As cloud computing continues to cut the tethers holding people to a single desktop or laptop, many users are unaware of ways they can make this transition hassle-free. Expanding on an old GT article, I recently made the switch myself from using Windows Mail (the successor to Outlook Express for Windows Vista and 7) to Web-based Chrome as my client for my Gmail accounts.
Exporting your contacts from Windows Mail
- Open Windows Mail
- Select ‘File’, then ‘Export’, and finally ‘Windows Contacts…’
- Select ‘CSV (Comma Separated Values)’ and click ‘Export’ when the ‘Export Windows Contacts’ window pops up.
- Click ‘Browse’ on the next pop up window and select a name (e.g. “contacts”) and location (e.g. desktop) to save your contacts.csv file to.
Importing your contacts into Gmail
- Open Gmail in your browser.
- Click on the ‘Contacts’ link on the left sidebar.
- Click the ‘Import’ link in the upper right of the next page that appears.
- Click the ‘Choose File’ button.
- Select your contacts.csv file from where you saved it on your computer in the first part.
- If you want to add these contacts to a specific group, check the box and select the group.
- Click the ‘Import’ button and you are done.
One problem with this transfer is that if your Windows Contacts have more than one email address per contact, then extra Gmail contacts will be made and you have to manually transfer those addresses into one contact. This method should also work for other email clients, such as Mozilla’s Thunderbird. If you are running into errors, formatting of the .csv file is probably to blame, and help to correct this can be found on the Gmail help forums.
On the flip side, you can also export Gmail contacts to Windows Mail/Outlook by using the ‘Export’ link in Gmail between the ‘Import’ and ‘Print’ links in the upper right of the contacts page. Be sure to select the right format. For example, Mac users will probably want to use the vCard format.
Have you given up on using only one computer for email? Comments are welcome below.