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With a little work, it is possible to transfer Hotmail contacts into another account such as Outlook Express.

How do I transfer Hotmail contacts to another account?

Transferring Hotmail contact information turns out to be slightly difficult, and certainly not obvious. While Hotmail allows you to import contacts, there doesn't appear to be any way to export them.

That's where we need to get clever.

If you can, the easiest approach is to make use of Outlook Express. If you have a premium (read: paid) Hotmail account, then you can use Outlook Express to access Hotmail accounts. Unfortunately you can no longer use Outlook Express for free Hotmail accounts. What a lot of people don't know is that you can use it to download your Hotmail contacts into your Outlook Express address book. This article, Import Contacts and Email Addresses from Hotmail, gives instructions on doing exactly that.

Once you've got the contacts in Outlook Express, you can then export to a ".csv" file. (Instructions also covered in, or pointed to, by the aforementioned article.) The "gotcha" here is that contacts which have been organized into groups or sub folders within contacts may not export properly. You'll need to place them at the "top level" within the contacts folder.

And finally, you log into your new or different Hotmail account, and import the CSV file into its contacts.

"While Hotmail provides for importing contacts, there doesn't appear to be any way to export them."

Another approach is to use MSN Instant Messenger as your contact management tool. Messenger contacts appear in the Hotmail address book for the same account (though not all Hotmail contacts will appear in Messenger - only those whom you've added to your Messenger contacts). Messenger includes both import and export functions for the contact list. Just log in to Messenger using one account, hit the Contacts menu, Save Contact List and save to a file. Then login to Messenger with a different account, hit Contacts, Import Contacts from a Saved File, load up the file, and you're done.

Both approaches have drawbacks, but with a little patience the task can be accomplished. And, as with most things, there are probably other approaches as well.

Article C2174 - August 30, 2004 « »

Leo Leo A. Notenboom has been playing with computers since he was required to take a programming class in 1976. An 18 year career as a programmer at Microsoft soon followed. After "retiring" in 2001, Leo started Ask Leo! in 2003 as a place for answers to common computer and technical questions. More about Leo.

Not what you needed?

September 12, 2004 12:05 PM

i want my all contacts in msn messenger in my microsoft office outlook 2003, how can i do this please help me in this mateer thanx waiting for ur reply.....

September 12, 2004 12:52 PM

I'd follow the procedure described in the article above, and then import the OE contacts into Outlook 2003.

Chastity Benefits
September 15, 2004 5:41 AM


October 16, 2004 1:56 PM

Hotmail does not allow for users to access Hotmail via Outlook Express anymore (the free accounts).

I am trying to find an easier way to export MSN address book to OE, while we still have access to it (it was paid but we canceled it recently). I attempted to set up MSN in OE then tried to syncronize the address book but it kept asking me for my password...very annoying.

Not planning on installing MSN Messenger on here either.

Any other ideas out there?? Thank you!

May 10, 2005 8:13 PM

Consider this a wakeup call to the Nintendo generation we demand free access.

The stupid Sychronization doesnt work with free accounts.

Here is a workaround that does names and emails only:

Open you hotmail account to the contacts page where they are all listed.

Copy them to a notepad.

Put a comman in front of each Email (example:

bob, johnson , )

Save the notepad file as addy.txt
Open addy.txt with excel 2002

The text import wizard will open automatically.
Choose delimited >Next>Select the comman box and hit finish

now clean up any emails that got the ends cut off.

Add a row at the top add the Entry First Name in the First Name column, Last Name over Last Name, Email Address over the Email Address column.

Save the file and import it into outlook express as an "other address box" (Comman Separated Values)

August 20, 2005 5:43 PM

Hey I was just wondering if I CAN change my email address and HOW do I do it?

August 20, 2005 7:04 PM

No. The only way is to create a new account with the new name, and stop using the old one.

August 26, 2005 9:41 AM

I dont have any comments,but what i want to know is,how can i transfer my e-mails to outlook express or microsoft outlook?????
Has hotmial stoped the servise???????

October 20, 2005 6:50 PM

Hi Leo,
How to export contacts from Hotmail account to another Hotmail account.


October 20, 2005 7:21 PM

Please read that article you just commented on.

November 24, 2005 10:13 AM

I did it the idiots way...:-0
I entered my hotmail account and pretended to make a "new message" by clicking "to" - I then added ALL my contacts individually by clicking them in this one line BUT didnīt send. I then "copied and then pasted" the single line into the body of an email and sent to gmail account - viola! ;-)

even if you have 400 contacts this will still only take you 1/4 hour - I accept donations

December 30, 2005 2:53 AM


How do I pull my hotmail emails down from the internet to my outlook application? by setting up another email account in Outlook? I guess I am after the outlook new account settings to be able to do this.



