by Svetlana Cheusheva, updated on
This tutorial talks about two ways to import contacts into Outlook desktop, from .csv and .pst file, and shows how to transfer contacts to Outlook Online.
There may be different reasons why you may want to transfer contacts into your Outlook address book. For example, you inherited an external database with a list of contacts, or you are migrating from another mail server, or perhaps you are setting up a new account. Whatever the reason, Outlook provides a straightforward way to import all your contacts in one go.
Tip. If your contacts are stored in Excel, the following tutorial will be useful: How to import contacts to Outlook from Excel.
Microsoft Outlook allows importing contacts from two file types, PST and CSV.
PST (Personal Storage Table). It's a special file format for storing data in Outlook, Exchange Client and other Microsoft software. In a .pst file, contacts are already in the right format and require no further amendments.
For more information, please see How to export Outlook contacts to PST file.
CSV (Comma Separated Values). If you keep your contact information in Excel or another spreadsheet program or have exported your contacts from another email provider, such as Gmail or Yahoo Mail, they will typically be in a .csv file, which can be imported into Outlook with a few adjustments:
In the below linked tutorials, will find the detailed guidance on exporting contacts to a CSV file:
In its simplest form, your .csv file may look as follows:
To import contacts from a CSV file into Outlook 2019, Outlook 2016 or Outlook 2013, carry out these steps:
When done, click Next.
How to handle duplicate contacts:
If you are importing contacts from Excel or from a mail app other than Outlook, you may need to map some columns in your CSV file to the Outlook contact fields. In this case, click Map Custom Fields and continue with the next step.
If a column name in the CSV file exactly matches an Outlook field, the column is mapped automatically and appears under Mapped from.
If a column name does not match any Outlook field, you'll have to do manual mapping. For this, drag the column from the left pane, and drop it next to the corresponding field in the right pane. For example, in our imported CSV file, there is a column named Position and we are mapping it to the Job Title field. To find a match, click the plus sign next to a suitable field in the right pane to expand it.
When all the columns are mapped, click OK, and back in the Import a File dialog box, click Finish.
To make sure all your CSV contacts have been imported into Outlook, click the People icon on the Navigation bar to view your contact list.
In some situations, you may want to import contacts from a PST file rather than CSV. It is especially useful when:
In this case, you first need to export contacts into a PST file, and then import them to your new account or PC by using the Import & Export wizard discussed in the previous section.
Here are the steps to import contacts into Outlook from a .pst file:
Under Options, choose how to deal with duplicate items, and then click Next. Please pay attention that when importing from PST, the default is Replace duplicates with items imported.
Outlook will start importing the contacts right off. When the progress box disappears, the import is completed.
As with Outlook desktop, to import contacts to Outlook Online, you will need a CSV file. For best results, the file should have UTF-8 encoding that works correctly for all languages.
To import contacts into Outlook Online, perform these steps:
If the .csv file contains any contacts that already exist in your Outlook account, duplicate items will be created, but none of your existing contacts will be replaced or deleted.
That's how to import contacts into Outlook desktop and online. I thank you for reading and hope to see you on our blog next week!
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