Our current email address contact list is over 200 names and is on Juno on
the hard drive. We want to change to another ISP. Is there any easy way to
transfer the contact list from one ISP email account to another? We will be
using the same computer. The new ISP will either be Click or Comcast.
In this excerpt from
Answercast #63, I look at the difficulties in moving from an email service
that does not provide a method for exporting your contact list.
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Transferring email contact lists
Well, to answer that question specifically, “Is there any easy way to
transfer the contact list from one email address to another?” The unfortunate
answer is typically no. A contact list, in my opinion, is one of the weakest
points in the entire communications infrastructure.
If you’ve got it on one service, it’s great and it often interacts really
well with all the other offerings from that service.
Google is a great example. You have your contact list with Google, then you
can have it on your Android phone; it’s there in your email; it’s in your
Google Plus account; it’s in all sorts of different places. And if you make a
change in one it, updates them for all. But, if you want to move to a completely
different service, things get tricky.
Unfortunately, my assistant did a little bit of research into Juno and it
appears that they don’t support exporting the contacts, which I find very
frustrating. Many services do that I guess to try and lock you into their
service (to make leaving them painful), but what it really does is makes leaving
them very frustrating.
Email service contact lists
So, what would you do in a case like this? Well, for one thing, whatever
service you move to, consider using an email program like Thunderbird or
Outlook or any of a number of others that runs on your PC that is
independent of the email service that you’re using.
So for example, if you are able to connect to your next email account using
Microsoft Outlook, then you could later configure Microsoft Outlook to use a
different service and all of your contacts stored within Outlook would travel
with you. They would still be in Outlook.
If you’re using online services (web mail from services like Gmail or
Hotmail or Comcast or whatever), typically they have a way to export the
contact list, usually as a CSV or comma separated values file.
Contact list databases
Now, it would seem that that would be a wonderful solution across the
Unfortunately, there’s no real standard for what belongs in those files,
particularly if you’ve annotated your contacts with any of your own notes or
comments. That kind of information is very easily (and in fact, routinely) lost
when exporting contact information from one service and importing it into
What we were hoping for was that Juno would have some kind of an “export”
capability so that you could create this CSV file, and then use that to at
least begin to populate a better contact manager – either with a different
service or with an email program stored on your own machine.
Like I said, looks like that’s not gonna happen.
The only real solution that I can think of in a case like this is before
you leave your current ISP (if you have the opportunity), figure out and see if
there’s a way to print your contact list; print all of the information
in your contact list.
You can print it to paper or print it to PDF; it doesn’t really matter, but
what we’re looking for here is a standard way to be able to later read that
contact list without requiring that the Juno software (or Juno itself) be
around at all.
PDF would be great if you don’t want to bring the paper. Then as you need
contacts (in your new service using your new email program or your new online
service), simply refer to your previous list and type them in again from scratch
Unfortunately, that’s about the only solution I can come up with in a
situation like this. Like I said, contact management is still the big bug-a-boo
for a lot of what we would consider to be “normal” communication means on the
internet, on our PCs, and on our phones. And unfortunately, it sounds like
you’ve reached what is potentially the worst-case scenario. You can get in, but
you can’t get out.
Next from Answercast #63 – How do I get rid of Download Accelerator remnants that are preventing me from downloading files?