Technology in terms you understand. Sign up for the Confident Computing newsletter for weekly solutions to make your life easier. Click here and get The Ask Leo! Guide to Staying Safe on the Internet — FREE Edition as my thank you for subscribing!

How do I transfer Hotmail contacts to another account?

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.

Become a Patron of Ask Leo! and go ad-free!

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 about.com 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 about.com 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.

Subscribe to Confident Computing! Tech problem solving & safety tips with a weekly confidence boost in your inbox every week.

I'll see you there!

10 Reasons Your Computer is Slow

Slow Computer?

Speed up with my FREE special report: 10 Reasons Your Computer is Slow, now updated for Windows 10.

No strings. No email. Here's the direct download. (Just right-click and "Save As...".)

57 comments on “How do I transfer Hotmail contacts to another account?”

  1. 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…..

    Reply
  2. 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!

    Reply
  3. 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 ,bobjohnson@bobislame.com )

    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)

    Reply
  4. 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???????

    Reply
  5. Hi

    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.

    Thanks

    Nick

    Reply
  6. 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 http://www.aol.com into your browser. When the page loads, enter your Screen Name and password. NOW you can see the ADDRESSES tab!

    Reply
  7. There is no “change” for hotmail. You simply create a brand new account with the name you want, if it’s available.

    Reply
  8. 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.

    Reply
  9. Hey,
    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 people……so if you fix it let me know
    Hallie

    Reply
  10. 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.

    Reply
  11. 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.

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

    Reply
  13. 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?

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

    Reply
  15. 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?

    Reply
  16. —–BEGIN PGP SIGNED MESSAGE—–
    Hash: SHA1

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

    Leo

    —–BEGIN PGP SIGNATURE—–
    Version: GnuPG v1.4.6 (MingW32)

    iD8DBQFGexEGCMEe9B/8oqERAj2EAJ9B/8O+W8BXKfajiPtIgRe0+5F26QCfYMJH
    +ObTwmUCj9UBWrMNChML5+E=
    =ug/2
    —–END PGP SIGNATURE—–

    Reply
  17. 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

    Reply
  18. 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

    Reply
  19. 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…..

    Reply
  20. —–BEGIN PGP SIGNED MESSAGE—–
    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
    hotmail.com. Gmail at gmail.com. Yahoo mail at mail.yahoo.com. 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.

    Leo

    —–BEGIN PGP SIGNATURE—–
    Version: GnuPG v1.4.7 (MingW32)

    iD8DBQFHHOaFCMEe9B/8oqERApavAJ0aUHn0F/E3+Vd6RIssdTH3rkot2QCdH2Kg
    vodaFKnfAKwE+XqHoj44v6Y=
    =rIHw
    —–END PGP SIGNATURE—–

    Reply
  21. Hello,

    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?
    Thanks

    Reply
  22. 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!!

    Reply
  23. 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!

    Reply
  24. 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

    Reply
  25. 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?

    Reply
  26. 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
    30-Nov-2008
    Reply
  27. 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
    16-Mar-2009
    Reply
  28. 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.

    Reply
  29. I do not have outlook express. I have 4 e-mail accounts, 2 are “hotmail.com” and 2 are “live.com”. 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.

    Reply
  30. 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

    Reply
  31. 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?

    Reply
  32. 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?

    Reply
  33. 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??

    Reply
  34. 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

    Reply
  35. 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 !!

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

    Reply
  37. 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!

    Reply

Leave a reply:

Before commenting please:

  • Read the article.
  • Comment on the article.
  • No personal information.
  • No spam.

Comments violating those rules will be removed. Comments that don't add value will be removed, including off-topic or content-free comments, or comments that look even a little bit like spam. All comments containing links and certain keywords will be moderated before publication.

I want comments to be valuable for everyone, including those who come later and take the time to read.