Microsoft eliminated the ability to import contacts into Outlook for Mac 2016 (their latest version of the software) which was the update from Outlook for Mac 2011.
Traditionally, the feature, since the product has existed – certainly since I have been using it – at least 10 or 20 years on PC before Mac, is to import a .csv file. As you can see in the photo from my desktop below, that option in the Import window is not there.
Most people who conduct any kind of business keep contacts with multiple fields in a database of some sort, I have used Microsoft Access and Microsoft Excel over the years. You might have fields for first name, last name, company, street address, city, state, zip code, office, phone, mobile phone, email, birthday, etc. Or you might use a great product like www.Highrisehq.com I have come to understand that exporting data into a .csv file and importing it into Outlook whether Windows-based of Mac-based to be a normal function of doing business.
But Microsoft took away this capability without any notice. Think about it.
If you are a new user to Outlook for Mac 2016 and have any number of contacts in any database product there is no way to import them into Outlook for Mac 2016. You are totally 100% screwed. Unless you sit there and enter them one by one.
I have to wonder why Microsoft eliminated the capability for their users bring data from their own software products such as Excel and Access (via a .csv file) into Outlook for Mac 2016? Is it arrogance? Was it just an oversight? Please let it be an oversight and please let them correct it quickly.
Here the net impact on me: I have thousands of contacts I need to have access to on a regular basis. I keep them updated in an Excel spreadsheet (spare me the commentary). On a semi-regular basis I update my Outlook contacts with a new version of these contacts which then in-turn updates my Exchange Server so I have access to this contact info while on the go on all my devises.
Unfortunately I purged all my data from Outlook yesterday in anticipation of importing a new .csv file with my contacts as I do often. But when I went to upload my new contacts…well you now know the the story. Microsoft screwed me.
Note: I understand that their Windows version of Outlook has the .csv import capability, so there is a solution, albeit one that will cost me about $1,000 for a cheap new laptop and a couple hours of my time for set-up and software and learning curve, etc. What a mess. It would be a lot easier if Microsoft would just give Outlook for Mac 2016 the same capability.