Before moving merging the different contact lists make a backup of each of the folders. In Outlook 2016 choose File
Choose Open & Export> Import/Export
Choose Export to a file
Choose Comma Separated Values
THIS STEP IS KEY especially if you’re working on someone else’s computer: In the Select folder to export from box scroll to the top if needed and select the Contacts folder that’s needs to be backed up. You will do this for every folder that needs to be merged.
Choose Browse, name your file, and choose OK
Confirm where your new contracts file will be saved on your computer, and choose Next
Choose Finish to start exporting your contacts immediately. Outlook doesn’t display any message when the export process is complete but the Import and Export Progress box goes away.
Locate the new .csv file on your computer and open it with Excel to verify your contacts are there. You’ll likely have a lot of empty cells. That will be normal.
It’s recommended closing the file without saving any changes; otherwise the file might get messed up and you won’t be able to use it for importing. If that happens you can always run the export process again and create a new file.
You can use Excel to update the information in your .csv file. Now that your contacts are copied to a .csv file you can import them.
At the top of your Outlook 2016 choose File
Choose Open & Export>Import/Export. This will start the wizard.
Choose Import from another program or file, and then choose Next.
Choose Comma Separated Values, and then choose Next
In the Import a File box, brows to your contacts file and then double click to select it.
Choose one of the following to specify how you want Outlook to handle duplicate contacts:
- Replace duplicates with items imported. If a contact is already in Outlook and your contacts file, Outlook discards the info it has for that contact and uses the info from your contacts file. You should choose this option if the info in your contacts file is more complete or more current than the contact info in Outlook
- Allow duplicates to be created If a contact is in Outlook and your contacts file, Outlook creates duplicate contacts with the original Outlook info and one with the info imported from your contacts file. You can combine info for those people later to eliminate duplicate contacts. This is the default option
- Do not duplicate items. If a contact in Outlook and your contacts file, Outlook keeps the info it has for that contact and discards the info from your contacts file. You should choose this option if the contact in Outlook is more complete or more current than the info in your contacts file.
In the Select a destination folder box, scroll to the top if needed and select the Contacts folder>Next. If you have multiple email accounts, choose the Contacts folder that’s under the email account you want to be associated with the contacts.
Outlook begins importing your contacts immediately. You’ll know it’s finished when the Import Progress box closes.
To see your contacts, at the bottom of Outlook, choose the People icon