How to Use macOS Contacts With Outlook

Export Your Contacts to a VCF File

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It's pretty simple to import contacts into Outlook using a CSV file or Excel document. However, if you're on a Mac and want to use your Contacts address book with Microsoft Outlook, you have to first export the list of people to a VCF file.

The great thing about doing this is that you can make the vCard file as a backup of your contacts so that you don't lose them in the future. You can save them somewhere safe, like with an online backup service, or just keep them on your computer so you can import them elsewhere, like in Gmail or your iCloud account.

Below are instructions for importing the address book list directly into Microsoft Outlook so that you can use your contacts in that email program.

See What Is a VCF File? if you want to learn how to convert the macOS contact list into a CSV file.

How to Import macOS Contacts Into Outlook

  1. Open Contacts or Address Book.

  2. Use the File > Export... > Export vCard... option or simply drag and drop All Contacts from the Group list to your desktop. You can even select one or more specific contacts if you'd rather not export the whole list.

    If you do not see All Contacts, select View > Show Groups from the menu.

  3. Close any of these open contact windows.

  4. Open Outlook.

  5. Select View > Go To > People (or View) > Go To > Contacts from the menu.

  6. Drag and drop "All Contacts.vcf" from the desktop (created in Step 2) to the Address Book root category.

    Make sure a "+" appears as you hover the file over the Address Book category.

  7. You can now delete that VCF file from your desktop or copy it elsewhere to use it as a backup.


  • The Outlook for Mac will automatically create and assign categories if you have your Address Book contacts in groups.
  • To avoid notes and photos from backing up in the VCF file, deselect the "Export notes in vCards" and "Export photos in vCards" options from Contacts > Preferences > vCard.
  • If in Step 2, you choose the File > Export > Contacts Archive option, the contacts will be exported as an ABBU file instead of VCF. The ABBU format is great for importing the contacts back into a macOS application but not so great for using the address book with non-Mac programs or online email services