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How do I save Outlook Express address book and backup contacts information?

Save and move Outlook Express address book

The Outlook Express address book lets you store information of contacts – their names, email and postal addresses, phone numbers etc. Overtime and with heavy usage the address book quickly gets loaded with important data which is indispensable. In such cases, it’s strongly recommended that you backup the Contacts information and save the Outlook Express address book regularly to avoid heartburn in the event the computer goes kaput.

This article details how to save the Outlook Express address book (backup contacts details) in a standard format that can also be used to copy address book (Outlook Express) to another computer running a different email client.

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Users of Windows Mail Vista and Windows Live Mail programs should note that the Address Book (on XP) has been replaced by Windows Contacts on Vista and Windows 7. Please refer the following links if you want to move the Outlook Express address book to a computer running one of these versions of the Windows O.S.

Instructions to save the Outlook Express address book and backup the contacts information

We would be using the Comma Separated Values (CSV) file format to export and save the address book. A Comma Separated Values file is a standard format for moving data across different computers and applications. This simple ASCII text file contains pieces of information (values) separated by the comma punctuation mark and can be opened and viewed in programs like Microsoft Excel… even imported to databases such as MySQL.

  • Slide 1
  • Slide 2
  • Slide 3
  • Slide 4
  • Slide 5
  • Slide 6
  • Slide 7
  • Slide 8
  • Slide 9
  1. Select “Address Book” from the “Export” function under the “File” menu – [Slide 1].
  2. The program gives you two options for exporting: Microsoft Exchange and Text file. Our goal is to save the Outlook Express address book (create a backup of important information) and so I suggest selecting the second option – “Text File (Comma Separated Values)“. Why? Because, as mentioned above, CSV is the standard and may prove the best bet if we want to move the address book to another computer running a different operating system – [Slide 2].
  3. Now click the “Browse” button and pick the folder in which you want so save the Address Book CSV file – [Slide 3].
  4. Provide a name for the CSV file – [Slides 4 and 5].
  5. By default, the Outlook Express address book export function does not select the names (First, Last, Middle and Nickname) of your contacts. I believe this information is important… and I am sure you’d agree with me. Place a checkmark in these boxes – [Slides 6 and 7]
  6. Click “Finish” and save the Outlook Express address book in CSV format – [Slides 7 and 8].

Wasn’t that simple? You were able to create a backup of the Outlook Express address book which can now be ported to another email program, even a non-Microsoft product, with ease because the information is in the standard CSV format.

Lastly, remember to keep this saved copy of the Outlook Express address book in a safe location and do not distribute it as this would leak private information of your contacts.

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