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Exporting the Offline Address Book or GAL

While I can export my own Contacts folder, I don’t seem to be able to export our company’s Offline Address Book or the Global Address List (GAL).

I need to import this list in another application and sometimes also use it for mailings both electronically and to their physical address which is stored in the GAL as well.

How can I export these Exchange address lists via Outlook?

You cannot export it directly from Outlook, but you can add the contacts to your Contacts folder in bulk. By temporarily moving your current contacts to a different folder or by filtering afterwards on the created or modified date, you can separate them from your own personal Contacts.

You can then choose to export these contacts to a csv- or xls-file for further usage or use them directly from your Contacts folder for a Mail Merge.

Adding GAL contacts to your Address Book

  1. Open your Address Book (keyboard shortcut: CTRL+SHIFT+B)
  2. Select the Exchange address list which contains the contacts.
  3. Select all the contacts that you wish to export.
  4. Right click on your selection.
  5. Choose Add to Contacts.

Via a right click, you can quickly add contacts from the Exchange Global Address List to your own Contacts folder (click on image to enlarge).
Via a right click, you can quickly add contacts from the Exchange Global Address List to your own Contacts folder (click on image to enlarge).

Notes:
This process is relatively slow so selecting lots of contacts could result in Outlook being inaccessible for a longer period of time.

When you want to export a large Global Address List (GAL) in full, it is recommended to contact your Exchange or User administrator instead. They usually can produce a list much quicker directly from Exchange or Active Directory and are also less resource intensive to the servers.

Separating and exporting the added contacts

If you did not move your own Contacts to a different folder, you can still quickly distinguish between your own contacts and the ones you added from the GAL via the Modified or Created date.

Your options are to change the sorting order or to apply a filter to your view or simply use Instant Search. As you just added these contacts, their created and/or modified date and time will all be the same and thus they’ll end up being grouped together.

Details about how to do this is similar as discussed in Clean up duplicates after emails got redownloaded. When customizing your Contacts view, make sure you first select a list view such as Phone List.

A short, simple but effective Search Query to locate the recently added contacts from the Global Address List (GAL).
A short Search Query to find your added Contacts.

You can then easily move your filtered list of contacts to another folder and use the Export option in Outlook to export this folder or customize your view with the fields you need and copy them directly to Excel.

Note: In Outlook 2007 and previous, you can also temporarily change the default Contacts creation folder. To do this, open the Address Book and choose Tools-> Options… Here you can set the “Keep personal addresses in” to a newly created Contacts folder.