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How to import Outlook contacts

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How to import Outlook contacts: Would you like to transfer the contacts of another computer to your Outlook but you are not sure how to do it? Don’t worry, this is a very simple operation. Below you will find all the information you need.

Give me five minutes of your time – no more – and I’ll show you step by step how to import Outlook contacts starting from all the main services or e-mail clients: Gmail, Yahoo! Mail, Windows Live Mail etc. In the second part of the tutorial, however, we will focus on the Microsoft Outlook application and its functions for importing and exporting the address book.

To create the guide I used the 2019 version of Outlook, but the indications should also be fine for previous editions (from 2007 onwards, therefore all those with a “Ribbon” tabbed interface). Then I will also talk to you about the mobile area, where however it is not possible to act only on the Outlook address book. But now let’s not get lost in chatter anymore and let’s see, together, how to transfer contacts to Outlook and quickly and easily.

Preliminary operations

Before getting into the tutorial and importing your contacts into Outlook or, you need to make sure your contacts file is compatible with the program and / or Microsoft’s Web Mail platform.

Outlook for Windows And both support the file format CSV with coding UTF-8, so my advice is to use that as your address book export format. Alternatively, only the desktop version of Outlook allows you to use files PST (proprietary format of Microsoft software) or files VCF, which, however, can cause problems when they contain more than one name. The best solution, therefore, I repeat that is the use of CSV files.

If you need help exporting your contacts in CSV format, take a look at my tutorial on how to make CSV files, in which you will find instructions on how to export the address book in this format through all the main services and all the main email apps.

If, on the other hand, you prefer to use Outlook PST files, you can refer to my tutorial on how to export Outlook address book. Other readings that may be useful to you are the following: how to export contacts from Gmail, how to save the Android address book, how to export the iPhone address book and how to transfer the address book.

There Mac version of Outlookinstead, it requires the creation of a file VCF and manages to correctly treat even files with multiple names inside. If you don’t know how to export your address book in VCF format, please refer to the guides that I linked to you just now.

Import contacts into Outlook

If you want import contacts into Outlook, the application included in the Office package, you must follow the instructions below. The procedure to follow varies depending on whether you are using the operating system Windows or macOS.


How to import Outlook contacts for Windows

If you use Windows and you want to import contacts into Outlook, start the program, click on the button File located at the top left, select the item Open and export from the left sidebar and presses the button Import / Export present in the screen that opens.

At this point, select the item Import data from other programs or filesclick on the button Forward and choose whether to import a Outlook data file (in case you want to import the address book from another Microsoft Outlook installation) or comma separated values (which would be the CSV generated by Gmail and many other services or e-mail clients).

Then click on the button Forward for a second time, press on Browse to select the file with the contacts to import into Outlook and continue the procedure by clicking on Forward and choosing the item Contacts from the screen that appears.

Now you need to check the small box next to the item It matters [nome file selezionato] in the folder: Contactsthen you have to use the scheme that is proposed to you to associate the fields of the selected file with those of Outlook (the association must be done by dragging the fields of the file onto the corresponding ones in Outlook, for example first_name contact file on First name Outlook).

How to import Outlook contacts

Once this is done, click on the button OKthen on end and wait for the import of contacts to finish. During the process, you can decide whether or not replace duplicates with imported contacts, import duplicates or do not import duplicate contacts: you just have to check the desired option before choosing the file from which to import the contacts.

Outlook also includes an option to import VCF file (accessible from the menu Import / Export of the program). However, in my tests, the software imported only the first name among those present in the file that I used to carry out the tutorial. In light of what I just pointed out, I recommend that you import your contacts into Outlook using CSV or PST files.

Note: if your intention is not to import contacts into Outlook, but to synchronize the program’s address book with that of an external service, you have to resort to a different solution. For example, to synchronize the Outlook address book with that of, just configure an Outlook / Live / Hotmail account within the program, while to synchronize it with the Gmail one you need to contact external solutions, such as the ones I recommended. in my tutorial on how to sync Gmail contacts.


How to Import Outlook Contacts Mac

If you use a Macyou can import contacts into Outlook by starting the application in question and selecting thelittle man located at the bottom left, in order to access the address book.

Now, select the address book where to import contacts from the left sidebar, take the VCF file with contacts, drag it into the Outlook window and it should be imported correctly. If not, right click on the VCF fileselect the items Open with> Microsoft Outlook from the macOS context menu and that’s it.

If, instead of a VCF file, you have an Outlook address book file in PST or OLM (the equivalent of the PST file on Apple platform), you can import it into the program by selecting the item It matters from the menu File (top left) and ticking the box Outlook for Windows archive file (.pst) or voice Outlook for Mac archive file (.olm) in the window that opens. Easier than that?

Import contacts into

How to import contacts into

If you want to import a contact list into Outlook.comthe Microsoft Web Mail service, you have to connect to the main page of the servicelog in to your account (if necessary), click onicon with 9 squares located at the top left and select the item Peoplefrom the menu that appears.

On the page that opens, press the button Manage located at the top left and select the item Import contacts from the menu that is shown to you. Then click on the button Browseselect the file with the contacts to import into Outlook (which must be in CSV) and press the button It matters to move forward.

You will be shown a table with some names extrapolated from the file: if the data seems correct, click on the button Looks okay, keep going. If not, however, most likely the file you selected is not encoded according to the standard supported by (UTF-8) and therefore needs to be exported again from the application or service of origin.

If you don’t know how to convert a CSV file to UTF-8 format, open Excelselect the item to create one blank workbookselect the tab Dataclick on the button From text located at the top left and choose the CSV file you want to import into the address book.

At this point, make sure that all the data in the file are displayed correctly in the preview that appears on the screen, otherwise choose another of the options available in the drop-down menu File source. Then check the box Delimitedclick on the button Forward and choose which delimiters to use to mark the division of data into cells (eg. comma, semicolon And tabulation).


Then click on the buttons end And OK to import the CSV file data into Excel and save the final result (by going to the menu File> Save As) as a file CSV UTF-8 (by selecting the appropriate option from the drop-down menu for choosing the output format, located at the bottom of the window that opens).

Now try importing the file back into and everything should be fine.

Import contacts into Outlook for smartphones and tablets

Outlook for Android

As you surely know, Outlook is also available as an app for Android And iOS. In this case, however, it relies directly on the system address book and, therefore, to import contacts into it, simply import the contacts into the address book of the smartphone or tablet in use.

Therefore, to import contacts from Gmail, just associate a Gmail account to the device in use (I explained how to do it in my tutorials on how to associate an Android phone with Google and how to configure Gmail on the iPhone); to import contacts from just configure an Outlook / Live / Hotmail account in the app, while in the case of contact files in CSV or VCF just refer to the resources I listed in my tutorials on how to transfer the address book to Android and how to import contacts to iPhone. I assure you it’s really child’s play!