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I'm trying to import contacts from my Microsoft Outlook (company server) to my Gmail, but whatever I try, it fails.

Even when I export my contacts in Gmail to a CSV and then try to import it again, Gmail gives the annoying error, saying it experienced an "unknown error". Hence Google is not even accepting its own export as import format.

I don't have the illusion that anyone is going to fix this specific problem, so my question is: does anyone know a workaround to migrate/import contacts to/in Gmail? Some tool somewhere maybe, other inspiration on how to migrate contacts from Outlook to Gmail?

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    Sounds like a bug on Google's end. It might also be something weird like a character out of place. I know you said you tried exporting from Google and re-importing, but I suggest trying it again with a smaller (maybe two or three contacts) set and confirm it's Google's problem. I'd also recommend using the "Send Feedback" tool to let them know about the error. – ale Jan 18 '18 at 15:26
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    As for alternative methods, do you have an Android phone? – ale Jan 18 '18 at 15:26
  • Even tried it with the first (most generic) contact, and it failed. So probably a bug indeed. I do have an Android phone, though my contacts are on a iPhone, stored in Outlook. I know, Microsoft, Google, Apple mixing together... – Dendrobates Jan 18 '18 at 15:28
  • I say it's a bug, because I got the same error. What does it tell you when you click the "Learn more" link on that error? (My workplace blocks it, so I can't look.) – ale Jan 18 '18 at 15:31
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    I tried 5 different browsers, also tried using VPN, cleaned all cache and cookies, tried smaller files with 1-2 contact and it show the error anyway. "An unknown error occurred while importing your contacts" So it's a bug. Let's all report that problem, so they fix it faster. – SunnySon Jan 18 '18 at 16:29
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Okay, if you need to get this done (I did):

Use Mailbird to import the contacts, then you can copy them to the Gmail account contacts.

Just done it with 1100 contacts and it worked fine.

p.s., If you only have a CSV you will need vcard format so use CSV to vCard.

  • I seriously decided to pay for some application to move them (won't name the app). Yours probably works good too, thanks for the suggestion. Insane that this is still such a pain... – Dendrobates Jan 18 '18 at 21:20
  • @Dendrobates: Why not name the app? If you've found a solution, other people may find it useful. You should create an answer with what you've found. – ale Jan 19 '18 at 17:21
  • Another useful tool if you are transferring contacts from Outlook to Gmail is GO Contact Sync Mod – David Sims Jan 21 '18 at 0:07
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I have had the same problem. Gmail will not import a csv file created by Outlook 2010.

The solution is to open the csv file in Excel, and save it as an Excel file. Then open the Excel file with Excel, and save it as a csv file. Gmail will now read the new csv file.

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I have had the same problem. Gmail will not import a csv file created by Outlook 2010.

The solution is to open the csv file in Excel, and save it as an Excel file. Then open the Excel file with Excel, and save it as a csv file. Gmail will now read the new csv file.

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I had this error too on not only Gmail but also Sign Up Genius. However, Sign Up Genius gave me instructions on how to format the .csv doc and after I reformatted my emails I was able to submit the same doc to Gmail and it worked.

You need to make sure you have three columns. First Name, Last Name, and Email. You need to have these three columns titled on top. You do not need each row filled in, as I left both the First Name and Last Name columns blank and it still worked.

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I relied on the competition between Android and Apple! Using Google csv format did not work.

However, I exported from gmail as a vCard (Apple format) and then imported this into another gmail account with no hitch.

Be patient and wait a bit as it seemed to take time to update the webpage. The contacts imported were marked as group "Imported dd/mm/yyyy" where dd/mm/yyyy was today's date.

I appreciate this is a late answer and not from Outlook but I hope it helps others.

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The simple solution that worked for me is as posted by two people above: "The solution is to open the csv file in Excel, and save it as an Excel file. Then open the Excel file with Excel, and save it as a csv file. Gmail will now read the new csv file."

Thanks. That saved me a lot of aggravation!

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