How to Manage (Export/Import/Move/Backup/Copy) Outlook Address Book?

MS Outlook, a well-known and evolving email program provided by Microsoft. Outlook is a comprehensive manager that stores complete mailbox components such as email, contacts, calendar, tasks, journals, etc. It is an up-to-date email client favored by a large number of users worldwide. Thus, the main purpose of this article is to focus on Outlook Address Book. It has been found several times that people look forward to export / import / move / backup / copy Outlook contacts. The article provides complete instructions for learning about the Outlook Address Book and how to move contacts from one system to another or from one email client to another.

Overview – Outlook Address Book

If you have properly installed and configured Outlook on your device, then you have the default Outlook address book. The Outlook address book, commonly called OAB, contains a set of Outlook contact folders. Now you probably think that OAB is a physical address book that is not. It is basically a virtual concept and therefore the OAB represents only the primary contact folder. The contacts folder in OAB has a personal view, nothing more than this, which is why it cannot operate independently. Another assumption about OAB is that Outlook does not store any OAB files that are not in your data store.

There are different locations of PAB files in different Windows versions:-

Windows Vista/7/8/8.1


Windows XP/Windows Server 2003

C: Documents and Settings \User\Local Settings\Application Data\Microsoft\Outlook

Steps to copy PAB (Physical OAB) to another System

→ Visit the MS Outlook application

Go to "Tool" menu and then click "E-mail Account"

→ After that, click on “Directory” option → view or change existing directories or address book → Next.

Under "You can choose a directory or address book below to change or remove it" option, click "Personal Address Book" → "Change" option.

→ Now, copy the path of your PAB file that is in the "Path" box.

Quit Outlook and open Windows Explorer.

→ In the address bar of Windows Explorer, paste the path of the PAB file

→ You will see the PAB file in a folder that opens. From here you can select and copy the PAB file to another system via any appropriate media.

Steps to Export Outlook Address Book

Launch Outlook application and click "File" Option.

→ Now a new window will appear, click Open & Export option and then "Import/Export".

→ In "Import and Export" wizard window, select 'Export to a file' option and click on "Next" tab.

→ Now in this "Export to a file" window, select "Comma Separated Values" and then click "Next" tab.

Under "Select folder to export from:" select 'Contacts' and press the "Next" button.

→ Now click "Browse" option to select a destination folder. After that choose the target file name and click "Next" tab.

→ Lastly to complete the process, click on the "Finish" button.

Steps to Import Contacts Files into MS Outlook

Launch Outlook and click "File" menu

→ Now visit the "Open & Export" button and then click "Import/Export".

Now in "Import/Export" wizard, click on "Import from another program or file" from the list of options and then click on "Next".

→ Here, in "Import from a file" window, browse "Comma Separated Values" file that you want to import and then click on "Next".

→ Check on the option to remove or allow duplicates and click on "Next" button.

Select the "destination folder" where you want to import the Contacts. And after, that click on "Next".

→ Lastly to complete the process, click on "Finish" button.

→ If you want to see the contacts, choose "People icon" at the bottom of the Outlook.

Steps to backup contacts folders of Outlook?

Open MS Outlook of any version

Click "Home" button → "New Item" → "More Item" → "Outlook Data File"

→ Now choose the "Contacts navigation" board

Click on the "contact folder" that you needs to backup and after that select "Copy folder"

→ Now a new dialog box will appear, choose "backup contacts folder" and press the "OK" button

→ Now "close" the Outlook application and make a copy of newly created Backup contacts PST file to your backup location.

Final Words

Lots of technical knowledge is not required for this task. Using the steps above, which we have discussed so far, you can easily manage your Outlook Address Book properly. Even a little knowledge is enough to manage an Outlook address book without any big hassle.


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