Export Outlook Contacts to PST File: Full Guide

You can know how to export Outlook contacts to PST files and finally recommend you to use professional backup software to backup your Outlook PST files to prevent data loss.


By Miya Updated on August 30, 2023

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Why Do You Need to Export Outlook Contacts to PST File?

This article will guide you through the process of exporting your Outlook contacts to a .pst file. Additionally, we'll explore how you can import this data into another email account. By creating a backup in the form of a .pst file, you can safeguard your Outlook data against potential loss or damage. Exporting Outlook contacts to a PST (Personal Storage Table) file can be beneficial for several reasons:

  • Backup: Creating a backup of your Outlook contacts is crucial to ensure you don't lose important information in case of data loss, system crashes, or accidental deletion. Exporting contacts to a PST file provides a convenient way to back up and restore Outlook contacts from backup when needed.
  • Migration: If you're switching to a new computer or email client, exporting your Outlook contacts to a PST file allows you to transfer your contacts easily. You can import the PST file into another Outlook installation or use it to import contacts into a different email application that supports PST files.
  • Sharing: Exporting contacts to a PST file enables you to share your contacts with others. You can send the PST file to colleagues, friends, or family members, allowing them to import the contacts into their own Outlook or compatible email clients.

Next, let's take a look at how to export PST files in Outlook.

How to Export Outlook Contacts to PST File

▣ Preparations:

To ensure a smooth export process, it's essential to take a few preparatory steps. Here are some recommendations:

  • Confirm Email Account: If you have multiple email accounts in Outlook, double-check that you have selected the appropriate email account before initiating the export.
  • Perform Mailbox Cleanup: Optimize your mailbox size by conducting a cleanup. Choose the content you wish to retain and discard unnecessary items.
  • Adjust Data Download Settings: By default, Outlook is configured to download data from the past year. If you intend to export all your contacts, launch Outlook, navigate to Account settings > Account Name and Sync Settings, and adjust the slider to the Allposition for comprehensive data retrieval.

Account Settings

To avoid any issues, it is important to refrain from exporting your .pst file to a OneDrive location. Similarly, if you have automatic synchronization enabled, ensure that it is not set to sync Outlook PST files with OneDrive. It's worth noting that OneDrive restricts automatic syncing for Outlook .pst files, so it's crucial to choose a different destination for your exported file.

▣ How to export Outlook contacts to PST file:

Step 1. To begin, locate the File option at the top of your Outlook ribbon.

❤Attention: In case you cannot find the File option in the top left corner of your ribbon, please refer to the "What version of Outlook do I have?" section to identify your Outlook version accurately. This will help you access the appropriate export instructions based on your specific Outlook version.

File Option

Step 2. Go to Open & Export > Import/Export in the Outlook menu. Select Export to a file and click Next. Then, choose Outlook Data File (.pst) and click Next.

Step 3. From the displayed picture, select the name of the email account you wish to export. Remember, only one account's information can be exported at a time.

Step 4. Ensure that the Include subfolders checkbox is marked. This ensures the export of all items within the account, including Inbox, Calendar, Contacts, and Tasks. Click Next to proceed.

Include Subfolders

Step 5. Click on Browse to select the destination for saving the Outlook Data File (.pst). Enter a desired file name and click OK to proceed.

If you have previously used the export feature, the previous folder location and file name will be displayed. Make sure to enter a different file name if necessary before clicking OK.
If you're exporting to an existing Outlook Data File (.pst), you can specify the action to take when exporting items that already exist in the file under Options. And choose Finish to initiate the export process.

Outlook will immediately start the export. Now that your Outlook data is stored in a .pst file, it becomes portable. You can backup Outlook PST file to OneDrive and download it to your new computer. Alternatively, you can save it to a portable drive and import your email, contacts, and calendar into Outlook.

Backup Your Outlook Contacts to Prevent Data loss

After you export Outlook contacts as PST files, it is equally important to back up your Outlook data. A reliable solution like AOMEI Backupper Pro can assist you in securing your data by creating backups Outlook to external hard drives or alternative storage locations.

☎This powerful software fully supports all Outlook versions, including Outlook 2019, 2016, 2013, 2010, and others.
☎With AOMEI Backupper Pro, you can efficiently transfer large-sized PST files without encountering any data loss or corruption issues.
☎Moreover, this tool offers comprehensive backup capabilities for various Outlook items, such as emails, contacts, attachments, calendars, and more.
☎You have the flexibility to back up your Outlook data to secure destinations beyond external drives, including USB drives, NAS devices, network locations, SD cards, and popular cloud services like Dropbox, OneDrive, and Google Drive.

To initiate the backup process for your Outlook contacts, simply follow the steps provided below. We encourage you to download and experience the capabilities of this robust backup software firsthand!

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★Note: The Professional edition of AOMEI Backupper supports Windows 11, 10, 8, 7, XP, and Vista. If you are a server user, we recommend trying AOMEI Backupper Server for enhanced functionality.

Step 1. To begin, launch Outlook and enter your email address. Click on the Connect button and carefully follow the instructions provided on the screen to add the Outlook account that contains the PST files.

Add Account Oulook

Step 2. Open AOMEI Backupper Professional and navigate to the Backup tab. From there, select Outlook Backup.

Outlook Backup

Step 3. Click Add Outlook data and select the Outlook account containing PST files you want to backup. Then click OK.

Add Outlook Data

Step 4. Next, click on the box below to choose the backup destination where you want to store the PST files from Outlook.

Select Backup Destination Path

Step 5. Enable the desired backup schedule frequency with schedule backup feature, such as Daily, Weekly, Monthly, USB plug in, or Event triggers. Make sure to check the option Wake the computer to run scheduled tasks for seamless execution.

Wake Up PC

Step 6. Once you have configured the settings, simply click on Start Backup to initiate the automatic backup process for your Outlook emails, ensuring a smooth backup operation without any locking issues.

Start Backup


This article describes in detail how to export Outlook contacts to PST files and finally recommends you use professional Outlook backup software to backup your Outlook PST files to prevent any accidental data loss. This program is not only for Outlook backup but also a great IMAP email backup software. Try it now!

Miya · Editor
Miya has an excellent insight and receives professional and systematic technical training since joining AOMEI. She has a comprehensive understanding of computer issues, aiming at helping users troubleshoot all kinds of problems. A lot of computer users around the world have found her articles very helpful!