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 to have all your Outlook contacts available in your Apple's Mail application on your Mac, you'll need to get them all into the Contacts app. This entails a two-phase process. In the case of your Outlook address book, you'll have to save your contacts to a comma-separated value (CSV) plain-text spreadsheet — a format that's readily understood across both apps. Then, the macOS Contacts application, which Mail uses for contacts management, can import the file and organize its contents with nary a hiccup.

Export Outlook Contacts to a CSV File

Export your Outlook Contacts to a CSV file named "ol-contacts.csv" in the following manner.

  1. Select File in Outlook 2013 or later.

  2. Go to the Open & Export category.

  3. Click Import/Export.

  4. Confirm that Export to a file is highlighted.

  5. Click Next.

  6. Select Comma Separated Values.

  7. Click Next.

  8. Select the Browse button, specify a location, and name the file ol-contacts.csv for the exported contacts file. 

Import the Outlook Contacts CSV File Into the MacOS Contacts App

Copy the previously exported ol-contacts.csv file to your Mac. Before you import any CSV file, use a text editor such as TextEdit on the Mac to confirm the file is formatted correctly.

  1. Remove any line breaks that occur within a contact's information.

  2. Confirm all the contacts have the same number of fields. Add empty fields if necessary.

  3. Make sure all the fields are separated by a comma. Don't include spaces before or after the commas.

To import Outlook contacts into the macOS Contacts application used by Mail in OS X 10.8 and later:

  1. Open Contacts.

  2. Select File > Import from the menu.

  3. Locate and highlight the ol-contacts.csv file.

  4. Click Open.

  5. Review the field labels on the first card. Make sure the headers are either correctly labeled or marked "Do not import." Any changes made here apply to all the contacts.

  6. Select Ignore first card so the headers card is not imported.

  7. Click the arrow next to a label to change it. If you don't want to import a field, click Do not import.

  8. Click OK.

Resolving Duplicate Contacts

The Contacts application displays a message when it finds duplicates of existing cards. You can review the duplicates and decide how to handle each of them. You can accept the duplications without reviewing them, or you can review them and take an action. Actions include:

  • Keeping the old contact and deleting the new one.
  • Keeping the new contact and deleting the old one.
  • Keeping both contact versions.
  • Creating a new card that includes the information from both contact versions.