January 27, 2006 6:08 PM

Just sending you my fix to IMPORTING A .CSV (address) FILE (from Outlook Express) TO AOL. You can NOT do this while you're in your resident AOL account. AOL's instructions for importing a .csv file ONLY work from AOL MAIL ON THE WEB. This is the only place where their precious "ADDRESSES" tab appears, which is clicked to reveal the IMPORT button. (This opens the Import Contacts window; you then click the Browse button, select your stored .csv file and import it.)

To get to AOL ON THE WEB,
Type into your browser. When the page loads, enter your Screen Name and password. NOW you can see the ADDRESSES tab!

February 5, 2006 11:16 PM

You can transfer Hotmail contacts to another account see example at

March 5, 2006 9:46 AM

how do i change my account from to

March 5, 2006 9:47 AM

There is no "change" for hotmail. You simply create a brand new account with the name you want, if it's available.

Jason Yank
March 22, 2006 7:44 PM

Hey Leo,
Can you tell me how I can import all Outlook contact into my hotmail? I need all the contacts availabe whilst overseas.

March 28, 2006 1:44 AM

It was of terrific help! Thank you so much LEO!

May 13, 2006 6:08 AM

Hi Leo,

I would like to delete Hotmail contacts, but for a while now i've gotten an error: 'are you sure you want to delete these contacts permanently?' and then i'd click yes, but the'd still be there. Same with turning off 'rich text editor'. Can you help me? (And am i on the right website with this question?)

Thanks! Anne.

May 31, 2006 6:47 PM

You need to change this so if we make a new account we can take all our people and send them to our other account. Ya know what i mean because I have 237 people and i dont want to re-add all those if you fix it let me know

May 31, 2006 6:52 PM

I can't fix it. I'm not Microsoft, and I don't work for Hotmail.

You need to make that suggestion to the Microsoft, MSN and Hotmail people.

Carlos Cavalcanti
June 29, 2006 11:39 PM

Hi Leo,

First, thank you very much for that article. It became a reference in other sites on solving the problem of exporting hotmail contacts.

Second: Have you noticed that, for some strange reason, your method and Trumbaīs method ( have the same drawback?

Essencially, Trumbaīs method allows people to sync their Outlook accounts with the hotmails ones, but even if they donīt have an old or premium account. Manually, you go to hotmail contacts, click on "print preview", copy, and paste to an Excell worksheet (paste special - text - if your using firefox, or just paste if using explorer). Then you can save as .csv, and your ready to import to outlook.

This process does the same thing your method does, only itīs manual and works for every hotmail account.

But what about the drawback? Well, like I was saying, for some very strange reason, when you sync the accounts (your method), lots of contacts appear only with their names, but not their e-mails.

The interesting part of the problem is, when using Trumbaīs manual method, THE SAME EXACT PROBLEM happens. When you print preview the contacts, some of them appear only as names, not e-mails. And thatīs not all: I tested both your method (I have an old hotmail account) and Trumbaīs, and noticed the names without e-mail are the same for both methods.

That is, I still donīt understand why the print preview show only names, but this problem occurs even when using the automated method (yours), doing a sync of the accounts.

So, my question: do you know of any way of getting past this problem? Iīm still working on it.

Carlos Cavalcanti
June 30, 2006 3:04 AM

Why microsoft (and itīs products) suck, or How to solve all the problems they create to us:

I got it.

The problem is that on the contacts list all the info is displayed. When you use the print view, for no reason, a lot of info is lost.

What do to:

1. Just go to your hotmail contacts and select everything. Donīt use the print view. Important notice: if you have enough contacts (I have 333), youīll notice some large strings for e-mails donīt show correctly. These ones will give you a bit of work on the next step.

2. Open Excell, then paste (or paste special-text: see above on using firefox). Youīre almost done.

3. Cut the columns you want (like Name, e-mail, and phone fields), and cut. Open a new worksheet, paste them. Save. This is your contact list. You can discard the first worksheet (with the columns you didnt want, like the ones where you can mark).

4. Now, the catch up (or, the works): you have to check every e-mail address, to see if itīs correct. If you want to be smart, just check your hotmail contacts page, and see where there are long strings of e-mail and info. Like:


- and replace accordingly. You may want to click on the e-mail contact to see the correct e-mail address.

or more

and take away the "more". Like I said, just check to see if all e-mails are ok, and you can orient yourself by seeing what e-mails donīt display right on the contacts page of hotmail.

When you click on an e-mail field, it will became active (blue). Donīt worry. And you donīt need to do it for every e-mail.

