Microsoft Outlook 2013's Import/Export feature offers a convenient backup method for storing or moving your data. Depending on your needs, you can elect to back up only your contacts to save space and use a format conveniently recognized by other programs. By placing the exported file on an external hard drive, you can store contacts off of your computer and potential viruses. This portable device also enables you to transfer the contacts to another computer for quick migration.

Step 1

Attach your external hard drive to your computer and power it on, if necessary.

Step 2

Open Outlook, click "File," select "Open & Export" and then choose "Import/Export."

Step 3

Double-click "Export to a File" in the first screen of the Import and Export Wizard.

Step 4

Double-click "Comma Separated Values" if you need the backup recognizable in other programs. Alternatively, select "Outlook Data File" if you plan to use the backup in only Outlook.

Step 5

Select "Contacts" from the folder list and then click "Next."

Step 6

Click "Browse" and then select a location on your external hard drive. If you previously chose to back up data to an Outlook data file, you can choose to replace, allow or ignore duplicate entries.

Step 7

Click "Finish" to export your contacts. If you previously chose an Outlook data file, you're also prompted for a optional password; this option does not exist for CSV files.