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Old 08-27-2017, 02:23 PM   #1
Join Date: Jun 2014
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Angry Mail Merge error when using Outlook contacts

I am not sure if this is an outlook or word issue, so thought I would post it here first.

I am using Office 365 with the latest updates, so am effectively running office 2016 on a 64bit installation of Windows 10.

I am doing this on my personal PC so do not have an exchange server to contend with....


I have after much trial and error managed to set up outlook to connect to a gmail account.

I needed to do this as Outlook would not let me use it without setting up a mail account connection first.

None of my gmail contacts have imported so, I have exported them from Gmail to a CSV and have then imported them into Oulook - all well and good.


I am trying to run a mail merge initiated from Word, using Outlook for the contacts. I am familiar with Mail Merge and have never had a problem with it in the past (although that was on a works computer using contacts generated in Outlook, and not imported)

When I try to connect to Outlook I get the usual popup asking me to chose the Profile Name - there is only one choice - Outlook.

After this is selected - i get the following error

and this is as far as i can get.

I have done a clean reinstall of office, so its not an installation issue.

Could it be something to do with how / where the contacts have imported into?

Is there something I should set up in Outlook to enable linking from Word - seems unlikely but worth asking.

Is it something I have missed in Words mail merge features - i have tried using both the wizard and manual connections...

and lastly - I have tried running the merge direct to a CSV file and htis works great, and if I run the merge from Outlook this also works ok -so its something to do with word....

I need to sort this as this is taking up a lot of my time - I also want to use Word as the initiator of mail merges as this makes more sense to me... and is how i have been doing things for years...

Any help gratefully appreciated.

Last edited by GreenBoy; 08-28-2017 at 01:50 AM. Reason: Solved
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Old 08-27-2017, 09:20 PM   #2
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A Word mailmerge works with gmail provided you have Outlook installed; you don't need to use Outlook.

Your post's images just display as X, so I can't tell what they contain.
Paul Edstein
[MS MVP - Word]
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Old 08-28-2017, 01:04 AM   #3
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Hi Macropod, and thanks for the response.

Not sure what happened with the images - the links are to my google photos - the fist is just a screenshot of the dialog asking to select a profile - only one option available - Outlook, and the second is the Error message which states "unable to obtain list of tables from the source data", so your not missing much by not seeing them...

I know I can use Word to mail merge from a CSV file from any source, not just gmail, but what I am trying to do is set up Outlook and Word to work together properly as I have been asked to put together some training material for a company showing how to use mail merge - initiated from Word (i appreciate the LOL's given I cant set up Outlook and Word to play together in the first instance!!!). The issue I have is I cannot get it to work on my personal computer as I am not on a business server.

So -in short:
Installed Office - Check
Setup gmail account as default account on Outlook - Check
Sync mails successfully - Check
Create contacts in CSV file - Check
Import into Outlook successfully with fully mapped fields - Check

Start Word mail merge - check
Setup base document for merge - check
Select Recipients from Outlook - ERROR

As stated in my first post - I can successfully run a mail merge if initiated from Outlook, so the data is not corrupt, it appears to be a connection issue from Word to Outlook...

Thanks again for the response - I will continue struggling until I solve this.
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Old 08-28-2017, 01:49 AM   #4
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*** UPDATE ***

I have added an additional account to Outlook, using a new email address from and imported contacts again into Outlook - and this time everything works fine.

It therefore appears to me that there is an issue with importing the contacts over the location they are being saved to - somewhat annoying given the options are the default 'Contacts' folder...

Anyhow this has been solved.

For other reading this - if you are setting up outlook try not to use it to link directly with gmail - its a world of pain.

Now I can return to my scheduled task of carrying out mail merges from Word.

Thanks for all your help.
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mail merge, word 2016

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