If you own an Android device, you probably already know that you can’t sync to Outlook without the help of third-party software. Of course, if you’re on Exchange, it’s not a problem. But for those using IMAP or POP3, just plugging that phone into your PC won’t do it. Fortunately, I found a fairly simple method for getting your Outlook contacts to your Android device.
This method requires your Android phone to be connected to a working Gmail account. Once that’s in place, you’re ready to take on the migration. Let’s get those contacts moved over.
Step 1: Export contacts from Outlook
Here’s how to export contacts in Outlook 2010 (adjust accordingly for the version you are using):
On your PC, go to the contacts piece of Outlook, and then click File | Options | Advanced. Click on the Export button, select Export to a file (see Figure A), and click Next.
You can export/import to and from various sources, but it’s crucial to select the right choice here or Google won’t be able to work with it.
In the next window, select Comma Separated Values (Windows), and click Next. Select the Contacts entry from the “Select folder to export from” list (see Figure B), and click Next.
You can export anything you want, but the goal here is the Contacts.
Finally, name and find a location to save the exported file to, and click Finish.
Step 2: Import the contacts into Gmail
Log into your Gmail account on the PC where you exported your contacts. In the Gmail window, click the drop-down that appears when you hover over “Mail” (under the Gmail logo in the left corner), and select Contacts (see Figure C).
Once you’re in the Contacts window, “hover” the mouse over the contacts pane (left side) to reveal the entire tree and the Import Contacts button (see Figure D).
Sometimes the “hover” effect doesn’t work so well in Gmail, but this is the only way to get to the Import Contacts button.
After you click Import Contacts, a new window will appear. Select the Choose File button, locate the file exported from Outlook, and then click the Import button.
Step 3: Sync your phone
Now, all you have to do is run the sync on your mobile device. Each phone will handle this differently, but more than likely, all you need do is wait a moment and the device should auto-sync the new contacts. If not, you can follow these steps.
- Open up Contacts
- Click the menu button
- Tap Accounts
- Tap your Google account
- Click the menu button
- Tap Sync Now
That should do it. Your Outlook contacts should now be on your Android phone. Of course, if you make changes to your contacts in Outlook, those changes will not be reflected on your Android device. To see those changes, you’ll have to resync.