How-To Geek

Fix for New Contact Group Button Not Displaying in Vista

Reader Jeffrey wrote in with a problem – The New Contact Group button wasn’t showing up when he went into his Vista Contacts folder. After checking, I noticed I had the same exact problem.

Turns out the problem is that Vista thought my Contacts folder was a picture folder for some unknown reason.

Notice how the button is completely missing from the toolbar.


To change the folder so that Vista realizes it’s a contacts folder, right-click anywhere in the folder, and then choose Customize This Folder from the menu.


Now from the Customize tab, change the “Use this folder type as a template” to Contacts instead of Pictures, or whatever it was set to.


Now when you look at your Contacts folder, you’ll see the New Contact Group button as well as the other relevant buttons.


There should really be some better logic to determine the folder type.

Lowell Heddings, better known online as the How-To Geek, spends all his free time bringing you fresh geekery on a daily basis. You can follow him on if you'd like.

  • Published 07/12/07

Comments (73)

  1. Jeff

    It worked like a charm! Thanks! (And shame on Vista!!)

  2. michael

    Many thanks. That is the answer I needed.

  3. Diane

    Once again you solved another Vista mystery! Thanks!!!!

  4. Paul

    Thank you so much! How silly was that? I used vista help but…
    Thanks again!

  5. Hugo

    So easy, so simple… Shame on Microsoft and their Helps.
    Thank you so much!!

  6. Christina

    thanks so much. so many bugs so little experience!!

  7. lesley

    Thanks for the simple solution and easy to follow instructions to fix

  8. ram

    thanks, what a cool experience
    now new contact group button show, very easy solution

    thanks again


  9. Pat

    A Fantastic Resolution. I would never have found it. Many Thanks. Pat

  10. southbeach

    That was it!

    I hate vista.

    Thanks, for the help!

  11. Suzanne

    thank you so much. I have been looking everywhere for how to do this and you solved it very easily.
    suzanne :o)

  12. Tripp

    Worked perfectly! Unfortunately, Vista Help didn’t help. Thanks.

  13. Irma

    Great job done the answer I needed

  14. Carolyn

    I found it almost by accident…one more warped thought process in the design of Vista…
    I found your excellent solution and description after I’d stumbled on the answer.
    Thanks for helping folks to stop pulling out their hair.

  15. Barb

    You ARE the man! Thank you! Thank you! Thank you!

  16. Doug Ragan

    Thank you for knowing more about Windows Vista than every single person who currently works for Microsoft.

  17. The Geek

    Thanks for all the compliments =)

    I’m glad I could help!

  18. AP

    Thank you for posting this fix!

  19. Catbear

    Thanks for this help. This was really frustrating me

  20. PatriciaPix

    The Geek, you’re not so geeky. You rock! Thank you for telling us what Microsoft doesn’t!

  21. Henning Bruun

    Thank you. I hate vista.

  22. Paul P

    Hey, you just saved me hours of trying to work it out, Many, many thanks!

  23. Mary B.

    Is there a reason that Microsoft doesn’t bother to put this information on THEIR support site??!

  24. RICK

    Thanks so much! I was spending too much time trying to figure it out.
    Hope you don’t mind if I check with you for any future problem?


  25. Art

    Wow! That was too easy to fix – and to think of all the hoops I was jumping through with Microsoft Vista Helps and their not-so-friendly “support” website!

  26. The Carpenter

    Finally! I’ve been looking for a fix for this for months! Thank you.

  27. Frank

    After a hour of hair pulling you are a genious


  28. Chris

    I have just bought a new computer with Vista for home…have been using XP at both work and home and was feeling a bit lost in Vista. Love your site, I can understand it.

  29. ab

    This solved a problem I also experienced since vista installed. I had to go into restore area to select contact. Thanks heaps

  30. marc

    You rock man

  31. Rens

    This Contact Group problem really annoyed me, no thanks to the Vista help either because they don’t seem to have a clue about any kind of fix for this. Thanks a lot for this extremely simple fix.

  32. david

    thanks, that was REALLY annoying!

  33. allan

    Thank you. Best solution spot I have known. Can not believe that Microsoft does not include this in their own help. Do they not monitor the communities? How can I tell them about this problem and the number of people that struggle with it?

  34. Cindy

    All I can say is Wow!!!! Thank you so much! I spent an hour going round and round trying to figure out where the group contact button was. Again thank you.

