Chances are that you or someone you know has an address book at home. It's where they write down information about people that they keep in touch with regularly so that they can remember it when they need it: names, street addresses, phone numbers, email addresses, work locations, and so on. Gmail has a version of that, too; it's called "Contacts".
Gmail Contacts lets you keep track of all kinds of information about people you know. You won't have to worry about losing any of this information; it will always stay paired with your Google (Gmail) Account. You can easily update any information that changes -- such as if your friend moves or switches jobs -- and you can delete contact information that you no longer use. Plus, since your information in Google Contacts is on the Internet, it's easy to share with friends and family, and (more generally) to move it from place to place without having to fill in each entry one-by-one every time.
Go to www.gmail.com in your web browser and log in (if you haven't already). When you get to your main "Inbox" screen, click the function selector (it says Gmail right now) and select Contacts from the drop-down menu.
You will now see a list of your contacts (if you have any). To add a new one, click the New Contact button on the left-hand side of the screen.
You will now be taken to a new screen where you can enter information about your contact. Click the yellow circles () to see what you can do at each point.
Click Add Name and type in the person's name. You can also click the "..." icon here to bring up a new window where you can add more details about their name, like an prefix (Mister, Miss, Sir, Madam, etc.), suffix (Jr., Sr., M.D., B.A., Esq., etc.), or middle name.
Click here to bring up a window that lets you search for and choose a photo to represent this contact. You can search for one from among the files on your computer, or from among those on your Gmail/Google account. You can even choose to display no photo at all (just the default silhouette).
Click on the star to mark this contact as someone important who you want to be able to find easily.
Click in each of these boxes and type in the person's email address, phone number, mailing address, and website address (if they have a personal website), if you know this information. For their phone number, click the flag to open a drop-down menu, and select a country to set the country code for the phone number.
Click here to get a drop-down menu of additional categories of information that you can select to fill in for the person. These can include how to pronounce their name, who they work for and their title within that organization, or how that person is related to you (e.g. spouse, friend, father, daughter, etc.). You can even create your own custom category.
This is just a place you can click to type in any additional general information about the person.
Like Gmail has "Labels", Gmail Contacts has "Groups". Click here for a drop-down menu, and then click to check or uncheck boxes next to the groups that you want your contact to be or not be a part of.
You can click here to instantly start writing an email to the person. This option will only be available if you have entered an email address for the person.
You can click here for a drop-down menu that will let you delete the contact, print out their information, send their information somewhere else, or change how their contact profile looks (if you want it to be more casual or business-like).
When you've entered all of the information that you want to about the person, click Add to My Contacts. If this option is unavailable, it may be because Gmail has already saved your information about this person. In that case, you can just go back to your contacts list by clicking the "Back" button () in the top-left corner.
Say someone you know changes their name, gets a new phone number, or moves to a new house. How do you make sure that their information is up-to-date in Gmail Contacts? Easily, that's how!
When viewing your "Contacts" screen, just click anywhere on the name of a contact (but not in either of the two buttons on the right) to bring up that contact.
Here, you can click on any of the sections where you entered information previously and type in the new information. It's as simple as that!
Don't keep in touch with someone like you used to? Or accidentally have two sets of information about the same person? Clear out the clutter in your list of contacts by deleting entries that you don't use any more.
In your main "Contacts" window, click on the name of the contact that you want to delete (i.e. anywhere except the two buttons at the far left of the contact), as if you were going to edit it.
Once you're viewing that contact's profile, click the More button in the menu across the top, and then click Delete Contact.
You can also delete contacts right from your main "Contacts" screen. Click the check boxes at the left edge (next to the star button) of each contact that you want to delete, in order to select them. Then, click More and select Delete Contacts.
That's a bit about Gmail Contacts, including how to add and delete contact information!
Learn how to use
Was something in this tutorial missing, confusing, or out of date? Or did it give you all the information you needed, and you just want to say "thanks"? We'd love to hear what you thought!