Office 2013 Tips: Outlook Social Connector – LinkedIn

The Outlook Social Connector lets you see profiles and updates for people that send you email. The connector is available as a download for earlier versions of Outlook, but with Outlook 2013 it is included out of the box. I have found the using the Outlook Social Connector for LinkedIn to be very valuable, and it think it will be for you too. Even if you are not an avid user of LinkedIn and you don’t have many connections, this connector will pull information from anyone out there with a public profile (which is most folks). Let’s say that you get an email from a vendor or someone you met at a conference. You kind of remember talking to them, but you’re not totally sure. With the Outlook Social Connector connected to LinkedIn, now you can see their picture. And if you are like me you often forget names, but having a picture can help connect the dots. Ok, let’s take a look.

First things first. Getting the Outlook Social Connector connected.

  1. Open Outlook 2013 and click on the File menu in the top left corner.
  2. The Info tab will open by default and at the top you’ll see an Account Settings box. Click that.
  3. In the pop-up you’ll see an option for Social Network Accounts. Click that.
  4. Select LinkedIn and provide you username and password. And you’re all set!

Now that you have it connected let’s look at some of the features.

  1. The most obvious change will be the appearance of pictures for contacts that send you emails. If you open an email that the connector is able to find a LinkedIn profile for you’ll also see additional information in the bottom pane of the email message (known as the People Pane), including their recent activity on LinkedIn. If there are multiple recipients as a part of the email, you will be able to look at the other contacts also.
  2. While exploring the People Pane you’ll be able to expand it by clicking the arrow on the right hand side. This will expose addition tabs including What’s New, Mail, Attachments, and Meetings. These can all come in handy when you are trying to look back at your previous communication with the contact.
  3. There are several other places within the Outlook interface that you’ll notice the LinkedIn content (i.e. under Contacts), but the last one I will point out in the post is the users Contact Card. If you right-click the name of the contact you’ll get a set of basic information. On the lower right you’ll see a small arrow allowing you to open the Contact Card for the user. Once open you’ll notice the What’s New section that reflects the same information we saw in the What’s New section in step 2.

I hope you find this connector as valuable as I do!

For more information on what’s new in Outlook 2013 I found this site helpful:


25 thoughts on “Office 2013 Tips: Outlook Social Connector – LinkedIn

  1. Office 2013 Tips: Outlook Social Connector | DiscVentionsTech

  2. Hey Chris —

    Thanks of the post.

    Do you by chance know where the “Send LinkedIn Inventation” button / functionality went in 2013? In 2010, if you were not LinkedIn with someone, and “Add” button would appear below their picture. I don’t see that in 2013.

    Thanks again.

      • I * just * happened to stumble onto it. It’s * really * hidden:

        > Hover over the picture to have the “mini contact card” open.
        > Click on the “down carrot” to open the full Contact Card.
        > Click on the ellipsis way out to the right.
        > Click on or hover on the option “Add to Social Network.”
        > LinkedIn appears.

        I * just * don’t think they could have hidden it any further! 😉 Sure was more handy in 2010.

        Thanks again for the post. Chris.

  3. Chris, when you send a connection request through Outlook Social connector – is it possible to change the generic message that gets sent? I hate sending generic emails when I connect with people in my network.

    Please advise if you know.


  4. no matter WHAT I do my profile picture from linked in does not show up to others. I do see other people in our organization with their picture. I have tried everything I can think of making sure my profile on linked in is public. Any help would be appreciated.

    • There is another setting you need to click on. It’s call make my profile photo visible to my connections, no one, or anyone etc.

      Step 1. Login
      Step 2. Click on Privacy/Settings – Review
      Step 3. You may have to enter your password
      Step 4. Under Privacy controls, click on “Change your profile photo & visibility”
      Step 5. Change it to “Everyone.”


  5. Chris, when you edit the contact card for LinkedIn contacts, does it sync the new information with your contact in LinkedIn (you know how you can add information for your eyes only for a contact in LinkedIn), or sync in any way?

    • This is really a one-way sync as far as I’m aware. With the new version of LinkedIn Contacts, I’d hope that the connector will be improved upon in the future though.

      • @cjstanley, I doubt they will improve the interface considering what LinkedIn is quietly doing on the .com website. Did you see they quietly removed the activity page from your profile? This is a more compelling reason to use the social connector for outlook!

  6. Social Media and Profile Photos | MarkjOwen's Blog

  7. Okay, once you have turned this connection on, how do you turn it off. There seems to be no way to “uncheck” Linkedin once it has been checked.

    • I do not have an x where your picture shows in step four, thus I am not allowed to delete it. I need to change my password and email for my linked in outlook connector. However I do not seem to have any options to do so and after the going back and forth with linkedin they have pretty much thrown in the towel. I am using outlook 2013 included with office pro.

  8. LinkedIn informed me today 3/2 that on March 9, we will no longer support LinkedIn for Microsoft Outlook Social Connector in Outlook 2003, 2007, and 2010. This means that LinkedIn information about your email contacts will not be visible in those Outlook versions.

    Our team is working with Microsoft to build even more powerful tools to help you stay connected with your professional world. Until then you can get similar capabilities with the “LinkedIn for Outlook” app for Outlook 2013 from the Office Store.

    Only the office 2013 version will work after 3/9/15

    • Interesting. Hopefully with the focused support of Office 2013 the connector will be able to be better supported and we may see some feature enhancements.

  9. Hi! For some reason LinkedIn isn’t showing up as an option in my Social Networking settings and I’m not sure why. When I first started it showed up and for quite some time, but now it’s disappeared. Would you happen to have an idea why it would vanish?

    • It looks like they’ve pulled the connector as a part of update KB2737996. The article says you can re-enable the add-in via a registry entry, but after doing so it seems that it will not authenticate. Bummer!
      There is a Office App alternative called LinkedIn for Outlook, but it leaves a lot to be desired. Many are reporting that searching for contacts doesn’t work correctly with it enabled. Hopefully that will get better with time.
      Maybe consider submitting feedback to LinkedIn?

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