Exporting contacts from Google to Outlook

Contacts and contact groups

contact groups in Google

Neither My Contacts nor Contact groups will migrate from Google across to Outlook. You’ll need to do it yourself if you maintain personal contacts in Gmail.

Exporting My Contacts from Google and importing them into Outlook web will also import any Contact groups you may have set up. Exporting contacts from Google
Importing contacts into Outlook

Export contacts from Google

Log into Gmail and go to your contacts:

Google contacts

Select More and Export

Google contacts

Pick the group My Contacts and Outlook CSV format:

Export contacts

Click Export. Save the file (contacts.csv) somewhere safe.

Check the contacts.csv file. This is a good opportunity to tidy it up, deleting any obsolete contacts.

  • Outlook will throw up an error if you try to import more than 2,000 contacts. Open the file in Excel and split it into multiple files. In fact it might even be good to do this if you have hundreds of contacts, let alone thousands.
  • You don't normally need to include contacts who are UoB staff with UoB email addresses, unless they're members of contact groups that you need to import. These will be in the staff directory already. Removing these from the contacts.csv file may make the import smoother.

Import your contacts into Outlook

If you have a lot of contacts (e.g. 500+), then it's probably best to import them in Outlook desktop.

If you only have a small number, or want to preserve your contact groups, use Outlook web.

Log into Outlook on the web and go to your contacts (icon in the bottom left of the screen):

Export contacts

From the top menu, select Manage and Import Contacts:

Import contacts

Select Gmail:

import from Gmail

Click Browse, find your contacts.csv file you exported earlier and click Open:

import file

Click Upload at the top of the screen.


If you get an error message:

  • Check how many contacts were imported, and which was the last one
  • Open your contacts.csv file (in Excel)
  • delete the rows up to and including the last successfully imported contact
  • re-save the contacts.csv file
  • try to import the file again.

Other issues/solutions:

  • sometimes certain symbols (e.g. ') in the contacts file can cause issues
  • if the import gets stuck on a particular contact record, try just removing it from the contacts.csv file

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