The Complete Guide on How to Export Google Contacts

Photo of old-fashioned address books

There are a lot of reasons you might want to export Google contacts. Maybe you want to back up your contacts, or you just want to scrub them for duplicates. Or maybe you want to move from Google to iCloud and take everything with you.

Whatever the reason, learning how to export Google contacts is pretty easy if you follow the steps outlined below.

Export Google Contacts

1. Sign in to your Gmail account.

Google account sign-in page

2. Click Gmail in the top-left corner of the screen and in the drop-down that appears, click on Contacts.

Selecting Contacts from Gmail drop-down menu

3. At the top of your contacts list in the main portion of the window, click on the More menu and choose Export.

More drop-down menu in Gmail Contacts

4. The Export Contacts popup should appear. You get a few options as to what you want to do next.

Gmail Export Contacts window

First, choose which contacts you want to export.

Most of the time you’ll want to export all your contacts, but there are times when exporting only a single group is best. For example, if you’re separating your Gmail account into two different accounts, such as a separate one for work, then you’d only want to export that group.

Next, choose which format you want the export to save as. There are three options:

  • Google CSV
  • Outlook CSV
  • vCard

RELATED: How to Jump Off iCloud and Migrate to Google Contacts

Google CSV is great if you’re just backing your contacts up or moving to another Gmail account. (We’ll cover importing in a minute.)

Duplicate contacts killing your productivity? See how Scrubly can help in this 100-second video.

Outlook CSV is most useful when moving your contacts into Outlook but can also be used for services such as Hotmail and Yahoo.

Choose the vCard format when moving your contacts into an Apple product.

5. Once you choose your settings, click Export. This will create the archive and download it to your machine automatically.

You should now have an archive file of your Google contacts on your machine. Now the question is, what to do with it?

Import Google Contacts

If you’re importing your contacts into another Google account, you follow steps very similar to those listed above.

1. When you’ve logged in to your new Google account and clicked on Contacts, you should see a basically empty screen if you have no contacts yet. To import the export file you created earlier, click on the More menu and select Import.

Selecting Import from More drop-down menu in Gmail Contacts

2. You should now see the Import Contacts popup. Even though when creating a Google contacts export you’re prompted to create a Google CSV, you can import just about any exported file into Google.

Click the Choose File button, locate the export file you already created and then click the Import button.

Gmail Import Contacts window

3. Depending on the number of contacts you have, this process should take less than 10 seconds – more like 1 or 2 seconds. Once the import process is complete you should automatically see all your Google contacts listed.

RELATED: Stop Strangers on Google+ from Emailing You


What if you’re importing your contacts into Outlook? The process is a little more labor-intensive, but Microsoft outlines it very well here.

If you need to import Google contacts into any other service, just follow their instructions, as just about every service out there accepts CSV imports.

Knowing how to export Google contacts is pretty useful not only for jumping ship to another service but for backing up your information. Don’t ever trust only one company with keeping your data safe, especially something as important as your contacts list.

If you haven’t done so yet, go start the export process and keep that CSV file someplace safe. Doing this every month or so will really help you in case of a data loss.

While you’re at it, sign up for Scrubly and automatically save a backup of your contacts online.

Scrubly social-sharing menu.

Scrubly sign-up.