How to Export Your Gmail Contacts

Export your address book to Outlook CSV, Google CSV, or vCard format

What to Know

  • In Google Contacts, select Export > Contacts and choose the appropriate format.
  • You can export the entire list or only certain groups.
  • New automatic contact entries are found under Other contacts in Gmail Contacts.

This article details how to export your Gmail Contacts list for use in other accounts and applications. The instructions apply to the web version of Gmail and across all browsers.

Export Your Gmail Contacts

Your address book isn't tied to one Gmail address. You can use it with another Gmail account or a desktop email program such as Outlook, Mozilla Thunderbird, or Yahoo Mail. To export your full Gmail address book:

  1. Open Google Contacts. The easiest way to do that is to visit or select the apps menu in the upper-right corner of Gmail and choose Contacts.

    Contacts in Gmail apps
  2. Select Export.

    Export under Contacts in gmail
  3. To export an entire address book, select Contacts. Select the drop-down arrow to choose a Google Contacts group.

    Contacts options under Export contacts
  4. Choose an export format:

    • The Outlook CSV format exports all data and converts names to the default character encoding.
    • The Google CSV format exports all data and uses Unicode to preserve international characters. Some email programs such as Outlook do not support Unicode.
    • The vCard format is an internet standard that is supported by many email programs and contact managers such as OS X Mail and Contacts.
    Format options under Export Contacts in Gmail
  5. Select Export.

    Export under Export Contacts in Gmail
  6. Download the file (named Contacts) to your computer. You can rename the file anything you want, like gmail-to-outlook.csv (for the Outlook CSV format), gmail.csv (for Google CSV), or contacts.vcf (for the vCard format).

Where to Find Contacts Automatically Added by Gmail

Your list and file of contacts may be large because Gmail adds new contact entries to your address book when you reply to an email or forward it to a new address. These new automatic entries are found under Other contacts in Gmail Contacts.

Other Contacts in Gmail Contacts

Prevent Gmail From Adding Contacts Automatically

To prevent Gmail from adding new addresses to your Contacts automatically:

  1. Go to Gmail and select the Settings gear in the upper-right corner of the page.

    The Settings gear in Gmail
  2. Select See all settings.

    The "See All Settings" button in Gmail
  3. Under the General tab, scroll down to Create contacts for auto-complete section and select I'll add contacts myself.

    I'll add contacts myself in Gmail Settings
  4. Select Save Changes at the bottom of the page.

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