Restoring Your Contacts List or Address Book In Gmail

Google’s Gmail has been a very popular online (web) email client for years; and, rightfully so. It continues to improve and offer features that you would typically find in email software that you would install on your PC. As a matter of fact, I no longer use email client software on my PC at all and have come to rely on my Gmail account for my email communications.

When it comes to email software, the most important component that people fail to backup is their contacts list (or address book). The contacts list is a cumulative database of peoples names, email addresses, phone numbers, work and home addresses, etc… that continues to grow and ends up becoming a vital component to your email communications. Lose your contacts list (or address book) and I will guarantee that you will not be a happy camper. I can personally attest from experience, using email software, there are no easy ways to backup your contacts list (or address book); OR least a method that is easily understood to the everyday computer user.

One feature that I really like about Gmail is the built in backup versioning feature of the contacts list. Gmail actually does the backup of your contacts list for you in the event you make a change and you need to undo the change. As a matter of fact you can go back in time up to 30 days to do a restore from a previous version of the contacts list.

Restore Contacts

You can restore your contacts from a earlier saved version in instances such as; when accidental deletion occurs, a sync failed, an import failed or a merge failed.

You will not find any email client software that I know of that will give you this bailout in the event you lose your contacts.

To restore your contacts to a previous version, just follow these steps:

  1. Click Contacts.
  2. From the More actions drop-down menu, choose Restore contacts.
  3. Choose the time you’d like to revert your contacts list to (e.g. 10 minutes ago, one hour ago, one week ago, etc). We suggest that you also make a note of the time that you restore your contacts, in case you’d like to return to where you started.
  4. Click Restore. You’ll see a confirmation at the top of the screen when the rollback is complete.

To undo a restoration:

When the operation completes, a notification bar will appear that gives you the opportunity to immediately undo the restore. This notification bar will disappear if you leave Contacts or make edits to your contacts.

If the notification bar is no longer there, you can always re-run the Restore Contacts tool to take you back to where you started. Just set the tool to take you to the time just before you started the whole process.


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