What is Google Contacts?

Google Contacts is a way to store and organize contact information about the people you communicate with. Each contact can contain basic information like names, email addresses, and phone numbers but can also include extended information like physical address, employer, department, or job title.

Google Contacts integrates with all Google Apps, such as Gmail, Drive, and Calendar, through the autocomplete function. This allows users to send email, share documents, and schedule appointments without having to look up contact information in a separate tab or window. Users can also synchronize contacts between Google Apps and a mobile device to see contacts outside of a browser.

Different contact types

There are 2 different types of Google Contacts. Each is managed separately and contains similar, but not identical, information:

The Google Apps Directory (domain-wide contacts list managed by administrators)

The Google Apps Directory lists contact information for domain users. It can also include external contacts, such as contractors or suppliers, and Calendar resources if the administrator adds them via Google Apps Directory Sync, the Calendar Resource API, or the Shared Contacts API. A Google Apps account administrator manages the Google Apps Directory.

The Google Apps Directory is available to everyone within the domain only if an account administrator has enabled contact sharing. In the Contact Manager, users can search to find any domain profile, shared contact, calendar resource, or Group. Users can also browse the list of domain profiles, shared contacts, and calendar resources (but not Groups) by clicking on the Directory link on the left navigation panel. Directory entries also appear in the autocomplete function of every Google App, such as Gmail, Drive, and Calendar, enabled for the domain. Changes made to your domain or personal contacts will take up to 24 hours to appear.


My Contacts (personal contacts managed by users)

My Contacts is the list of people an individual user manages. Users add contacts to this list manually or by copying and saving entries from the Google Apps Directory. A user can add, edit, and delete contacts and contact groups using the Contacts Manager. My Contacts are private and can't be shared with other users. But when a user sends email, recipients can see the names a user has saved for each contact.


Although the two contact types are managed separately, the information is merged in the display. Users see a single profile for each contact entry when viewing information in the Contacts Manager or on a mobile device.