One of our team’s most popular services as a Google Cloud Premier Partner is migration to Google Workspace. We migrate companies from a variety of legacy providers, including Microsoft 365, Dropbox, Box, GoDaddy, and more.
When it comes to migrating contacts to Gmail/Google Workspace, things can get a bit complicated. This guide details the challenges associated with migrating users’ contacts, as well as instructions to help you get started.
Can a Google Cloud Partner migrate my users’ contacts?
Some clients cannot have their contacts migrated as part of a professional migration to Google Workspace. Specifically, this applies to companies who use Microsoft Outlook as their mail client.
It is important to note that this includes not only companies using Microsoft’s full suite of productivity software (Microsoft 365), but also those on other providers who use Outlook as their mail client. For example, this also applies to providers like GoDaddy or Network Solutions, as long as the company’s users access their email via the Outlook interface.
The reason this cannot be done is because unlike customers migrated via API, those using IMAP cannot have their contacts or calendar data transferred by a Google Cloud Partner. This limitation is present for any client using IMAP to connect to their mail client.
How do I migrate Outlook contacts to Gmail?
The good news is that users and IT administrators can migrate their contacts to their new Google Workspace accounts by following some fairly straightforward steps. In summary, these are to 1) Export contacts from Outlook, 2) Examine the file and make edits if needed, and 3) Import the file into Google Gmail.
This can be done as soon as users have access to their Google Workspace accounts and at any time during or after the data migration, as long as the user has not deleted their profile from the Outlook mail client.
Please note that instructions may vary for those using an older version of Outlook.
Here are the steps:
- Open the Outlook mail client.
- In the top left corner, click File.
- Click Open & Export > Import/Export.
- Click Export to a file > Next.
- Click Comma Separated Values > Next.
- Find the email account you want to export contacts from. Under this, select Contacts. Click Next.
- Click Browse and navigate to where you would like to save the file.
- Type in a file name (e.g. Outlook Contacts.csv) and then click OK.
- Click Next and then click Finish.
Sometimes, attribute discrepancies or corruption can make the data in your exported file inaccurate. For this reason, you should next examine the file and ensure that the data is correct.
- Open your .csv file. You can do so using a program such as Microsoft Excel, Mac Numbers, OpenOffice, or Google Sheets.
- Review the fields and make any necessary edits.
- Save your changes (if using Microsoft Excel, do so by clicking File > Save).
Now that your .csv file is ready to go, it’s time to import it into your Gmail account. To import Outlook contacts, do the following:
- Navigate to contacts.google.com.
- In the left sidebar, click Import.
- Click Select file.
- Find and select your .csv file.
- Click Import.
Your contacts will then populate into Gmail!
Watchpoint: You can only import 3,000 contacts into Google Workspace at a time. If needed, you can separate your contacts into multiple CSV files. You can save a maximum of 25,000 contacts in Google Workspace. For more information about limitations for Google Contacts, see this support article.
We hope this guide was helpful! If you are a Google Admin seeking the support of a certified Google Cloud Premier Partner, we are here to help—we offer migration services, support, training, and more. Contact us using the form below and we will follow up with you promptly.