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How to find your contacts in Gmail


Google’s Gmail is one of the most popular email clients. If you have a Gmail account, the same username/password combination can log you into the various Google apps you might use under your Google Account. You can find and manage your contacts from Gmail through Google’s separate Contacts app, but you can also do it inside Gmail.

Because email is an unavoidable chore, Gmail is a good place to manage your contacts. And since you may be using Gmail on iPhone and Android, it makes sense to save your contacts to your main Google account. So, Gmail might be the best place to find contact information for people in your life.

As I explained recently, it is very easy to chat with your contacts in Gmail through Google Chat. And Google recently added a feature to Gmail that lets you manage your Contacts right from the app.

On the contrary, that’s the first method you should use to find a contact in Gmail.

On a Mac or Windows computer, check the travel side of your Gmail desktop page and make sure the right panel is enabled. It doesn’t matter whether it’s a desktop or laptop operating system, because you’re loading Gmail in a web browser. If you can’t find the panel, you’ll see an arrow pointing left at the bottom right of the page. Tap it so that the panel shows side up.

Once that is done, click on the Contacts app on the right, which has a little blue person icon. The Contacts panel will expand, taking up more space. Tap on the search icon to find contact. That’s how easy it is to find a Gmail contact.

The Contacts app in the Gmail side panel on the desktop. Image source: Chris Smith, BGR

Remember your Google account

If, for some reason, you cannot enable the side panel, you should always remember that your Gmail login is actually your Google account login. And your Google apps are just a tap away from within Gmail.

See that nine dot icon at the top right of the screen? Click on it, and you will get a new panel on top of Gmail, listing various Google apps. Among them is the Contacts app you need.

Click on the app, and another page will open, loading the separate Contacts app. Look for the search bar at the top, and start typing the name of the person whose email and/or phone number you’re looking for. You can also scroll through the visible contacts instead of searching.

Technically, we are no longer in Gmail at this point. But Gmail is still open in the tab you just left.

The Contacts app in the list of Google apps available in your Google Account.
The Contacts app in the list of Google apps available in your Google Account. Image source: Chris Smith, BGR

Finally, you will get the same result if you load Google Contacts app directly in a browser. Just kind of in the browser to go there. It will show you all your Gmail contacts, and you’ll be able to find the person or people you’ve been looking for. However, you are no longer in Gmail.

For some tasks, the web browser on a computer may be the easiest way to manage your Gmail/Google account. But you can get Gmail contacts on iPhone and Android just as easily.

One method involves logging into Gmail inside a web browser and choose one of the methods above.

The other is to download the Gmail app for iPhone or Android. In the app, tap your profile name and look for option to manage your Google account. Another page will load, giving you access to various menus, including a People & some article That’s how you get to your contact page, which basically loads inside a web browser running in your Gmail app.

Search for a contact via the Contacts tab in Gmail on the desktop.
Search for a contact via the Contacts tab in Gmail on the desktop. Image source: Chris Smith, BGR

If you are familiar with Gmail for iPhone and Android, you should have no problem finding your contacts this way. Otherwise, you might stick with the computer method I described before, as a larger display might be handy.

Oh, and if you want to use desktop mode on an iPad or Android tablet, that works too. The same desktop steps would apply, as if you were loading Gmail in a browser.

Knowing the powers of your Google Account, you may want to secure your Gmail/Google account and ensure that your privacy needs are respected.

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