How to Export Outlook Contacts to Excel: A Step-by-Step Guide

Exporting your Outlook contacts to Excel is a handy way to manage your email list, back it up, or transfer it to a different service. It’s a straightforward process that involves exporting a file from Outlook and importing it into Excel. Here’s a quick overview: first, you’ll need to open Outlook and access the contacts section. Then, you’ll export the contacts to a file, and finally, you’ll open Excel and import the file. Let’s dive into the details.

Step by Step Tutorial: How to Export Outlook Contacts to Excel

Before we start, it’s important to know that this process will allow you to create a backup of your contacts, which can then be used in Excel or any other spreadsheet software. This can be useful for a variety of reasons, such as keeping a hard copy of your contacts or importing them into another email service.

Step 1: Open Outlook and Access the Contacts Section

To begin the process, open Outlook and go to the contacts section.

When you open Outlook, you’ll usually find the contacts section by clicking on the “People” icon at the bottom of the left-hand menu. If you’re using an older version of Outlook, it might be labeled as “Contacts” instead.

Step 2: Export the Contacts to a File

After accessing the Contacts section, look for the “Export” option to export your contacts to a file.

In some versions of Outlook, you’ll find this option under “File” > “Open & Export” > “Import/Export.” This will start the “Import and Export Wizard,” where you’ll select “Export to a file,” then “Comma Separated Values,” and follow the prompts to choose which contacts to export and where to save the file.

Step 3: Open Excel and Import the File

Once you have the file, open Excel and import the file to view your contacts in a spreadsheet.

Open Excel, go to the “Data” tab, and select “Get Data” > “From Text/CSV.” Find the file you exported from Outlook, and Excel will guide you through the process of importing your contacts. You may have to adjust some formatting options to make sure the data displays correctly.

After completing these steps, you’ll have a spreadsheet with all your Outlook contacts neatly organized in Excel. You can now edit, sort, or analyze your contact list to your heart’s content.

Tips: Exporting Outlook Contacts to Excel

  • Before exporting your contacts, make sure to clean up your list in Outlook. Remove any outdated or duplicate contacts to make your Excel file more manageable.
  • Be aware that not all contact information fields in Outlook may be necessary for your Excel spreadsheet. Select only the fields you need to make your file easier to work with.
  • If you have a large number of contacts, the export process may take a while. Be patient and let Outlook finish the export without interruption.
  • After importing the contacts into Excel, take a moment to review the data and ensure that all information was transferred correctly.
  • Remember to save your Excel file in a secure location, especially if it contains sensitive information.

Frequently Asked Questions

How do I export only a specific group of contacts?

To export a specific group of contacts, create a separate folder in Outlook and move the desired contacts into that folder. Then, during the export process, select only that folder to be exported.

Can I export my contacts to other spreadsheet software besides Excel?

Yes, the file you export from Outlook is a CSV file, which is compatible with most spreadsheet software, including Google Sheets and Numbers for Mac.

Will the contacts still remain in Outlook after exporting?

Yes, exporting your contacts creates a copy of the data. Your original contacts will remain in Outlook.

What should I do if some contact information doesn’t transfer correctly to Excel?

If some information doesn’t transfer correctly, you may need to adjust the mapping of the data fields during the import process in Excel. This tells Excel which columns to place the data in.

Can I automate this process to regularly back up my contacts?

While Outlook doesn’t have an in-built feature to automate this process, you can use third-party tools or write a script with Outlook’s and Excel’s APIs to do so.


  1. Open Outlook and access the Contacts section.
  2. Export the contacts to a CSV file.
  3. Open Excel and import the CSV file.


Exporting Outlook contacts to Excel is a valuable skill to have in your digital toolbox. Whether you’re moving to a new email service, need to make a backup, or just want to analyze your network, getting your contacts into a spreadsheet is the first step. Remember, the key is to export your contacts from Outlook in a format that Excel can understand – and that’s where the CSV file shines. It’s a universal format that bridges the gap between different software, making your data portable and flexible.

Once you’ve got your contacts in Excel, the possibilities are endless. You can sort, filter, and manipulate your contact list in ways that Outlook’s interface doesn’t allow. You can merge contact lists, deduplicate entries, and even integrate with other data sources. Of course, with great power comes great responsibility. Be sure to keep your contact’s information secure and respect their privacy.

If you’ve found this guide helpful, why not take it further? Learn how to clean and organize your contacts list, or explore the world of data analysis and visualization. With the Outlook contacts now in Excel, you’re in control. What will you do with your newfound power?

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