Favorite Contacts presence in Outlook 2013

Sadly in Outlook 2013, Microsoft has decided to remove the “Quick Contacts” functionality which integrated your Lync 2010 groups/ contacts into the Outlook 2010 to-do bar. While this could ultimately change at some point in the future, for now, here is a work around to bring back the same essential functionality.

So you just upgraded to Office 2013, fire up Outlook  and notice your quick contacts are gone. Don’t despair, we can fix this! First head to the View page in the ribbon and enable People in the To-Do Bar.

This will open an empty people list in your to-do bar with a lonely search box. Start by typing in the name of a person you’d like in your pseudo-quick contacts. Everyone I wanted to add were frequent contacts so appeared first in the search results. Find your desired contact, right-click and click “Add to Favorites.” You’ll notice that presence will report an unknown state at this point.

This person should now appear in your Favorites list within the to-do bar, presence still unknown. To get presence to appear there is one more step: add these people to your local contacts. From the favorites list, right-click the contact again, click the down arrow in the right lower corner,

Click “Add”…

Then click “Save” on the screen that follows.

Once the contact is saved to your local contacts list, their presence will magically appear in the list. From a functional standpoint, you are now at par with what quick contacts provided in Outlook 2010.

Repeat these steps for each contact you want to appear in your to-do bar favorites list. While not the same as having 100% of your Lync contacts auto-appearing in Outlook, at least you can still have the contacts you really care about. Or, add them all if you must!




  1. I do not have enable People in the To-Do Bar. All I have are: Date Navigator, Appointments and Task List.

    Any suggestion for me?

  2. Sounds like you're running Outlook 2010. In 2013 those to-do bar descriptions have changed to what I posted above.

  3. Is it possible to add a contact group to favourites? I can't find the option.

  4. Is there a way to remove a person from the Favorites list once entered?


  5. when I right click the contact, there is no menu to "add to favorite". I am using Chinese version.

  6. I have a user who can add some contact to Favorite and some won't add, How do you fix this?


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