How to Transfer Contacts From Outlook to an External Hard Drive

Person holding black android smartphone with brown case.jpg

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.

1 Attach your external hard drive to your computer and power

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

2 Open Outlook

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

3 Double-click

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

4 Separated Values

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.

5 Select Contacts

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

6 Click Browse and then select a location

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.

7 Click Finish to export your contacts

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.

  • To import the backup, repeat the procedure but select "Import From Another Program or File" on the first screen of the Import and Export Wizard.

C. Taylor embarked on a professional writing career in 2009 and frequently writes about technology, science, business, finance, martial arts and the great outdoors. He writes for both online and offline publications, including the Journal of Asian Martial Arts, Samsung, Radio Shack, Motley Fool, Chron, Synonym and more. He received a Master of Science degree in wildlife biology from Clemson University and a Bachelor of Arts in biological sciences at College of Charleston. He also holds minors in statistics, physics and visual arts.