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How to Password Protect Your Outlook Contacts

If you are looking to protect your Microsoft Outlook contacts with a password and don't know how, this article is for you.

Protecting email with a password has become common knowledge by now, captured in numerous articles on the web. Quite a few customers, however, indicated they don't use Microsoft Outlook for mail but rather for contacts only and, while they know how to password-protect their email, they don't know how to do that for their contacts. Some even asked for a Software Candy that would do just that: Protect Outlook contacts.

Fortunately, there is no need for external software to accomplish this goal. The "secret" lies in the fact that both contacts and email are stored in a single file which, in Microsoft Outlook, is named "Data File". If you are using Outlook for contacts only, you most likely have a single such file on your computer. By password-protecting it, you will have essentially protected your contacts. Read on to learn how:

Step by step instructions for protecting your Microsoft Outlook contacts with a password

The following instructions are for Microsoft Outlook 2003. It should be fairly simple to apply them to Outlook XP (2002), Outlook 2007 and later versions.

Open your Microsoft Outlook and then:
  • Select Options from the Tools menu:

    Hover your mouse over the system tray clock

  • Click the Mail Setup tab, then click the Data Files button:
  • Calendar normal view

  • Select the Personal Folders line, then click the Settings button:
  • Calendar normal view

  • Click the Change Password button:
  • Calendar normal view

  • Type in your password, twice: in the New password field and in the Verify password field. Do not check "Save this password in your password list"!
  • Calendar normal view

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