Technology Training

Import and Export Contacts in Outlook 2016

If you use Outlook for work, at some point you may need to import and export contacts from your account. Though it may seem complicated, it is actually an easy process if you use the tricks we lay out in this video.

Have you ever tried to import something into Outlook, only to have your file rejected, or your data imported incorrectly?  If you are trying to import contacts into Outlook from a file that isn’t using the same data fields that Outlook needs, you will get bogged down trying to make sure that your data is mapped correctly. If for example, your ‘first name’ data gets mapped to the ‘last name’ data field, your data will flow into Outlook incorrectly.

Before you import anything into Outlook, you will need to know what Outlook wants. Outlook considers a lot of data fields during the import process, and it can be difficult to determine which fields are necessary, or how to get them in the right format. For this reason, it is easier and more reliable to import data into Outlook using the spreadsheet it gives you.

To fix this problem, start by exporting a CSV file out of Outlook. This will give you a spreadsheet template with all of the fields that Outlook requires. Once you have exported a CSV file, you can begin entering the data you have regarding your contacts. If you carefully input your data into the correct fields, you will have a complete data set that is ready to be imported back into Outlook.

Importing is the same process as exporting. You will need to select the updated CSV file from your computer. Outlook will want to verify that the data fields match up, and this won’t be a problem since you are now using Outlook’s template. Now, you should be ready to start importing your contacts into Outlook.

If you follow these steps, you will soon be a master at importing and exporting contacts in Outlook!

To shortcut the export process, you can use this Excel Contacts Template that has all of the data fields that Outlook requires for contact import.