How to Backup or Export Contacts on, Gmail and Yahoo Mail

Sandeep Agarwal

Telephone-IconRemember the time when there used to be a contacts diary permanently placed beside your landline phone, which you used to refer to before making calls? Of course there was no email or Facebook at that time. Even cell phones were just beginning to emerge from their nests. That diary used to be your only contacts backup, and you couldn’t afford to lose that.

Things are different today and our contacts are backed up online. But is it foolproof? Though we can rely and trust on services like Outlook, Gmail and Yahoo, we are uncertain on being hit by bad luck. In case of some malfunction (or any other reason), we could end up losing all the contact details (email addresses, phone numbers, etc.) that we have stored on their servers.

So, if you are borderline paranoid like me, you would always create a backup of your contacts and have them stored on your hard drive. Here’s how to do the same for Outlook, Gmail and Yahoo.

Steps to Export Contacts

Step 1: Log in to Mail and hover the mouse pointer over Outlook  icon (top left of the interface). Click on the drop down option (down pointing arrow).


Step 2: From the list of four icons choose the one reading People. Click on this icon.


Step 3: Next click on the Manage button and choose to Export. The contacts will be saved in CSV (Comma Separated Values) format.


Note: If you have imported contacts in mail from networks like Facebook, Google, Twitter, etc. using the inbuilt feature, then it is important to know that all such contacts will not be exported to the file created in Step 3. And there isn’t a way to do that at the moment.

Steps to Export Gmail Contacts

Step 1: Log in to you Gmail account and switch to the contacts view by clicking on Gmail  at the top-left of the Gmail screen.


Step 2: Click on the More icon from towards the top of the interface and then click on Export.


Step 3: A new page will appear on top of the interface. Select the group of contacts you want to create a back up for, choose the format of the file to save and click on Export.


Steps to Export Yahoo Mail Contacts

Step 1: Log in to Yahoo Mail, navigate to the Contacts tab and click on Actions button. Click on Export All to make things happening.


Step 2: On the next page you will find multiple options. Choose the requisite export format and click on Export Now against what you like. The highlighted one is what I chose.


While saves the resulting file in CSV format by default, I suggest that you choose similar options for Gmail and Yahoo Mail as well. The reason is that the format is supported by most email services and desktop clients when it comes to importing contacts. Moreover, you can open the file using MS Excel and view the contacts instantly.



Creating a backup of things is really important. Especially, those which are on external servers; we never know when we might lose them. Are you going to save your contacts to your local disk right away? Is there any other way to save the contacts even more easily? Let us know in the comments section.

Top Image Credit: Esparta

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