Can I use Windows Contacts with other programs besides Windows Mail?

Windows Contacts are designed to be used either with Windows Mail or as a standalone program for storing e‑mail addresses and other information about people and organizations. However, you can also use contacts with some other e‑mail programs that are compatible with Windows Contacts. To be compatible, the program must be able to read the .contact file that Windows creates for each individual contact.

If an e‑mail program is compatible with Windows Contacts, you should be able to open individual contacts from within the program and correctly display all the information in each contact. To test this, use the program to try opening some contacts stored in your Contacts folder.

If an e‑mail program cannot open your contacts, try exporting and converting them to the commonly used vCard format. Then try to open them again from within the program. For more information about converting your contacts to the vCard format, see Import, export, or change the format for contacts.


  • If you export your contacts to the vCard format but they do not seem to be compatible with the program you're using, check the information that came with that program or visit the manufacturer’s website to make sure that the vCard format is supported.