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How to Sync iCloud Contacts with Outlook

How to Sync iCloud Contacts with Outlook

iCloud synchronizes your user data across your devices. It serves as a backup and allows easy sharing of photos, notes, videos, and other files with friends and family.

If you are looking for a way to sync iCloud contacts with Outlook, you may want to have the same copy of the address book on both accounts that would reflect any changes or additions made to either account. Alternatively, you may be looking for a way to access iCloud contacts on Outlook. This article suggests three methods for both use cases.

Method 1: Manually Sync iCloud Contacts with Outlook for Mac & Windows

This method involves two stages. First, you have to import iCloud contacts to Outlook. If you want to sync any changes to the contacts, you have to perform the next process, which is to export Outlook contacts to iCloud.

By itself, it’s not a complicated process. However, it can be quite lengthy as Outlook doesn’t support bulk-importing for contacts saved in a vCard (.vcf) or CSV file. You have to set the custom fields for each contact manually, which makes the process quite time-consuming.

Step 1: Import iCloud Contacts to Outlook

You need to export contacts from iCloud, so you can import them. Just follow these steps:

  1. On your browser, go to, and select Contacts. Select one or more contacts from the list.
  2. In the sidebar, you’ll see the settings icon. Click it, and select Export vCard. All the contacts you’ve selected will be included in one vCard.
  3. To open the contacts on Outlook:
  • On Mac: Control-click the downloaded vCard to open it with Microsoft Outlook.
  • On Windows: Right-click the vCard > Open with > select Outlook from the options.
    vCard Open With Outlook
  1. You’ll need to individually save each contact in the VCF as bulk-importing is not supported.

Outlook contact

There are two more ways to import vCard files in Outlook:

  • Attach the vCard as part of a message, and send it to your Outlook email. To import the contacts, click on the attached message, and choose Open.
  • Use the Open & Export wizard in Outlook. Click on File > Open & Export > Import/Export > Import a VCard file (.vcf) > Browse for the vCard file saved on your computer.

Outlook menu Open & export

Caution: Ensure that you have selected all the contacts from your iCloud Outlook account. Many users mistakenly fail to choose all the contacts they wish to export, only choosing one.

Step 2: Import Outlook Contacts to iCloud

Before importing, let’s export Outlook contacts to iCloud:

  1. Select the People tab in Outlook.
  2. Choose the contacts you wish to export
  3. Right-click or control-click, and from the Contacts group, select Forward as vCard.
  4. You can address the email to yourself, and download the exported vCard (.vcf). Sending contact to yourself

Following steps describing how to import the vCard into iCloud.

  1. Go to and choose Contacts.
  2. Select the settings icon to view more options and click Import vCard from the list. Browse for the downloaded file with File Explorer.

Method 2: Import iCloud Contacts to Outlook via vCard to Outlook Transfer

VCard Transfer software BoxShot

Bulk-importing multiple contacts is not supported in Outlook. If you need to save hundreds of contacts, the process takes up a lot of time and effort. Fortunately, you can speed it up using a third-party tool such as vCard to Outlook Transfer. This is one of the best tools as it’s tested, reliable, and fully supported.

The tool simplifies the process of importing hundreds of contacts by importing them directly to Outlook or integrating them into a standalone Outlook PST file. It works directly with all popular Outlook versions, including Outlook 2019, 2016, 2013, 2010 & earlier versions.

Using vCard to Outlook Transfer is quite easy. First, ensure that you have exported the contacts from iCloud. The next steps are as follows:

  1. Download and install vCard to Outlook Transfer
    Download for FreeFor Windows 32/64-bitBuy from $19.95Unlock all features
    * - The unregistered version converts a limited number of contacts
  2. After launching it, choose the source folder.
    VCF to PST Converter - Main Screen
  3. The tool can scan folders for vCard files.
    VCF to PST Converter - Searching for contacts
  4. From the top menu, set the Mode by choosing between Import to Outlook or Save to PST File.
  5. Choose the vCard files you want to import and cock “Save PST” or “Import” button.
    VCF to PST Converter - Saving contacts to Outlook format

vCard to Outlook transfer will perform the conversion and add the new contacts to Outlook.

Once you launch Outlook, you’ll find the new contacts there.

Method 3: Sync Contacts to Outlook Using iCloud for Windows

If you’re wondering how to sync iCloud contacts to Outlook, there is a simple and automatic way to ensure that your contact list is constantly updated. The method can also help to add an iCloud calendar to Outlook. So, here is how to do it:

  1. Download and install iCloud for Windows.
  2. Launch the iCloud app after the installation is complete, and use your Apple ID credentials to sign in.
  3. Check the boxes to sync Mail, Contacts, Calendars, and Tasks with Outlook. Then click Apply.
  4. Go ahead and open Outlook.
  5. In the People tab, check if you can see iCloud contacts.

iCloud Contacts

Most Common Issues Syncing Outlook Contacts with iCloud

Users have reported some compatibility issues when syncing Outlook contacts with iCloud via the app. Let’s discuss two of the most common issues that you can encounter.

iCloud Contacts Don’t Show Up in Outlook

Are your Outlook contacts not syncing with iCloud? The problem is quite common and has been addressed in the official Microsoft support forum, where it was recommended to check if the iCloud add-in for Outlook is on.

  1. Select File.
  2. Choose Options > Add-ins.
  3. Browse through the list of Active Application Add-ins.
  4. Check if the iCloud add-in is on the list. If not, you have to install it.

iCloud Contacts Shown First in the Address Book

You can address the problem by changing the order of address lists in Outlook. For this procedure:

  1. Open Outlook Address Book (you can find it on the Home ribbon/Standard toolbar or from the People section).
    Address Book Ribbon
  2. In Address Book: Contacts, click on Tools > Options.
    Address Book options menu
  3. In Addressing, you can select how Outlook will check the address lists by changing the setting from Check Automatically to your custom address list.
    Address Book options set


This article has discussed three main ways to sync Outlook contacts to iCloud. The first method has addressed the manual way of transferring contacts by exporting and importing a vCard file. But we see that it can be quite tedious to add each individual contact to Outlook. That’s why it’s more convenient to use vCard to Outlook, a tool that can import multiple contacts into Outlook, saving you a lot of time and effort.

We’ve also examined the automatic way to sync iCloud contacts with Outlook 2016 and other Windows versions by installing the iCloud Windows app.

Frequently Asked Questions

How do I make iCloud contacts default in Outlook?

In the People tab, select Address Book. Then, click on Tools > Options, and in Addressing, change the address list that will be shown first. You can also change the setting from Global Offline Address list to Outlook iCloud contacts.

Why is iCloud not syncing with Outlook?

If you are experiencing issues with synchronization, a number of things may have gone wrong. It could be due to a corrupted iCloud app, incorrect iCloud account settings, or an outdated version of Outlook. There may be compatibility issues between the two programs. Different date and time settings on the PC and other Apple devices may also cause issues.

Where are my iCloud contacts in Outlook?

Your iCloud contacts are in a separate folder that you can view with the command Ctrl+6. This displays the list of sub-folders under Contacts. You may need to scroll down to see the iCloud Contacts folder.

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How to Sync iCloud Contacts with Outlook

time to read: 5 min