Restore or Import Your Gmail Contacts from a CSV File

Old address book held together with rubber band
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To import Gmail contacts from another account or restore your contacts from a backup CSV copy after synchronization went awry:

  • Go to Contacts in Gmail.
  • Click Import.
  • Use the file selector under Please select a CSV or vCard file to upload: to pick the "google.csv" file from which you want to restore or import.
    • Check Also add these imported contacts to: New group…to have Gmail create a new group for the imported contacts so you will be able to identify them; you will be asked for a group name during importing.
  • Click Import.
  • Now click OK.

Gmail will automatically detect duplicates and merge these entries — not looking for matching names but matching email addresses, though. If a contact has been updated, Gmail will add the new information but not delete the old; you will get an address book entry with two addresses, for example, both the old and the new.