Switching to other email services? Export your Gmail contacts effortlessly by CSV or vCard service.

You don’t have to put much of an effort to maintain your Gmail address book. Google automatically saves a contact in your Gmail each time you communicate with someone over emails in Gmail. In addition to this, you can also add contacts to your Gmail address book manually. However, many Gmail users have to face problems while moving on to other Gmail account or email service, as their contacts remained saved in the old Gmail account.

In such scenarios, the simplest way to transfer the Gmail contacts is to first export them into a CSV or vCard file and then import them into the desired email client. In this article, we will illustrate the best method by which you can export your Gmail contacts.

How to export Gmail contacts?

You should follow the steps given below to export your Gmail contacts easily.

  1. First of all, you need to login to your Gmail account.
  2. Click on “Gmail” from the top left corner and select “contacts” from the drop-down menu. You can directly visit https://contacts.google.com to open Google contacts.
  3. Here, you need to click on “More” from the contact toolbar available at the left-hand side of your screen.
  4. Click on “Export” from the drop-down menu.
  5. If you want to export all your Gmail contact then you should select “All contact” radio button from the “which contacts do you want to export?” menu.
    1. Here, you can also select the Gmail group in case you are looking to export the contacts in a Group.
    2. In case you are looking to export only those contacts that you have manually added leaving those who are automatically added by Google, then you should make sure that “The Group my contacts” is selected in the “which contacts do you want to export?” menu.
  6. Now, you have to select Export format under “which export format?” menu. For maximum compatibility, you should select “Outlook CSV Format”.
    1. Google CSV format: This format is considered the best if you are going to import contacts into another Gmail account. This format uses Unicode in order to save international characters which some email clients including outlook doesn’t support. Nevertheless, if you import contacts to another Gmail account by CSV file then you don’t have to put much of an effort
    2. Outlook CSV format: This format can be used to import the contacts in other email clients such as Yahoo, outlook etc. This format can convert names to the default character encoding.
    3. vCard: As an alternative, you can also use vCard to export Gmail contacts. This format is also supported by many email clients. Especially, Apple mail.
  7. Click on “Export” button once you are done with selecting the contacts and export format.
  8. Download the CSV file to your desired location. The name of the file will depend upon the format you have selected.
    1. “Gmail to outlook.csv” (Outlook CSV)
    2. “Gmail.csv” (Google CSV)
    3. “Contacts.vcf” (vCard)

Now, you can easily import these files into your desired Email service or you can use them as back to restore your Gmail contacts.

Adding contacts automatically in Gmail

If you are wondering, how come your Gmail address book contains so many contacts? Well, as have already mentioned in this post, Google automatically creates a Gmail address book entry whenever you contact someone on Gmail. Here are the situations when Gmail creates an automatic entry.

  1. Whenever you reply to an email on Gmail.
  2. Whenever you forward an email to a new address.

You can find these automatically added contacts “other contacts” in Gmail Contacts.

How to disable automatic contacts in Gmail?

Adding contacts in Gmail automatically can result in many unnecessary contacts added to your address book. To get rid of these unnecessary contacts you need to delete Gmail contacts manually which is quite time-consuming. So, if you don’t want Google to save contacts automatically for you then you can disable this function by following below mentioned steps:

  1. Log in to your Gmail account and click on “Settings” gear icon from the top right corner.
  2. Choose settings from the drop-down menu that will appear.
  3. Open “General” tab.
  4. Scroll down to find “Create contacts for auto-complete” option and select “I’ll add contacts myself”.
  5. Click on “Save Changes” from the bottom of the page.

 Important Points

  • You should keep your saved .csv file safe, as it can act as a backup in case you lose your Google contacts.
  • Always select the right format for your CSV file so that you don’t have to face trouble while importing contacts.