Import or export contacts

FastMail makes importing or exporting contacts simple. You can upload existing address books from vCard, CSV or LDIF files, and download your current address book in any of the same formats.

Note that importing and exporting is a one-time operation. If you're looking to keep your address book constantly up to date, you are probably after synchronising via CardDAV.

Import contacts

To import contacts into your FastMail address book:

  1. Open the Import & Export screen.
  2. Click the green "Upload Address Book File" button.
  3. Navigate to the CSV, LDIF, or vCard file you want to import and click the Select button.

FastMail will import your contacts and add them to your address book. In most cases, we are unable to identify duplicates: we create a new entry for each imported contact to ensure none of your data is lost.

Importing CSV

The first line in a CSV file needs to be a header, so the importer knows what the data in the columns means. The list of standard headers is:

"Title","First Name","Last Name","Nick Name","Company","Department","Job Title","Business Street","Business Street 2","Business City","Business State","Business Postal Code","Business Country","Home Street","Home Street 2","Home City","Home State","Home Postal Code","Home Country","Other Street","Other Street 2","Other City","Other State","Other Postal Code","Other Country","Business Fax","Business Phone","Business Phone 2","Home Phone","Home Phone 2","Mobile Phone","Other Phone","Pager","Birthday","E-mail Address","E-mail 2 Address","E-mail 3 Address","Notes","Web Page"

Download a CSV sample file.

Import limitations

When you import data from an external provider, FastMail may not exactly represent the information in the same way. For instance, we can't import or export information about contact group limitation. There is no way of telling which of several email addresses is the primary address. We do not lose any data given to us: everything is imported, but the export and import formats are imprecise.

Why is this? While the main elements of an address book contact are normalised across platforms (such as name and email address), different contact providers store additional data in ways that are inconsistent with each other. The evolution of standards makes for interesting times.

We can only import files with headers in English at this time.

Export your FastMail address book

To export your FastMail address book:

  1. Open the Import & Export screen.
  2. Select which contact group you'd like to export in the drop-down menu (or leave it set to All Contacts).
  3. Select what type of export file you'd like to create in the format drop-down menu. If you're not sure, we recommend leaving it set to vCard 3.0, as this is the most widely supported standard.
  4. Click the green Download button.

The address book will begin downloading. Depending on your browser settings, you may be prompted for where you wish to save it on your computer, or it may be automatically downloaded to your Downloads folder.