Import contacts to Outlook.com

You can import contacts from a different email provider or account to your Outlook.com account.

Step 1: Export your list of contacts from your email provider to a CSV file

When you export your contacts, they will typically be stored in a comma separated values file (CSV). 

Tips: 

  • If you have your own contacts list you want to import, see Create your own import contacts template below. 

  • If the file doesn't have UTF-8 encoding, the import tool may not recognize and display all text correctly.

Step 2: Import the contacts to your Outlook.com account

Use a comma separated values file (CSV) to import your contacts into your Outlook.com account.

  1. In Outlook.com, select People at the lower left corner of the page to go to the People page.

  2. On the far right of the toolbar, select Manage > Import contacts.

    Manage contacts menu in Outlook.com
  3. Select Browse, choose your CSV file, and then select Open.

  4. Select Import.

If possible, export one contact from Outlook.com to a CSV file to use as a template, or use Microsoft Excel to create your own file for importing contacts.

  1. Create a new blank workbook

  2. Add any of these popular entries as column headers in row 1:

    • First Name

    • Middle Name

    • Last Name

    • Title

    • Suffix

    • Nickname

    • E-mail Address

    • E-mail 2 Address

    • E-mail 3 Address

    • Home Phone

    • Business Phone

    • Business Phone 2

    • Mobile Phone

    • Company

    • Home Street

    • Home City

    • Home State

    • Home Postal Code

    • Home Country/Region

    • Web Page

    • Birthday

    • Anniversary

    • Notes

  3. Start a new row for each contact and add the information you want to each column. You don't have to have something in every column.

  4. Save the file as CSV UTF-8 (Comma delimited).

Typically, you can import contacts without worrying about the underlying details of how the text is stored in the CSV file. However, if the contact information includes characters not found in the English alphabet, such as Greek, Cyrillic, Arabic, or Japanese characters, this can cause problems when importing contacts. Therefore, you should save the contacts file with UTF-8 encoding if you have that option during export.

If you can't export your contacts using UTF-8 directly, you can convert the exported CSV file using Excel or third-party apps. How to do this will be different between apps and app versions.

How to convert your CSV file to UTF-8 using Microsoft Excel 2016:

  1. In Excel, create a new blank document (workbook).

  2. From the Data menu, select From Text/CSV. Browse to your exported CSV file (you may have to select to display Text Files (....csv) to see it). Select Import.

  3. In the dialog box that appears, under File Origin, choose the encoding that makes the characters in the text appear correctly, for example, Cyrillic Windows 1251, and then select Load.

  4. Check that characters are displayed correctly in Excel.

  5. Select File >Save As. Enter a name for your file, and select CSV UTF-8 (Comma delimited) (*.csv) as your file type.

  6. Select Save.

Need help?

If you're having trouble importing contacts to your Outlook.com account, see Fix problems importing contacts to Outlook.com.

Related Topics

Create, view, and edit contacts and contact lists in Outlook.com
Export contacts from Outlook.com to a CSV file
Clean up or remove duplicate contacts in Outlook.com
Import and export Outlook email, contacts, and calendar
What version of Outlook do I have?
Add your other email accounts to Outlook.com

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