Sourcetable Integration

Export Offline Global Address List to CSV

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    Welcome to our comprehensive guide on exporting the Offline Global Address List to a CSV file—an essential process for Microsoft Outlook users seeking robust data management and mobility. Understanding the value of this operation is critical, especially when considering the ease with which the resulting CSV file can be loaded into a spreadsheet for enhanced accessibility and functionality. On this page, we'll delve into what the Offline Global Address List is, provide detailed steps on how to export it to a CSV file, explore various use cases for this export, introduce an innovative alternative to CSV exports using Sourcetable, and address frequently asked questions about the process. Whether you're aiming to back up your contacts, access them without an internet connection, or share your list with others, our guide is here to assist you in harnessing the full potential of your Global Address List.

    Offline Global Address List

    The Offline Global Address List (OAB) is a software tool within Microsoft Outlook that enables users to access a collection of address lists while working offline. It serves as an offline version of the global address list, allowing for uninterrupted access to user information even without a connection to the server. This feature is particularly beneficial for Outlook users who need to stay productive without a live network connection.

    Administrators have the flexibility to determine which address lists are included in the OAB, allowing them to tailor the available data to the needs of their organization's users. The OAB is periodically generated every 8 hours, ensuring that the information it contains is relatively up to date. Users can manually download the address book to their computer through Outlook by navigating to File > Account Settings > Download Address Book, and they can also specify which address book to download via the Offline address book dialog box.

    The OAB is stored on the Exchange system public folder on the server before it is downloaded and compressed to less than one-third of its full size to save on bandwidth and storage space. The typical full size of an offline address book is about 1 MB per 1,000 users. After downloading, the OAB files are saved on the user's computer, allowing for efficient name resolution and email composition in cached mode without generating network traffic between the client and server.

    While the OAB primarily indexes a limited set of properties for name resolution, it works effectively if names in the Active Directory are configured as “Firstname Lastname.” Although custom properties cannot be added directly to the OAB, they can be included by adding them to alternative tabs in the Active Directory Users and Computers dialog box. The OAB's structure is simplified to contain only a single “container,” which is the global address list, making it the default source for name selection when composing a new email in cached mode.

    For users of different versions of Windows, the offline address book files are located in specific directories, such as %userprofile%AppDataLocalMicrosoftOutlook for more recent versions like Windows 10, 8, 7, or Vista, and a different path for older versions like Windows XP. Depending on the level of detail, there are either six files for a full-details OAB or five files for a no-details OAB, with file names indicating whether the OAB is in Unicode or ANSI format.

    Exporting Offline Global Address List to a CSV File

    Method 1: Using the Contacts Section in Outlook

    To export the Offline Global Address List (GAL) to a CSV file, begin by opening the People (Contacts) section in your Outlook application. Click on the Home menu, then select Contact Group and click on Add Members. Choose 'From Address Book' and select the Global Address List. Save the file as a Text file with your chosen file name and select Text only (.txt). After saving, open the Text file and copy its contents into an Excel workbook. Finally, save the Excel workbook as a CSV file.

    Method 2: Creating a Contacts Folder for GAL

    Another method involves creating a new contacts folder specifically for the GAL. Right-click on the default Contacts folder and select 'New Folder'. Name the new GAL folder and drag and drop all contacts from the default Contacts folder into this new GAL folder. Access the Import/Export wizard using File > Open & Export > Import/Export. Select 'Export to a file', choose 'Comma Separated Values', and then select the GAL folder. Determine the destination for the file, name your file, and click Finish to complete the export.

    Method 3: Directly Exporting Contacts from GAL to CSV

    The Global Address List can also be exported directly by selecting the contacts from the GAL, adding them to your account, and then exporting these contacts to a CSV file. This process allows you to export the necessary contacts without modifying the default Contacts folder.

    Sourcetable Integration

    Streamline Your Data Management with Sourcetable

    Instead of the traditional and time-consuming method of exporting your Offline Global Address List to a CSV file, then importing it into a spreadsheet program, Sourcetable offers a seamless alternative. Our platform is designed to sync your live data from a wide array of apps or databases directly into a user-friendly spreadsheet interface. This immediate synchronization eliminates the need for manual data exportation and reimportation, thereby saving valuable time and reducing errors associated with data handling.

    Sourcetable's capabilities extend beyond simple data entry, facilitating a transformative approach to automation and business intelligence. By enabling automatic data pulls from multiple sources, Sourcetable empowers users to focus on analytics and insights rather than the mundane task of data collection. Experience the ease of managing and querying your global address lists with the efficiency and sophistication that only Sourcetable can provide.

    Common Use Cases

    • O
      Sourcetable Integration
      Create a backup
    • O
      Sourcetable Integration
      Use it offline
    • O
      Sourcetable Integration
      Share with others

    Frequently Asked Questions

    Can the Global Address List be exported directly to CSV using the Import/Export feature?

    No, the process of exporting the Global Address List to CSV is not direct and cannot be done using the Import/Export feature alone.

    What are the methods available for exporting the Global Address List to CSV?

    There are two methods: the first involves creating a new contact group, adding GAL contacts to it, and then saving it as a CSV file. The second method utilizes the Import/Export feature after moving GAL contacts to a new folder in the Contacts section.

    Why would someone want to export the Global Address List to CSV?

    Exporting the Global Address List to CSV is useful for sharing with others and for creating a backup of the contacts.

    Is it necessary to be an Exchange administrator to export the Global Address List to CSV?

    Yes, Exchange administrators require a different approach to export the Global Address List to CSV, which is not available to regular users.

    How do you use a new contact group to export the GAL to CSV?

    To export the GAL using a new contact group, create the group in the People section, add GAL contacts to it, save as a text file, copy the data into Excel, and then save the Excel workbook as a CSV file.


    In summary, exporting your Global Address List to a CSV file provides a viable backup solution, allows for offline access, and facilitates sharing with others. Although the process isn't straightforward, our tutorial outlines two efficient methods to accomplish this: using a Contact Group or the Import/Export feature from the File menu. Both methods cater to different needs, with the Import/Export feature offering a quicker alternative for large lists. For those encountering difficulties or dealing with substantial datasets, professional tools like Exchange Recovery are available. However, if you're looking for a seamless integration into your spreadsheets, consider using Sourcetable to import data directly. Get rid of the export hassle and sign up for Sourcetable to get started right away.

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