Export contacts to an Outlook address book

Access for Microsoft 365 Access 2019 Access 2016 Access 2013 Access 2010 Access 2007

Access and Outlook are both incredible programmes for organising your personal and business contacts. As a result, you could find yourself desiring to export contact data from Access to Outlook. However, Access cannot physically export data to the Outlook file format, nor can Outlook manually import a table from an Access database. Thankfully, it is simple to export an Access table or query as a text file, and then import that file into Outlook.

For in-depth information about the reverse procedure (importing contacts from Outlook into Access), see the article Import or link to contacts from an Outlook address book.

Step 1: Export Access contact information as a text file

  1. In the Access Navigation Pane, right-click your sought table or query that has the contact information you prefer to export, aim at Export, and then select Text File. You can even open the Export – Text File wizard by highlighting the table or query in the Navigation Pane and then on the External Data tab, in the Export group, pick Text File. Access displays the Export – Text File dialogue box.Select your export options on the Export - Text File dialog box.
  2. In the Export – Text File dialogue box, record the file name and location suggested by Access. You can press OK to approve the default values, or you can select Browse to choose a different file location, and then press OK. Do not pick any of the checkboxes below Specify export options.
  1. In the Export Text Wizard dialogue box, check that Delimited is picked, and then select Next.
  1. On the next page of the wizard, click the Tab delimiter, and then choose the Include Field Names on First Row checkbox.

  1. On the next page of the wizard, press Finish.
  1. Select Close without saving the export steps, and then exit Access.

In the next procedure, you import the text file into Outlook. Prior to you carrying on, we advise that you choose which Outlook folder you want to import the contacts into. If you want to import the contacts into a new Outlook folder, it is a prerequisite for you to produce that folder before commencing this procedure.

Step 2: Import the text file into Outlook

  1. The location of the Outlook Import and Export wizard varies minimally based on upon your version of Outlook. Select the steps that match your Outlook version:
  • If you’re using the subscription version of Outlook, Outlook 2019, Outlook 2016 or Outlook 2013, on the File tab, press Open & Export and then select Import/Export.
  • If you’re using Outlook 2010, choose File > Options. In the Outlook Options dialogue box, pick Advanced and then below the Export section, press Export.
  1. In the Import and Export Wizard dialogue box, choose Import from another programme or file, and then select Next.
  1. Pick Tab Separated Values (Windows), and then press Next.
  1. In the Import a File dialogue box, press Browse, browse to the .txt file that you built in the previous procedure, and then double-click the file.
  1. If the destination folder in Outlook already contains contacts, you may experience a scenario where some of the contacts that you are importing are replicates of contacts that are pre-existent in Outlook. Beneath Options, select how you want Outlook handle duplicates.
  • If you think the contacts that you are importing are more final or more recent than the contacts in the Outlook folder, choose Replace duplicates with items imported.
  • If you’re unsure which contacts are more final or existing, and you want to import all the contacts in the text file irrespective of whether they are duplicates, pick Allow duplicates to be created. After the import operation, you can investigate the contacts in Outlook, and erase the redundant ones.
  • If you are convinced that the contacts in Outlook are more final and current than the ones that you are importing, press Do not import duplicate items.
  1. Press Next.
  1. In the folder list, select the Contacts folder where you want the imported contact information to go, and then press Next.
  1. To review or modify how the contact information will be saved in the Outlook folder, pick Map Custom Fields. This is an optional step, but we strongly suggest it if you want to guarantee that the data that you are importing is arranged into the correct fields in Outlook.

Note: If the Map Custom Fields button is not available, under The following actions will be performed, select the check box next to the import operation.

Additional help about mapping custom fields

a. In the Map Custom Fields dialogue box, scan the basic mapping in the To list on the right.

Note: To display additional fields in the To list, click the plus sign (+) next to the field. For example, to display the First Name and Last Name fields, click the plus sign (+) next to Name.

b. If the field mapping appears correct, press Cancel to return to the Import a File Wizard. Conversely, adjust the mapping by using the following steps:

  • To map a field in the text file to a field in the destination Outlook folder, drag it from the left (From) list to the relevant field in the right (To) list.
  • To delete a field from the mapping, drag it from the right (To) list to the left (From) list.
  • To erase all mapping, click Clear Map.
  • To reset the initial mapping, select Default Map. To view additional records in the From list, press Previous or Next.

c. Select OK after you are done mapping fields.

Note: If the text file that you are importing excludes field names in the first row, the first row of data will be interpreted as field names and will not be imported as data. To ensure that all the data in the text file is imported, choose the option to capture field names in the first row of the text file when you export it from Access.

  1. Click Finish.

What else should I know?

  • For information on how to change a specification name, delete specifications, or update the names of source files in specifications, see the article Manage Data Tasks.

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