Managing Contacts

Keep your Outlook contacts organized so you can send and receive emails and schedule meetings with ease.


Screenshot of Microsoft Outlook 2010

Contacts view is the central place for all your contacts in Outlook 2010. Maintaining a detailed contacts list will make sending emails and scheduling meetings much easier.

In this lesson, you'll learn how to add, manage, and organize your contacts. We'll also talk about how to import contacts.

Contacts view

Video: Managing Contacts in Outlook 2010

Launch "Managing Contacts in Outlook 2010" video!Watch the video (3:32).

Outlook 2010 keeps all of your contacts organized in Contacts view. Once you've added contacts to Outlook, you'll use the same contact information to send emails, schedule meetings, and assign tasks. Keeping a detailed contacts list can be especially helpful in the workplace, as you may need to communicate with many different people every day.

The Contacts view interface

Click the buttons in the interactive below to become more familiar with the Contacts view interface.

labeled graphic

Edit Contacts

Double-click a contact to edit the contact's information. The Contact dialog box will appear. Edit the information as desired.

Index Bar

If you have a lot of contacts, you can jump directly to a specific point in your contacts list using the Index bar.

Address Book

Open the Address Book to see a full list of your contacts. You can also navigate between other address books available over your network.

Search Bar

If you're having trouble finding a contact, you can find them quickly using the Search bar.

Share Group

It's easy to share contact information with someone else. For example, if a co-worker requested an email address of a new client, you could forward their contact information.

Actions Group

The commands in the Actions group allow you to access advanced options, such as Mail merge.

View Options

There are several different view options for Contacts view. By default, your contacts appear as business cards, but you can also view them in small card, phonebook, or list format.

Communicate Group

Use the commands in the Communicate group to quickly compose an email or request a meeting with the selected contact.


The Delete command will delete the currently selected contact from the contacts list.

New Contact Group

If you frequently work with the same group of people, you can create a contact group for quick access.

New Contact

Click the New Contact command to create a new contact. The Contact dialog box will appear. From here, you'll enter the desired contact information.


Your contacts will appear in the View pane.

Adding contacts

There are two ways to add contacts:

To add a new contact manually:

  1. From Contacts view, locate and select the New Contact command on the Ribbon.

    Screenshot of Microsoft Outlook 2010Clicking New Contact
  2. The Contact dialog box will appear.
  3. Enter the contact information. At the very least, you should enter a first and last name, as well as an email address. However, you can also enter other information, like phone numbers, alternate email addresses, and more.
  4. When you are finished filling out the contact information, click Save & Close.

    Screenshot of Microsoft Outlook 2010Adding contact information
  5. The contact will be added to your contacts list.

    Screenshot of Microsoft Outlook 2010The added contact

To import contacts:

In order to import contacts to Outlook, you must first export those contacts to a file, most commonly a Comma Separated Value file, also known as CSV. Most email applications will provide instructions on how to export your existing contacts. Once you've exported your contacts, you're ready to import them to Outlook.

  1. Click the File tab on the Ribbon.

    Screenshot of Microsoft Outlook 2010Clicking the File tab
  2. Backstage view will appear. Select Open.

    Screenshot of Microsoft Outlook 2010Clicking Open from Backstage view
  3. The Open options will appear. Select Import.

    Screenshot of Microsoft Outlook 2010Clicking Import
  4. The Import and Export Wizard will appear. Follow the instructions to import contacts into Outlook.

    Screenshot of Microsoft Outlook 2010The Import and Export Wizard

If you use Gmail, follow these instructions for exporting Gmail contacts.

Doing more with contacts

Once you're familiar with the basics of Contacts view, you can start taking advantage of its most helpful features with these additional tips.

To send an email to contact groups:

Contact groups are especially convenient for sending messages to a group of people, such as a specific team in your workplace.

  1. Select the desired contact group, then click the E-mail command on the Ribbon.

    Screenshot of Microsoft Outlook 2010Creating a group email
  2. The Compose window will appear, and the contact group will be copied into the To: field. The message will be sent to everyone in the contact group.

    Screenshot of Microsoft Outlook 2010The contact group copied into the To: field

To assign tasks:

If you want to use Outlook 2010 to manage projects and tasks, you can assign tasks (also known as To-Do's) to your contacts. Your contact will receive a notification about the task, and you'll be notified when the task is completed.

  1. Click the desired contact, locate and select the More command on the Ribbon, then select Assign Task from the drop-down window.

    Screenshot of Microsoft Outlook 2010Assigning a task to a contact
  2. The Task window will appear. Enter a subject as you would for an email message, as well as a due date for the task.
  3. When you're finished entering information about the task, click Send.

    Screenshot of Microsoft Outlook 2010Assigning a task

To print contacts:

If you need to access your contacts list away from your computer, it's easy to print contacts.

  1. Click the File tab on the Ribbon.

    Screenshot of Microsoft Outlook 2010Clicking the File tab
  2. Backstage view will appear. Locate and select Print.

    Screenshot of Microsoft Outlook 2010Clicking Print in Backstage view
  3. The Print pane will appear. Choose your desired layout, including business card, phone list, and more, then click Print.
Screenshot of Microsoft Outlook 2010Printing a contacts list


  1. Navigate to Contacts view.
  2. Add a new contact to your contacts list.
  3. Create a contacts group.
  4. Address a new email message to one of your contacts.