How to Import Addresses Into Gmail From Other Email Services

Export your contacts to a CSV file for easy transfer

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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 left side panel. 

    Screenshot of Contacts button in Yahoo Mail
  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.

    Screenshot of selected contacts
  4. Select Actions at the top of the contact list and select Export from the menu that appears.

    Screenshot of Export in Actions menu in Yahoo Mail
  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.

    Screenshot of People icon in Outlook.com
  3. Click Manage at the top of the contacts list.

    Screenshot of Manage menu in Outlook Contacts
  4. Select Export Contacts from the drop-down menu.

  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. Select More in the Contacts side panel.

    Screenshot of More in Contacts
  2. Select Import from the menu. An Import Contacts dialog will open.

    Screenshot of Import Contacts
  3. Select the CSV file holding your exported contacts.

  4. Choose Import.