Importing Lists from Excel to Outlook

Last reviewed on January 30, 2012

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.

Written by

Diane Poremsky
A Microsoft Outlook Most Valuable Professional (MVP) since 1999, Diane is the author of several books, including Outlook 2013 Absolute Beginners Book. She also created video training CDs and online training classes for Microsoft Outlook. You can find her helping people online in Outlook Forums as well as in the Microsoft Answers and TechNet forums.

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