Troubleshooting for Outlook Template Phrases

Template Phrases can't open the shared templates file


Sometimes you may work peacefully with the Template Phrases for Outlook tool and one day get a message saying that Template Phrases cannot open the shared templates file:
The Template Phrases cannot open the shared templates file dialog.
This may happen whether you do or do not have shared folders. Select your case and follow the instructions below to troubleshoot this.

Case 1: You don’t have any shared folders

Tip. If you are not sure whether you have shared templates, it's very easy to find out. Shared templates are always located at the end of the list and you can identify them by an icon that differs from your personal templates:
Identify the shared folders by the icon.

Check and fix the file location in Options

The error may be caused by a wrong file location indicated in Options. To open it, click the three dots and select Options in the context menu:
In Template Phrases, go to Options.
Go to the Other tab and you'll see the file path:
The file path.

The thing is that this is the path to your private template files only, not the shared ones. We strongly recommend that you do not change the path and store your template files in the default folder. So, if you haven't changed the path intentionally, enter the correct one:

  • If you use single Template Phrases add-in, the default path is:
    C:\Users\USER_NAME\AppData\Roaming\Add-in Express\Template Phrases for Microsoft Outlook
  • If you use Template Phrases as part of Add-ins Collection for Outlook, the default path is:
    C:\Users\USER_NAME\AppData\Roaming\Ablebits\Template Phrases

And click OK.

Add the shared templates folder correctly

Create templates to share

If you want to share templates with your colleagues, first create a folder to share and export it. If you already have a .DATA file saved on a shared hard drive, jump right to the next step.

  1. Create a folder with the Outlook templates you want to share.
  2. Right-click the folder and select the Export the selected folder option:
    Export the selected template folder.
  3. Save the .DATA file to any location on a hard drive accessible to all users who need to work with the shared templates.

    Note. We do not recommend that you save a file to a cloud-based storage, such as OneDrive or Dropbox. In such cases, we can't guarantee the correct performance of the tool.

Add shared Outlook templates

Follow these steps when your Outlook templates are saved to a shared network drive.

  1. Right-click the Template Phrases pane and select the Add shared templates option in the context menu:
    Add shared templates in Outlook.
  2. Browse for the file with shared templates, select it, and click OK.
    You will see the folder with shared templates at the end of your template tree. Any changes you make to these templates will be available to all users.
Note. It's possible to add more than one shared folder.

Case 2: You do have shared folders – re-add them

If you do have shared templates and get the error message, the problem may be in the wrong file name or path. The easiest solution is to re-add your shared templates.

  1. Let's remove your shared templates from the add-in. Please do not worry, this will not delete the .DATA file from its location, it will stay where it is!
    Right-click the shared template and select Remove shared templates:
    Remove shared templates in Outlook.
  2. Add shared templates.
    If after all these manipulations, you still receive the error message, please contact us at and we will help you asap.



My team installed a shared folder in Ablebits Template Phrases. Unfortunately, we do not share a harddrive so this feature will not work for us. We'd uploaded the shared folder to OneDrive to sync but that's went bad quick lol. We're now trying to uninstall the shared folder. However we can't seem to do so. I've deleted the shared folder in Template Phrases as well as the data file it was pulling info from on OneDrive. Nothing seems to be working and now I get the following error every time I open an email in Outlook: "Template Phrases cannot open the shared templates file location. Please make sure the path and file name are correct."

Please help!

Daniel Marchesin says:
October 10, 2019 at 11:20 am


We are using template phrase with many users and a shared template. But now, we are migrating our files servers to SharePoint. Would it be possible to have the Shared Template stored in a SharePoint site ?

As far as I could check, It does not seem to be possible, so I'm just wondering if there maybe a trick for this ?

Thank you.
Daniel Marchesin


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