How to Share Your Outlook Contacts without Microsoft Exchange

Microsoft Outlook is a popular email client for business, and many businesses use it for email, even if they’re not using Exchange Server. If you’re one of those businesses, you may run into the issue of having to sync your contacts between two different computers (for example, your office computer and your laptop).

To accomplish this task, you simply have to export your contacts from the computer where your contacts are stored and then import them on the target computer.

Step 1: Export Contacts from the source Outlook

The first step is to export the contacts from the copy of Outlook on the computer where your contacts are stored.

  1. In Outlook 2003 and 2007, click File, then Import and Export. In Outlook 2010, click File, then Open, then Import.
  2. In the Import and Export wizard that pops up, select “Export to a file” and click Next.
  3. On the next screen, select either Personal Folder File (.pst) or Outlook Data File (.pst), then click Next. Which one you’ll see depends on your version of Outlook.
  4. Select your Contacts folder, check or uncheck “Include subfolders,” then click Next.
  5. Enter a filename and choose a location of your choosing by clicking the Browse button. If you’d like, you can either allow or exclude duplicate entries from the exported file. Click Finish.

Step 2: Import Contacts into the target Outlook

Now that you have an exported PST file containing all your contacts, you can import them into a different copy of Outlook on a different computer.

  1. First, copy the export file to the target computer.
  2. In Outlook 2003 and 2007, click File, then Import and Export. In Outlook 2010, click File, then Open, then Import.
  3. Select “Import from another program or file” and click Next.
  4. On the next screen, select either Personal Folder File (.pst) or Outlook Data File (.pst), then click Next. Which one you’ll see depends on your version of Outlook.
  5. Click Browse and navigate to the PST file you copied over at the beginning of this step. Choose the Contacts folder, select “Import items into the current folder,” then click Finish.

And that’s how it’s done. To sync the contacts to another computer or even back to the original computer, simply repeat this process. Exporting your contacts from Outlook is a great way to make a backup of them as well.

If you find your business email needs outgrowing the basic Microsoft Outlook functionality, it may be time to upgrade your company’s email to Microsoft Exchange. Minneapolis-based IT company OAC Technology can help you assess your company’s needs and implement an email solution that’s right for you. Contact us today for a free consultation.

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