Gmail (Desktop) Now Includes the Ability to Restore Contacts List to Previous State


Hallelujah! (No offense meant to anyone.) Google’s added the ability to restore your contacts list to a previous state through the desktop version of Gmail. Much like a system restore on a PC, if something goes wrong you’re able to go back in time and undo any changes. You’ll get presets that go as far back as a week, and you can go even further than that (up to 30 days) if you need to.


I can’t tell you how many times I’ve accidentally screwed up my contacts list in the past due to a syncing error between my phone and Google’s servers. While I’ve never lost a name, email address, or phone number thanks to my natural instinct to back things up, it’s nice knowing Google has my back as well.

“We’ve added a new feature to Google Contacts that allows you to revert your contact list and undo any mistakes made up to 30 days in the past. Let’s say you accidentally deleted a bunch of contacts or wiped the contact data from your Gmail account by mistake while syncing to another device. Visit Gmail’s Contacts section, select “Restore contacts” in the “More actions” menu, and choose the time you would like to revert to.”

[via Google]

Quentyn Kennemer
The "Google Phone" sounded too awesome to pass up, so I bought a G1. The rest is history. And yes, I know my name isn't Wilson.

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  1. and the gmail desktop version is related to android how….????

  2. it syncs with your gmail contact list on android phones that you can use for calling people, so it’s directly related

  3. @d…oh, I don’t know, something about how our phone’s primary use (as a phone) and the primary use of the Google Contacts (as a list of phone numbers FOR OUR PHONE) are utterly and completely tied together in just about every way :)

  4. do’t be hard on d. Maybe he uses the phone contact list that’s not synced with gmail, although I would recommend to anyone using an Android phone to switch to gmail and use the gmail contact list as well as gmail email.

  5. Now if only this worked on the Gmail messages you have already sent out too: “Retract all email messages sent out in the last 10 minutes, hour, 30 days”

  6. HEHE
    just had a dream last night that my friend wiped out all my contacts on my Android phone and I wasn’t fast enough to pull the battery.

  7. I’ll second Alex. Using gmail to back up your contacts is a life, if not just a sanity, saver. I misplaced my phone and realized I might have left it at my friends’ house. No problem, I’ll just call them from my desk phone at work. And there numbers are…. on my phone. Which is hopefully at their house. Fortunately, I back up my contacts to gmail so when I finally realized this and looked… voila! There were their numbers. And also fortunately for me, they had my phone. :) So it is definitely a good thing to do if you’re like me and can’t remember everyone’s numbers.

  8. In the six year I’ve been using GMail, I have never had an instance where this would come in handy and I have been using the contacts feature pretty heavily. Never has an Android sync gone wrong nor have I accidentally merged two names together. Contacts offers pretty good safeties against that sort of thing….I’m not hating on the fact that this was made because yes if any of these things WERE to happen to me I would consider it a life saver…..I just don’t think the excitement over it is that warranted….

  9. hey josh, eat a dick :)

  10. “I can’t tell you how many times I’ve accidentally screwed up my contacts list in the past due to a syncing error between my phone and Google’s servers.”
    Please try. Because in the nine months that I’ve been an Android user, I’ve never experienced a problem like this. So, I’m really interested to hear how often you’ve been affected by syncing problems and if you have any idea what might be causing them?

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