Now save as ".csv (comma delimited) . Itīs over, this is your contact list.

Warning: if you tried the Leo approach for old or premium accounts (synchronation), you will have to delete your contacts list on outlook, because otherwise it will became doubled. If it happens, just delete and load.

When your importing, outlook will ask you to assign the fields (for example, will ask if "email" is "E-mail Address"). Just assign each field correctly. If you want to avoid this, alter the excell sheet to the right names, and outlook wonīt need to ask you that.

Correct names for fiels (or columns): Name, E-mail Address, Home Phone. There are others, and you may want to take a look at Outlook to see the names.

Hope I helped someone. Itīs been 3 days of work on this, but I nailed Microsoft dumbness.

Carlos Cavalcanti

Edson Ferreira
July 18, 2006 3:52 PM

This might be of help:

Test it!!!

September 7, 2006 7:54 AM

When you copy your hotmail contacts into Excel to make your .csv document make sure that you rename the 'E-mail' column 'Email'. Then both the names and email addresses will import into a new hotmail account. Simple but effective. Hope this solves your problems guys.

November 2, 2006 10:47 PM

follow instruction:
create new identity - add your hotmail details- then TOOLS - ADDRESS BOOK - TOOLS - SYNCHRONIZE NOW - then follow instuctions - hope this helps

January 9, 2007 5:50 PM

i try and export my contacts from hotmail by going to print view and copying, pasting in excel and then saving as a csv file. all the details are there in the print view but whn i import them to outlook express but it says that i am trying to import "non-internet email addresses" and creates a contact but without a email attached. any ideas?

April 8, 2007 4:26 AM

You CAN export hotmail contacts using windows live mail!! Just take a good look round, I managed to do it somehow

Josh C.
June 20, 2007 7:24 PM

Is it possible to retrieve a contact list from a Hotmail account in which the user cannot sign in with it? If they've lost their password and can't remember their secret answer in case of password loss?

Leo A. Notenboom
June 21, 2007 5:00 PM

Hash: SHA1

Nope, not that I'm aware of. Heck, that would mean ANYONE could get your
contacts, and you don't want that.


Version: GnuPG v1.4.6 (MingW32)


July 1, 2007 6:25 AM

hey i would like to know how to delte contacts from my hotmail address book without deleting them from msn messenger? is there a way to do that? thanks

September 9, 2007 12:44 PM

he's right if you add windows live it gives you the option of exporting the address book it's a doddle...

patricia kerry victoria piper
September 22, 2007 5:18 PM

Leo , I have lost my email account that I had with hotmail , I changed my password as I was away on vacation and gave a family member my password , and decided to change it on return ( as you never know ) have not been able to get any email or face book for aweek , so I started a new email what do I do about all my email that Ive not seen PKVP

Jack M. Moutrie
October 19, 2007 4:25 PM

I am damn angry, when I moved three months ago, I switched from DSL to Cable 1. To keep my e-mail addresses I have to accept outlook express, which somehow gave me, as I understand, hotmail,
which I know nothing about, it was automatic.
Now today I wake up, I have "NO" e-mail I can receive, I can't even review. My son-in-law says now I have to spend $20 to receive e-mail.
I don't want hotmail, never did, how do I go about it, what is the procedure? Do I have to contact Cable One, or drop both and go back to DSL? Please explain.....

Leo A. Notenboom
October 22, 2007 11:05 AM

Hash: SHA1

First, it's unlikely you HAD to do any of those things. What probably happened
is that your old email address was with your old ISP ... meaning that if you
change ISPs you need to change your email address.

The idea behind HotMail, or GMail or any of the free email services is that
they are not related to your ISP. They're just web sites that you can visit
using any ISP. I suspect someone suggested that as one solution to your problem
so that you would have to change your email address only this one time.

Outlook Express is not required. Hotmail can be accessed via the Web at Gmail at Yahoo mail at And so on.
Simply create an email account at one of those free web mail services and
you're on your way.

It's likely that your NEW ISP has assigned you a new email address already.
You'll need to check with them. You could choose to use that - or not. That
will likely require an email program like Outlook Express (or Windows Live
Mail, or Thunderbird, or Outlook, or Eudora, or any of a hundred others) to
download your email to your machine without using web-based email.

Basically you have many, many choices, and the majority are totally free. It
all depends on what specifically you want to do.


Version: GnuPG v1.4.7 (MingW32)


October 25, 2007 1:32 PM


I have tried to do an export from the contact as the option is now available but it doesn't work, any idea?
Internet cannot dopwnload the file...
The internet site is unavailable or not found..
It seems that it si the same link as the email only the page.aspx change so what's the deal there?

