How to Use macOS Contacts With Outlook

Export your contacts to a VCF file

It's 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, export the list of people to a VCF file. The vCard file can also be used as a backup of your contacts and saved somewhere safe, like at an online backup service. Or keep the VCF file on your computer so you can import your contacts elsewhere, like in Gmail or your iCloud account.

Instructions in this article apply to Outlook 2019 for Mac and Outlook 2016 for Mac.

How to Import macOS Contacts Into Outlook

To import the address book list into Microsoft Outlook so that you can use your contacts in that email program:

  1. Open Contacts or Address Book.

    If you don't want to export the entire list, select the contacts you want to export.

  2. Go to File > Export > Export vCard. Or, drag All Contacts from the Group list to your desktop.

    If you don't see All Contacts, select View > Show Groups.

  3. Close the open contact window and open Outlook.

  4. Select People or Contacts.

    People in the bottom pane
  5. Drag and drop the All Contacts.vcf file from the desktop (created in Step 2) to the Address Book root category.

    Make sure the Plus ( + ) sign appears as you hover the file over the Address Book category.

  6. Delete the VCF file from your desktop or copy it elsewhere to use it as a backup.

More Tips for Using macOS Contacts With Outlook

Outlook for Mac automatically creates and assigns categories if you have your Address Book contacts in groups.

To avoid notes and photos from backing up in the VCF file, go to Contacts > Preferences > vCard, then clear the Export notes in vCards checkbox and the Export photos in vCards check box.

Screenshot showing vCard options

You can also use this VCF file to convert the macOS contact list into a CSV file.

If in Step 2 you choose File > Export > Contacts Archive, the contacts are exported as an ABBU file instead of VCF. Use the ABBU format to import the contacts back into a macOS application.

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