How to Back Up or Copy Your Windows Mail Address Book

Over the last decade, Microsoft has offered several different programs to help Windows users manage their contacts. The current iteration—People—serves as an aggregator, syncing periodically with connected email accounts to scrape user data.

Because the People app merely packages and presents information already stored in your email accounts, it does not have a native capability for exporting data.

In other words: What's in your People app already exists in your connected email accounts (or extended contact information in an Outlook.com or Office365 account), so there's nothing to back up, copy or export. The People app doesn't contain unique information.

However, a previous incarnation of the People app—the Windows Address Book—stood separately from your email accounts and could hold its own proprietary information. Although the Windows Address Book ended with Windows XP, some XP users still dot the planet.

Back Up or Copy Your Windows Mail Address Book

To create a copy of your Windows Mail address book:

  • Select Tools | Windows Contacts... from the menu in Windows Mail.
  • Press Ctrl-A. Make sure all items in the address book are highlighted.
  • Press Ctrl-C.
  • Open the desired backup location in Windows.
  • Press Ctrl-V. Verify that all items from the address book appear.