Import Google’s contacts with non-English characters to Office 365 mailboxes |Part 2#2 5/5 (1) 6 min read

In the current article, we review the process of Export information from our Google mail account to a CSV file.

The difference from the previous article is that in this scenario, we have Google’s contacts whom their name and their information include non-English characters.

Import Google’s contacts| Article Series

The Import Google’s contacts article series, including the following articles:


The “export process” that we execute by using that Google interface “doesn’t care” if our contract includes non-English characters.

The problem appears on the phase which we import the information from the CSV file by using Outlook or OWA mail client.

When we import information from the CSV file that included non-English characters, the information will appear as gibberish!

The little two secrets about importing Google contact with non-English characters

Secret 1#2

The little trick that we use for dealing with this problem is using a simple text editor such as the Notepad for saving the CSV file in a UTF-8 format.

After we implemented the required format conversation (to UTF-8), the information can be imported to our Office 365 mailbox account.

Secret 2#2

When using Outlook mail client for importing information from a CSV file that includes non-English characters, even after we convert the exported Google contacts to UTF-8 format, Outlook doesn’t know how to relate to the non-English characters, and the information will appear as gibberish!

The second secret is that the OWA that Office 365 users have include a unique tool that can help us to import Google exported contact information and successfully managed to import the non-English characters given that we have already implemented that required UTF-8 conversation.

Exporting Google contacts information.

In the following step, we review the process of Exporting Google contact information to a CSV in the required field name format that required by Outlook \ OWA mail clients.

  • Login to your Google account by clicking on the Google squares icon.

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  • In the icon menu that appears, click on the More

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  • Select the Contacts icon

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Exporting the Google contacts information to CSV file

In the following screenshot, we can see an example to Google’s contact list that includes a “mixture” of contact with English and non-English characters (in our example, contact who uses Hebrew characters)

  • On the left-side menu, select the option – More

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  • Choose the menu – Export

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At a time when the article written, the “New Google web interface” doesn’t include the option to export contact data.

To be able to export the contact data, we will need to use the “old interface.”

  • Select the option – GO TO OLD CONTACTS

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  • On the top menu bar, choose the option – More

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  • Select the menu – Export…

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In the “Export Windows,” that appears, we will need to define two option settings.

1. What contact to export?

The Google export contacts wizard enables us to export only a particular group of contacts or all of our Google contacts. In our example, we choose to export all the Google contacts by selecting the option All contacts (A).

2. The CSV row header format

The Google export contacts wizard enables us to define the CSV file format that we want to use based on the “target mail system” to which we are going to import the data.

In our example, we want to import the data using Outlook \OWA mail client.

For this reason, we will select the option – Outlook CSV format (for importing into Outlook or other application)

  • Click on the Export button

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  • In our example, we will save the CSV file in C: drive on a Temp folder
  • The Google export contacts wizard exports the information as a CSV file format.
  • Click on the Save button to save the CSV file

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An example of an import process of Google’s contact which includes non-English characters.

In the following screenshot, we can see an example of a scenario in which we import the Google contact by using the “original CSV file” without converting the CSV file to UTF-8 format.

When using Outlook people, the information about the imported contact which created by using non-English characters appears is “strange characters” (gibberish).

Import google contacts from CSV file – outlook - non-English characters -01

The same problem with the “strange characters” exists when we use OWA mail client for looking at the contact (people) information.

Import google contacts from CSV file – outlook - non-English characters -02

Convert the exported Google contact CSV file to UTF-8 format

In the following section, we will demonstrate how to implement the “format conversation process” by using the OS text editor – the notepad.

Technically speaking, every text editor that knows how to save information using UTF-8 format can use.

Right click on the exported Google contact CSV file, select – Open with and in the sub menu select – Notepad.

Saving the exported google contacts CSV file - using UTF8 format -01

In the following screenshot, we can see that the Notepad “understand” the non-English characters (Hebrew characters in our example).

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To be able to prepare the CSV file for the import process by OWA client, we will save the CSV file using UTF-8 format.

  • Select File and Save As…

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  • In the File name section – write the name of the file (number 1).
  • In the Save as type section, select – All Files (number 2).
  • In the Encoding section, select – UTF-8 (number 3).
  • Save the file format by clicking on the Save button

Saving the exported google contacts CSV file - using UTF8 format -04

In the following screenshot, we can see that a “New File” was created based on the “original CSV file.”

Saving the exported google contacts CSV file - using UTF8 format -05

Import the information from the CSV file (Goggle exported contacts) using OWA.

In the following section, we review how to import the Google contacts which exported to the CSV file.

Office 365 OWA mail client has the ability to -import in a proper manner, information from CSV file that includes non-English characters, given that the file was saved in the required format (UTF-8).

Note – the interesting thing is that the Outlook client doesn’t have this ability. Even in the case that the CSV file that includes non-English characters saved in a UTF-8 format, the import process doesn’t know how to handle these non-English characters.

Using OWA mail client.

Import google contacts from CSV file UTF8 format – OWA - Office 365 -01

  • Select the Manage menu and the Import contacts sub menu

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  • Click on the Gmail icon

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  • Click on the Browse button

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  • Select the CSV file that you want to import
  • Click Open

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  • Select the Upload menu

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The import process successfully completed

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In the following screenshot, we can see that the Google contacts successfully imported from the CSV file to OWA contacts (people).

The contact which includes non-English characters (Hebrew characters) displayed correctly!

Import google contacts from CSV file UTF8 format – OWA - Office 365 -08

In the following screenshot, we can see this contact by using the Outlook, mail client.

After the information from the CSV file imported by using OWA, Outlook can “see” the non-English characters (Hebrew characters).

Import google contacts from CSV file UTF8 format – OWA - Office 365 -09


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