How to Transfer Contacts With a USB Drive

by C. Taylor

Moving day has always been a tedious, time-consuming and stressful event, and that historically held true when changing computers as well. But some of the modern features of Windows 7 have changed all that by offering convenient tools to simplify the process. For example, contacts no longer require manually transcription into a new program or computer. Instead, you simply export your Windows 7 contacts to a USB drive using a compatible format. You can then move the USB drive to another computer and import the backup.

Insert your USB drive into an available USB port on your computer.

Click "Start" and then click your username in the menu that appears; do not click the top picture associated with your username. Alternatively, press the Windows key and "E" simultaneously, then click your username from left pane of Windows Explorer.

Type "contacts" (without the quotations) in the top address bar and press "Enter." Alternatively, double-click the "Contacts" folder from the right pane.

Click "Export" from the top toolbar. If you cannot see this option, click ">>" and then select "Export."

Click "CSV (Comma Separated Values)" or "vCards (Folder of .VCF Files)" and then click "Export." If you plan to import the file into a spreadsheet or database, choose "CSV." If you plan to import the file using an earlier version of Windows or another operating system, choose "vCards."

Click the "Browse" button that appears in a new window, click your USB drive letter from the available options, enter a name for the file and press "Save."

Click "Next" and then tick the checkboxes of all contact fields you want to export.

Click "Finish" and then "OK" in the completion window.

Right-click your USB drive letter and select "Eject" to remove the USB drive.

Insert the USB drive into another computer and open the Contacts folder again in Windows Explorer.

Click "Import," select the file format you used in your backup and click "Import."

Click "Browse," double-click the file on your USB drive and click "Next."

Check each contact field you want imported and click "Finish." If a matching entry exists, you have the option to replace the current entry by clicking "Yes" or skipping it by clicking "No." Click "Close" to complete the import.


  • Similar import and export features exist in most address books, including mail programs and cell phones. Cell phone exports can be transferred via a USB cable, microSD card or email attachment. The export can then be copied to the USB drive.

Photo Credits

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