Import Outlook Contacts Into macOS Contacts for the Mail App

Learn how to move Outlook contacts to a Mac

An illustration of a person accessing the contacts on the mobile device.

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If you want your Outlook contacts available in your 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, in the macOS Contacts application, which Mail uses for contacts management, import the file and organize its contents.

Instructions in this article apply to Outlook for Office 365 for Mac, Outlook 2019 for Mac, and Outlook 2016 for Mac.

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. This is not required but 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 one or more contacts that you want to export.

    Viewing contacts in Outlook for Mac 2016.
  4. Drag the contacts to the folder you made on the desktop, Outlook Contacts. 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 Contacts vCard Files Into the MacOS Contacts App

To import your contacts into MacOS Contacts:

  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 (press + 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 MacOS Contacts app, MacOS notifies you of these duplicates. Here's how to handle duplicates:

  1. When prompted to import a duplicate contact, select either 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 will 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 what option you choose (besides Cancel), the new contact or the contact update is listed in the MacOS Contacts app.

    A duplicate contact has been copied into MacOS Contacts.