  35. Rog

    Thanks, would never have worked that one out in years. Vista!!!!!

  36. Ameta

    you are a genius! thanks so much.

  37. gar

    THANKS! I wouldn’t have ever figured this out – especially when ALL was selected. Thanks soooo much!!!!!!

  38. Carl

    Thanks for the solution to a big pain. I checked all the help files and found nothing.

  39. Rick

    Thanks, it saved me a lot of “research time”. Much appreciated!!

  40. Charnchon

    Thanks a lot! I will try! This is great!

  41. Michael C

    Thank you so much. I was so frustrated and what a relief to get your help!

  42. Sushant

    Genius ….. thank you so much! I spent three hour going round and round trying to figure out how the group contact button will display

  43. Michelle

    Thank you so much, a simple change and viola! It works. Appreciate your time and information!

  44. Jeanette Windle

    Dear Geek:
    I’ve tried following your directions for fixing my absent New Contact Groups on Windows Vista. But mine doesn’t have ‘Customize Folder’ either on the drop-down menu you mention. So what to do now? Help!!

  45. MarkyMarkus

    Another thankful frustrated Vista user thanks you! I am experiencing another similar problem. The “contacts” help in Vista says: “To add individual contacts to a contact group from your existing contacts, click ADD TO CONTACT GROUP.” I do not see this button on the toolbar, though you can drag and drop a contact into a group. Anyone know where that button is?

  46. Paul B.

    Thanks for your suggestion on adding groups to Windows Email. You were the only one I found that had the answer. THANKS AGAIN. I will look here first.

  47. Linda

    And yet another thankful frustrated Vista user thanks you! And I echo another “I hate Vista” contributor. I bought XP and keep saying I’m going to reformat and install it but it’s scary.

  48. Darcee


  49. Jeanette Windle

    I’d like to know how everyone is getting helped with this fix. I too have Vista, but when I right-click, my menu has everything shown except Customize This Folder. Nor can I find that option anywhere else. Any suggestions?

  50. Michael

    Perfect. That is the answer I spent 30 minutes trying to find. Many thanks.

  51. Paul M

    Excellent help. How would be able to find that out, if not for the Geek?

  52. Amanda Parks

    Thank you so much! This fixed the problem AND it was EASY!!!

  53. Michael Fadal

    Thanks for the help!! You saved my keyboard from being bashed in with my forehead!

  54. Pete

    This worked a treat and has been doing my head in for ages ;o) Ta very much!

  55. Linda

    I wasent able to find the contact group, and after reading previous question, it took me 2 minutes to fix the problem

  56. John

    Got my contact buttons back, but I still can’t add a contact!!!! Maybe my contact folder is corrupt??

  57. Ron

    Worked great, Thanks!

  58. Bryan

    After trying to fix the problem for an hour, I discoverd your simple solution. Thank you

  59. Karen

    Thank you so much for this information. I had checked Windows help menu, but could’t find anything helpful. This was so easy.

  60. Ed

    Many thanks for the help on this one. It was drivng me nuts. As for VISTA I curse the day I
    ever wound up with it. I’ll take good old XP any day of the week. GEEK is “tops”

  61. Jean

    Gads. I wasted so much time trying to find this information. HP Technical Support directed me here and poof! All is WELL!!! :o) THANK YOU!!! GEEK is Da Bestest!! XOXOXO

  62. Paige

    Thank you so much, I have spent way too much time trying to figure this one out!!

  63. Carol

    Thanks for this, it worked wonderfully. As above, I spent ages trying to fix it.

  64. Power One

    thanks so much, several click of the mouse and all fixed. How simple and easy!!!!!! No more lots of clicks to send family emails. Again thank you. Deb

  65. Sue

    Awesome, a few clicks and it is fixed. I’m pretty good with a computer, but this one had me stumped.

  66. Elizabeth


  67. pook

    Thanks again for helping with this annoying system! Great explanation.

  68. Ju

    THANK YOU VERY MUCH. So easy when you know how.

  69. Dave

    Excellent help, thanks.

  70. Joe



  71. Kevin

    Needed this today. Thanks. 4 iPhones and we keep track of our contacts by group…. Thanks a ton.

  72. Thomas

    Vista… unbelievable! Thank you for this solution.

  73. Denny

    My Vista Windows Mail folder is filled with individual contacts and right clicking anywhere in the folder does not give me the option of Customizing–got another idea or fix?

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