How to Copy Outlook Address Book to Another Computer

by Kammy Pow

Transferring the Microsoft Outlook address book manually could be a time-consuming process, depending on the number of contacts and how complete the data is for each contact. The address book stores phone numbers, emails, and website, IM and physical addresses. Luckily, Microsoft Outlook provides a feature to enable users to export their address books in a CSV-formatted file that most email clients, databases and spreadsheets can recognize and accept, using a two-step export and import function.

Export Microsoft Outlook Contacts as a CSV File

Open Microsoft Outlook.

Click the "File" tab, select "Options," and then click "Advanced" in the left pane. Click the "Export" button under the Export section. The Import and Export Wizard opens.

Choose "Export to a File" from the list of actions to perform and then click "Next."

Select "Comma Separated Values (Windows)" and then click "Next."

Scroll up the "Select Folder to Export From" list, choose "Contacts" and then click "Next."

Enter a file name for the Contacts list. Click the "Browse" button to select a destination for your address book export, click "OK" and then click "Next."

Confirm that you want to create an export of your Outlook contacts. Select any additional fields you want to include by clicking the "Map Custom Fields" button. When you have finished making your choices, click "Finish." Outlook will now begin exporting your Outlook contacts to the destination folder you have chosen.

Click "OK" to close the Outlook Options dialog box.

Import Microsoft Outlook Contacts into an Email Client on Another Computer

Open your Web browser and log in to your email service or open your email program.

Open your email client's contacts list and locate the client's import menu or button. In Outlook, repeat the steps above to open the Import and Export Wizard and then click "Import from Another File or Program." In Gmail, click "Contacts" and then select "Import" from the "More Actions" drop-down list. In Yahoo Mail, click the "Contacts" tab and select "Import Contacts" from the "Actions" drop-down list.

Browse to and select the source CSV file to import and click the "Import" button.

Verify your contacts list and then exit the email program when you are finished.

Tip

  • Copy your exported CSV to a central location that is accessible to the other computer before you start the import steps. This could be a network drive, USB drive, or other type of removable media.

Warnings

  • The export instructions contained here apply to the current version of Microsoft Outlook. For older versions of Microsoft Outlook, select "Import/Export" from the "File" menu and follow the on-screen instructions to export the file.
  • Some applications (such as Microsoft SharePoint) have a limit on the number of contacts that can be imported. Check your application's documentation for details.

About the Author

Kammy Pow studied biological sciences at the University of California Irvine. She spent 13 years as a programmer for the financial, medical research, and healthcare sectors. She has been freelancing since 2005 and currently writes health-care related material and pens the occasional review for Southern California altweeklies.

Photo Credits

  • Stockbyte/Stockbyte/Getty Images