Google Contacts

From ITS Wiki - Information Technology Services - University of Rhode Island

Jump to: navigation, search


Importing Contacts from Another Application

Most "Contact" applications have included a method to export contact data, either as a comma separated value file or in the vcard format. Directions below are for the most commonly used programs.

Important notes:

  1. Google Contacts doesn't support rich text formatting, or unlimited length in the “notes” field. When unable to import a certain field from a csv file, there is usually an error message so that you can fix it manually.
  2. The maximum size for a contact is 128 KB. If a contact exceeds this size, the "notes" field might be truncated.

Exporting Contacts from Microsoft Outlook

You can import your address books from Outlook into Google using a comma separated value file.

First, you'll need to format your contacts as a CSV file -- using the Export function under the File menu. when directed to do so, save the file to a location where you can easily find it.

Once you have a CSV file with all your contacts' information, open your Google account and navigate to the Contacts application. Select IMPORT CONTACTS at the bottom of the left menu. You will be asked to choose the file from your computer that contains your contacts. This process is usually very quick.

Important Note:

  1. You can only import up to 3000 contacts at a time. If you have more than 3000 contacts, you'll need to create multiple CSV files to upload.
  2. The vCard files that Outlook produces might not contain all of the supported contact fields. For example, when Outlook exports to a vCard file, it omits data, including attachments, distribution lists, the “file as” field, and text formatting in the “notes” field. Because Google Contacts doesn’t have a way to know what data was omitted, we suggest that after you finish the import, you search for contacts that might have these properties and manually copy over any important information.

Exporting Contacts from Mac Address Book

Importing Contacts from Apple Contacts application is very easy and hassle free.

  1. Open Contacts.
  2. Put the cursor on ALL CONTACTS in the left menu
  3. Select one contact and then use the Command + A keys to select all contact cards
  4. Pull down the File menu and choose Export, choosing EXPORT vCARD on the submenu.
  5. Save the file to a location where you can easily find it.
  6. Sign in to your Google Apps for Education account.
  7. Navigate to the Contacts application.
  8. Select IMPORT CONTACTS at the bottom of the left menu.
  9. Click the Choose File button and locate the vCard file you'd like to upload.
  10. Click the Import button.


  • Google Contacts doesn’t support contact attachments
  • Google Contacts doesn’t support distribution lists, but some people have had success uploading them from Apple Mail.
  • Google does not support rich text formatting in the “notes” field
  • Google "notes" field does not allow the unlimited length that other applications do.

Using Google Contacts With Another Application

It's relatively easy to set up a third-party application, such as Microsoft Outlook or the Apple Contacts program, with your Google Apps for Education Account. Included below are the instructions for using your Google account with either Outlook or Contacts.

Using Google Contacts With Outlook

Important Note:To get your Outlook Calendar to sync with the server or between mobile devices, you must install the Google Active Sync for Microsoft Outlook. This tool will sync all of your Google Apps mail, calendar events, and contacts, and your Outlook notes and tasks.

To decide if this tool is right for you, watch this short video about the Outlook Migration/Sync tool.

There is an Google online wizard to step you through the GASMO install process.

For further details, see this comprehensive web page or this feature compatibility chart.

Using Google Contacts With Apple Contacts

Setting up your Google Contacts to use with the Apple Contacts application (formerly called Address Book) is quite easy. All of the setting up is done with the Preferences for the Contacts program.

  • Open the Apple Contacts application and choose PREFERENCES or ACCOUNTS under the Contacts Menu at the top of your desktop. If you chose Preferences, choose the Accounts option, then proceed with these directions.

Adding Google Account to Your Apple Contacts Application

  • Click on the PLUS (+) sign at the bottom of the left column.

Selecting Your Google Account

  • Select GOOGLE as the type of Account.

Putting in Your Account Information

  • Enter your Name, eMail Address and the Password for your Google Account.
  • Click SET UP.

Selecting Applications

  • Choose the applications that you want to use with your Google account.

  • Click DONE