February 12, 2008 4:06 PM

Hello there.
I am wondering about how I can transfer my maill from hotmail to gmail. When I fill out the pop setting in gmail under "Accounts", "Add another maill account" it just shows error. I've checked out izymail but seems scetchy. Can you please advice me on how to "defeat" hotmail on this one!?:)

Thank you!!

February 19, 2008 4:09 PM

Leo, i just created a new GMail Google account, that I am signing Windows Live with it now, is it possible to export my contats list from my old Windows Live address to this new gmail account?
(sorry for my bad English, you can edit it if it's necessarty) Thanks a lot!

March 20, 2008 2:02 PM

u can if u click screen shot and shhot em all

May 27, 2008 12:09 AM

How does one transfer contacts from my yahoo mail to hotmail account

deranged psychopath
May 27, 2008 4:33 AM

I would like to transfer my contacts from MSN to G-mail, but the instructions provided are not clear and I do not know how to do it. Hope u can explain. Thanks

June 11, 2008 12:03 AM

just wanted to say this was very useful help. thanks

October 17, 2008 2:07 PM

how do i combine my hotmail account to my gmail account and what are the correct setting for it and also i do i access the combined addresses from outlook 2003?

November 30, 2008 6:59 AM

my hotmail was stolen or hacked i want the contacts in it they are so important to me

When you started typing your comment, this text should have appeared: "Don't ask me to recover lost passwords or hacked accounts." I cannot help you. This is one of the most common reasons I so strongly recommend not keeping important things in free email accounts.
- Leo

March 15, 2009 4:35 PM

How do I transfer all my received letters from one hotmail account to another hotmail account?

I know of no way to do that, aside from individually forwarding each message to the new emali address.
- Leo

June 18, 2009 4:24 PM

I just had my mail fwd'd to the new email account, then I went to the old one and sent a message to my entire contact list. I asked them to just hit reply then send.
Their reply was sent to my new email account, and I clicked on: Save new contact. Easy and takes 5 minutes on your part, but may take days for your recipients to reply.

November 24, 2009 1:39 PM

I do not have outlook express. I have 4 e-mail accounts, 2 are "" and 2 are "". I am trying to form a list in one account for business inquiries on a particular subject. How do I transfer contacts from the other 3 contact e-mail accounts into one e-mail account? I tried following the advice in your article but I only have a (trial) version of excel office and it would not let me copy anything. Thank you.

March 15, 2010 10:34 AM

anyone know how to transfer my hotmial contacts (not emails) to my new mac that uses

March 18, 2010 9:38 PM

i have a question that how can i import the contacts from one gamil to anthor gmail\olz.send me the answer

March 26, 2010 10:29 AM

I am having an issue whereby WinLive Hotmail has taken over my access. I cannot access my other Hotmail account. Somebody show me the road? Thanks

April 6, 2010 12:34 AM

Hi there,

After exporting the contacts from hotmail to outlook, will the contacts still exist in my hotmail account? Thanks.

May 20, 2010 9:00 AM

there is this problem after i import all the contacts,they appear offline,and my friends dont seems to have receive my invitation, any help?

June 2, 2010 4:25 AM

I have contacts in WL Mail, WL Messenger, GMail and a few other 'old' data. I want all of them to go into a NEW kinda Address Mangual where I can keep them. Does anyone know of any (ideally FREE) program that can import and export all these different formats of addresses?

Janet E. Gordon
June 26, 2010 7:58 AM

My facebook account was "hacked" into several weeks ago which also compromised my jagorproductions account which holds everything in my life for the last several years and I desparately need to retrieve it....I managed to salvage my contacts from outlook but don't know how to temporarily switch them to another acct. until this is resolved??

August 21, 2010 1:06 AM

I'm having the same problem as Marc.
I imported all the contacts, but they appear offline on my msn list and their username is simply their ID

September 22, 2010 4:51 AM

Gah there is no SAVE CONTACT LIST in my Contacts menu bar.

October 3, 2010 6:35 PM

Itīs possible on msn 2010?

October 13, 2010 2:46 PM

I do not have the import or export options under my contacts...

January 24, 2011 11:45 PM

easier way is to open hotmail >contacts "menu on right below> manage > export ... then save as CSV ext. to imoprt it to any mail u desire !!

Scott Carswell
July 2, 2011 9:43 AM

There is a service titled, TrueSwitch which transfers all items from one web based account to another.
Google the name

John Taylor
August 22, 2011 4:57 AM

The question has NOT been answered, How do I transfer 385 e-mails belonging to my wife to her Hotmail account from mine? Outlook Express is NOT an option!

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