Google Mail: Export and Import Contacts

Google Mail: Export and Import Contacts

Unlike Groupwise, Google Mail does not allow you to share contact groups (in Groupwise, address books) with others. However, if you would like another person to have a contact group identical to one you have, you can export the contact group and then have them import it into their Google Mail.

These instructions assume you are using Google Chrome to access your mail, as that is the university's preferred browser.


Please be aware that after the other person imports the contact group into their Google Mail, any changes you make to the contact group in your Google Mail will not show up in the other person’s Google Mail. You will either have to tell the other person to make the changes manually, or you both will have to go through the process of exporting and importing again.

To export a contact group from Google Mail (for the person sharing the contact group)

  1. Navigate to
  2. Click the “Mail” link and log in.
  3. From the Google Apps options across the top of the page, click “Contacts.” The Contacts page opens.
  4. From the contact groups list on the left side of the page, select the contact group you wish to export.
  5. From the [More] drop-down, click “Export…” The Export Contacts window opens.
  6. Under “Which contacts do you want to export?” select “The group” and ensure the desired group is selected.
  7. Under “Which export format?” select “Google CSV format (for importing into a Google account).”
  8. Click [Export]. A .csv file named “google.csv” downloads. You can find the file down in your toolbar. (If you are using Safari, you can find the filed by clicking the [Downloads] icon in the top right-hand corner of the browser. In Internet Explorer, a pop-up will appear at the bottom of your screen. In Firefox, a pop-up will appear in the center of your screen.)
  9. Open the “google.csv” file and save it in the desired location. You may want to rename it to a more specific name (for example, the name of the group).
  10. Email the .csv file to the person you want to import the contacts.

To import a contact group into Google Mail (for the person receiving the contact group)

  1. Navigate to
  2. Click the "Mail" link and log in.
  3. From the Google Apps options across the top of the page, click “Contacts.” The Contacts page opens.
  4. From the [More] drop-down, click “Import.” The Import Contacts window opens.
  5. Click [Choose File].
  6. Choose the file you received from the person sharing the contact group with you.
  7. Click [Open].
  8. Click [Import].
  9. Click the name of the contact group in the sidebar. (The name will be “Imported” along with the date.) You will have a notification that “These contacts have been imported, but not yet merged.”
  10. Click “Find and merge duplicates.”
  11. Click [Merge]. The contacts are now merged and imported.
  12. To rename the group, click “Rename group” from the [More] dropdown. The Rename Group window opens.
  13. In the text field, type the desired new name.
  14. Click [OK]. The group is renamed and will appear as that name in the contact groups list.


All of the imported contacts will be listed in your “My Contacts” group as well as the group you renamed. If you do not need the separate contact group that you renamed, you can delete it by choosing [More] > “Delete group.” The group will be deleted, but the contacts will not. They will remain in “My Contacts.”

To learn more about other Google Contacts features, see the Contact Manager help page.


Keywords: import, export, Google, mail, contacts, address book, add, Gmail, share address book, share contacts, share groups

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