How to Import Outlook Contacts Into Apple Mail

Learn how to move Outlook contacts on a Mac

If you want your Outlook contacts to be available in the Apple Mail application on your Mac, get them into the Contacts app. This is a two-phase process. In your Outlook address book, save your contacts to a vCard (VCF). Then, import them to the Contacts application, which Mail uses for contacts management, import the file, and organize its contents.

Instructions in this article apply to Outlook for Microsoft 365 for Mac, Outlook 2019 for Mac, and Outlook 2016 for Mac and the Mail and Contacts applications in macOS Catalina (10.15) through macOS Sierra (10.12).

Export Outlook Contacts to a VCF File

To export your Outlook Contacts to a VCF file:

  1. On the Mac desktop, create a new folder titled Outlook Contacts. It isn't required, but it helps keep the transfer organized.

    A folder on the desktop labeled outlook contacts.
  2. Open Outlook and select People.

    Outlook for Mac 2016 inbox.
  3. Select the contacts that you want to export.

    Viewing contacts in Outlook for Mac 2016.
  4. Drag the contacts to the Outlook Contacts folder you made on the desktop. The contacts are stored in this folder in vCard format.

    Click and dragging vCards from Outlook for Mac 2016 to a folder on the desktop.

Import the Outlook vCard Files Into the Contacts App

To import your contacts into the macOS Contacts application:

  1. Open Contacts.

    Mac OS Contacts app.
  2. Open the folder you created on the desktop labeled Outlook Contacts.

    VCF cards in a folder on the desktop.
  3. Select all the contacts in the Outlook Contacts folder by pressing Command+A.

    All the vCards highlighted in a folder.
  4. With the left mouse button, drag the contacts from the folder into the macOS Contacts app.

    Dragging the vCards into MacOS Contacts app.
  5. If prompted for confirmation for adding the new contacts, select Add.

    Confirmation of the addition of vCards.
  6. The newly imported contacts are in the macOS Contacts app.

    Newly added contacts in Contacts app.

Resolve Duplicate Contacts

If duplicate contacts are copied into the Contacts app, macOS notifies you of these duplicates. Here's how to handle duplicates:

  1. When prompted to import a duplicate contact, select either Review Duplicate, Cancel the copy, or Import.

    Dialog asking for confirmation of a duplicate copy of a contact.
  2. If you select Review Duplicate, you get the choice to either Keep Old, Keep New, Keep Both, or Update.

    • Keep Old keeps the original contact in the Contacts app.
    • Keep New copies the new contact over the original contact in the Contacts app.
    • Keep Both makes a copy of the new contact with the same name.
    • Update combines the original and new contact information.
    Viewing the duplicate contact.
  3. No matter which option you choose (besides Cancel), the new contact or the contact update is listed in the macOS Contacts app.

    To check that all the Contacts are available in Apple Mail, open the Mail app and open a new email message. In the To field, begin typing the name of one of the contacts you copied from Outlook to Contacts. The name and email address autopopulate from the Contacts application.

    A duplicate contact has been copied into MacOS Contacts.
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