Export Outlook contacts: How to do it

Anyone who regularly sends and receives e-mails using Outlook will appreciate the integrated address book. Once saved, contact information can be retrieved at any time so that the addressee can be easily selected and entered in the address bar. By creating user categories from existing Outlook contacts, the electronic messages can also be sent to an entire group of addressees with just a few clicks, saving you a great deal of time and effort.

Especially for large contact collections, it is recommended to back them up regularly by exporting the Outlook address book. This way you can also easily share your e-mail contacts with third parties or transfer them to a newer version of Outlook.

Export contacts from Outlook: Step-by-step-instructions

No matter which version you use, you can export your Outlook contacts at any time and without additional tools. Especially if you have used older editions like Outlook 2010 to handle your e-mail traffic, the export function makes it much easier to switch to modern solutions like Outlook 2016 or Outlook on the web (formerly Outlook Web App). So, if you have created a well-filled address book over the years, you don’t have to do without it even after the version change. The procedure differs only slightly, as the following instructions for Outlook on the web, Outlook 2016 and 2013, as well as the rarely used Office 2010 prove.

Export Outlook contacts: How to export Outlook 2016 and 2013

As a user of Outlook 2013 onwards, you must first open the “File” tab. You will find this tab on the very left in the upper menu bar:

Select the entry “Open and export” and then “Import/Export.

Outlook then starts the “Import and Export Wizard,” which presents you with a number of possible actions to choose from. Click on “Export to a file” and then on the “Next” button.

In the following menu, keep the option “Values separated by delimiters” and press “Next” again. Next you’ll reach the Outlook folder overview in which you select the desired export content “Contacts” by double-clicking it:

Finally, click “Browse” to select an appropriate location and name for the contact data file you want to export.

Confirm the storage location and file name with “OK” and click “Next” one last time. Make sure that the appropriate folder is entered and press “Finish” to export your Outlook address book. After Outlook has successfully completed the export process, you will find a CSV file containing your Outlook contacts at the selected location.

To export your contacts from Outlook on the web

The web-based Outlook client, which has been called “Outlook on the web” for some time, is an excellent way to retrieve and send e-mails from any device without having to install a client. Thanks to the web app, your contacts are always at your fingertips. If required, you can also export the address book with Outlook on the web: Log on to the online tool in the first step and press the small person icon at the bottom of the screen:

In the following menu, which presents various categories of recommended contacts, click on the “Manage” button. Select “Export contacts” from the drop-down options:

Now you can decide whether you want to export all or only certain Outlook contacts. For the latter, select “Contacts from this folder” and use the small arrow symbol to search for the desired contact folder. Finally, click the “Export” button to start the download window, which you can use to download the CSV file to your PC or any external storage device.

Export Outlook 2010 contacts: How to do it

You can also export your contacts when you upgrade from Outlook 2010 to a newer version. The procedure is slightly different from Outlook 2013 and 2016, as the following step-by-step guide shows:

  1. Go to the “File” tab
  2. Select the menu item “Open” and then “Import
  3. Now, follow the above steps with the wizard: Select the items “Export to file” and “Comma separated values” and then enter the folder with the Outlook contacts you want to export
  4. Search for a suitable location and start the export process via “Finish

Alternatively, you can open the Import and Export Wizard in Outlook 2010 through “File” > “Options” > “Advanced” > “Export.”

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