One of the advantages of today’s technology is that a lot of it is in the cloud. This means that syncing data is quick and painless, allowing you to switch between devices or services. For the most part, we would expect these cloud services to work without any issues, but there might be cases where they might fail.
If you use Gmail as your primary email address, you’ve probably saved a ton of contacts on the platform. If you’d rather keep a copy offline for “just in case” situations, or want to keep a copy to import to another email service, here’s what you need to do to export your Gmail contacts.
SEE AS WELL: How to extract email addresses from your Gmail messages
Export your Gmail contacts
- Go to https://contacts.google.com/
- In the menu bar on the left, click on “Export”
- Choose an export format
- Click Export and it will download the exported files to your computer
Note that your contact list in Gmail may be longer than you remember. This is because every time you reply to an email or forward an email to a new address, Gmail actually creates a new contact to make it easier for you to resend an email to that address.
So if you are looking at your contact list, don’t be shocked if you find it much larger than you can remember or see names that you can’t remember.
READ ALSO: How to Recover Deleted Emails in Gmail
Now some of you might be a little confused as to the different export formats you can choose from, and more importantly, which is the “right” version you should export? First of all, there is no “correct” version, but rather the intent of your export.
Outlook CSV – This is a format that exports all data and contacts and converts names to default character encoding. As the name suggests, it may be preferable if you want to migrate from Gmail to Outlook.
Google CSV – Unlike Outlook CSV, Google CSV takes your data and exports it using Unicode. This is done to help preserve the international characters. However, the downside of Google CSV is that not all email programs, such as Outlook, support Unicode. This means that if you are planning to migrate to Outlook, it might not be the best export format to choose.
vCard – Unlike CSV which typically stores data in alphanumeric form, vCard supports richer contact data, which means that in addition to the person’s name, email address and phone number , it can also store items such as photos if available. It’s also widely supported by various clients and email providers, so switching between services shouldn’t be a problem.