Last reviewed on January 30, 2012   —  27 Comments

Many users have contact data stored in Excel workbooks or created calendar events in Excel to take advantage of formulas and fill features when creating a large number of events. It’s very easy to move the data to Outlook.

As with any database, you will need to name the columns your data is in. You can either use whatever name you want and map it to Outlook fields or export to Excel format and delete the data from the workbook and enter your data. You’ll also need to name the used range of cells in Excel.

Save Excel Worksheet

If you are importing all of the data in the worksheet, save the workbook in CSV format. This is the easiest way for most users to import an Excel worksheet trouble-free and we recommend using CSV format when possible.

  1. Save the workbook as Comma Separated Values (CSV).
  2. Close Excel.

If you have data in cells that you are not going to import, create a named range:

  1. Select your used data range and type a name in the field to the left of the address bar. (Include the field names in your selection.)
  2. Press Enter.
  3. Save the workbook as an Excel 97-2003 workbook.
  4. Close Excel.

Import into Outlook

  1. Go to File, Import and Export
  2. Select Import from a file
  3. Choose Microsoft Excel as the source
  4. Browse to the workbook file.
  5. Select the Calendar (or Contact) folder.
  6. Select the named range. If you export to Excel to get the field names, you’ll see two named ranges when you import. Just make sure you select the correct named range.
  7. If you aren’t using the field names that Outlook uses, you’ll need to map your fields to Outlook’s fields.
  8. Press Next when ready and finish the import.

Video Tutorial

More Information

  • Alternate method: save the workbook as a CSV file and import the CSV.
  • Outlook 2007 uses the Excel 97-2003 *.xls format, not the Excel 2007 *.xlsx file format
  • You can import calendar data into any calendar folder in any *.pst or your mailbox.
  • You cannot import into a public folder calendar or secondary Exchange mailbox. To import into either, create a calendar folder for the import and move the appointments after the import.
  • Use these same steps with Contacts, choosing a Contacts folder (obviously)
  • If you drop a field on the wrong Outlook field, drop it again on the correct field and Outlook will remove it from the other field.


  1. Jarmo says

    So sad that this does NOT work in 2010 Office. There seems to be no way to import calendar data to outlook. None of the file options work ( Access, Excell, Csv, etc...)

    • Diane Poremsky says

      It should work in Outlook 2010. What happens when you try? In Outlook 2010, Import (and Export) is under File, Open.

    • Diane Poremsky says

      What do you mean you can't remove fields? It does work in Outlook 2010, something is preventing it from working for you.

  2. Theo Willemse says

    Worked for me when i exported to CSV.
    It's sad that Microsoft decided to not support there own MSO2010 Excel files though.

    • Diane Poremsky says

      There were issues with using XLS files - beginning with named ranges. CSV is safer and easier for most people. They removed all import filters in Outlook 2013 - only pst and csv are supported.

  3. Tom Gregory says

    Followed the instructions and said complete but nothing was in the calendar. What format do I need to put Date fields into?

    • Diane Poremsky says

      Did import a CSV or xls file? XLS files need to have the data in a named range.
      Outlook should detect any valid short date field.

  4. Jon Smith says

    Outlook 2013 cannot import its own exported csv files. It gives a translator error. The only workaround for that is to import the csv into gmail contacts and reexport as an outlook csv file. Then Outlook will import the csv file.

    • Diane Poremsky says

      I'm not having problems with Exports from Outlook kicking up that error, although I'm not sure why you export to CSV if you are going to use it in Outlook, export to pst instead.

      You will get that error from windows Live Contacts ( - see Translation error for more information but basically, you need to open the CSV in notepad, save as ANSI then it will import.

  5. brich1975Brandon says

    I'm afraid I know the answer but asking anyway. I imported a bunch of dates into my Outlook Calendar from Excel, but at my company we have found a better approach by using the feature in Sharepoint. Any way to mass delete the dates I put in or is this a manual process? Thank you for any help you can provide!

    • Diane Poremsky says

      It's really easy to delete from the calendar - switch to a List view, select all and delete. If you only want to delete the items you imported and can't sort (or search) in a meaningful way that groups the one you want to delete together, add the Modified date field to the view and sort on it. Everything imported at the same time should have the same modified date.

