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A Guide to Exporting Contacts from Outlook

Oct 18, 2022

When you use an email platform, there will be a file of contacts that you have added to the system over time. 

Microsoft Outlook is a popular email platform that can automatically create a list of contacts based on the email messages you send and receive. However, there are some instances where you might want to move these contacts over to another platform, such as Gmail. Understanding how to export your Outlook contacts saves time and effort by enabling you to move your contacts from one platform to another quickly.

Why is it Important to Export Contacts from Outlook?

There are several reasons why it might be essential to know how to export Outlook contacts. For example, you may need to move the contacts to another device or computer, back them up, import them to a different email service such as Gmail, manage them in a program such as Microsoft Excel, or export the contacts to a vCard or virtual business card. Most of these options will require that you export into different file types. For example, you will typically need a CSV file if you export your contacts to different email service. On the other hand, a VCF file that allows you to import your contacts directly into Excel might be necessary for a virtual business card. A PST file is typically needed for backing up your contacts and data.

Methods to Export Outlook Contacts

There are several methods you can use to export your Outlook contacts based on your version of Outlook. The Outlook program will behave the same whether you use a Windows or macOS operating system.

How to Export Contacts from Outlook 2010

Outlook 2010 is an older program version that is not often used today, but some companies will still use it mainly for internal communications. Some people are still using Outlook 2010 as they want to stay within a single production year of the software program to save money. If you’re using Outlook 2010 and want to export your contacts, here are the steps to follow:

  1. Open Outlook on your PC or Mac.
  2. Head to the ribbon at the program’s top, and select ‘File’.
  3. Click on ‘Options’ and select ‘Advanced’ from the dialog box.
  4. Choose ‘Export’ to open the Import and Export Wizard.
  5. Choose ‘Export a File’ and then click ‘Next’.
  6. In the ‘Create a File Type’ window, choose the type of export you want.
  7. A list of folders that you can export will appear. From this list, select the contact folder that you are exporting.
  8. Select ‘Browse’ before selecting a folder to export to.
  9. Name your file under the option for ‘Save exported file as’
  10. Select ‘OK’, then ‘Next’, then ‘Finish’.
  11. Once Outlook has completed the export, click on ‘OK’.
  12. Check that your file is saved where you wanted it to be.

How to Export Contacts Outlook 2013

Outlook 2013 is the most recent Outlook software version with a different code base than Office 365. Because of this, it has various steps to follow compared to the latest program versions when exporting contacts. One of the main benefits of Outlook 2013, and why many people continue to use it today, is that it has a separate app from others that is cheaper to purchase. If you are using Outlook 2013 and want to export contacts, follow these steps:

  1. Open Outlook on your PC or Mac.
  2. Head to the top-left area of the program screen, and select the ‘File’ tab.
  3. Click on ‘Open and Export’ from the left side.
  4. A list of options will appear. Select ‘Import/Export’.
  5. Another list of options will come up. Choose ‘Export to a file’, and then ‘Next’.
  6. Select ‘Comma Separated Values’ and then ‘Next’.
  7. Under ‘Personal Folders’, select ‘Contacts’ and then ‘Next’.
  8. Select ‘Browse’ before choosing the location where you wish to save your exported file.
  9. Choose a name for your file, click ‘Next’, and then ‘Finish’.
  10. Check that your file is saved in the desired location.

How to Export Contacts From Web-Based Outlook

The web-based, online version of Outlook can be an ideal solution if you want to be able to access your contacts and email messages while you are not at your computer. This version of Outlook can easily be accessed from a range of devices that connect to the internet, including laptops, smartphones, tablets, and more, including smartwatches and other non-PC devices. If you want to export your contacts using the web-based version of Outlook, follow these steps:

  1. Type Outlook into the address bar to access the Outlook website from your chosen web browser.
  2. Log in to your account if prompted to do so.
  3. Head to the bottom of the page and select the people symbol.
  4. From the toolbar, select ‘Manage’ and then select ‘Export Contacts’.
  5. Choose whether you want to export all of your contacts or contacts from a specific folder.
  6. Click on ‘Export’.
  7. Choose ‘Save As’, and select the file format you want the contacts to be saved.
  8. Check to make sure that the contacts have been saved under the name and in the location you’ve chosen.

How to Export Outlook 365 Contacts

Outlook 2016 and Outlook 2019 are the two latest versions of Outlook, which are Office 365 compatible. This has created a new process for exporting contacts for people using the latest Outlook versions. There are many significant benefits to using Office 365, including that all Microsoft programs such as Windows, Word, Outlook, Excel, and PowerPoint use the same code and are easily able to access one another, allowing you to quickly and easily perform various functions between different programs, for example, instant exporting of contacts to Excel. If you’re using either the 2016 or 2019 version of Outlook 365, follow these steps to export contacts:

  1. On your PC or Mac, open the Outlook 365 program.
  2. Click on the ‘Applications’ icon from the top left.
  3. Choose ‘People’, then click ‘Manage’.
  4. Choose ‘Export contacts.’
  5. Decide whether you will export all contacts or a folder containing specific contacts.
  6. Depending on your browser, select either ‘Save’ or ‘Open’.
  7. Check to ensure that the contacts have been saved in the desired location and under the desired name.

How to Export Emails From Outlook to Gmail

You can export your email messages from an Outlook account to a Gmail account to back them up and allow you to access older email messages from any location. To do this, add your Gmail account to Outlook before copying and pasting the folders. You will first need to set up your Gmail account in Outlook. The steps for doing this are:

  1. Go to the settings icon on the upper right before choosing ‘View all Outlook Settings’.
  2. Select ‘Mail’ from the left pane.
  3. Click on ‘Sync Email’.
  4. Under Connected Accounts on the right pane, select ‘Gmail’.
  5. Enter the display name you wish to use when sending mail through Outlook from Gmail on the ‘Connect your Google account’ screen.
  6. Select OK.
  7. Log into your chosen Gmail account in Outlook Mail to allow Microsoft to access the account.
  8. Confirm that you have successfully connected your Gmail account to Outlook by selecting OK.

Once you’ve set up your Gmail account in Google, open Outlook and select the folder containing the email messages you wish to export. Select all emails in the folder by pressing Ctrl+A or press and hold Ctrl while selecting individual emails you wish to export. Right-click on the selected messages before selecting ‘Move’ and then selecting ‘Other Folder’. This will bring up a Move Items dialog box. Select your Gmail account, and either choose or create a new folder in your Gmail account to export the emails to. Move the selected emails by clicking on ‘OK’.

How to Export Outlook Emails to Excel

You can also export your Outlook emails by sending them to an Excel worksheet, creating a spreadsheet containing various columns. To do this:

  1. Go to File in Outlook and select Open & Export.
  2. Select Import/Export.
  3. Choose ‘Export to a File’, then click ‘Next’.
  4. Select ‘Microsoft Excel’, then click ‘Next’.
  5. Select the email folder from which you wish to export messages, and select ‘Next’.
  6. Choose the folder where you wish to save your exported emails, and choose a name for your exported file before selecting ‘OK’.
  7. Click on ‘Next’ and then ‘Finish’.
  8. The new Excel file will be available to open in your chosen location.

Whether you want to export contacts or email messages, it’s simple to do so with Outlook.

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