Video: Export many contacts as a CSV file

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If you want to send more than just a few contacts, it can be a lot easier to export them as a CSV, or comma separated values, file. Here’s how it works.

Import contacts from a spreadsheet

  • If someone sends you contacts in a .csv file, you'll need to use the Import and Export Wizard to add them.

  • Many email programs can import and export .csv files. Learn how to Import contacts from an Excel spreadsheet.

  • When you get a new computer, you don’t need to export contacts from your old one if your organization uses Microsoft Exchange Server. Contacts show up automatically when you configure Outlook on the new machine.

Want more?

Import vCards to Outlook contacts

Share contacts as vCards

Attach a vCard to an email message

You can send multiple contacts in email using vCards and Outlook contacts.

But if you want to send more than just a few contacts, it can be a lot easier to export them as a CSV, or comma separated values file. Here’s how it works.

First, if you don’t want to export all of your contacts, create a contact folder and put the ones you want to export in there.

In People, go to the folder list and choose where you want to add the folder.

I’ll choose the main Contacts folder because that is hosted on my work Exchange server, which allows me to access it over the Internet.

Right-click the folder and click New Folder. Give it a name and click OK.

Now add the contacts you want to export, hold down the Ctrl key, and then click to select multiple people.

To copy the group, click and hold the right mouse button over the selection, and drag it to the folder.

Then, click Copy in the context menu.

Now, let’s export the folder. Click FILE, Open & Export, and Import/Export. The Import and Export Wizard opens.

Click Export to a file, and Next.

Select Comma Separated Values and click Next.

Select the contact folder you created, and click Next.

Click Browse, and decide where to save the CSV file. Type a name for it, click OK, and Next.

This page of the wizard summarizes what will happen. We are going to export contacts from our folder.

Note that if you are exporting a lot of contacts, this may take a few minutes.

Click Finish. By the way, the word export might sound scary, but all you are doing is copying the contacts to a file.

Exporting doesn’t make any changes to your Outlook contacts.

Now we can send the CSV file to the people who need to have it.

For example, we can attach it to an email. Click Attach File, locate it, and click Insert.

Like vCards, the CSV format is an Internet standard, so the file can be accessed by a number of mail apps and mobile devices.

When someone with Outlook receives your email, they first save the CSV file to their computers.

Right-click the file and click Save All Attachments.

Click OK. Then, they choose a location and click Save.

To import a CSV file in Outlook, they use the same wizard. Click FILE, Open & Export, and Import/Export.

Select Import from another program or file and click Next.

Select Comma Separated Values and click Next.

Click Browse, locate the CSV file, and click OK.

Next, they decide how they want to deal with duplicate items.

They can replace the duplicates with the contact information you sent them; allow duplicate contacts; or not import a contact if it is a duplicate. Click Next.

Here, they choose where to save the new contact list. For example, they could create a new folder and save them there.

That way, they don’t have to deal with duplicates at all. Click Next.

Check out the summary. Then, click Finish.

Now, you have the basics of importing and exporting contacts.

Next, you may want to learn about CSV files or the vCard format, or dig into things like how to map custom contact fields. For more information, check out the links in the course summary.

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