Despite the growth and popularity of chat apps and mobile messaging services, we still send and receive emails every day. Email is a common form of communication in business, but it is also an integral part of our daily life on the Internet as most websites require email addresses to create accounts.
Microsoft Outlook has an active user base of over 400 million people, many of whom open emails from mobile devices on Android and iOS platforms. Therefore, synchronizing Outlook on mobile devices and with other services is essential for easy access from any device or location.
One of the most powerful features of any electronic communication is the contact list, which is critical to our personal and business communication.
If you’re a regular Microsoft Outlook user and don’t know how to sync Outlook contacts with your mobile device or other email services, don’t worry. We’re going to show you a few workarounds.
How to Sync Outlook Contacts
The steps in this guide may vary depending on your operating system and device. Make sure Outlook is allowed to access your contacts before proceeding with the sync setup.
Sync Outlook Contacts with Android
To sync Outlook contacts with your Android device, your email service provider must use Microsoft Exchange ActiveSync. Most major providers like Gmail do.
- On your Android device, open Settings, tap Apps (or Apps).
- Tap Outlook.
- Under Application Settings, click Permissions.
- Turn on the Contacts radio button (if it is disabled).
- Open Outlook and go to Settings.
- Click on your account and then click “Sync Contacts”.
Sync Outlook Contacts with Gmail
Gmail is a popular email service with over 1.5 billion monthly active users. Fortunately, syncing Outlook contacts with this provider is easy because it uses Microsoft Exchange ActiveSync.
- To sync Outlook contacts with Gmail, download the Gmail app (if not already installed on your device) or update it.
- Register your Outlook account with Gmail. You will need a valid Outlook account to do this, so register one if you don’t have one, set up and sign in to your computer to make sure sync is working properly.
- Sign in to your Outlook account from the Gmail app with the same credentials as on your desktop. Open Gmail and click Menu (three horizontal lines) on the left.
- Click Settings.
- Click Add Account.
- On the next page, you will see a list of email services supported by the Gmail app Tap Exchange and Office 365.
Note. Don’t choose Outlook, Hotmail, and Live, as these services use IMAP and POP, which are sync protocols that cannot sync contacts or calendar. They only sync email.
- Enter your email address and password on the next page.
- This will start checking the server settings on your Android device. If a pop-up window appears asking for Remote Security Administration, click OK and then log in on the next page.
Note. Make sure Gmail has access to your contacts and calendar. You can check this by going to Settings> Apps> Permissions and toggling the Contacts switch to green.
Sync Outlook Contacts with iPhone
iPhone usually does a great job of syncing and updating contacts between apps and devices. However, this is not always the case, especially if there are incorrect permission settings or general software issues such as errors that cause Outlook to not sync with your phone.
You can sync Outlook contacts to iPhone using Settings, iTunes, iCloud, email, import as vCards, or through Exchange.
- Open Settings and click Outlook> Contacts.
- Set Background Application Refresh to green.
- Open Outlook and go to Settings> Your Account> Sync Contacts.
Besides being a music player or safe storage tool, iTunes can also manage and store data from your iPhone, making it easy to update and transfer Outlook contacts between devices.
Make sure iCloud is turned off before using iTunes to sync Outlook contacts.
- Connect iPhone to your computer and open iTunes.
- Tap the iPhone icon and choose Settings> Information.
- Select the “Sync contacts with” checkbox and select Outlook from the list.
- Click Apply to complete the configuration.
Before syncing Outlook contacts from iPhone to iCloud, please make sure iCloud Control Panel for Windows is available or installed on your PC
Note. ICloud does not allow you to sync only contacts to the cloud. If you don’t mind fully uploading your calendars, mail, and contacts to iCloud, follow these steps.
- Launch iCloud on your PC and sign in with your ID and password.
- Select the Mail, Contacts, Calendars & Tasks check box.
- Click Apply.
You can transfer Outlook contacts to iPhone using email, although it’s a rather lengthy process.
- Open Outlook for PC.
- Click File> Open> Import.
- In the Import / Export Wizard, select Export to File.
- Click Next.
- Click Comma Separated Values ??(Windows), then click Next.
- Select the folder with the contacts you want to export and click Next.
- Name your CSV file, save it, and click Next> Finish.
- Compose a new email and download the CSV file generated by Outlook as an attachment and send it to the connected email address. to your iPhone.
