How to Import Addresses Into Gmail From Other Email Services

Export your contacts to a CSV file for easy transfer

When you send an email, Gmail automatically remembers every recipient. These addresses show up in your Gmail Contacts list, and Gmail auto-completes them when you write a new message.

Still, you have to enter the email address at least once. With all your contacts already in an address book at Yahoo Mail, Outlook, or Mac OS X Mail, is this really necessary? No, because you can import addresses into Gmail from your other email accounts.

To import addresses into Gmail, you first need to get them out of your current address book and in CSV format. Although it sounds sophisticated, a CSV file is really just a plain text file with addresses and names that are separated by commas.

Exporting Your Contacts

Exporting Yahoo Mail Contacts

Some email services make it simple to export your contacts in a CSV format. For example, to export your address book in Yahoo Mail:

  1. Open Yahoo Mail.

  2. Click the Contacts icon at the top of the right side panel. 

    A screenshot of Yahoo Mail with the Contacts icon highlighted
  3. Place a checkmark in front of the contacts you want to export or place a checkmark in the box at the top of the list to select all contacts.

    A screenshot of Yahoo Mail contacts with a selection checkbox highlighted
  4. Select Actions at the top of the contact list and select Export from the menu that appears.

    A screenshot of Yahoo Mail Contacts with the Export command highlighted
  5. Select Yahoo CSV from the menu that opens and click Export Now.

Exporting Outlook.com Contacts

To export your address book in Outlook.com:

  1. Go to Outlook.com in a web browser.

  2. Select the People icon at the bottom of the left panel.

    A screenshot of Outlook with the People button highlighted
  3. Click Manage at the top of the contacts list.

    A screenshot of Outlook's People page with the Manage menu highlighted
  4. Select Export Contacts from the drop-down menu.

    A screenshot of Outlook's People page with the Export Contacts command highlighted
  5. Select either All contacts or a specific contacts folder. The default format is Microsoft Outlook CSV.

Some email clients make it a little more difficult to export to a CSV file. Apple Mail doesn't supply a direct export in CSV format, but a utility called Address Book to CSV Exporter allows users to export their Mac Contacts in a CSV file. Look for AB2CSV in the Mac App Store.

Some email clients export a CSV file that lacks the descriptive headers Google needs to import the contacts. In this case, you can open the exported CSV file in either a spreadsheet program or a plain text editor and add them. The headers are First Name, Last Name, Email Address and so on.

Import Addresses Into Gmail

After you have the exported CSV file, importing the addresses into your Gmail contact list is easy:

  1. Open Contacts in Gmail.

  2. Select More in the Contacts side panel.

    A screenshot of Gmail's Contacts page with the More menu highlighted
  3. Select Import from the menu. An Import Contacts dialog will open.

    A screenshot of Gmail's Contacts page with the Import command highlighted
  4. Click Select File and find the CSV file holding your exported contacts.

    A screenshot of Gmail's Import contacts window with the Select File button highlighted
  5. Choose Import.

    A screenshot of Gmail's Import Contacts window with the Import button highlighted