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Copy address book from Windows XP (Outlook Express)

Copy address book from Windows XP (Outlook Express)

The Windows Address Book has traditionally been used to store the details of people you correspond with – their names, contact information such as email, postal address etc. However, this address book application has been replaced with what is called Windows Contacts in Vista. (Update: Windows 7 too has Windows Contacts instead of the Address Book).

If you had been a prolific user of the Address Book on the Windows XP system, it will be full of vital information which you would most likely like to move to the new computer. On this page I shall show you how to copy the address book from Windows XP using Outlook Express email program. The instructions have been written in an easy-to-understand language and include screenshots so that even beginners would be able to follow quickly.

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Our aim is to copy the address book to a standard format so that it can not only be imported to a different version of Windows but any other computer with a different operating system. With that in mind, we would be choosing the CSV (Comma Separated Values) file format – don’t be intimidated by the techie-sounding term.

CSV is a simple text format that has values separated by the comma punctuation mark. CSV files can be opened and viewed in very many applications and can even be imported into databases such as MySQL. For instance, you can use Microsoft Excel program to view all information in the address book once it has been exported to CSV format.

How to copy the Address Book – step by step instructions

We’ll be using Outlook Express to export and copy the address book to a CSV file. All Windows XP computers have this email program built-in and you can find it under the Programs list. Screenshots that accompany the ‘how to’ instructions are presented in a slideshow below.

  • Slide 1
  • Slide 2
  • Slide 3
  • Slide 4
  • Slide 5
  • Slide 6
  • Slide 7
  • Slide 8
  • Slide 9
  1. Start Outlook Express on your Windows XP computer.
  2. Click “File” from the top menu, select “Export” and then “Address Book” – [Slide 1].
  3. In the pop-up you are shown two options. Select the first one – “Text File (Comma Separated Values)” – [Slide 2].
  4. You will now be asked to specify the location of CSV file. Use the “Browse” and choose a folder on the computer’s hard disk – [Slide 3].
  5. Give a name to the CSV file to which the Address Book will be exported. Click the “Save” button – [Slide 4].
  6. You’ll see the full directory path of the CSV file you have chosen. Click “Next” – [Slide 5].
  7. All fields of the Windows Address Book are listed. The ones that have a check mark in front will be exported and copied to the CSV file – [Slide 6].
  8. Obviously, if you want to copy the entire contents of the Address Book from Outlook Express, make sure all the fields are selected. Click “Finish button to export the Address Book – [Slide 7].
  9. Outlook Express will display a success message once the Address Book has been saved to a CSV file. Click “OK” to close the pop-up – [slide 8].
  10. Close the other pop-up too! Congrats, the Windows Address Book has been exported to a CSV file.

Copy Address Book to another computer – Vista or Windows 7

Now that you know how to export Outlook Express Address Book, it’s easy to copy it to another computer – simply use a Flash drive or email it to yourself. And once the Address Book is transferred to another computer use the Import function of the chosen email program. For instance, both Windows Mail and Windows Live Mail on Windows Vista and Windows 7, respectively, can import the Outlook Express CSV address book in a few clicks – please refer the following links for detailed instructions.

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