Import contacts into an account

When you use an Exchange ActiveSync email account — for example, an account (formerly Hotmail) — in Outlook 2013 or Outlook 2016 for Windows, the steps for importing contacts are different from the ones you follow for an Exchange account.

Tip    To find out whether you have an Exchange ActiveSync account, click File > Account Settings > Account Settings. Click the E-mail tab, and find your account in the Name column, and check whether the Type column says Exchange ActiveSync.

You can import contacts in a .pst file from another version of Outlook, import your Gmail contacts, or import contacts from a .csv file.

Save your contacts as a .pst file

First, you need to save the contacts you want as a .pst file in Outlook 2013 or Outlook 2016 for Windows.

  1. On the Home tab, click New Items, point to More Items, and then click Outlook Data File.

  2. In the Create or Open Outlook Data File box, in the File name box, type the name as you want it to appear in the Outlook Navigation Pane, and then click OK.

  3. Data files are not automatically password-protected. To add a password to your data file, under Password, type the password you want to use in the Password and Verify Password text boxes — or click Cancel.

    Important   If you forget your password, Microsoft, your Internet service provider (ISP), or your email administrator don’t have access to your password, nor can they assist you with recovering the contents of the Outlook Data File (.pst).

Import a .pst contacts file

  1. In Outlook 2013 or Outlook 2016 for Windows, click File > Open & Export > Open Outlook Data File.

    Open Outlook Data File command

  1. Browse to your file, click it, and click OK.

  2. Click People.

Click People

  1. Under My Contacts, click the Outlook data file you just opened.

  2. Click in the contact list, and press Ctrl+A to select all the contacts.

  3. Drag them to your account’s contacts folder.

    Or click Move > Copy to folder, click the account’s contacts folder, and click OK.

    Copy to Folder command on the Move menu

Tip    When you’re done, close the Outlook data file by clicking Mail, right-clicking Outlook Data File, and clicking Close “Outlook Data File”.

Add Google Gmail contacts or contacts from a .csv

The smoothest way to use Gmail contacts in is to add them on the website.

You can also use the website to add contacts from a .csv file. (For accounts, using Outlook to import the .csv won’t work.)

Gmail contacts

  1. Go to and log in to your account.

  2. Under Add people to your contact list, click Google contacts.

  3. Click Connect.

    Connect button

  4. Sign in to your Google account.

  5. Click Allow Access, then click Done.

A .csv file

First, create the .csv file. For example, if you have contacts in an Excel spreadsheet, save the spreadsheet as a .csv file. Or, if you want to use contacts from another mail account, go to that account and follow the provider’s instructions for exporting contacts to a .csv file.

Now, you’re ready to add the contacts to your account.

  1. Go to and log in to your account.

  2. Under Add people to your contact list, click Import from file.

  3. Click Microsoft Outlook (using CSV).

  4. Click Browse, click the .csv file you want to import, and click Open.

  5. Click Import contacts.

    If you had the same person in both lists, gives you a chance to combine the contact information.

  6. Click Look for duplicate contacts.

  7. Uncheck the row for any contacts you want to keep separate.

  8. Click Save or Save and continue.

Applies To: Outlook 2016, Outlook 2013

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