How to export your Gmail contacts
Gmail allows you to export your contacts, whether to keep a backup or to migrate to another service. Here is how to do it.
One of the really great things about technology today is that a lot of our data is stored in the cloud, on servers. This means that the syncs are fast and invisible. It is possible to switch from one device to another or from one service to another without noticing a difference, or almost. And most of the time, cloud services are expected to handle everything without a hitch. But it can happen that it is not not the case.
If you are using Gmail as your primary email client, you may have registered a number of contacts on the platform. If you want to keep a copy offline for possible emergencies or want a copy to import to another email service, here’s what you need to do to export your Gmail contacts.
Export Gmail contacts
- Meeting on https://contacts.google.com/
- In the menu bar on the left, click Export.
- Choose an export format and optionally select the contacts to export.
- Click Export and the files will be downloaded to your computer.
Note, the list of your Gmail contacts is certainly larger than what you imagine. This is because each time you reply to an email or forward an email to a new address, Gmail creates a new contact so that you can more easily access that address later, if necessary.
In other words, if you look at the list of contacts in question, don’t be surprised to find many more contacts or to see names that you do not remember at all.
You might be quite disturbed by the different export formats offered by Google. The question you are probably asking yourself is: what is the “right” export format? Know that there is no right or wrong format, it is the intention, ultimately, that prevails.
Outlook CSV : it’s a format that takes all data and contacts and converts names to their default encoding. As the name suggests, this format is preferred if you want to migrate from Gmail to Outlook.
Google CSV : Unlike Outlook CSV, the Google CSV format takes your data and exports it in Unicode. This to help preserve the international character. That being said, the downside is that Google CSV is not supported by all customers because of this encoding. Outlook does not support it. This means that if you want to migrate to Outlook, this is not the preferred format.
vCard : unlike CSV which stores alphanumeric data, vCard supports richer data. Thus, in addition to the name, email address and telephone number, it is possible to store photos, if available. This format is also widely supported by email clients and servers. Migration between services should not be a problem with this format …