Updating Multiple Items in Outlook with a Common Value
Quite frequently we have the requirement in Outlook where we have to update several items in a folder with the same value. For example we may want to update several contacts with the same Category value. As it turns out there is an easier way to achieve this than opening each item individually and editing the relevant field. Download the Article in PDF Format

Imagine we have the following list of contacts:

I notice that of the 15 or so contacts, 2 have their country correctly entered as “United States of America”. The balance has their country recorded as “USA”. We want them all to be consistently updated as “United States of America”, and do not want to have to open each item in turn and edit the Country field.

Follow these steps to update the Country field for all contacts to “United States of America”. Note these steps assume that you already have the Country field showing in your View. For more details on creating and editing Views please see the following document:

Profiling Contacts with the Outlook Forms Designer (2)

In brief, what you do to add the Country/Region Field to your view is to right click on the Header Columns of the View, select Field Chooser, select Country/Region from the Frequently-used fields and drag this field onto your View.

  1. Group the contacts by Country, by clicking on the Group By box. This is on the Advanced Toolbar. (If your Advanced Toolbar is not displayed, click View->Toolbars->Advanced from the main Outlook menu bar):

  2. Drag the Country/Region field from the main view into the Grouping bar:

  3. Highlight all the contacts in the USA group by selecting the group header. Drag these contacts
    onto the group entitled Country/Region: United States of America. You should see a tool tip displayed “Change Country/Region to United States of America” indicating that this field will be updated:

  4. Drop the contacts on to the group. They should now all appear under the United States of America group:


This technique may be used to update any field in any Outlook folder with a common value, and so is a great time-saver when cleaning up your database, organizing your contacts, etc.