Integrate 3CX Phone System with Microsoft Outlook
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Integrate 3CX with Microsoft Outlook

Microsoft Outlook Integration

This guide shows you how to integrate Microsoft Outlook with 3CX Phone System

On this topic

Microsoft Outlook Integration


System Requirements

Deploying the Microsoft Outlook Integration

Installing the Microsoft Outlook add-in

Configuring the Microsoft Outlook Plugin

General configuration

Microsoft Outlook configuration

Inbound Calls

Track All Calls with Microsoft Outlook’s Journal

Launching Calls from Microsoft Outlook


Outlook Contact Folder not listed in the configuration dialog


3CX provides out of the box integration with Microsoft Outlook. This plugin opens the contact record in Microsoft Outlook, creates a new contact if the inbound caller is not found, and creates a journal entry for the contact when the call ends. It also provides click to call functionality by adding menus and toolbars to the Outlook contacts.

System Requirements

  • 3CX v15 - For the PBX and the STD edition download the 3CXPlugins. For the PRO edition you can download it within the management console.
  • The 3CX client for Windows installed and running
  • Microsoft Outlook versions 2010, 2013, 2016 ONLY

Deploying the Microsoft Outlook Integration

In order to deploy the Microsoft Outlook integration to your users, please follow these steps:

  1. From the 3CX Management Console you need to download the plugin from the 3CX update server to your 3CX server. Go to “Dashboard > Updates” Page. From the Integration category select “Outlook” and press “Download.”
  2. To assign the Microsoft Outlook plugin to an Extension, go to the Extensions page from the management console. Select the extension and click Edit, then navigate to the Integration tab. Enable “Integration” and select the from the list.
  3. Repeat the previous step for each extension you need to be set with Microsoft Outlook integration.

After completing these steps, and once the 3CX client is provisioned, the integration package will be received from the 3CX server and will be ready for use by the extension.

Installing the Microsoft Outlook add-in

During the first time the 3CX client starts and loads the plugin after provisioning, it will register an add-in to be installed in Microsoft Outlook. As a result, when you open Microsoft Outlook the first time, you will see the following dialog.

Press Install and the 3CX add-in will start running inside Microsoft Outlook.

Configuring the Microsoft Outlook Plugin

In order to open the configuration dialog, press the Settings button from the 3CX client for Windows.


Select the Advanced Settings” and then click Integration.” The configuration dialog will be shown.

General configuration

Click on “General” to open the general settings page. Here you can configure when you want to open the contact record in Microsoft Outlook (on ring, on answer, or don’t open it), and if you only want to open the contact record if the Caller ID length is larger than a number of digits (so it’s not launched when another extension is calling you).

Google Contacts 3.png

If you also want to automatically register the call activity in the contact’s journal, you must check the “Enable Journaling” option (only works for Microsoft Outlook 2010). When this option is set, the plugin will add a new journal entry containing information about the call after the call has ended. If you want to create a new contact when the Caller ID is not found, just check the option.

In the Behavior section you can also change the maximum digit length to compare. When an inbound call arrives at your extension, the caller ID may have different formats depending on your PSTN or VoIP Provider. It could have an international format (including the country code), national format (including the region or city code), or local format (including only the local number).

Also, you may have created your contact’s phone numbers in Outlook with prefixes that are not present in the caller ID, such as mobile phone prefixes. In this case, to match the caller ID with the contact’s phone number, you need to specify the maximum digit length to compare parameter. Usually this parameter should be the length of your local phone number.

The Microsoft Outlook plugin will compare the final number digits of the Caller ID with the final number digits that appear in your contact’s phone number. If you configure this parameter to compare a high number of digits, there's a greater chance that the Caller ID will match up with the contact, but it's possible that the Caller ID will not always match up with a contact. If you configure the maximum digit length to compare to a lower number of digits, you get less accuracy when matching the Caller ID with your contacts.

Microsoft Outlook configuration

Click on “Microsoft Outlook” to select which personal contact folders, or even public folders, to use for contact matching. Select as many as you want but take note that the more you select, the slower the caller ID matching will be.

Check the “Show Folder Selection Dialog” to enable the option to choose in which contact folder to create the contact when it’s not found.

If the add-in for Microsoft Outlook has not installed yet, or Microsoft Outlook is not running, you will see the following error message when you try to access this configuration page.

Inbound Calls

When an inbound call arrives to your extension, the contact record will be shown by Microsoft Outlook. If a contact is not matched and the option “Create new contacts if not found” is checked, a new contact will be created and shown so you can update its details.

Track All Calls with Microsoft Outlook’s Journal

Note: This option only works on Microsoft Outlook 2010. This feature is not available in Outlook 2013 and onwards because the journal has been deprecated in that version.

When the “Enable Journaling” option is checked, all inbound, outbound and missed calls will automatically be logged in Outlook’s journal and shown in the activities tab for that contact.

