Outlook is an email client app developed by Microsoft, which is available for Windows, Mac, Android and iOS. Email service Outlook.com is often also referred to as Outlook. Sometimes we need to export contacts from Outlook to iCloud for backup or other purposes. This article will show you how to export Outlook contacts to iCloud easily on Mac and PC.
There is no direct way to transfer Outlook contacts to iCloud. iCloud can only import vCard files, but Outlook does not export contacts as vCard. Don’t worry. Below are methods to export contacts from Outlook to iCloud, covering both Outlook the app and Outlook the service.
Outlook only exports contacts as CSV and OLM file format while iCloud only allows users to import vCard format contacts. This makes it difficult to move contacts from Outlook to iCloud directly. Before we learn how to export Outlook contacts to iCloud, let’s look at what is vCard, CSV and OLM.
vCard file format: vCard is a kind of file format for electronic business cards and is also known for VCF file (virtual contact file). It is used as the interchange data formats to exchange the contacts information among different contacts application.
CSV file format: A CSV (comma-separated values) file is a text file that uses commas to separate values. This format can be used to store contact information. Outlook contacts can be exported as a CSV file.
OLM file format: OLM is the default file format of Microsoft Outlook. All information of Emails and contacts are saved in OLM file format.
Below are three practical methods on how to transfer Outlook contacts to iCloud on Mac.
For Mac users, the easiest and quickest way to export contacts from Outlook to iCloud is to use Cisdem ContactsMate, a contacts management tool. Unlike other methods, it does not require the conversion of files format. This software helps you import Outlook contacts to iCloud directly.
Cisdem Contactsmate outperforms other methods in the following aspects:
Step 1. Download and install Cisdem ContactsMate.
When you open the app for the first time, it will require you to grant permission to access your Mac contacts. Click OK.
Step 2. Add an Outlook Account.
From the toolbar, click Add Account, and the Internet Accounts window will open. Click Exchange and sign in with your Outlook account.
Step 3. Check the box next to Contacts.
In the box that appears, make sure that you select the checkbox next to Contacts. Click Done.
Step 4. Add an iCloud account.
Click the add icon in the bottom left corner of the Internet Accounts Window, Select iCloud. Sign in to iCloud with your Apple ID and password. Click Next. Likewise, select Contacts.
Step 5. Click the button next to the Updated contacts detected message.
On the left sidebar, you will find two new contact groups: Exchange and iCloud. To export Outlook contacts to iCloud, select your Outlook contacts and drag them into the iCloud group on the sidebar.
After these simple steps, Outlook contacts are imported to iCloud. Any change will be detected and synced to iCloud Contacts automatically and immediately.
It’s that easy. Once you have things set up, it is also ready and useful for future uses! The method can also be applied to other services or platforms such as Gmail.
Cisdem ContactsMate main features:
It’s known that Outlook for Mac can export contacts to an OLM file. But iCloud doesn’t support the OLM format. Therefore, you need to convert OLM to vCard, which requires a dedicated tool and is not convenient.
Here I will use a different method, which is less known but much easier. This method works with Office 365 for Mac Subscription, Office for Mac 2019, Outlook 2016 for Mac and Outlook for Mac 2011.
Step 1. Open the Outlook for Mac app.
Step 2. At the button left corner, click the People icon to go to the People page in Outlook.
Step 3. Create a new folder on your Desktop.
Step 4. On the People page in Outlook, select all the contacts that you are going to export.
Step 5. Drag the selected Outlook contacts into the newly created folder. Now the contacts are saved as individual vCards.
Step 6. Go to iCloud.com, sign in and choose Contacts.
Step 7. Click the gear icon at the bottom left corner and choose Import vCard.
Step 8. To export Outlook contacts to iCloud, select all the individual vCards saved in step 5 and then click Open.
This method applies to both Windows and macOS because it requires the web app Outlook.com (originally known as Hotmail) rather than the desktop app.
Step 1. Go to Outlook.com and sign in.
Step 2. Click the application icon at the top left corner.
Step 3. Select People in the menu list.
Step 4. Select the contacts you need to export.
Step 5. Click Manage in the right corner and go to Export Contacts option.
Step 6. Click Export to make sure you are going to export contacts from Outlook.
The default file format of exported contacts is CSV file. Save it to your computer.
Step 7. Convert CSV to vCard.
Now you need to find a converter to convert CSV to vCard. You can try CSV To vCard Converter.
Step 8. Import your Outlook contacts to iCloud on iCloud.com.
After the exported contacts are converted to vCard, you can easily import Outlook contacts to iCloud.
If you are a Windows PC user, you can check out the following three methods to transfer Outlook contacts to iCloud.
Before you start, you need to download iCloud Control Panel for Windows.
Step 1. Sign in your iCloud account. Check the box next to Mail, Contacts, Calendars, and Tasks. And do not check other options.
Step 2. Click Apply to sync all contacts to iCloud.
Outlook for Microsoft 365, Outlook 2019, Outlook 2016 and Outlook 2013 allow users to share and send contacts as vCard files, which provides a workaround to do the export.
Step 1. On your PC, open the folder in which you want to keep your exported Outlook contacts.
Step 2. In Outlook, click People and select all the contacts that you are going to move to iCloud.
Step 3. Select Share > Forward Contact > As a Business Card.
A new mail message window will open, and you will find that the contacts show up in the Attached field as individual .vcf files.
Step 4. Right-click the Attached field and choose Select All to select all the vCard contacts.
Step 5. Drag the selected contacts to the folder mentioned in step 1. Now you can close the mail message window.
Step 6. Go to iCloud.com and import the vCard files.
This method can help if you use:
When it comes to different versions especially an older one, the first six steps can be a little bit different.
Step 1. In a newer version of Outlook, go to File > Open & Export > Import/Export.
Step 2. In the Import and Export Wizard window, select Export to a file. Click Next to continue.
Step 3. Select Comma Separated Values (CSV).
Step 4. Select a Contacts folder in the Export to a File window if needed. Click Next.
Step 5. Click Browse and choose a folder on your computer to save the exported CSV file. Click Next.
Step 6. Click Finish, and it will start exporting your Outlook contacts. Once the process is finished, you can find the file in your destination folder.
Step 7. Convert the CSV file to a vCard file.
You can find a converter tool like CSV To VCF Converter to do the conversion online. The tool provides a video tutorial.
Step 8. To export Outlook contacts to iCloud, now you can go to iCloud.com and import the converted vCard file to iCloud Contacts.
By following one of the ways mentioned, you can easily export Outlook contacts to iCloud, in bulk or individually, through Outlook, Outlook for Mac or the web-based version.
For Mac users, the best way to export Outlook contacts to iCloud is to use Cisdem ContactsMate. It makes the task super easy and it doesn’t require the conversion of file format. Besides, this app also makes it effortless to export and import contacts across different platforms like Gmail, iCloud, Facebook.
Rosa has worked in Mac software industry for more than eight years. She believes that the purpose of software is to make life better and work more productively. In addition to writing, Rosa is also an avid runner.