Are my Outlook contacts doomed?
QI have been using Office for almost as long as I can remember. I am currently using Office 2010 but my contacts data, stored in Outlook, goes back to Office 97 or possibly even 95. In fact, the details it contains are older still, with many entries dating back to the 1960s and 1970s — but made digital with Outlook. I have contact details for family, friends, medical services and many businesses. I have recently pruned the database to about 400 contacts but I’m wondering what happens in 2020, when Office 2010’s support ends. If I don’t update to a newer version of Office what will happen to my data? Is there an easy way of retaining it outside of Outlook? Edward Baines
AWhen the clock ticks midnight on 13 October 2020 — the scheduled end of support for Office 2010 — nothing will happen to your data, or your copy of Office 2010. It’s possible that a future update to Windows will render Office 2010 inoperable with the latest version of the operating system, but that’s certainly not likely in the short term. So, everything will continue working as before, but Office 2010 will not itself be updated. That means it’ll become increasingly unsafe to use, as new vulnerabilities are discovered that Microsoft has put itself under no obligation to fix.
But should the day come when you need to get your contacts out of Outlook and into another program, then it’s an easy job. Click File followed by Options, and then Advanced followed by Export. On the first dialog box of the Import and Export menu click ‘Export to a file’, followed by Next. You’ll now be offered a variety of export methods. Which you choose depends on where you’re intending to take the data, but ‘Comma Separated Values’ ( CSV) is a good choice (see screenshot above): it exports the raw data to a table-style file that can be imported into almost any modern email or contacts program. Click Next, then select the Contacts folder and click Next. Type a name for your CSV, click OK followed by Next and then Finish, and that’s the job done.