- On iPhone, open the email, tap the attachment, and follow the instructions to the Add All Contacts option.
Note. Not all iOS devices handle CSV files the same way. Some only offer a preview of the file without asking you to add them to your contacts list.
Importing contacts as business cards
This method allows you to sync Outlook contacts to iPhone by converting them to vCards or electronic business cards that can be viewed in any version of Outlook. However, business cards are only created in the Outlook desktop app.
- Open Outlook and click Contacts.
- Select the contacts you want to sync, click File> Save As> Save As Type and select vCard Files.
- Choose a location to save the vCard, give it a name and click Save.
- At iCloud.com, sign in and click Settings> Import vCard.
- Select the saved vCard and click Import.
iCloud will add your contacts to the All Contacts folder. The problem with using business cards is that you need to create and import a new card every time you add new contacts in Outlook.
This method only works if your iPhone is connected to the internal corporate network. If your company has an Exchange server, you can sync Outlook contacts with it and access them on your iPhone.
- Open your iPhone and go to Settings> Mail, Contacts, Calendars (select Exchange if this is your first time setting up this).
- Select “Add Account”.
- Select Exchange.
- Enter your email address, username and password and click Next.
- Your iPhone will be communicating with the Exchange server, so make sure you know the server address as you will need to enter it here.
- Select Contacts from the list of items you want to sync and you’re done.
Sync Outlook Contacts with iPad
For iPad, you have two options for syncing Outlook contacts – iTunes or iCloud. If you use iCloud on your computer, you can copy contacts to iCloud and access them from your iPad.
However, if you are using iTunes on your computer, you can sync contacts using iTunes to your iPad.
- Make sure you have the latest version of iTunes, open it and sign in with the credentials you use on your iPad.
- Connect iPad to your computer and select it in iTunes.
- Click Info and select sync options for mail, calendars, and contacts, in this case Sync Contacts With> Outlook.
- If you have multiple contact groups, select the one you want to sync by clicking Select Group, or sync all of them and click Sync.
- Click the Summary tab for wireless sync and click Sync with this device over Wi-Fi.
From now on, when your iPad is turned on and iTunes is running on your computer, syncing will happen automatically.
Make sure you have iCloud Control Panel for Windows installed on your computer before using this method. Sign in with your iPad credentials and select the sync options you want to use â€” in this case, Outlook Contacts.
- Open Settings on your iPad.
- Select mail, contacts, calendars.
- Click iCloud.
- Sign in with your Apple ID and select Mail, Contacts, and Calendars to sync with Outlook via iCloud.
- You can choose other iCloud sync options, such as Find My iPhone or Documents & Data.
Synchronize with Outlook.com or Exchange
- Open Settings on your iPad, select Mail, Contacts & Calendars, and click Add Account.
- Tap Microsoft Exchange to sync with your workplace server, or tap Outlook.com to sync with your Outlook.com account.
- Enter your email address, username and password (if connecting via Exchange Server, enter your domain name, although this is optional).
- Click Next.
- Your iPad will contact the Exchange Server. Enter your domain name here and click Next.
- Select the services you want to sync â€” mail, contacts, or calendars â€” and that’s it.
Sync Outlook Contacts With iCloud
If you have a PST file on your computer that contains all your Outlook profile data, you can import contacts to iCloud in two parts: convert PST contacts to vCards and then import the file to iCloud.
Convert PST file to vCard / VCF
You can convert the .PST file to vCard using a tool such as SysTools vCard Export Tool
- Download the tool to your computer and click “Add File”.
- You will get the parameters “File” and “Folder”. If you have one file, select the File option. If there are multiple files in the folder, select the Folder option.
- Click Browse and select your PST file, then click Add. The tool will show you a preview of the complete data of the PST file.
- Select contacts and click “Export”.
- In the Export Options section, click the vCard and select it where you want.
- Click Export to convert all contacts to a VCF file.
- You will receive a notification that the export is complete. Go to the location folder and check for the VCF file.
Import vCard to iCloud
- Sign in to your account with your iCloud credentials.
- Click Contacts and navigate to the gear icon at the bottom of the screen.
- Click the icon and select Import Business Card.
- Click Browse to locate the VCF file, select it and click Open.
- All your Outlook contacts in the vCard file will sync to iCloud.