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Do you need to export outlook contacts?

How to export outlook contacts

When you have been using Microsoft Outlook for a long time, you are handling a lot of contacts already. You may need to all contacts together for different reasons. What do you think? An excel file can be a suitable solution for storing all contacts, right? Exporting Outlook contacts in your desired format is quite possible. Today I will show you how to export outlook contacts easily.

Exporting Outlook contacts means extracting all email addresses from the email client and saving those in your local computer initially. Later on, you can save it to the cloud or other places to use it for any other purposes.

Why need to export Outlook contacts?

Did you already think about why you need to export your outlook contacts? If not, then I can give you the answer. After knowing this, maybe you will export all your Outlook contacts. Let us know first why we need to export Outlook contacts.

There may be many reasons to export Outlook contacts. Few of them, I can tell you, like

To do any of the above tasks, someone might need to backup his outlook contacts in a different format. Maybe you are surprised to know about the backup file format. Let me explain.

Formats of contact files in Outlook?

There are three most common file formats available when you attempt to export your Outlook contacts. They are CSV, VCF, and PST.

What is a CSV file?

A CSV file is a text file you can open in various programs, including any program that works with plain text, like the Notepad app. CSV stands for comma-separated values. A comma separates all data/information in this file.

What is a VCF file?

VCF stands for virtual contact file. VCF is a standard file format to store contact information. A VCF file includes information like name, email address, phone number,  physical address, etc. The most exciting part is that it can contain images and other media types.

What is a PST file?

PST stands for personal storage table. Microsoft programs like Outlook store emails, contacts, calendars, etc., in this format. PST files are stored within popular Microsoft software like Microsoft Exchange Client, Windows Messaging, and Microsoft Outlook.

Which is the preferred format?

I will suggest you export your Outlook contact in CSV format because CSV format is acceptable everywhere. CSV files are most commonly encountered in spreadsheets and databases. All email clients and webmail services can recognize CSV format.

Export outlook contacts

It depends on which version of Outlook you are using. In this context, I am writing instructions for Outlook 2019. Also, there are different methods of exporting Outlook contacts. I will describe all possible ways to export Outlook contacts. Keep reading.

Export Outlook contacts to CSV

Microsoft Outlook has an exciting feature to export contacts. One of them is to export Outlook contacts to CSV file format.

Export Outlook contacts to PST file

Sometimes you may need to export Outlook contacts to PST file format. In that case, From the above instruction, step three (03) select Outlook Data File (.pst). Click Next.

All other steps are the same, like Export Outlook contacts to CSV. If you forget, please go back to the instructions above.

Export Outlook contacts to the VCF file

If you want to export all your Outlook contacts with images and media types, the VCF file format is for you. VCF file format offers a picture placeholder and additional notes. It is more attractive and informative.

Export Outlook contacts to Excel file

This question you should not ask as you already know how to export Outlook contacts to a CSV file. A CSV file can be read by Microsoft Excel also. So, there is nothing new to learn here. Sit, relax and follow the instructions above.

Import Contacts from a CSV file?

It is essential to know how to import contacts from a CSV file. Before you format your computer or change your device, you must take a backup of your existing emails and contacts. As soon as you install Microsoft Outlook, you can import all your contacts from a CSV file. Let’s look at how to import contacts from a CSV file.

Backup outlook contact

All of you must hear about backing up emails in Outlook. Do you know how to create a backup of Outlook emails? Anyway, Not only emails you can take a backup of your email contacts as well.

I already described the process above. You can take a backup of your email contacts in three formats. CSV, VCF, and PST format. I also said that CSV is the best-preferred format to take backups as other email clients and webmail like Gmail can read the CSV format.

Taking a backup of your Outlook contact is important as you may lose your device or you may need to change your device. I will suggest you to take email contact backup every three months.

I hope you have enjoyed this tutorial and this article is helpful to you. There are many more to know about Outlook. To learn more about Outlook, and the tools & tricks of Microsoft  Outlook, please remind us. Thank you.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

    Yes, both are the same. For both tasks, you can follow the same process. Actually, they are nothing but two different names.


    Though you have the option to save in three formats CSV, VCF, and PST. CSV file format is the best format to export Outlook contacts.


    Export Outlook contacts mean extracting all Outlook contact email addresses and save in a local hard drive.

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