Exporting and Importing Outlook Contacts between Profiles


When migrating email it is often desirable to create a new Outlook profile for the new account. In some cases, particularly when the original account is set up to use IMAP, certain data including email, contacts, and/or calendars may be stored in data files that cannot be directly imported into the new profile.


When creating a new Outlook profile, the old profile and its data are typically left in place, at least until migration of the data is complete. It is possible to switch between these Outlook profiles and access the old one in order to export any required data into a PST file, which can then be imported into the new profile.


Begin by right-clicking on the Start button and clicking Run.

Type “Control Panel” into the Run box and click OK or press Enter.

Select the Mail applet.

Click “Show Profiles…”

Select your old profile from the drop-down list. In this example there is only one profile. The older profile will typically be named “Outlook” as this is the default.

Start Outlook and click on “File” in the upper left corner of the screen.

Click “Open & Export.”

Click “Import/Export.”

Select “Export to a file” and click Next.

Select “Outlook Data File (.pst)” and click Next.

Select the data you wish to export. In this case we are exporting only the Contacts folder. Click Next.

Click “Browse…” to select a location and filename under which to save the data.

In this case the file will be placed in the Documents folder with the name “contacts.pst.” Click OK.

Click Finish and the data will export to the location you specified. A password prompt will appear, but the password can be left blank. It is used to password-protect the data file to prevent anyone else from opening it.

Now, close Outlook and follow the steps again from the beginning to switch back to the new profile. This time you will likely be selecting the profile that is not named “Outlook.” Once this is done, start Outlook again, return to File->Open & Export->Import/Export. Choose “Import from another program or file.”

Select “Outlook Data File (.pst).”

Locate, select, and Open the file that you previously exported.

Click Next to begin importing the data. Larger data files may result in a progress bar appearing, and you will be unable to use Outlook until the import is complete.


Migrating Outlook’s AutoComplete list for the To: field in new emails may not be possible. There is a procedure to do so if it is, however: Recovering AutoComplete Entries in Microsoft Outlook.