How to Import Your Outlook Express Contacts Into Windows Live Mail

Get all your contacts out of Outlook Express into Outlook Online

Image of emails flying through space

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All mail and no contacts make Windows Live Mail a dull place.

If you've built a sizable address book in your desktop version of Outlook Express, transitioning to the Microsoft's cloud email solution and migrating these addresses to Windows Live Mail is easy.

Windows Live Mail is the former name of what is now called Outlook Online. In this article, Windows Live Mail and Outlook Online will be used interchangeably. In both cases, the website to access this cloud email account is

Check Your Outlook Express Contacts

To import contacts from Outlook Express in Windows Live Mail:

Before you get started, verify the number of contacts you currently have in Outlook Express. To do this, from the main window select Address Book from the Find section of the menu ribbon.

Review your contacts and make a note of how many are there.

Contacts in Outlook Express

Import Your Outlook Express Address Book Into Windows Live Mail

Now you're ready to migrate your Outlook Express contacts to Outlook Online.

  1. First, you need to export contacts from Outlook Express as a CSV file. In Outlook, select File, and select Open & Export. Select Import/Export from the list.

    Import/Export in Outlook
  2. In the Import and Export Wizard, select Export to a file and then select Next.

    The Import and Export Wizard in Outlook
  3. Choose Comma Separated Values, select Next. Select Contacts from the list, and then select Next.

    Exporting Contacts in Outlook
  4. Give the file a name, and select Next and then Finish to save the file.

    Saving the contacts file to CSV

    Make note of the file path when typing the file so you'll know where to find the file after you export it.

  5. Go to Outlook Online, and select the apps icon in the upper left. Then select the People icon from the list.

    The Apps menu in Outlook online
  6. Select Manage from the menu, and select Import Contacts from the dropdown list.

    Import contacts in Outlook online
  7. In the Import Contacts window, browse to the CSV file you exported in Step 4. Select Import to begin the import process.

    Importing contacts from CSV in Outlook Online
  8. Once the CSV contacts file is fully imported, you'll see your Outlook Express contacts show up in your Outlook Online contact list.

If you're using Windows Live Mail (Outlook Online) with a Windows Live account (to access Windows Live Hotmail, for example), all contacts you imported will also be added to any other Windows Online accounts or apps you may be using.

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