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  1. #1
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    Error importing .csv contacts into Outlook 'People'

    First, I'm not sure where to post this question. It concerns Outlook.com, not the Outlook that's part of the Office family. If I should have posted my question under Internet Explorer, my apologies. Here goes ... .

    My goal is to move a list of contacts from a MacBook Pro ("Contacts" app) into the "People" tab of my wife's e-mail in Outlook.com. I'm using a Windows 7 laptop running Internet Explorer 11. First, I created a .csv file from the MacBook Contacts and pulled that onto the PC with a little help from SkyDrive. Now I have the .csv file in my wife's SkyDrive. Next, I switched to her "People" tab in SkyDrive and clicked "Add people to your contact list" -> "Import from file." On the next screen, I clicked "Microsoft Outlook (using CSV)." [For what it's worth, I've also tried "Another Outlook.com or Hotmail account)" and got the same results I'm about to describe.] Then I clicked "Choose the file to import."

    I navigated to the file in the SkyDrive folder. It's clearly labeled as a "Microsoft Excel Comma Separated Values File." I clicked "Open," then "Import Contacts." Then I got this error message: "The file is empty, or not in the correct format."

    What do I do next?

  2. #2
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    Do you have a gmail account? If you don't, you could create one, just to test it. Importing can be done as explained here: https://support.google.com/mail/answer/14024?hl=en

    If it works, you know the issue is with Outlook.com. You can then export it as new csv and try the import from outlook.com again: https://support.google.com/mail/answer/24911?hl=en

    If the google import does not work, I fear you MacBook Pro contacts app many not export contacts in a format understood by either Gmail or Outlook.com.
    Rui
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  3. #3
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    Well, this has gotten interesting. I followed your suggestion and visited Google. In doing so, it struck me that I had been trying to get Outlook.com to import a file that contained data that was not arranged the way Outlook.com expects it. The fields and column headings in the file I wanted to import did not conform with the fields and headings in Outlook.com's "People." The solution, it seemed, was to rearrange my data and rename the field headings where necessary. That was a lot of work, but it paid off ... sort of. I no longer get the error that I described earlier, but now I have another error: "There was a problem importing your contacts. Phone numbers and websites can only contain English characters (a-z or A-Z), numbers (0-9), and specific symbols (such as @)."

    Very well. I opened the CSV file, tracked down every phone number, and removed every character except for numbers. Thus, (555) 123-4567 now appears as 5551234567. I inspected every Web and email address for anything out of the ordinary. I've inspected and edited the CSV file three times so far, and I'm still getting the error message about phone numbers and Web sites.

    Suggestions, anyone? What could be triggering this error message?
    Last edited by Caesar3; 2013-12-09 at 21:08.

  4. #4
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    Can you break it down into smaller files, start with a few entries only, see if they can be imported?

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    I'll try that and see what happens. Thanks.

  6. #6
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    Well, I don't understand what has happened, but the news is good. A few moments ago, I first ran the inspector on this file. Then I saved the file with a new name to the local hard drive (versus the user's SkyDrive). Then I logged into Outlook.com, went back to People, and went through the drill again. This time, it worked! All those stubborn "People" are now where they're supposed to be!

  7. #7
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    Glad you solved it.
    Rui
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