View all in-bound, out-bound and missed calls per contact using Outlook's journal

Launching Calls from Microsoft Outlook

In order to launch calls from Microsoft Outlook use the context menus and toolbar buttons added by the 3CX add-in:

  1. Open your contact’s section within Outlook.

outlook 5.png

  1. Right click on the contact you want to call and select “Call Contact with 3CX”. The call will be set up directly on your phone.

outlook 6.png


Outlook Contact Folder not listed in the configuration dialog

In order to identify which Outlook folder contains contacts, the Outlook add-in needs to iterate all the folders. In most installations this is done very quickly, but in some big installations, and specially when Exchange is involved, this may result in a heavy task, raising the CPU usage and turning Outlook unresponsive. Also, in most cases, the contacts folders are located in the first level of the folder tree, and therefore it makes no sense to look for contact folders deeper. Because of this, the Outlook add-in looks for contacts folders only in the first level by default. But if you have contacts folders in a deeper location, they will not be detected by the Outlook add-in, and as a result they will not be listed in the configuration dialog.

This behavior can be changed by editing the configuration file "%AppData%\3CXPhone for Windows\3CXCRMUser.ini", and setting the value of the following parameter:

[Microsoft Outlook Add-in]


For example, if you have 2 contact folders:



And ContactFolderLookupMaxDeepLevel=1 (default value if not set), the configuration dialog will only show:


But if you set ContactFolderLookupMaxDeepLevel=3, both folders will be shown.

You should keep that parameter as small as possible, because larger values will cause a larger iteration, and possibly turn Outlook unresponsive for a while. But if your desired contact folder is not being shown, you can increase the value of this parameter to solve the issue.

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Ask a Question

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Technical support or pre sales questions must be posted via the support or sales channels and such comments will be deleted. Thank you for understanding

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  1. some people put spaces in there phone number. when 3cx automatically dials it turns spaces into 0 how do i change this?

    February 16, 2016 at 3:36 am Reply
    • Charalambos Eleftheriou

      @Steven, thanks for the question. Are the spaces you mention in the outlook contact? As this should not be the case. Spaces will simply be ignored when dialling using the 3CX Plugins to dial from an Outlook contact.

      February 16, 2016 at 9:31 am
  2. David

    Is the above outlook plugin, for 3cx ver. 12.5 also?

    March 30, 2016 at 8:02 pm Reply
    • Charalambos Eleftheriou

      @David, The plugins are for v14 only we do not have older versions available for download.

      March 31, 2016 at 4:03 pm
  3. Jon

    Are there command line switches that can be used to deploy the Outlook plugin through a gpo? I’d like to install the outlook plugin and set the configuration to open contact on answer and only for id length larger than 6

    April 4, 2016 at 7:56 pm Reply
    • Charalambos Eleftheriou

      @Jon, We do not have any specific documentation on deploying via GPO. Although the configuration of the plugin needs to be done per install on the actual machine separately.

      April 5, 2016 at 3:29 pm
  4. Cristen

    I installed in on Microsoft Outlook but only a select few contacts have the “Call Contact with 3CX” option when I right click the contact. It is visible with the other contacts, but not clickable. Why is that and how can I change it?

    April 13, 2016 at 5:59 pm Reply
    • Cristen

      Also where do I find the journal in Outlook. Can’t find it anywhere?

      April 13, 2016 at 6:02 pm
    • Charalambos Eleftheriou

      @Cristen, please consult your Microsoft documentation on how to enable journalling within Outlook.

      April 14, 2016 at 3:05 pm
    • Charalambos Eleftheriou

      @Cristen,Thanks for the question. Please make sure that the numbers that you have typed into the contacts are actually visible when looking at contacts using the Business Card View within Outlook.

      April 14, 2016 at 3:41 pm
  5. Alistair Austin

    Hello We have this plugin on ver 12.5 and we where able to configure it to work with both Outlook 2010 and our main database which uses a tapi driver to dail and bring up contacts.
    It seem we now can onlt configure to to one with one or the other is there a way we can get it work with both as it did before please

    April 27, 2016 at 4:54 pm Reply
    • Charalambos Eleftheriou

      @Alistair, The plugins available for download are for v14 only. Tapi and Outlook have been separated, it is not possible to have both at the same time. You may though use the Director service at server level for main database and then outlook integration or tapi only at client level.

      April 27, 2016 at 7:49 pm
  6. Alistair Austin

    @Charalambos May I ask what is “Director Service at Service level

    May 5, 2016 at 4:04 pm Reply
  7. Florian


    we are using the 3CX 12.5 with 3CX SoftPhone Client 12.5. After i successfully installed the 3CX Outlook Plugin (also it is been loaded in Outlook) – i can not call a contact. The ribbon bar has a new entry with “3CX” and when i select a contact i get the available telephone numbers (office, home, etc..) BUT they are greyed out and disabled, at every contact. also the right click context menu has the “call contact with 3CX” but it is disabled…

    June 9, 2016 at 9:40 am Reply
    • Charalambos Eleftheriou

      @Florian, Thanks for the question. Unfortunately due to the limitation of these in page comments we are unable to offer direct support for issues that require investigation to resolve. Please contact your 3CX reseller/partner or distributor to open a ticket with our support team or you can even purchase a support contract so that you can contact support yourself then we can have look into this for you as it sounds like a configuration issue on your side. You can also post in our user forums, Please find our forums here:

      June 9, 2016 at 10:31 am
  8. Peter2

    I imported contacts from Outlook, and they are displayed as

    Given Name / Familyname:
    James Dean
    Marilyn Monroe

    Can it be changed to:
    Dean James
    Monroe Marilyn

    December 6, 2016 at 2:12 pm Reply