already set up and user IDs have been set up as well. Use it to sign into Skype for business. Microsoft accounts and Skype names will not work.
- Once you’re signed in, hold down the Ctrl key, and click the Skype for Business icon in the system tray.
- Click Configuration Information.
- In the window that opens, make sure the ‘Contact List Provider’ field is set to ‘Skype for Business Server’. If it isn’t, consult this Microsoft Document to learn how to change it.
2. Import contacts in Outlook
Make sure you have contacts saved to a file in CSV format.
- Visit Outlook online, and sign in with the same account that you use for Microsoft Teams, and for Skype for Business.
- Go to the People/Contacts tab.
- Click ‘Import contacts’.
- Select the CSV file, and allow the contacts to be imported.
3. Import contacts to Microsoft Teams
Microsoft Teams will be able to import contacts directly from Skype for Business which will, in turn, be able to read them form Outlook.
- Open Microsoft Teams.
- Go to the Calls tab.
- Select ‘Contacts’.
- You will see a message ‘We’re importing your Skype for Business contact groups’.
- Give it a few minutes (in some cases, users have had to wait for 24-hours for the import to complete).
- Once the import is complete, the Contacts tab will show you all your contacts.
Importing contacts into Microsoft Teams is one of the most tedious processes there is. The fact that it simply cannot be done if you’re using the free version of Microsoft Teams is a major disadvantage. It’s odd that a calling and web conferencing app would make importing contacts this difficult, but it is what it is. Users have been vocal about making it easier to import contacts but so far, nothing has changed.