How to Export Your Contacts from Gmail

There are 7.8 billion people in the world, out of which 1.5 billion are on Gmail.

Easy to say that this free email service has become an indispensable part of our lives since its invention.

Gmail has several features that make our personal and professional lives easier. One of its most prominent benefits is how it maintains and stores the data, allowing you on-the-go access – and contacts are a big part of it.

You also have the option to export contacts on Gmail, which is what this article is all about.

Gmail adds everyone you connect or communicate with as a contact and later gives you the option to export the contacts from the platform to your iPhone, Yahoo, Outlook, or any other application that you would want it on.

Read on as we give you a step-by-step of how you can export contacts from Gmail.

Why Take the Effort of Exporting Contacts From Gmail?

Gmail users can import and export their contacts in various file formats. However, many people are unfamiliar with the benefits of exporting Gmail email accounts and often wonder why they should take the initiative to do this.

Here are a couple of reasons why exporting contacts from Gmail is helpful:

Contact Backup for Emergencies

You’ll be able to back up your email contacts as an external file. So if you cannot access your Google account due for whatever reason, you won’t have to worry about how you get your contact information. *disaster averted*

Building an Email Campaign List

Exporting contacts from Gmail can be incredibly useful for sales representatives and marketers.

When you export contacts from your Gmail contact list as CSV or comma-separated values file (yes, it’s possible!) you can create a contact list for your email marketing campaigns. Not only will this save you the effort of creating a new contact for every campaign recipient, but also keep things organized and easily scannable.

Add Contacts to Another Email Account

Many people use Microsoft Outlook, Mozilla Thunderbird, and Yahoo Mail in addition to their Google Gmail account. If this applies to you as well, you’ll be happy to know that you can shift your contacts from your Gmail account to any other email that you may use.

A Step-by-Step Guide to Export Contacts From Gmail

Exporting Google contacts is definitely helpful, and the good news is that it’s very simple as well.

The following are the different ways you can export contacts from Gmail:

Method 1: Export Contacts From Gmail on a Desktop

In this method, you’ll export your Google contacts from your Gmail account to your desktop.

Here’s what you need to do:

Step #1 Log in to your Google email account.

Step #2 Click on the nine small dots just beside your profile icon on the top right-hand side.

Step #3 Select the Contacts icon from the Google apps drop-down menu. A new Google contact manager interface tab will open as you do this.

Step #4 You’ll see a list of all your contacts that you saved. You’ll find two options here that you can consider before exporting the contacts. They are:

  • Option 1: You can select individual contacts by hovering your mouse over the email contacts and click on the check box that appears next to every contact.

  • Option 2: After choosing one contact, you’ll find a Selection actions icon appearing at the top. Select the small drop-down button next to this icon and you’ll see All or None options. Click on All to select all the contacts in your Google contacts.

So you can either individually select specific contacts that you want to export, or you can export the whole Google contact list. Your call.

Step #5 Once you’re done selecting the contacts that you want to export from your Contacts folder, click on Export located on the left-hand side of the screen.

Alternatively, you can also click on the three small dots beside the Selection actions icon and choose Export from there.

Step #6 An Export contacts pop-up box will appear on your screen.

Here, you can select whatever you want to export. If you click on the drop-down arrow next to contact, you’ll see more options such as Frequently contacted, Starred contacts, and Contacts.

With the contacts selected, the next thing you should do is select the file format you want to export your contacts in. You have three options in this case:

  • Google CSV (google.csv): This file format option allows you to import the contacts into another Gmail account and is best for backups.
  • Outlook CSV (Gmail-to-outlook.csv): This file format option makes it easy for you to import these contacts into Microsoft Outlook as Outlook contacts. We’ll discuss this in more detail later on in the article.
  • VCard Format (contacts.vcf): This file format option enables you to import your contacts to an Apple address book, OS X Mail, or any other application.

Step #7 Once you’ve finished making your choices, select the Export button. This will begin the Google contact download automatically.

