How to Export Email Addresses from Your Email Program on a Mac

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There are any number of reasons that you may want to know how to export email addresses from your email program on your Mac. Whether using Apple mail, Gmail, Yahoo, Outlook or some other program, here is how to extract the email addresses of your contacts and correspondents from your mailing program on your Mac – just make sure that you are doing it for the right reasons.

The reason that we say to just make sure that you are doing it for the right reasons is because many online companies – and especially those that rely on social networking – will entice you to let them scrape your address book, and then they spam all of your contacts. To be clear, this is a bad thing.

But you may have other reasons for wanting to export all of the email address to which you have written, for from which you have received email, such as adding them to your contacts application, or searching through them for a particular email address, especially as the most recent iterations of Mail seem to have a glitchy search function.

(For ways to boost your search in Mac mail, see our tutorial on great tips for searching in Mac mail.)

Now, unfortunately there is no easy native way to export the email addresses from your Mac email program without going under the hood and executing power-user level commands. But there is an easy way to do it with a simple, and very easy to use app.

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The app is called Email Contacts Extractor (see link below), and here is how it works:

When you first open Email Contacts Extractor, you are presented with this simple window:

extract email contacts 1

Don’t worry about where your email directory is, because when you click “Choose”, it will automatically find your upper-most level email directory:

email mail library


Plus, the program gives you this handy tip:

where is my email directory

Then, you can choose email contacts only associated with one (or more) of your sending email addresses:

extract export email addresses

Click on ‘Extract’ and let the app do its magic.

email contacts extractor extract

saved contacts export email


Now, what if you, like some of us, end up having waaaaay too many contacts in your email program?

too many contacts

If this is the case, there is a very good chance that you have several different email account folders under your /Mail system folder, some that may even be so old that you aren’t even using them any more, or that are duplicates, etc..

In this case, drill down a bit when choosing your email directory. For example, in our Mail directory, we have these subfolders:

mail email directory

And all we really care about is the one labeled “V2”. But even there, we have no fewer than 12 subfolders. The one we really care about here is “Mailboxes”.

lots of mailboxes folders mac

And to drill down even further, we decided we wanted only the email addresses in the Sent Messages mailbox.

sent messages mailbox

Aaah, that’s better!

saved contacts

The program has a couple of simple preference settings that will also really aid you in getting at exactly what you want.

Which Email You Want Scanned, and Which Fields
email address extractor preferences-1

Which Email Addresses to Ignore (This is called “Blacklist” for some reason.)
email contact extractor blacklist ignore

Which Fields You Want Included in the Output
email address extractor export output


Once your email addresses have been found, just hit ‘Save’.

save contacts extracted exported from email

Note that the output is always in .csv format.

save contacts csv

And that’s all there is to it!

As the author of Email Contacts Extractor, Hermes Pique, explains, the app will “Extract all the email addresses from your messages in Mail or Outlook for Mac. Works with Gmail, Yahoo, Outlook and any other service that can be added to your email client via POP or IMAP. Email Contacts Extractor scans all your email messages and extracts both email address and name of your contacts from the From, To, Bcc, Cc and Reply-To header fields. Without duplicates and by ignoring the most common robot accounts.”

And, while the full app does cost $19.99, there is a [Page no longer available – we have linked to the version instead] so that you can make sure that it will work for you. The full version of [Page no longer available – we have linked to the version instead].

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One thought on “How to Export Email Addresses from Your Email Program on a Mac

  1. I bought this program but its only finding 2 email addresses. Not sure what to do

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