I would like to have an assistant (virtual) clean up my contacts through Gmail. I can give that person my password so they can logon as me, but I would love it if they could have their own restricted account.

Ideally I could recover changes they made in case they deleted everything.

EDIT Can I give them access to only my contacts so that they don't delete my 15GB of email?

5 Answers 5


An alternative would be to

  1. export your contacts from gmail
  2. send the contacts to your assistant
  3. have that assistant create a fresh gmail account, import and clean the contacts there
  4. and then get an export back from your assistant
  5. that you then use to replace your contacts in gmail.

Just backup all your contacts first by exporting them to Google CSV format so you can import them back if something bad happen.


  • I like that, thanks... but can I give them access to only my contacts so that they don't delete my 15GB of email?
    – Jason
    Commented Jan 12, 2011 at 21:54
  • The app should ask for your permission to access only your contacts using the Google Contacts Data API.
    – kraymer
    Commented Jan 12, 2011 at 22:08
  • I'm not building an app, I want a person to logon and clean up my contacts.
    – Jason
    Commented Jan 12, 2011 at 22:10
  • I got that, just sayin that if you use a virtual assistant, the app is not supposed to ask access to your full gmail account anyway. I would expect a page from Google asking "Do you authorize app xxxx to access your contacts data?" or smthing like that...
    – kraymer
    Commented Jan 12, 2011 at 22:21
  • 1
    You don't need to worry about contacts being messed up, as you can easily restore them using the built-in restore: gmailblog.blogspot.com/2010/12/restore-your-contacts.html
    – Herohtar
    Commented Jan 13, 2011 at 22:54

If you are giving someone your password they will have full access to your Gmail as well as any other service connected to your account (Calendar, Docs, etc); Google does not have any support for such "restricted access" to an account.

As a side note, it is a good practice to never give anyone your password unless you fully trust them and are willing to risk them doing whatever they want with your account (which you obviously don't).


There is an option to allow access to your assistant without giving your password. But still you have to backup contacts to be sure. May be in future, google gives an option to revert back faulty changes made by your assistant. http://mail.google.com/support/bin/answer.py?hl=en&ctx=mail&answer=138350


Use GrexIt's Shared Labels to share your email with your assistant (get this at http://grexit.com). Ask your assistant to export their contacts and send them to you when they're done, and then import these contacts into your Gmail account.

This way, you never have to give away your password.

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