Does Microsoft Teams use Global Address List (organization) contacts?

Iron Contributor



I have a bunch of contacts in the Global Address List with all their contact details, like email, telephone numbers, mobile numbers, etc. 


I have a calling plan. So I'm able to call anyone with a phone number.


But I can't find an option in Microsoft Teams to view my organizations contacts (the Global Address List). I can see my own personal contacts (from Outlook), but that is not what I'm looking for.


Is this possible yet and is there something with my tenant (or teams settings / policies) or is this not possible in Microsoft Teams. My question is.... Why not?

23 Replies
best response confirmed by ThereseSolimeno (Microsoft)

You can search for people in your organisation but there is no address book were you can list all persons in your organisation. You search in the search bar.



You can also search for contacts in your own contact list from outlook. Calls > Contacts > Find a contact



Why there is no address book in Teams like in Outlook? I guess that it has not been requested enough for Microsoft to create it. But there is a uservoice requesting this, vote for it and spread it and Microsoft might consider to implement it.

we have 100's of people, adding them one by one in contacts is tough.@Linus Cansby 

@Mik Hartel Sorry about that. Vote for the uservoice, talk to Microsoft contacts like your SDM. Promote this uservoice on social media to get others to vote for it and get attention from Microsoft. I think it is a good feature that will be useful in Teams.

@Linus Cansby 

Obviously I'm missing something here. The whole point of MS teams was (I thought) to seamlessly connect different parts of business life and to get to use a video conferencing/file upload programme. How do I do that if I can't add users from outside the organisation and inside the organisation?

You can add internal contacts by searching for them. Click on the new chat icon and type the name of the person you want to contact. If it is an external user just type their full email address.

This topic was about the question to have a central managed address book.
I'm surprised nobody has suggested using /org "name here" to search your tenant. Doing this /org search and using a persons name will allow navigating the structure of tenant if Reporting Managers are set in Azure. Even if it is not Using /org and name will pull details for contact.

@Forrest Hoffman Thanks for the /org command. I think this is very useful for larger company's. I'm just a 3 user company, so it will only find my 2 employees ;)


Though the /org command will search inside your organisation, it will not show Mail Contacts (the Organisation Contacts). Second, you need to know the name of the person. My complaint was about this:

- I want to see a list, so I can find the person even if I don't know his name or only part of it.

- I want to see my organisation contacts. So I can manage my contacts there and my two employees have access to correct address, phone numbers and mail addresses.

- Microsoft has a central place for it, the global address list, but Teams seems to ignore it (except for the /org command). So even when someone is calling me and their phone number is in my GAL, it will not show these details....


(and yes, I know I can share my outlook contacts with them, but that's not what I want)


Sorry , Did not read that from the above post and assumed you were in a larger tenant. Not sure how you could search for someone without name unless you are searching phone number or e-mail address. It sounds to me like you are trying to establish some sort of Caller-ID or Customer DB for CRM type of use. If you are not adding mass contacts you may be able to implement a workaround using Excel tab or SharePoint List as a tab in the Team.
We ran into similar problems for our staff because Teams does not have any method to import CSV files to establish Contacts or Chat Groups.
I will also tell you that even if the Contact is in your Contacts the identification of calls is very lagging and in-consistent. For example; I have a PSTN calling plan with my Team account and the Microsoft Support number is in my Contacts. However when they call me, the Caller ID does not work and does not indicate the name , just the number. Sometimes it doesn't even update the Call History with the Name until after I have disconnected the call.

@Michiel van den Broek I found another setting in the Teams Admin portal. Maybe you can slide this switch to On for Exchange search policy.

Annotation 2020-03-31 130845.png

@Forrest Hoffman Reading the documentation on this setting I don't think its suitable for this scenario

Hi @Forrest Hoffman, thanks for thinking along. The setting you mention, as @Aragorn  says, is to limit the search results. 

I suppose you both are correct.  I was thinking maybe it was a setting similar to others that is restrictive if not configured.        In the docs referenced above it has;

"For all of these example scenarios (and more), information barrier policies can be defined to prevent or allow communications in Microsoft Teams. Such policies can prevent people from calling or chatting with those they shouldn't, or enable people to communicate only with specific groups in Microsoft Teams." 

Regardless, I hope you can find a solution that does want you want.

@Mik Hartel 

It's beyond retarded. 


Dev: Maybe we should grab the Address info that admins fill out when they create accounts. People might find that useful.


MS Boss: Nah, who need to see a list of people they work with in chat interface?????????

@Forrest Hoffman is there a powershell command to hide a Team (Teams) from the Global address book?  I tried the following [Set-UnifiedGroup -Identity "IT Docs" -AccessType Private]


Still there; I also tried [ Set-MailContact -Identity -HiddenFromAddressListEnabled $true


it is also still there.


Any ideas?

Check again tomorrow. Many of the configuration changes seem to take several hours.
One of the many things that will frustrate you in managing Teams.
By default now new Teams created are hidden from the GAL. If you have any that's not hidden then you can run the following in the Exchange Online PowerShell module.

Set-UnifiedGroup -Identity “MyTeam” -HiddenFromAddressListsEnabled $true
That's so annoying. Without a shared / global address book, we lack the resolution of the caller ID for more than 10k contacts for incoming calls. For outgoing calls, we can build a teams app, but what about the toast notification for incoming calls? 🤷‍:male_sign:

@Michiel van den Broek 


I know I'm late but another method is to open the Global Address book from Outlook through the Peoples icon next to the Meeting icon. Under "Find" open the "Global Address Book" and either click each individually or select all with keyboard commands and click "Add to Contacts".


Have you or anyone figured out how to import Microsoft Teams number to the GAL? without doing it manually?

Was there any update on this since Jan 2021?
Its almost 2022 and this is still an issue as far as I can tell, and was hoping that anyone had any other work arounds, or third party apps filling this gap?