If you have lots of contacts stored in your Outlook or Exchange account and want to move them elsewhere, such a task may turn into quite a tedious process. There is no universal way to transfer contacts from Exchange to iCloud, but you can utilize some tools available in apps such as Microsoft Outlook. It will help you to copy contacts from Exchange to Outlook relatively quickly and easily.
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How to copy Exchange contacts to iCloud?
You can move contacts from Exchange to iCloud using the Outlook app on Windows or Mac. It allows you exporting existing contacts in CSV or VCF-files, which are cross platform compatible. Although the process requires some manual work, it is effective and does not take too much time.
- Launch the Outlook app on your Windows computer or Mac. Make sure you have signed in with your Exchange account. Wait for the app to sync all changes, such as mail, calendar events, and contacts.
- Click the contacts button in the bottom-left corner of the app.
- Now, click the File button in the upper-left corner of the screen.
- Select Open & Export.
- Click the Import/Export button.
- Outlook will open a new Import and Export Wizard window, where you need to select Export to a file. That option lets you export contacts from Exchange and import them to your iCloud account.
- Click Next.
- Now select Comma Separated Values. For some reason, Outlook does not allow exporting contacts in the VCF format. iOS and iCloud do not support importing contacts from CSV, so you will have to convert your CSV into VCF. We will describe this process in the following steps.
- On the next step, select Contacts and click Next.
- Specify where Outlook should save your contacts from Exchange you want to move to iCloud. You can pick any temporary location.
- Now you need to figure how to convert CSV contacts to VCF. You do not need to download or buy expensive third-party apps. A regular Google account will do the job for you. Unlike Microsoft, Google sometimes knows how to do basic things.
- Go to contacts.google.com and click Import.
Tip. If you do not want to mix your Google account with Exchange accounts, you can create a burner account just for moving contacts from Exchange to iCloud. Alternatively, you can filter imported contacts using labels.
- Pick the CSV file from previous steps and wait for Google to import all your contacts.
- Now select the contacts you want to move from Exchange to iCloud and click Export.
- Select vCard (for iOS Contacts) and click Export.
- Now you are on final stretch. Open icloud.com/contacts and sign in with your Apple ID.
- Click the settings button in the bottom-left corner of the screen and select Import vCard.
- Wait for iCloud to move all your contacts from Exchange. Note that you can place all Exchange contacts into a single VCF-file. There is no need to move hundreds of contacts using hundreds of VCF-files.
That is how you move Exchange contacts to iCloud.
Note. Check our tutorial on what to do if Outlook cannot connect to Gmail account.
Copy contacts from Exchange to iCloud
The first thing you need to do is download the official Microsoft Outlook app for your iPhone or iPad. Log in with your Exchange account.
- Now, pull out a sidebar menu with a swipe from the app’s left side and press the settings icon with a little cog. You can find it in the bottom-left corner of the screen.
- In the list of email accounts, find the one from which you need to copy your contacts. Tap on it and look for the Account Settings section.
- Next, find the Save Contacts toggle and enable it.
- Outlook will ask you whether you want to save contacts from Exchange to your iCloud account. Confirm the action.
- Allow the app to access your contacts list.
After you did this, all you need to do is sit back and wait for your iPhone to copy contacts from Exchange to iCloud. This process may take some time, depending on how many contacts you have. You do not need to transfer contacts from Exchange to iCloud manually. Your phone will do all the job for you. Also, with the Save Contacts toggle enabled, all new contacts in Exchange will automatically appear in your iCloud account.
It is important to note that you should avoid enabling this setting on all devices. For example, if you have an iPhone and iPad, turn on contacts saving just on iPhone. This action will prevent contact duplication in your iCloud.
Although this article is focused on moving contacts from Exchange to iCloud, the Save Contacts feature supports other email providers. You can use it to copy contacts from Gmail, Office 365, and Outlook.com quickly.
When googling how to move contacts from Exchange to iCloud, you may stumble upon third-party software for Mac or PC specializing in such tasks. Although third-party apps for moving contacts between different services work quite well, we do not recommend using them due to privacy concerns. It is better to stick to the method described above that does not require downloading and installing third-party apps on your computer. It works and works fast. What else can you ask?
Move contacts from Exchange to iCloud
You can consider another option if you do not use the Outlook app or don’t want to use it. Simply put, you need to log in with your Exchange account into iOS’s settings and enable contact sync. Also, you can use the same guide to move contacts from Gmail to iCloud. Here is how you can do this:
- On your iPhone or iPad, go to Settings > Contacts.
- Tap Accounts. If there is no Exchange account, you need to add it.
- Tap Add Account. On the next screen, select Microsoft Exchange and enter your credentials.
- After your iPhone has successfully logged in with your Microsoft Exchange account, select the items you want to sync. Make sure to enable the Contacts toggle.
- Now, go to your iCloud settings and check whether you have Contacts sync enabled. If not, turn it on, so iOS can sync all the available contacts, including those from Exchange, to your iCloud account.
Note. Learn how to automatically accept meeting requests in Outlook.
Another way to move contacts from Exchange to iCloud
As you can already tell, moving contacts from Exchange to iCloud can be a cumbersome process. You can try emailing your contacts as VCF cards and saving them on your iPhone or iPad to sync with iCloud. Here is how to do that:
- Launch Outlook on your computer or Mac and switch to the Contacts view.
- Select the contacts you want to move from Exchange to iCloud. You can select one, several, or altogether. Note that VCF cards are small, but they do not “weigh” nothing. If your email has file size or amount limits, you might need to repeat the procedure a few times to include all contacts.
- Click Share Contacts.
- Select As Business Card. This will convert your contacts into VCF files supported on iOS.
- Email the selected files to any email available on your iPhone.
- Open the received email on your iPhone and download the attached VCF cards.
- Click on a card and select Create New Contact. This action will add the received contact to your default account used for storing contacts. After that, iOS will sync the new contacts to your iCloud.
- Repeat the same step with other contacts.
Third-party apps for moving contacts from Exchange to iCloud
Finally, you can try third-party apps that can sync contacts from your Exchange or Outlook to your iPhone. One such app is Akruto Sync. It has a free trial and supports wireless sync, so there is no need to connect your iPhone with a USB cable or install iTunes. The seven-day trial should be enough for you to move contacts from Exchange to iCloud, and after that you can remove the application from your PC.
Done. You successfully finished copying contacts from Exchange to iCloud. Now, you can remove your Exchange Account and leave contacts on your iPhone. To do so, go to Settings > Contacts > Accounts. Tap the Exchange account and then press Delete Account. Using the same guide, you can move contacts from Gmail to iCloud. Just sign in with the respective service in the Settings.