Create or edit CSV files

Use CSV files to import and export contacts. Spreadsheet programs like Google Spreadsheets and Microsoft Excel make it easy to create and edit CSV files.

Your CSV file should be formatted as a table and must include a header, or first line, that defines the fields in your table. Gmail accepts many common header fields (name, email address, etc.). If you're updating an existing file, you probably won't need to change your header field names; if you're creating a new file and need some guidance, you can use any of the field names used in the examples below.

Here are some additional things to keep in mind as you create your file:

  • Headers must be in English.
  • The file must include a field for the email address.
  • The Name field can be a single column, like this:
    header > name
    contact info. > Jane Doe
    If you'd rather, you can also use separate fields for the first, middle, and last names, like this:
    header > first name middle name last name
    contact info. > Jane   Doe

Here's an example of a sample file that can be created using Microsoft Excel:

header > First Name Last Name E-mail Address Home Address Mobile Phone
contact info. > Jane Doe "623 East 68th Street, Apt. 3-B, New York, NY" (212) 555-9975

By saving this table as a .csv file, and importing it in to Gmail, one entry – for Jane Doe – is added to your Contacts list.

Once you've entered all of your contacts into a table, save the document and select CSV (Comma delimited) (*.csv) as the type of file you'd like to save. If prompted to verify your selection, click Yes or OK.

For still more information about CSV files, open Help in Excel.

Once you've saved the file, you're ready to import your CSV file to Gmail.

Vivian is a Gmail expert and the author of this help page. Leave her feedback about this help page.

Was this article helpful?
Watch video tutorials

To get the latest tips, tricks, and how-to's, subscribe to our YouTube Channel.