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Copy an Email Address Book (Contact List) onto a New PC or into a New Email Program

Copy an Email Address Book (Contact List) to Another Computer.
Some email programs make this chore somewhat easier by offering
File>Export and/or File>Import options. But most do not.

Here's the easiest method I've found – and it works with all email programs.
  1. Open your email program and click on Create Mail (or Compose or New Message).
  2. Use whatever method the program offers for clicking an email address into its "To:" field.
  3. Click all the addresses you want to copy (move, transfer, whatever) into this field.
  4. Now put your cursor anywhere in this field and do Ctrl+A (Select All). All names/addresses will then be selected.
  5. Do Ctrl+C (Copy) to copy all the selected data.
  6. Now click into the message area of this email and do Ctrl+V (Paste). This action will paste in all the copied email addresses, looking something like this:
    John Doe <>
    Jane Lee <>
  7. Now you can copy and paste these addresses onto a USB flash drive, for placing in an Address Book on a new computer.
  8. Better yet, paste them into a separate document, rather than into any email program's Address Book or Contact List. I put mine in an Excel spreadsheet, placing each address in a separate row.

    • From there they can be highlighted (mouse-selected) individually or in groups, after which they can be copied and pasted into any email program's To: or BCC: (blind carbon copy) field.

  9. When you add new names to a spreadsheet they can be placed at the bottom of the list. Then you can use the program's sorting (alphabetizing) tools to rearrange the data by any method you prefer.
  10. When you copy and paste a group of names into an email program's BCC: area they will go in stacked (one above the other). However, the program will automatically rearrange them into a row, with each item separated by a comma or a semicolon.
    you don't need to put the data into a spreadsheet.
    Any kind of a text document will work (such as Notepad, Wordpad, or Microsoft Word). I like using Excel because we have thousands of contacts and a spreadsheet makes arranging the data into different groups or categories much easier.

Also, I always use the BCC (blind carbon copy) field for outgoing mail, but I never use the CC (carbon copy) field.


Because if you put all the addresses in the BCC field (after putting your own address in the TO field) each recipient will see only his or her address on the message received.

Fwd: Fwd: Fwd:

You have very likely received forwarded messages that show dozens of email addresses displayed near the top of the page. You see them because they were put into the CC (Carbon Copy) field. Well, spammers often see these addresses, too. And this is one of the main methods cyber criminals have for harvesting new names and addresses for their spam ads or virus attacks.

Protect yourself, your friends, and your family!
Always use BCC and never use CC.

    Note to Outlook Express & Windows Mail users: The BCC field is mysteriously hidden in these programs. Do this to unhide it:
  • Launch Outlook Express or Windows Mail.
  • Click on Create Mail.
  • Click on View>All Headers and the BCC field will appear. This is a one-time fix – you only need to do it once.
PS: Emails we receive that show Fwd: Fwd: Fwd: in the Subject Line are immediately moved to the bottom of our priority list for reading (if they get read at all). We realize they are sent by well-meaning folks who want to pass along a joke or an inspirational story of some kind, but we are usually so busy answering help-related emails that it's hard to find time for the stories.

© Donald Ray Edrington – All Rights Reserved

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