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.”
Why use Gmail 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.
How to Add a Contact in Gmail
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. Start by clicking the box labeled “Add Name” and type in the person’s name. You can also click the “…” next to their name to bring up a window for adding more details to their name. These include prefixes (Mister, Miss, Sir, Madam, etc.), suffixes (Jr., Sr., M.D., B.A., Esq., etc.), or middle name(s).
Next, click “Add a Picture” and look through your computer files – or the files on your Google account – and select a picture to represent them. You can also click the star icon next to their picture to mark this contact as a favorite, which will allow you to find them more easily.
Click in the boxes below that and type in other kinds of information that you know about them. You can also click Add to add more categories of information. These can include name pronunciation, employer and title within the company, relation to you, or even your own custom category. Then click in the box marked “Note” and type in any additional details about the person that you may find useful to remember.
There are a few other functions that we’ve highlighted at the top of the screenshot. Clicking the Groups button
lets you add or remove the contact from Contact Groups, similar to Gmail’s Labels. Or, click the envelope icon to immediately begin writing an email to this contact (assuming, of course, you’ve filled in their email address).
Finally, you can click the More button for additional options. You can delete the contact, print out their information, transfer their information somewhere else, or change how their profile looks to you.
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.
How to Edit your Gmail Contacts
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!
How to Delete a Contact in Gmail
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!