Export contacts from Outlook 2010 in 3 simple steps

export contacts from Outlook 2010The default mail program with Microsoft Office is Outlook. It is at present, the most user friendly mailing software and is extremely handy with various features that make the emailing processing very easy. Some of the most common uses are sending and receiving email, managing calendar meeting requests, maintaining contacts and managing notes. Outlook has one of the best contact management software support available.  In this tutorial we’ll walk you through simple ways to save your Outlook contacts.

Like with any other tool, there are some situations in which you may want to export your email contacts to share with other applications, or simply to keep a backup.This is quite handy if you are using two different email services like Outlook and Gmail, and need to sync your Outlook contacts with Gmail. Whatever may be the reason for wanting to save your Outlook contacts, there are multiple ways in which you can do it. Let’s walk you through, step by step

1.      Open your Contact List in Outlook

i)     Open up your Outlook 2010 program. Wait patiently till your data is loaded.

ii)    Click on the File tab that is on the top Outlook toolbar. Choose “Options” in the dropdown menu.

iii)    Select “Advanced” from the tabs present at the left hand column of the dialog box.

iv)   Find the Export section. Click the mouse on the Export button. Your Export Wizard will open.

2.      Selecting your File Format

i)     Click “Export to a file” in your Export Wizard. Then click on the “Next” button.

ii)    Find under “Create a file type”. There are various options you can select from for the file format. Some of them are

  • If you want to import your Outlook contact data into any other Outlook program, then you can use the Outlook Data File (.pst). This is an Outlook proprietary program.

  • If you just want to see or perhaps manipulate your Outlook contact data you can use the Excel spreadsheet option (.xls).

  • When you are using Outlook 2010 on a Windows computer, and you want to import the file to an unrelated program, then it’s best to use the Comma Separated Values (.csv) option. The Comma Separated Values file is equivalent to a spreadsheet, but it does not have headers like Excel spreadsheets. CSV is a much more simpler, universally recognised database.

  • Select a Mac Data file (.olm) if you want to use your Outlook contact data in other Apple programs 

3.      Exporting contacts from Outlook

i) Choose the types of data you want to export. If you want to save or export just your Contact data, select only the “Contacts” folder and deselect “Mail”, “Tasks”, “Notes” and “Calendar”.

ii) Select the folder from which you want to export your data.  If you possess multiple Contacts folder then you should have to select the folder before completing the export.

iii) Click on the “Next” button. A dialog box will open up to save the file.

iv) Select your preferred location. Under the “Save the exported file as” box, you can use the browser to select a folder in your computer.

v)  Give your file a name before saving it. Click “OK”.

vi) Choose “Next” option on the “Export to a File” box. Then click on “Finish” button. Your file is saved into your computer.

To be safe, you should always opt for a password to secure your saved data. Outlook will ask you to confirm your password a second time and only then begin to export your data.

Since this is quite a compute intensive operation, Outlook may seem to stop or hang for a while. Be patient and wait for it to complete. It’s advisable you do not attempt to forcefully close Outlook during this time, or your data will not be exported properly. You should verify the export has completed by making sure the file has been saved properly by going to the destination where you have saved your backup or exported  file.

Things to remember

•     If you are not certain about the file format best suitable for exporting your contacts to different program, always try several file types, like an Outlook Data File and CSV. Afterwards, you can delete the unused file.

•     Always save these exported Outlook files to a support drive. We recommend you back up your contacts and other important data after every few weeks so that all your essential data is saved in case of computer malfunction.

Using the exported contact list, is also as simple. Whichever program you are importing it into, will have instructions on how to do so. Mostly, it’s as simple as just uploading or attaching your exported file.

The upside to using Outlook 2010

•  Outlook 2010 has a very solid and effective spam filtering and it automatically blocks phishing attempts.

•    It as flexible search and multiple labelling and filter options will help you in organize your mail.

•    Outlook 2010 also integrates to-do lists, email messages, scheduling and social networking updates well.

We hope this tutorial shows you how simple Outlook 2010 is to learn, and how to export your Contacts easily. Once you’re comfortable with the basics of Outlook, feel free to try out our advanced Outlook course.