Read time 10 minutes

Modern Operating Systems have developed many applications that reduce the need for additional Internet assistance. Email communication depends on web service, so Windows provides Outlook and macOS has Apple Mail. Both applications connect with various web servers and solve email communication using threaded messages.

Apple Mail is the default mail client for all Mac machines, and Microsoft Outlook is a widely used email application that is also a part of the Microsoft Office suite. Both these applications are very efficient and different from each other. But due to distinct reasons, a user may need to import Mac contacts to Outlook, and some of those are-.

  • If a user is switching from macOS to Windows and wants to use Outlook as an email client on Windows
  • A user may need to share contacts from a Macintosh machine with a Windows user.
  • A user may be trying to switch from Apple Mail to Outlook on the Mac OS itself. Outlook application is also available on the Apple store that is compatible with Macintosh (but uses OLM file for storage).
Instant Solution

Download Kernel for MBOX to PST Converter tool to export contacts, calendar, emails and other items from Apple Mail MBOX file to MS Outlook with ease.

Understanding the need to import Mac contacts to Outlook

Mac and Windows are considered popular platforms used by corporations and businesses. But both are independent of each other and not compatible with each other. At the same time, MS Outlook uses PST format in Windows, whereas Outlook creates OLM format on Mac. So, if you ever switch from Windows to Mac or vice versa, you need to move everything from one platform to another. The case is the same when you want to import Mac contacts to Outlook or any different platform.

Now, let us begin with the actual procedure to import Mac contacts to Outlook. There are two parts to this process-

  • Export contacts from Apple Mail in a format that can be imported into Outlook.
  • Import Mac contacts to MS Outlook.
Export Contacts from Apple Mail

Apple Contacts application allows you to export your contacts in only two formats: VCF and ABBU. ABBU format is only Apple compatible and is not supported in the Outlook application. So, we are not going to export our file in ABBU format.

Firstly, we need to add the Apple Mail contacts to the Contacts application, and then we will export them. Follow the steps below to add to contacts.

  • Add Apple Mail Recipients to the Contacts application
    1. First, open your Apple Mail application.
    2. On the toolbar, click on Window and then click on Previous Recipients.
    3. A new window opens having the list of all earlier recipients on our Apple mail.
    4. On the bottom right of the interface is a choice to ‘Add to Contacts.’
    5. Select all or any contacts you need to migrate and click on the Add to Contacts button.

    Now that we have the required contacts added let us export them.

  • Export as VCF File
    1. Now, open the Contacts application on your Mac.
    2. Here is the list of all your contacts, including the ones added through Apple Mail in the above steps. Select all or any of the contacts that you need to migrate.
    3. Before we export the contacts, one can choose whether to export Photos and Notes in the contact details. Go to Contacts -> Preferences -> vCard. Tick or clear the checkbox for ‘Export notes in vCards’ and ‘Export photos in vCards’ as per your preference.
    4. Now, let us export the contacts. In your contacts application, click on File, select Export, and choose Export vCard.
    5. Select the path and give the name for your file.
  • Export as CSV File
    As MS Outlook provides the option to import contacts from a CSV file as well, we will export to a CSV file in this step. One must have an MS Excel application on their Mac for this method.

    1. Go to Contacts application and select all the contacts that need to be exported.
    2. Copy these contacts by pressing command + C.
    3. Now, open the MS Excel on your Mac and paste the contacts by pressing command + V. Alternatively, you can also drag the selected contacts from Contacts to Excel.
    4. Now, remove any unwanted columns as per your need.
    5. Then go to File, click on Export and select CSV from the options.
    6. A new window pops open, select the location and provide the file name for your CSV export file.
Import Mac Contacts to Outlook

In the above column, we covered two ways to export Mac contacts. Based on your chosen method, you should have a VCF or CSV file. You can move this file from one machine to another by using a removable storage device such as an external storage disk, a USB pen drive, etc. Alternatively, you can simply send this file as an email and download it on your Windows machine. Also, you can use any of the cloud sites to save and share files. Before moving forward, you should have this file moved to your Windows machine to a known location.

  • Import from a vCard File (VCF)
    1. Open the Outlook application, click on File on the menu bar, and choose Open & Export. And click on Import/Export. .Select Import/Export option
    2. Import and Export wizard will open, select Import a VCARD file (.vcf) and click Next.Select Import a VCARD file (.vcf)
    3. Go to the export file location, select the VCF file, and click Open.Select VCF file
    4. The contacts have been imported for you. Click on the People of your Outlook or click on the three dots and select People.Contacts imported
    5. You should see the imported contacts under My Contacts in Outlook now.
  • Import from a Comma Separated Value (.CSV) File
    1. Open the Outlook application and click on File on the menu bar.
    2. Now, click on Open & Export and then click on Import/Export.
    3. In the wizard window, select the option ‘Import from another program or file’ and click on Next.Select Import from another program or file
    4. It would request you to select the file type – choose the option for Comma Separated Values and click on Next.Select the file type
    5. Click Browse and select the CSV file exported from the Apple Contacts.Select the CSV file
    6. Now, you can choose any of the three options on how you want to add the contacts.
      • Replace duplicates with items imported
      • Allow duplicates to be created (Default)
      • Do not import duplicate itemsSelect the option

      Select a suitable option and click on Next.

    7. Select the destination folder as the Contacts folder under your desired email account and click on Next.Select the destination folder
    8. In the next window, tick the checkbox to import the desired file in the Contacts folder and click on Finish.Tick the checkbox and import the desired file
    9. You can now view the imported contacts under My Contacts after clicking on the People button.

We can export and import Mac contacts to Outlook on Windows, thanks to widely recognized file formats. But this process can be relatively complex and time-consuming for many individuals, not to mention dull and uninteresting. We have a better solution for users who want to get it over quickly and effortlessly. Proceed further to know more about it.

Limitations of the manual process of exporting contacts

In the manual method, one must follow several steps, and a single mistake can disturb your complete process and corrupt the original file. Even the file’s structure is changed during the conversion, resulting in distorted and useless data.

Import Apple Mail items to MS Outlook Using Third-Party Tool

You can use Kernel for MBOX to PST converter to avoid all this hassle and import all Apple Mail items, including contacts to your Outlook. You can totally customize your export and import process using the different options of the tool. Using this tool, you need to export the required data to an MBOX file in Apple mail and convert it to PST. This converted PST file can then be easily imported to Outlook.

Below is the tool’s home screen to give you a glimpse of the simple yet effective GUI.
Kernel for MBOX to PST converter


We started the blog by briefly explaining the Mac and Windows operating systems. Then, we covered the Apple Mail and Outlook applications and gave a few scenarios when one might need to copy contacts from Apple Mail to Outlook. We divided the problem into two parts – exporting from Apple Mail and Importing into Outlook. Before exporting the contacts, we quickly covered how one can add their Apple Mail Recipients to the Contacts list. Then, we gave a detailed step-by-step guide on exporting your Apple mail contacts in VCF format. We also covered a hack to export these contacts in CSV format. Next, we covered the methods to import the VCF file and CSV files into Outlook. Ultimately, we recommended a brilliant MBOX Converter tool that helps you move your contacts and other email items to Outlook.

Kernel for MBOX to PST