Defeat the ‘Oops. An unknown error occurred’ Message When Importing Contacts to Gmail

Lately I’ve been working on consolidating all my Contacts into Gmail. During this process I ran into this maddening error message:

Oops. An unknown error occurred while importing your contacts.

Grrr! It’s enough to make a pacifist like myself want to pummel baby penguins! Just kidding, PETA.

All I want to do is import a CSV full of contact information, and that error message drove me crazy until I figured out a workaround. Here are two possible ways that I’ve found to work around this problem:

1. Try Google Chrome

After my first dozen, error-prone attempts to import the CSV from Firefox, I decided to simply try another browser. What better browser to communicate with Gmail than Google’s own browser – Chrome!

I have no conclusive evidence to prove that this method works, other than it worked for me. Simply switching from Firefox to Chrome to import the CSV into Gmail worked the first time. It may be a bug with Gmail (or Firefox), or it may be the alignment of the stars in the heavens, but it worked for me.

If it works for anyone else, let me know in the comments.

2. Switch to the Older Gmail

If method one does not work, try this: click the Older version link at the top of your Gmail window.

Now go back to Contacts and try to import your CSV file again.

The older version of the importer worked for me without that @*%^ error message. Hopefully it will work for you, too!

3 thoughts on “Defeat the ‘Oops. An unknown error occurred’ Message When Importing Contacts to Gmail

  1. After struggling for a month on and off, I found on some website that Window users can export from Outlook a CSV _DOS_ file, and this resolves all import problems.

    Even though I don’t use Outlook, I imported all of me contacts into Outlook, and then exported the csv_DOS file, and it worked!

    …Except… I still had some problems. I think it was because, I had too many contacts (2,000). So I divided it up into two files and it worked fine. I divided up the Outlook CSV-DOS file into two by 1) deleting half my contacts in outlook, exporting the csv-DOS file, 2) going back to Outlook, hitting Ctrl-Z to undo the deletion, erasing the other half of my contacts (those that where already exported),and then exporting again…

    Sounds like changing browsers is simpler! but I just wanted to give people an alternative.

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