You can import address book or contact information from several formats used by other programs, convert them for use in this version of Windows, and store them in your Contacts folder. You can also convert your contacts to other formats by exporting them. This allows you to share them with people who are using an earlier version of Windows or who are using a different operating system.

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To import contacts created in another program

  1. Open Windows Contacts by clicking the Start button Picture of the Start button, clicking All Programs, and then clicking Windows Contacts.

  2. On the toolbar, click Import, and then click one of the following formats to import contacts from:

    • CSV (Comma Separated Values). This is a generic file format used for exporting and importing information to and from databases or spreadsheets. If you are unable to import an address book file directly into Windows Contacts, try converting it first to a .csv file and then importing that file.

    • LDIF (LDAP server). This format is used to import directory information from LDAP-based directory servers.

    • vCard (VCF file). This is the most widely used contacts format.

    • Windows Address Book file (Outlook Express contacts). This format (.wab file) is used by most earlier versions of Windows, including Windows XP.

  3. Click Import, locate the contacts file you want to import, and then click Open. The new contacts should appear in your Contacts folder.

    If you can't locate the contacts file you want to import, check the information that came with the program that created the contacts or visit the manufacturer's website. You might need to export contacts from the program before you can import them into Windows Contacts.

  4. When a message appears telling you that the contacts import process has completed, click OK, and then click Close.

Notes

  • Windows will automatically convert all your contacts in the Windows Address Book to the new Windows Contacts format when you upgrade a computer from Windows XP to this version of Windows.

  • The Windows Address Book contacts file on your Windows XP computer is usually located at C:\Documents and Settings\Your User Name\Application Data\Microsoft\Address Book. The Address Book file has a .wab extension and is usually named after your user name. If you don't see this file or folder, you might need to show hidden files (see Show hidden files). After you finish importing a Windows Address Book file, each contact will appear as an individual .contact file.

To export contacts so they can be viewed by someone using another program

You can convert all your contacts at once to the format you choose so that someone using another program or a previous version of Windows can open and view them.

  1. Open Windows Contacts by clicking the Start button Picture of the Start button, clicking All Programs, and then clicking Windows Contacts.

  2. On the toolbar, click Export, and then click one of the following formats:

    • CSV (Comma Separated Values). This is a generic file format used for exporting or importing information to and from databases or spreadsheets.

    • vCard (folder of .vcf files). This format is used by many other programs. It is typically the best format to use when sharing contacts with someone who is using an earlier version of Windows or who is using a different operating system.

  3. Click Export, select a folder where you want to store your contacts in the new format, and then click OK.

  4. When a message appears telling you that the contacts export process has completed, click OK, and then click Close.

Notes

  • To convert just a single contact to the vCard format and send it to someone, right-click the contact and then click Send Contact. The contact will be converted and then attached to an e‑mail message in Windows Mail.

  • When you convert a contact to the vCard format, it will lose any picture it might have had and some or all of the information in the Family and Notes tabs.