Use Your Outlook Express Contacts on a Different Computer

Save Your Address Book Entries to a WAB or CSV File to Use Them Elsewhere

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Did you know you can use your Outlook Express address book entries on another computer? Maybe you want to transfer them to a different computer or share the whole address book with someone else.

No matter the reason, it's really easy and straightforward to export the entire list contacts to a file and then import them on some other computer.

Note: Outlook Express is not the same as Outlook.com or the Microsoft Outlook email client.

The steps below are only relevant to the Outlook Express email client. See How to Export Your Outlook Contacts to a CSV File if you need help doing it in that program.

How to Copy the Outlook Express Address Book

There are a couple different ways you can go about copying your Outlook Express address book:

Copy the WAB Address Book File Manually

Outlook Express stores the address book entries in a Windows Address Book file with the .WAB file extension.

Navigate to the right folder where Outlook Express stores this file so that you can right-click and copy it manually and then paste it anywhere you want, either as a back up or so that you can import it on a different computer.

The folder path should be C:\Documents and Settings\<username>\Application Data\Microsoft\Address Book\.

Export the Address Book to a CSV File

Another option is to export the address book entries to a CSV file, which is a format nearly all other email clients support.

You can then import this CSV file into a different client and use your Outlook Express contacts there.

  1. Navigate to the File > Export > Address Book... menu in Outlook Express on the computer where you want to copy the address book.
  2. Choose the option called Text File (Comma Separated Values).
  3. Click Export.
  1. Click Browse... to choose where to save the CSV file and what it should be named. Make sure to name it something memorable and save it somewhere useful, such as a flash drive if you're planning on moving the address book to a different computer.
  2. Before clicking Save, make sure the "Save as type:" option is set to CSV and not TXT or some other file extension.
  3. Click Next > on the CSV Export window.
  4. Choose which address book fields should be exported, such as the first and last name, email address, physical home address details, etc.
  5. Click Finish when you're done and the address book will be exported to the CSV file in the location you chose in Step 4.
  6. Click OK on the Address Book successful export prompt. You can also now close any other open windows, like the Address Book Export Tool window.

How to Use the Address Book on a Different Computer

The steps from above outline two different ways to copy your Outlook Express addresses so that you can use them on a different computer or email client. This means there are two slightly different ways you can go about importing the contacts back into Outlook Express on the other computer.

These different details are called out when necessary.

  1. Make sure the storage medium that's holding the Outlook Express address book backup is plugged into the computer or that the file you backed up (the WAB or CSV) is readily available on the new computer.
  1. On the new computer, make sure Outlook Express is open and ready to go.
  2. If you have a WAB file backup, navigate to the menu called File > Import > Address Book....

    If you have a CSV file backup, use the File > Import > Other Address Book... menu instead.
  3. If you're looking for the WAB file, browse for it in that new window and then click Open when you find it.

    If it's the CSV file you're looking for, choose Text File (Comma Separated Values) from the Address Book Import Tool window and then choose Import. Browse for the CSV file and open it with the Open button, and then click Next > to pick which fields to import along with it. Click Finish to import the file.
  1. Click OK to the message that says you've successfully imported the file.
  2. You can close down any lingering windows after you get the confirmation that the address book was imported correctly.