How to export and import contacts between Outlook and Google Gmail

The tutorial shows how to export contacts from Outlook to Gmail and import Google contacts to Outlook step-by-step.

Switching between Microsoft Outlook and Google Gmail is a very common trend these days. Some people are migrating from a desktop-oriented Outlook app to a cloud-based Gmail while others are using different email clients for their personal and business communication. If you already have a bunch of contacts in one email app, you certainly wouldn't want to re-create them in the other app one by one. Luckily, both Outlook and Gmail make it possible to transfer all your contacts in one go. It's not a one-click operation, but we will comfortably guide you through all the steps.

How to import Outlook contacts to Gmail

To transfer your contacts from Outlook to Gmail, you will first need to export them from Microsoft Outlook as a CSV file, and then import that file to Google Gmail.

Part 1: Export contacts from Outlook

The fastest way to export Outlook contacts is by using the inbuilt wizard that will walk you through the process:

  1. In your Outlook desktop app, click File > Open & Export > Import/Export.
    Start the Outlook Import/Export wizard.
  2. Choose Export to a file and click Next.
    Export Outlook contacts to a file
  3. Select Comma Separate Values and click Next.
    Export Outlook contacts to a CSV file.
  4. Scroll up or down to the target account/mailbox, select the Contacts folder and click Next.
    Select the Contacts folder to export.
  5. Click the Browse button, then select the destination folder, name your .csv file, and click Next.
    Select the destination folder and name your CSV file.

    Note. If you've exported your Outlook contacts before, the previous location and file name will appear automatically. If you don't want to replace an existing file, be sure to give your CSV file a different name.
  6. Click Finish and Outlook will start exporting your contacts immediately.
    Finish exporting your Outlook contacts

    Tip. If you want to control what information is saved to the CSV file, click the Map Custom Fields button, and do manual mapping.

To make sure that Outlook has successfully exported all of your contacts, open the newly created CSV file in Excel to view the information.

Tips and notes:

Part 2: Import Outlook contacts to Gmail

To import your Outlook contacts into Gmail, this is what you need to do:

  1. Log in to your Google Gmail account.
  2. At the upper-right corner of the page, click the Google apps icon, and then click Contacts. Or go directly to your Google Contacts.
    Google Contacts
  3. On the left, under Contacts, click Import.
    Import contacts to Google Gmail.
  4. In the Import contacts dialog window, click Select file and choose the CSV file you've exported from Outlook.
    Select a CSV file to import.
  5. Click the Import button.
    Importing Outlook contacts to Gmail.
    As soon as the import is completed, the All done notification will appear at the bottom-right corner of the page. If you've inadvertently imported a wrong list of contacts, just click Undo.
    Outlook contacts are imported into Google.
Note. For importing to complete correctly, your Gmail account must have the same language as was set in Outlook when exporting contacts. Otherwise, the column headings won't match and you'll get an error.

How to import Gmail contacts to Outlook

To transfer Google contacts to Outlook, first export your Gmail contacts to a CSV file, and then import that file into Microsoft Outlook.

Part 1: Export Gmail contacts

  1. Go to your Google Contacts.
  2. On the left, under Contacts, click Export.
    Export Google Gmail contacts.
  3. In the Export contacts window that pops-up, select Outlook CSV and click Export. This is the key step that will copy your Google contacts to a .csv file in the format required by Outlook, so no further adjustments will be needed.
    Export Google contacts as Outlook CSV.
  4. Depending on your browser, you will either be prompted to open the file in Excel or just see the downloaded contacts.csv file at the button of the page. After opening the file, review the info, make changes if needed (but do not change the column headers!), and then save the CSV file to any folder on your PC or to a cloud storage.

Part 2: Import Gmail contacts into Outlook

To import your Google contacts to Outlook, perform these steps:

  1. In Microsoft Outlook, click File > Open & Export > Import/Export.
    Start the Outlook Import/Export wizard.
  2. In the first step of the Import and Export wizard, choose Import from another program or file and click Next.
    Importing contacts into Outlook from another program or file
  3. Choose Comma Separated Values and click Next.
    Import contacts from a CSV file.
  4. Click the Browse button and select the CSV file you've exported from Gmail. Then, choose how to deal with possible duplicate contacts (the screenshot below shows the default option), and click Next.
    Select the CSV file to import and choose how to handle duplicate contacts.
  5. Under the account into which you want to import Gmail contacts, select the Contacts folder and click Next.
    Choose the folder into which to import contacts.
  6. Click Finish.
    Finish importing Google contacts into Outlook.

    Tip. To make sure that all the columns in your CSV file are correctly mapped to the Outlook contact fields, click Map Custom Fields.

Outlook starts importing your Google contacts immediately. When the progress box is gone, the import is finished. To view the imported contacts, click the People icon on the Navigation bar.

That's how to import contacts from Outlook to Gmail and the other way round. That was pretty easy, wasn't it? I thank you for reading and hope to see you on our blog next week!

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2 Responses to "How to export and import contacts between Outlook and Google Gmail"

  1. Glenn says:

    You forgot one step when importing contacts to gmail. You must have the same language choosen in gmail as Outlook used when creating the contacts file. I guess gmail checkes the column headings when importing, because I got an error before I changed the gmail language setting.

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