If you proudly own a subscription to MSN Hotmail Plus, you can synchronize your contacts comfortably between Hotmail and Outlook Express, and then further export them from the latter to your desired application or format.
Are Your Contacts Stuck in Hotmail?
If you lack a Hotmail Plus subscription and happily use a free Hotmail account, you may still wish to export your contacts for use in another program or service (maybe even, gasp, another free email service). Is it necessary to get and then get rid of Hotmail Plus for just that little feat?
Fortunately, it is not. If you are ready to engage in some work, you can get your contacts and email addresses out of Hotmail and into a universal format reasonably fast and with plenty of automation (contrast that with keying in all details again while switching between windows constantly).
Export Contacts and Email Addresses from a Free Hotmail Account
Windows Live Hotmail can save your contacts to a CSV file from which you can import in just about any email address book.
To export your contacts and their email addresses from a free MSN Hotmail account:
- Select Contacts from the top Hotmail navigation bar.
- Click Print View.
- Highlight the contents of the table (including the headings Name, E-Mail and Phone as well as all your contacts) with the mouse.
- Press Ctrl-C (Windows), Command-C (Mac) or Alt-C (Linux) to copy the table.
- Create a new spreadsheet document in Excel or OpenOffice.org.
- Select Edit | Paste from the menu.
- Look for rows that have the E-Mail column empty. You can sort the data by the column to find and manipulate them en bloc.
- If you have any email addresses in the first, the Name column, cut and paste them to the second, the E-Mail column.
- In the E-Mail column, remove all whitespace characters.
- In Excel, right-click in an email field and select Column | Trim from the menu.
- In OpenOffice.org, you can search for "[:space:]+$" (excluding the quotation marks), making sure Regular expressions is checked under More Options, and replace it with nothing.
- Select File | Save As... from the menu.
- Make sure you use CSV (Comma delimited)(*.csv) or Text CSV (.csv) or a similar format involving "CSV" for saving the file.
Now you can import your contacts and their email addresses from the saved .csv file to your desired email program or service.