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How to back up and import contacts on Skype

Skype has been around a long time and if you’ve been using it for just as long, chances are you have quite a few contacts saved to it. A Skype ID can be a username or it can an email and either one can be used to find other Skype users. They’re not hard to find if you have either one of these two things but adding a lot of contacts is time-consuming. Here’s how you can back up and import contacts on Skype.

Back up Skype contacts

In order to back up Skype contacts, you have to visit your Skype profile in your browser. Scroll down to the bottom of the page to the ‘Account details’ section. Under ‘Settings and preferences’, click ‘Export contacts (.csv)’. A save file dialog will open. Select where you want to save the file and your contacts will be backed up.

The CSV file will include everything a contact has added to their profile such as Skype usernames, phone numbers, location, links, bios, etc. The file is not encrypted so be careful how you store it.

Import Skype contacts

Generally speaking, you do not need to import Skype contacts. This is because they’re all stored online. If you’re able to back them up, then they are still added to your contacts list. That said, if you were to delete a Skype account and create a new one, you may want to take your old contacts with you. You will be disappointed to know that you can’t import contacts from the CSV file that you backed up. Here’s what you can do instead.

Add contacts again

Open the CSV file that you backed up, and go through the ID column. You will see the ID that each of your contacts use. You can add them again, individually. This is going to take time but the limitation is likely there because Skype doesn’t let you add/chat with people unless they approve your request.

Send contacts

This only works if you have not deleted your old account. Add your new account as a contact to your old account and then start a conversation with it. Click the ‘Send Contact’ button next to the text input field.

A window will open listing your contacts. Select all the contacts that you want to import and click Send.

All your contacts will be sent to the new account and you can click the Chat button (from the new account) to add and chat with the user. You will still be sending individual requests but you won’t have to copy and paste usernames from the CSV file into Skype.

Need to back up your chat history? Here’s how.

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