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Old 12 Jun 2020, 04:37 AM   #1
cb500
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address book export question

Greetings. I use both Fastmail (primarily) and Gmail. Periodically, I export the Fastmail contacts as an Outlook CSV file, delete contacts in Gmail, and then import the CSV file into Gmail. This system worked fine til recently. Normally, in Gmail's compose screen, as soon as you start typing a person's name in the "To:" line a pulldown menu of all possible email addresses appears. Now, only a few of the possible email addresses show up in Gmail's pull down window when a name is typed in the compose screen. This might be a problem in Gmail, but it occurred to me perhaps the Outlook CSV file that Fastmail "exports" might have a problem? I have tried multiple times, using Outlook, Outlook Express, and even VCF card format. Same result in Gmail. The pull down address list is incomplete within Gmail's compose screen. I thought I'd ask if anyone else has noticed anything like this. Thanks.
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Old 12 Jun 2020, 05:13 AM   #2
xyzzy
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Take a look at the .csv file in a text editor (or Excel) to see if all the information is in that file and in the order gmail requires.
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Old 13 Jun 2020, 04:52 AM   #3
cb500
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The CSV file looks ok in a spreadsheet. I exported the Gmail contacts (that I had just imported from Fastmail) back into another Outlook CSV file. I then imported that file back into Fastmail and the contacts list works fine in Fastmail. So I have no idea what changed, but I cannot get the pull down list of addresses in the Gmail compose screen to offer all the options it should - it's only a partial list. For example, I have a contact named Carol. If I type "C" into the To line in the Gmail compose screen, Carol is not one of the addresses listed in the pull-down menu. I manually deleted her entry from the Gmail address book and re-entered it manually. Her name still is not offered in the pull down list. This is the case for many other addresses. Seems random to me. So I deleted the entire Gmail contacts list, then added Carol manually, such that she was the only entry in the Gmail contact list. I went to the compose screen, started typing her name, and the contact did not appear in a pull down option. Just an unusual issue I've never before seen or heard of.
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Old 13 Jun 2020, 05:09 AM   #4
xyzzy
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Does this happen with other browsers or even after relaunching your preferred browser?
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Old 13 Jun 2020, 05:38 AM   #5
cb500
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I just tried it in another email provider's web interface. Set up a trial account. Imported the Fastmail CSV file. Their pulldown menus worked fine when starting to type an address. Within Gmail I experience the same issue in both Chrome and Firefox (latest 64-bit version of each browser running in Windows-10 on a desktop). It seems to narrow down to an issue only in Gmail. If this was a general issue with Gmail I'd think a web search would turn something up. So it must be something I have done, or am doing. I just tried a Chrome Incognito window and the problem is still there. Firefox I have default to Private Browsing, so the cache, cookies, and other files are not saved.

One other interesting aspect. When I delete all Google contacts and re-import the same CSV file, the results are different. A different set of incomplete addresses shows up in the pull down menu when I start to type an address. I just received four (4) addresses in the pull-down list upon typing "C" in the To line of the compose screen. I got rid of the draft, deleted the entire contacts, re-imported the CSV file, went to a compose screen and typed "C" in the To line, and this time got six (6) addresses, some different than the last time.

I use the Auto bcc extension for Chrome, so as to not have to manually enter a bcc. However, I've been using that for over a year. And, in Firefox such a browser extension is not running yet the same behavior happens in the Gmail compose screen. One feature I like about Fastmail is Auto bcc.

Last edited by cb500 : 13 Jun 2020 at 05:54 AM.
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Old 13 Jun 2020, 08:30 AM   #6
xyzzy
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I don't know if this is significant or not but I looked at the gmail Create contacts for auto-complete settings. The first radio button choice is worded "When I send a message to a new person, add them to Other Contacts so that I can auto-complete to them next time".

When you import the csv where does it import to? Is it into "Contacts" or "Other Contacts"? If it's "Contacts" one interpretation of that auto-complete setting might be it only looks at the "Other Contacts" list to auto-complete. So if your contacts imported into "Contacts" try moving them to "Other Cantacts" to see what happens (if that's even possible - I don't use gmail that much except for anonymous email and that was before I started using FM and its aliases - these days gmail is just one of my FM mail fetch identities)?
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Old 16 Jun 2020, 05:07 AM   #7
cb500
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Thanks for that suggestion. I'll look into it. I won't post anymore on here about this issue since it obviously is not a Fastmail contacts export problem.
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