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You can capture and organize information about people by saving new contacts in your address book. Contacts are like electronic cards that save a person's contact information. A contact can be as basic as a name and email address, or include more information like a street address, multiple phone numbers, and a profile picture.

Once you’ve saved someone as a contact, you can type the first few letters of their name into an email, and Outlook will fill in their email address for you. Or with a few clicks, you can call that person without ever having to look up their phone number.

Important: Steps may be different between new and classic Outlook for Windows. To determine which version of Outlook you're using, look for File on the ribbon. If there's no File option, follow the steps under the New Outlook tab. If the File option appears, select the tab for Classic Outlook.

  1. Select People button icon People on the left of the window.

  2. On the Home tab, select New contact.

  3. Enter a name and other details, then select Save

Tip: You can enter additional contact information any time. Select the contact from the list, select Edit, and begin adding more information. 

  1. Open the message so that the person's name is shown in one of these lines: From:, To:, Cc:, or Bcc:.

  2. Right-click the appropriate name, choose Add to Outlook Contacts.

  3. In the window that opens, fill in the details you want to save.

    Adding a new contact to Outlook from a message

    Note:  Outlook inserts the contact's email address in the Email box, and any other information about the contact that's available in the message in the appropriate boxes. If a contact is in your organization, that probably includes their title, department, phone number, and office.

  4. Select Save.

  1. Click People at the bottom or left of the screen, or press Ctrl+3.

    Click People

  2. From the File menu, select New Contact or press Ctrl+N.

    New Contact button on the Home tab

    Tip: To create a contact from another Outlook folder, press Ctrl+Shift+C.

  3. Enter a name and any other information that you want to include for the contact.

  4. If you want to immediately create another contact, choose Save & New (this way, you don't have to start over for each contact).


    • To add another contact from the same company, choosethedown arrow next to Save & New, and then choose Contact from the Same Company.

    • Create a new contact from the same company

  5. When you're done entering new contacts,, choose Save & Close.

You can save more than one phone number, email address, or mailing address for someone.

  1. If you haven't added the contact before, create a new contact. Otherwise, open an existing contact.

  2. Click the down arrow next to E-mail, any of the Phone number fields, or the Business address, and then select one of the other options from the drop-down box. For example, to add a second email, select E-mail 2. To add a TTY/TDD phone number, click the arrow next to any of the phone fields and select TTY/TDD

Add an extra email address for a contact

If you have a picture of the person saved on your computer (or in some other location), you can use it in their contact information.

  1. Click the image icon in the new contact box.

    Click the image icon to add a photo

  2. Locate the picture you want to use in the Add Contact Picture box, and then click OK.

  • Import contacts from a .csv or .pst file    A .csv file contains contacts you've exported into a text file, where each part of the contact's information is separated by a comma (.csv means "comma separated value").

A .pst file is a file exported from Outlook into a format that another computer running Outlook can read.

See Import contacts to Outlook for Windows to learn more.

  • Get contacts from Excel    You can use the Import and Export Wizard to bring in contact information saved in an Excel file, such as .xlsx or .xls.

See Import contacts to Outlook for Windows to learn more.

You're in control of what information is added to a contact card. You can update and delete information as you choose.

Partially filled in Outlook contact card

To change how names are presented in the contact card

  1. On the File tab, choose Options > People .

  2. Under Names and filing, do the following:

    • In the Default "Full Name" order list, choose an option.

      Outlook Options for People, showing Full Name order list options.




      First (Middle) Last


      Molly N Dempsey

      Last First


      Dempsey Molly

      First Last1 Last2


      Molly Jones Dempsey

    • In the Default "File As" order list, choose an option.

      Outlook Options for People, showing File As order list options.




      Last, First


      Dempsey, Molly N

      First List


      Molly N Dempsey



      Contoso Ltd.

      Last, First (Company)

      Dempsey, Molly (Contoso Ltd.)

      Company (First Last)

      Contoso Ltd. (Dempsey, Molly N)

  3. Choose OK when done.

To update information on an existing Contact card

  1. On the Home tab, in the Find group, choose Address Book.

    In Outlook, on the Home tab, in the Find group, choose Address Book.

  2. In the Address Book: Contacts dialog box, in the Address Book list, choose the address book where information for the contact is stored.

  3. Select the contact you want to change, right-click, and on the contact card, modify or update information as desired.

  4. Choose Save & Close > File > Close.

To add an extension number

  1. On the Contact Card, under Phone numbers, choose Business.

    Note: Don't choose the drop-down arrow adjacent to a Business, Business Fax, or Mobile box. Choose the actual box.

  2. In the Check Phone Number dialog box, fill in the Phone details, including the Extension Number box.

    In Outlook, on the Contact Card, under Phone numbers, choose an option, and update the Check Phone Number dialog box as needed.

To forward a Contact card to a colleague or business associate

  1. Open a Contact card.

  2. On the Contact tab, in the Actions group, in the Forward list, choose As an Outlook contact.

    In Outlook, on the Contact tab, in the Actions group, choose Foward and then choose an option.

    Note: The Contact card will be forwarded as an attachment in an email message.

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