  6. Megan says

    I'm using Office 2010 and it worked great! I have several recurring meetings that use a recurrence Outlook doesn't allow (the second-to-last business day of the month, for example) but that I can create by formula in Excel. In the past, I've either created a recurrence that's close and tweaked the individual items or created the first item and used copy/paste. This is so much easier, thank you!

  7. Radka Lopez Garcia says

    I am using Microsoft Outlook 2010 and the file does not come to my calendar. I follow the steps exactly, the last thing I see is a window with two folders and data flying in between, but nothing shows up in my calendar. What is preventing it from showing? Anybody can help, please? Thank you.

  8. Linda Sgabellone says

    I realise that this is an older post but hoping someone who can answer my question, reads this. I am doing exactly what the instructions above describe, using both an "xls" and "csv" format. In both cases, however, when I get to the "Map Custom Fields" step in Outlook (2007), the OK button is disabled and nothing I do reactivates it. Then, when I finish the import process, nothing imports. Am I missing a step or is there somethign I can do to activate the OK button in the MAP Custom Fields step... Any help would be appreciated. Thanks.

    • Skylar says

      I'm having the same issue as Linda - no responses from experts? I'm using Excel and Outlook 2010 and trying to get Outlook Calendar to import events from Excel. Using all possible combintations of file types from Excel, when I try to import I can get to the map custom fields (and BTW, I'm using filed names in Excel that match Outlook Calendar field names), the OK function is not activated. Backing up a screen and making sure the box to the left of the import file is checked, if I click anywhere else in the box with the list, the map fields option disappears, but finish is active. Clicking finish, it appears to be importing, but nothing shows up on the calendar.

    • Diane PoremskyDiane Poremsky says

      What type of email account are you importing into? For best results and easiest import, use a CSV file.

      Do you have both start & end dates and time fields set and mapped?
      Start and End date fields

  9. Natasha says

    hope this thread is still monitored!
    I have been successfully importing events lists from excel 97-2003 into outlook with no problem until this morning when i suddenly started getting an error message saying that the field name didnt exist. I couldn't find a way to get around this so i coped the excel sheet into a CSV sheet and it works from there. However, i can't continue to use this as CSV doesn't allow you to change the width of the fields or format the text so is unreadable without going along and manually widening the columns every time i open the file.
    Anyone know why i got an error message?

    Also when i tested a new excel 97-2003 sheet and imported lists from there, the import went fine but the event did not appear on the calendar.

    very confused!

    • Diane Poremsky says

      You can open CSV in Excel and change the field widths. :) I'm guessing there is a problem with the named range in the spreadsheet and outlook needs named ranges to import. Or the field mapping needs fixed - that is the last field of the import wizard.

  10. efficientexcel says

    Hi Diane

    I am trying this in 2013 - using a csv file. I notice that when I preview the entries it is not picking up the fields correctly. It is appending letters from my Subject column to the end of all other fields like start time and end time, location etc.

    Any ideas what could be causing this?


  11. Homero says

    Hello Diane,

    My case might be a little too peculiar, and I will briefly describe what I want to do.

    I want to add JUST Notes to my existing contacts, i.e. last checked date, a secondary web site, etc. uploading them from an CSV file.

    Mapping fields and everything else it is just fine, However, when Importing the file and picking either "Allow duplicates, Replace Duplicates or Do Not Import Duplicates" I pick the option shown in your video indeed, it duplicate the items, it does NOT update them.

    I know it would be best if I download them, edit them in excel, save as CSV and upload the file. However Outlook 2013 has this annoying bug, that even when I select the option "File As" First Name, Last Name" still uploads the info as "Last Name, First Name". Aside of not being able to remove the irritating parenthesis and hyphens from the phone number field

    do you think.. there is any help for me?

    thank you very much in advance.

    • Diane PoremskyDiane Poremsky says

      A macro would be your best option I think (but it might be slow), or do the export/import method and a macro to fix the file as.

      If you don't have many to edit, you can enable in-cell editing and edit the contacts within the contacts pane, rather than opening each contact.

Leave a Reply

Please post long or more complicated questions at OutlookForums by

If the Post Comment button disappears, press your Tab key.