How to import addresses from Outlook Express to Outlook

Microsoft Outlook and Microsoft Outlook Express are two different programs with different capabilities, although both can send and receive messages from the Internet. There are two ways to share contact information between these two programs.

If, during Outlook Setup, you choose to upgrade a program that uses the Windows Address Book, Setup will do a silent conversion of the address entries to the Contact format used by Outlook.

If you choose not to convert during Setup, you can convert at a later time by using the “Import and Export Wizard.” Outlook provides a tool to assist you in converting Windows Address Book information.

The Windows Address Book is used by the following products:

Microsoft Internet Mail and News
Microsoft Outlook Express
Microsoft Outlook 98 and Microsoft Outlook 2000 Internet Mail Only (IMO)


You can store Address information in your Windows Address Book and import Windows Address Book data to Outlook.

How to use the Outlook “Import and Export Wizard”

In Outlook, you can use the Import and Export Wizard as the interface for Address Book conversion. To convert a Windows Address Book file, follow these steps:

1. Start Outlook.
2. On the File menu, click Import and Export.
3. Click Import Internet Mail and Addresses, and then click Next.
4. Click Outlook Express 4.x, 5 on the list.Note In Microsoft Office Outlook 2003, the option is Outlook Express 4.x, 5.x, 6.x. In Outlook 2007, the option is Outlook Express 4.x, 5.x, 6.x or Windows Mail,
5. Select any combination of the Mail or Addresses from the items that are listed.Note With the exception of rules conversion from Outlook Express, the steps to convert addresses are the same.
6. Click Next. If you are using Outlook 2003 or Outlook 2007, go to step 8.
7. Select a destination for the imported address data.
8. Select the appropriate duplicate items option, and then click Finish.

Note This procedure does not import contacts that are contained in subfolders in the Windows Address Book.

How to drag address information to Outlook

It is possible to drag individual or groups of Windows Address Book entries to Outlook. To do this, follow these steps:

1. On the Start menu, point to Find, and then click Files And Folders.
2. In the Open box, type .wab, and then click OK.
3. Double-click the Windows Address Book file from which you want to move addresses.
4. Start Outlook if it is not already running.
5. Resize Outlook so that the Windows Address Book and Outlook are visible next to each other on the screen. Verify that the Outlook Contacts folder is visible in the resized Outlook window.
6. Select an entry from the Windows Address Book. Drag it to the Contacts folder. A new Outlook Contact form is created with the information from the Windows Address Book entry. Click Save and close.

Note You can press SHIFT and select contiguous groups of entries, or press CTRL and select non-contiguous entries. You may want to do this for selected contacts or small groups.

Microsoft Office Outlook 2007
Microsoft Office Outlook 2003
Microsoft Outlook 2002 Standard Edition


Microsoft Knowledge Base Article

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