Copying an Outlook Email List to Google

As we await a new update for email migrations, I thought I’d address one of the more common questions I’ve received regarding migrating from Exchange to Google.  Specifically, a lot of people have been asking me how to migrate email lists from Outlook to Google.

While the district has recreated all of our system-wide address lists – such as “All Teachers” or “Administrators – Secondary”, your personal lists do not move over seamlessly.  The short video below walks you through the process – which will generally take just a couple of minutes – to copy email lists that you currently have in Outlook into Google.  

Following the embedded video are step-by-step instructions.  

Step-by-Step Instructions

  1. Open Outlook, and open Google Mail (
  2. In Outlook, select the “Contacts” button, which is below the list of email boxes and folders on the left side of the screen.  Usually it’s an icon with a silhouette of two people. 
  3. Select an email list you’d like to copy
  4. Click “File” then “Save As”
  5. Choose a file location, and change the “Save as Type” drop-down to “Text Only”, then click “Save”.  Remember what you named the file, and where it’s saved. 
  6. Minimize or Close Outlook, and open Microsoft Excel
  7. Drag the file you just created into Excel to open it. 
  8. The first column will have names, and the second column will have addresses.  Select the addresses in the second column and click “Control-C”.  
  9. Minimize Excel, and go to your web browser where you’ve opened Gmail
  10. Make sure you’re logged in to your district Gmail account
  11. In the top left corner, click the red “Mail” link and choose “Contacts”
  12. On the left side of the page, click “New Group”, and enter a name for your group, then click “OK”
  13. Your group should appear under the “My Contacts” list on the left side of the page; you may need to click the small arrow to see the groups list.  Click on your group.  
  14. Once in your group, click the “Add to” button, which is a small button above the members list with a person and a plus sign. 
  15. In the box that appears, type CTRL-V to paste your list of addresses, then click “Add”. 

At this point, your list should be created.  You’ll be able to send to your list by just typing the list name in the “To” box when you send a message.  NOTE: It sometimes takes a few minutes before GMail autopopulates the “To:” box with a newly-created group name.  If you type in your group name and nothing happens, wait a couple of minutes and try again.