Pushing Outlook Categories to All Users

I needed to push a uniform set of categories to all users so that they could use the same set when categorizing Contacts in Outlook. This would facilitate the gathering up of information for marketing purposes. For example, we could then search across all mailboxes for Contacts in the Alternative Energy category.


Just like you I head to my trusted internet sources when doing something I’ve never done before. In this case the solution was provided by a very nice write up slipstick.com. I have been a slipstick.com fan since the beginning of my career, which is gosh pretty much when the Internet was born, well not born but certainly back to when it became useful.  

http://www.slipstick.com/outlook/outlook-categories-and-color-categories/ is the post that I recommend.

To deploy your group policy you will need your categories in comma delimited of semi-colon delimited format. I use comma delimited in Notepad so I could easily paste them into the group policy.

If you haven’t already installed the group policy template files into your DC, then you’ll need to do that first. Here’s the download pages for Office 2010 and Office 2013 group policy template files.

Office 2010 http://www.microsoft.com/en-us/download/details.aspx?id=18968

Office 2013 http://www.microsoft.com/en-us/download/details.aspx?id=35554

Once you have the templates installed you will add your additional categories under Miscellaneous. The whole path to this location is User – Policies – Administrative Templates – Outlook 2013 (or Outlook 2010 or both) –  Miscellaneous – Add New Categories


Originally posted in 2015 this popular post was migrated over from our previous blog

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