Creating a shared directory of external contacts In Zoom App


  • A desk phone’s internal contact directory cannot be viewed in this way. Check out the desk phone features list for more information.
  • The shared directory is not accessible on desk phones that are provisioned. To learn more, please refer to the limitations.

It is possible for account owners and administrators to create a shared external contact directory. With Zoom’s desktop client or mobile app, users are able to access the shared directory from their phones. On the Contacts tab, external contacts are listed under the Imported Contacts contact group.

Zoom Phone can connect with an external PBX provider when creating a directory.

These scenarios can make use of this feature:

  • You can migrate a portion of your customers to Zoom Phone, then import their contacts. This method works when you have a large number of users who need to be migrated.
  • A third-party phone service is required by your organization. Your organization may have an outsourced call center where your employees can easily contact. By importing contacts, your employees can easily reach out to the call center.

Prerequisites for creating a shared directory of external contacts

  • Account type: Business, Education, or Pro
  • Ownership or admin rights on the account
  • License for Zoom Phone

Limitations for creating a shared directory of external contacts

Take note of these limitations when creating a shared directory:

  • If your account does not use BYOP, call history and voicemail logs will not include the names of the contacts (as specified in the CSV file). Your account must use BYOP if the names of the contacts are to be displayed.
  • The Phone tab (desktop client or mobile app) lets users search for contacts above the dial pad by their phone number.
  • This feature is not available on desk phones.
  • Everyone in the account can see contacts. Site-wide shared directories cannot be created.

How to create SIP groups (optional)


Zoom has enabled SIP groups and set up SIP trunks for you to enable SIP groups. If you would like to create SIP groups, you will need to contact Zoom.

It is possible to configure multiple third-party providers by configuring SIP groups. Zoom Phone users can now use a third-party provider (the third-party provider in this case) to make calls to imported contacts.

  1. Join the Zoom web portal by signing in with your Zoom username and password.
  2. Select Phone System Management from the left-hand menu, then click Company Info from the right-hand menu.
  3. On the following screen, select Account Settings from the left-hand menu.
  4. Next, select the Routing section in the left-hand menu.
  5. Then click on Manage under the SIP Groups section.
  6. Click on Add and fill in the information as follows:
    • Name:
    • For the SIP group, please enter a display name.
    • SIP Trunk:
    • This is the SIP trunk that will be used to make outgoing calls.
    • Description (Optional):
    • If you would like to provide a brief description of the group, please do so.
  7. Please click Save.

How to add a contact

To add one contact at a time, please follow these steps.

  1. Join the Zoom online portal by logging into your account.
  2. You will find the company information link in the menu under Phone System Management.
  3. On the top of the screen, you will find the Account Settings link.
  4. From the list of options, you will select External Contacts.
  5. Click on the Add button.
  6. Enter the details of the contact.

How to add contacts using a CSV file

A CSV file can be imported in order to create multiple contacts at once.

How to create a CSV file

  1. Log in to Zoom’s web portal by clicking on this link.
  2. Then, you will find the phone system management menu item, then the information about your company will appear.
  3. To set up an account, click the drop down menu next to Account Information.
  4. Select External Contacts from the drop down menu.
  5. Select Import from the drop down menu.
  6. You can view the fields with the CSV Sample button.
  7. Click on Download.
  8. Once the CSV sample file has been downloaded, open it through spreadsheet software such as Microsoft Excel.
  9. Input the contact information into the fields of the CSV sample.

How to import a CSV file

  1. Register for a Zoom account by logging in to the Zoom website.
  2. Then, click on Phone System Management in the navigation menu, then choose Company Information from the drop-down list.
  3. Afterwards, click on Account Settings in the top right corner of the page.
  4. From here, click on External Contacts.
  5. After that, click Import.
  6. Choose the CSV file you just created and click Upload.