If you choose the CSV file format, you’ll be able to open your contacts as an Excel spreadsheet, Google sheet, or any other similar spreadsheet program or app. You can also edit or delete any duplicate contacts if needed.

So, these are the steps to export your Google accounts and move them to another application.

Method 2: Export Contacts From Gmail on an Android Device

At the moment, only Android users can export Google contacts. All they need to do is export the contacts folder in a VCF file format using the Google Contacts app.

Apple users, unfortunately, will have to resort to exporting contacts through their desktop – at least for now.

Step #1 Open the Google Contacts app on your Android phone or tablet.

Step #2 Go to the menu option, which is indicated by three horizontal lines. Tap on Settings, and then click on Export to start exporting your Android phone contacts.

Image Source: Tech Republic

Step #3 Select the Gmail account from where you want to export the contacts. You can also add another Google account to export the contacts.

Basically, the simultaneous export of contacts from multiple Gmail accounts is possible here.

Step #4 Tap on Export to .vcf file. This will export your Android contacts as an export file with the file name contacts.vcf.

Disclaimer: Currently, it isn’t possible to export your Android device or iOS phone contacts in a CSV file format. But yes, you can change the contacts.vcf file name later.

How to Migrate Contacts to Microsoft Outlook

As mentioned before, you can transfer your Gmail contacts to other emails. Here, we’ll discuss how you can export your Google contacts to Microsoft Outlook.

There’s a teeny tiny problem, though.

Outlook doesn’t have a built-in way to sync Gmail contacts. Of course, you could re-enter every contact one by one, but we all know how time-consuming that would be. *shivers*

Instead, follow the steps below to export your contacts from Gmail into Outlook super fast:

Step #1 Start the Export of Your Gmail Contacts

1. Log in to your Google email account.

2. Click on the nine small dots just beside your profile icon.

3. From the Google apps drop-down menu, select Contacts. A new Google contact manager interface tab will open.

4. You’ll see a list of all your contacts that you saved. As shown before, you can select the contacts that you want to export from Gmail.

5. Click on Export located on the left-hand side of the screen or on the three small dots beside the Selection actions icon.

6. An Export contacts pop-up box will appear on your screen.

Click on the drop-down arrow next to Contacts to see more options. Choose the contacts that you want to export.

Coming to the Export as section, select Outlook CSV. This is an option specifically designed to help you import these contacts into Microsoft Outlook.

7. Select Export. When prompted, click on Save As, and then browse your file to a location where you want to save it.

Your Google contacts will be saved in a .csv file.

Step #2 Import the Gmail Contacts to Outlook 2013 or 2016

1. Open Microsoft Outlook. Click on File, then Open & Export, and then finally, Import/Export.

Image Source: Microsoft Support

2. Follow this by selecting Import from another program or file and then click on Next.

3. Choose Comma Separated Values. Click on Next.

4. An Import a file pop-up box will appear. Find the .csv file you recently saved your Gmail contacts to.

5. You have the option to select how you want Outlook to handle your duplicate contacts. Once done, click on Next – again.

6. In the Select a destination folder box, select the Contacts folder, and then click on Next for the final time.

Image Source: Microsoft Support

7. Click on Finish.

Microsoft Outlook will then import your contacts to the platform.

Step #3 Cross-Check Your Contacts on Microsoft Outlook

1. In Outlook, select Address Book. Pick the name of your mailbox, and then select Contacts.

Image Source: Microsoft Support

2. You’ll find your exported Google contacts in your address book.

Image Source: Microsoft Support

And that’s it! That’s all you need to transfer your Gmail contacts to Microsoft Outlook.

Easy peasy, lemon squeezy, right?

Wrapping Up

Gmail gives your unmatched functionality. And now that you’ve seen how you can export your contact, you’re all set to make your email campaigns or back up your address book – and of course, migrate them to Outlook.

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Bryan Wise
Bryan Wise,
Former VP of IT at GitLab

Incredible companies use Nira