How to Migrate Microsoft Outlook Contacts and Calendar to Windows Live

For decades, Microsoft Outlook has been the Microsoft standard for Personal Information Management. But more and more, data storage is shifting to the cloud, as it offers the ability to access your data no matter where you are, so long as you have an Internet connection. Windows Live is Microsoft's answer to the cloud migration. But what of your Microsoft Outlook data? How do you get it into Windows Live? In this article we'll show you how.

What You'll Need to Migrate your Data

In order to transfer your Microsoft Outlook data to Windows Live, you'll need a few things. First, you'll have to be using Microsoft Outlook, of course. You'll also need a Windows Live account. If you don't already have one, our article What is Windows Live ID explains what Windows Live is and how to set up a free account. Finally, you'll need Microsoft's Outlook/Hotmail Connector, a utility Microsoft has released to make the transition from Microsoft Outlook to Windows Live easier.

NOTE: The instructions below are made based on Microsoft Outlook 2007. If you are using Microsoft Office 2010, scroll down to the bottom of this article where you will find a video tutorial for your version.

The Microsoft Outlook Connector Utility

To make the transition from Microsoft Outlook to Windows Live easier, Microsoft has released the Microsoft Office Outlook/Hotmail Connector utility.

Microsoft Office Outlook Connector

You will need to download this file and install it in order to upload your Microsoft Outlook data to Windows Live.

How to Add Your Windows Live Account to Microsoft Outlook

After you have installed the Microsoft Outlook Connector open Microsoft Outlook. In order to transfer your data to Windows Live, you will have to add second Microsoft Outlook account. This is your Windows Live account, to which you will copy your current data.

To add the Windows Live account, click on the Outlook Connector menu item, and select Add a New Account.

Microsoft Office Outlook Connector

Enter your name, the e-mail address and password associated with your Windows Live account in the pop-up box and click OK.

Microsoft Office Outlook Connector

Then, you'll have to restart Microsoft Outlook for the new account to be available.

How to Copy Your Microsoft Outlook Contacts to Windows Live

After the restart, click on the Contacts view and select your original Contacts folder.

Microsoft Office Outlook

Click one of your Contacts records to select it. Then, from the menu bar, click Edit -> Select All (Ctrl+A) to select all of your contacts.

Microsoft Office Outlook

Now click Edit -> Copy (Ctrl+C). Your entire list of Contacts data has now been copied to the Clipboard.

Microsoft Office Outlook

Now select the Contacts folder for the Windows Live account you created.

Microsoft Office Outlook

Select Edit -> Paste (Ctrl+V) from the menu bar, to paste the contacts that you copied to the Clipboard and paste them into the new account.

Microsoft Office Outlook

Your Contacts data has now been transferred to the Windows Live account.

Next, we'll migrate your Calendar data into that same account so it syncs as well.

How To Copy Your Microsoft Outlook Calendar to Windows Live

Switch to the Calendar view and then select View -> Current View -> Outlook Data Files, to see all of your Calendar items as a single list.

Microsoft Office Outlook

Select all of the Calendar items by clicking Edit -> Select All from the menu bar. Then copy them by selecting Edit -> Copy.

Now select the Windows Live account folder from the left pane in Microsoft Outlook. This is the folder you just copied the Contact data into.

Microsoft Office Outlook

Paste the data you copied by clicking Edit -> Paste from the menu bar, or simply using the CTRL-V keyboard shortcut. Now, your Calendar data has been copied into your Windows Live account and it will take some time to get synchronized.

Next, you need to set your Windows Live account as the default account, so that any changes you make, either in Microsoft Outlook or in Windows Live, will automatically be synced between the two. That way the data remains consistent regardless of which method you use to access it.

How to Set your Windows Live Account as the Default

Select Tools -> Account Settings from the menu bar.

Microsoft Office Outlook

Now select the Data Files tab in the pop-box. Select the Windows Live account and click on Set as Default.

Microsoft Office Outlook

A warning box will pop up to notify you that you are changing the default folders. Click Okay, close the Account Settings window, and restart Microsoft Outlook.

Microsoft Outlook will now sync your Windows Live account. You can click on Server Status in the lower right-hand corner of Microsoft Outlook to verify that your e-mail, Calendar, and Contacts are syncing with your Windows Live account.

Microsoft Office Outlook

Sign in to your Windows Live account and click on either Calendar or Contacts and you will see that your Microsoft Outlook data has been synced.

Microsoft Office Outlook

Any changes made in either application will automatically be synced to the other.

The Migration Procedure When Using Microsoft Office 2010

This tutorial was written using Microsoft Office 2007. Due to the differences between Microsoft Office 2007 and Microsoft Office 2010, some procedures for migrating your data to Windows Live will be different. The following video is useful for users of Microsoft Office 2010, providing a version-specific guide.

Now You're Connected

You now have your Microsoft Outlook data loaded into your Windows Live account, and the two will sync whenever changes are made. Whether you're using your Internet-connected laptop, or your data-connected mobile device, with Windows Live, your data is at your fingertips at all times. If you have any questions about the procedure above, don’t hesitate to ask.

About the Author: James Booth
I first entered the mobile computing field 12 years ago with the purchase of a Handspring Visor Deluxe running the Palm OS. After upgrading through three other Palm OS devices I switched to Windows Mobile devices, having gone through four device upgrades on that platform. Now using a Windows Phone 7.5 device, I have become a mobile specialist through personal trial and error, and have been writing about mobile technology for the past 8 years.