Contact fields definition

When you create contacts for the shared directory, you can specify the following information:

  • ID: An identifier that uniquely identifies a contact.
    • The field should be left blank if the contact does not have a SIP group. The sequential group number is automatically assigned by Zoom as the contact ID.
    • The primary key of a SIP group can be used if it is present in the original phone system.
  • Name (Required): A display name for the contact. It is shown to other users of the phone when it is displayed.
  • Email: An email address for the contact. Phone users will see this when they call the contact.
  • Extension Number (required if there isn’t a phone number): In the original phone system, this is the extension number of the contact. If there is an extension number already registered with your account, verify that it is not duplicated. The extension number must be added to a SIP group so phone users can use the extension number to reach this contact.
  • Phone Number (required if there isn’t an extension number): Enter the contact’s telephone number as it appears in the E.164 format. Separate more than one phone number with commas. You do not need to use spaces or dashes when you export E.164 format (an example is given below):
    1. Country code
    2. Area code
    3. Phone number
  • Description: Describes the contact so that you can identify them. Descriptions are not visible to everyone on the phone.
  • Routing Path: A path for incoming calls to global contacts.
    Note: Zoom uses your routing rules if you do not specify a routing path.

    • PSTN should be selected if there are no SIP groups.
    • Creating a SIP group is a quick and easy way to route outgoing calls using your SIP trunk when you have one. Upon importing the CSV file, you will be able to assign or modify the SIP group of each contact.

An explanation of how you can make use of the shared directory

Admins and phone users are given access to several features that allow them to take advantage of external contacts which will be shared by the directory:


  • It is possible to customize how inbound calls are handled by the phone user, so that inbound calls are forwarded to external contacts
  • Configure the settings for auto receptionists, call queues, and shared line groups so that inbound calls will be routed to external contacts

Phone users

  • In the Phone tab (Zoom clients for desktop or mobile phones), search for the contact’s name, extension or direct number to call outside contacts in the shared contact directory.
  • The call will be transferred to the contact in the shared contact directory.
  • The contact can customise their settings to forward inbound calls to other people they know or trust.

Read it also –

Getting Started With Zoom Contact Center Admins
Changing Zoom Contact Center Account Settings
Emergency Contact Settings And Calls In Zoom Phone
Viewing Zoom Contact Center Real Time Analytics
Managing Zoom Contact Center Phone Numbers

Frequently Asked Questions


How do you add external contacts to Zoom?

Adding a new contact is one of the easiest things to do

  1. Using Zoom’s desktop client, sign in to your account.

  2. The Contacts tab can be found by clicking the button below.

  3. Select Invite a Zoom contact from the drop-down menu after clicking on the add button.

  4. In order to add a contact to your account, please enter their email address.

  5. Invite your friends by clicking the button below.

  6. If there are any other contacts you wish to add, repeat the process.

What does external mean on Zoom contacts?

You can add an ‘External Contact’ to the system manually, by sending them an e-mail so that they can be added if they are available to be included or if they send you an e-mail telling you that they are available for inclusion if they are available to be included. In the Zoom marketplace, you can find a variety of applications that are available for download. Cloud contacts can be viewed as address books created using some other cloud-based service, such as Google, or from address books created using another cloud-based service, such as Outlook.

How do I export my Zoom contacts?

The process for exporting a contact is as simple as selecting the export icon located above your search results, and clicking on the checkbox next to the contact’s profile you wish to export in order to export that contact’s profile. If you do not already have this contact added to your My Contacts account, then you will be charged one credit for each contact you export.

How do I create a Zoom folder?

An overview of the folder creation process

  1. The Zoom mobile app requires you to sign in before you can access it.

  2. Click on the tab that says Team Chat in the menu.

  3. Immediately underneath the Starred section, there is an option for Folders that can be selected.

  4. Tap the button in the upper-right corner of the screen.

  5. Tap Next after providing a name for the folder you would like to create.

  6. In this new folder, you can add any contacts or channels that you wish to be included. …

  7. Click on the Create button.

Where is the contact list in Zoom?

There will be a need for approval from the contact before they will be able to meet instantly with you or chat with you. Sign in with your Zoom account on the Zoom desktop client by opening the Zoom desktop client. When you click on the Team Chat tab, you will find the Team Chat tab on the left side of the screen. Located on the left-side chat panel, between the search bar and the chat icon, you will find an icon that allows you to initiate a contact request.

Related Articles

Creating An Event For A Zoom Events Hub
Creating An Onzoom Event Series
Creating An Interactive Voice Response Ivr System In Zoom App
Creating And Using Chat Channels In Zoom
Creating Or Editing Synced Contacts In Zoom App
Creating Templates For Phone Settings In Zoom
Creating A Dial By Name Directory In Zoom App
Creating A Zoom Events Hub
Creating Webinar Registration Tracking Links In Zoom App
Creating A Zoom Events Conference
Creating An On Zoom Host Public Profile Url