I want to move the contacts from the Apps account. I have successfully exported them three times, once according to each of the formats provided by Google (Google CSV, "outlook-style" CSV and Vcards. I've looked in the files (using excel, CSV File View and notepad++) & they look fine - headers and data, etc.

When I attempt to import (I've tried all three multiple times) all I get is ... nothing. The window closes, no messages and no imported contacts.

I then tried TrueSwitch, but couldn't seem to get it to accept my credentials (tried very carefully five times, but it keeps complaining about not being able to connect to my accounts). If TrueSwitch worked it would be the ideal tool, based on what it claims it does - but I can't get it to work.

Searching on the web has only turned up variations on "make sure the CSV file is formatted correctly - has the right headers, etc." It is correct, because gmail created it. And I've visually verified it.

If someone has an idea how I can get my contacts imported or migrated to the new gmail account, I'd greatly appreciate it.

  • I just did what you did and was successful. Please make sure to select export contacts in Google Apps and import in Gmail ;-)
    – Jacob Jan
    Commented Mar 12, 2013 at 13:49
  • Can you perhaps test with a smaller group of contacts, say three or four?
    – ale
    Commented Mar 12, 2013 at 14:09
  • Jacob & Al - thanks for your input. See the answer below for how I solved it.
    – yosh m
    Commented Mar 14, 2013 at 14:05

1 Answer 1


I found the problem in the import. There were about 3000 contact records. Around contact number 2900 I found there was an email field (that Google had exported) that contained eight (!) email addresses, separated by commas.

When I removed that record, Gmail imported the whole file OK. Before that, the entire file was not processed, even though the other records were OK.

I leave this information here to help any future person who runs into the weird case that Gmail can't read a file that Gmail itself generated.

It is not enough to verify the field names are correct. The data itself may be bad and even Gmail can be the culprit. It was hard, painstaking work to find this particular devil so deep in the file.

Perhaps a Gmail dev will read this & decide to add some sort of feedback to the Import Contacts tool - it's a shame that it currently fails completely silently.

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