How to Sync Contacts in IMAP

by Matt Scheer ; Updated September 28, 2017

IMAP stands for Internet message access protocol. Email clients such as Outlook and iMail use IMAP to retrieve email from remote Email servers like Yahoo and Gmail. This in an advantage because it enables users to view multiple email accounts in one location. The disadvantage of IMAP is that it doesn't sync email contacts to the client so addresses aren't automatically saved for later use. However, there is a way to save email contacts as a file and import them to your email client.

Sign into and open your online email server connected to the email client through IMAP.

Navigate to your list of contacts. Select the addresses you want to send to your email client.

Select "Export" and choose a file type for saving the contact list. If you use Outlook, save the file as a .csv. Save the file as a vcard if you have a Mac computer email client.

Download and save the file to a location you'll remember.

Open your email client and find the command called "Import Contacts." The exact verbiage varies depending on the program.

Choose the file you saved in Step 4 to import to the program.

About the Author

Matt Scheer began writing professionally in 2005. His work has appeared in "The Daily Texan" and "The New York Tribune." Scheer holds a B.A. in English and a B.A. in history, both from the University of Texas. He is also a certified Yoga teacher and Web designer.