Importing contacts from Excel to Microsoft Outlook

Here is a simple way to create a distribution list directly from an Excel spreadsheet.

To create a Distribution list from Excel:

  • Arrange your contacts and their email addresses in consecutive cells. See Table 1 below;
  • Select all the adjoining cells (A1:B5 in example) and choose Copy.
  • Open Outlook
  • From the File menu, choose New
  • Select Distribution List
  • Give the list a Name.
  • From the Distribution List ribbon, in the Members group, choose the Select Members command.
  • Click the Select Members button and the Contacts list appears.
  • Click into the Members box (at the bottom).
  • Right mouse click and choose Paste (ignore the format)
  • Click OK  The names will be added to the list
  • Click Save and Close

To import individual contacts from Excel

Note contacts are displayed individually not as a Distribution Group.


(See Table 2 below)

Insert data in correct fields:

  • Select all the data you want to export. In  the example it would be A1:E7
  • Click in the Name box at the left end of the Formula bar
  • Type a name for the list (no spaces)
    In the example the name “AList” is used
  • Press Enter.
  • Use Save As to Save the workbook as an Excel 97-2003 Workbook. Outlook 2007 can only process Excel files in this format.
  • Close the workbook.

Import to Outlook:

  • Open Outlook and open the Contacts folder.
  • From the File menu, choose Import and Export and the Import a File wizard opens.
  • Select Import from another program or file, and then click Next.
  • In the Select file type to import from box, click Microsoft Excel 97-2003, and then click Next.
  • Click Browse and locate and select the file you want to import.
  • Click OK, and then click Next.
  • Select the Contacts folder and click Next
  • When the dialog box opens, it is shown as Import “AList” into folder: Contacts.
  • Select the check box.
  • Click Finish

Contacts Tables