The overwhelming majority of users prefer to store their contacts in Outlook or iCloud. Sometimes, they have to switch between them, which is a hassle. Resolve the problem once and for all by moving your data to one system. If you prefer Apple devices, our guide will help you import Outlook contacts to iCloud and back in a flash. Even though the systems were devised for different platforms, they can be in sync.
If you have important addresses in Outlook, but use your iCloud account on iPhone or Mac most of the time, the transfer makes sense. However, the applications store contacts in radically different formats. Without a workaround from experts, the average user is unlikely to figure out a solution on their own. Cross-platform migration is usually troublesome.
Learn to move Outlook contacts
Our method allows you to keep the systems in sync all the time, whatever the device. Switch between platforms throughout the day if necessary — all the changes will be shared smoothly between Windows and Mac or iOS. Below, you will find recommended strategies worth trying if you need to transfer Outlook contacts to the Apple app.
How to import contacts from Outlook to iCloud
Do you want to move your address list to an Apple device? Whether it is an iPhone or a Mac, the logic is the same. If you need to import Outlook contacts to iCloud, it will be necessary to divide the process into two stages. First, it is necessary to export contacts from Outlook into a file of a compatible format. Then, you will need to proceed to import a vCard file to iCloud.
Here is how to export contacts if you use the Outlook 365 version:
- Open Outlook 365 you use and press on the App icon.
- Click on the People tab.
- Click Export contacts from the Manage features.
- You will need to choose either All contacts or particular ones to be exported.
- Then press on the Export button.
Contingent on the version of the browser you use, you will be prompted to either Save or Open a file.
If you use an Outlook.com account that is formerly known as Hotmail, Live, and MSN, the above steps for exporting contacts are the same as for Outlook 365.
The steps for users of Outlook Express:
- Launch the program.
- Open the main menu > File > Export > Other Address Book.
- Choose Text File (Comma Separated Values) > Export.
- Press on the Browse button to choose where the exported file will be stored. You will also have to name it, adding .csv at the end.
- In the ‘Save as’ field, go for *.CSV.
- Save > Next.
- Select the fields you wish to export > Finish.
For the 2013 or 2016 versions of Outlook, proceed as follows:
- Open the email client installed on your PC and click File.
- Further, you will need to press Open & Export > Import/Export.
- After you will need to choose an action – Export to a file and click Next.
- Then you will need to select the format of the created file, go for Comma Separated Values and click Next.
- Then you will be prompted to choose a folder, select Contacts. Click Next then.
- The next step requires choosing the location where a new file will be saved – press on Browse and define the location on the hard drive and click Next.
- Finish the procedure.
If you are a user of Outlook 2010, the process of exporting contacts into a file is as follows:
- Open the email client, then press File > Options.
- Go to the Advanced tab > press Export.
- From the suggested list, press on the “Export to a File” option > Next.
- Go for the “Comma Separated Values (Windows)” option > Next.
- Select the folder you need to export > Next.
- Press on the Browse button, choose the location of a created file on your PC. Type the name > OK.
The received CSV file should be converted into vCard. Next, you will need to proceed to import vCard format file into iCloud:
- Head to the Contacts on the iCloud control panel (icloud.com/contacts/).
- Click on the Gear icon.
- Find the button that will import vCard.
- Navigate to the file you have previously created and press Open.
A Better Solution: Sync Outlook contacts with iCloud Continuously
The method described above will copy contacts from Outlook to iCloud. However, it is only useful for one-time transfers. This means you will need to repeat them regularly to keep both address lists on Windows and Mac or iOS updated. This is laborious and often unnecessary. For continuous transfer of information, get an iCloud app for your Windows machine.
This is the most straightforward transfer method in existence. This app is specifically designed to work on Microsoft Windows, so it will sync with your Outlook flawlessly. Aside from the contacts, you will be able to link your emails and calendar just as easily.
- Get the installation file for iCloud for Windows from the official Microsoft Store.
- Install the app and launch it.
- Use your Apple ID and password to log in to the iCloud control panel.
- Find the button for syncing data (Mail, Contacts, Calendars, and Tasks).
- Apply the setup to your iCloud account.
- Open the Outlook app.
- Check that the data has been transferred successfully.
This is the best way to sync Outlook contacts with iCloud. At this point, you should see the messages, calendars, and contacts you wanted to import. As you can see, this method is almost effortless in comparison with the manual systems above.
Transfer Contacts from iCloud to Outlook
Do you need to perform the operation in reverse? The logic should be intuitively clear — go through the same steps in the opposite order, starting from the iCloud control panel. You will also need a converter to transform the files before import.
Move Contacts Using Import/Export
This is the simplest method: export the data from Mac and export it. This works for transfer in many cases, but this app pair is different. Outlook recognizes files saved as Comma Separated Values, which is native for windows. Meanwhile, iCloud can only export and import vCard. Conversion is inevitable.
- Go to your contact list available on the iCloud control panel (icloud.com/contacts/).
- Open Actions on the left.
- Select the entire range for specific items only.
- Click the “Export vCard…” button found in Actions.
Now, the system will download your contacts into a separate VCF file. This completes the first stage. To continue, you will need a converter that will turn your vCard file created on Mac into CSV. Alternatively, you could use the method suggested on the official Windows website.
Converting Contacts on Windows
You can use the file explorer to convert the file. This is far from a one-step operation. On the upside, you can complete the test without a third-party converter. You will get a CSV file compatible with Outlook and Excel. If you open it as a spreadsheet, you will be able to add more information — just remember to keep the top row unchanged.
- Transfer the file from Mac to your Windows device.
- Find it via File Explorer (aka Windows Explorer).
- Head to the Contacts folder (C:\Users\<username>\Contacts).
- Use the import feature at the top.
- Browse to the folder in 3 and select the import operation.
- Specify the file format as VCF or vCard.
- Click the Import button.
- Browse to the file with exported data and open it.
- Click okay for every item you want to transfer.
- Close the window.
- Return to File Explorer and select its export feature at the top.
- Specify CSV as the format.
- Click the Export button.
- Name your file using the Browse option (e.g., “iPhone contacts”).
- Save the changes.
- Select the fields for transfer and click Finish.
How to Import
There are only a few steps left. Open the People section in Outlook Web. Head to the management options to find the feature “Import Contacts”. Then, upload the file you exported. Voila!
The Best Way to Copy your Contacts
As you can see, installing an iCloud app is the quickest way to sync the data, which is a good reason to download it. The contact lists will be updated without your participation. Both apps will be up-to-date. There is just one drawback in comparison with manual tasks — the absence of customization.
Whichever message you choose, linking the two systems is a reasonable decision. You will have flexible access to your address list from any device and platform. If you choose manual transfer (to import Outlook contacts to iCloud or back), get an efficient converter from VCF to CSV. It will save you a lot of time and ensure precision.
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