How To Import Your Google Reader Feeds to Outlook

To the disappointment to Google Reader users, the company is killing the RSS service off in July. In Outlook you can import your Google Reader RSS Feeds and use it as your RSS reader instead.

To the disappointment of many users of Google services, the company is discontinuing several services for this year’s so-called “Spring Cleaning”. Arguably one of its more  popular services, Google Reader, is being killed off. According to Google, the company is discontinuing it on July 1st. This leaves us with a few months to come up with an alternative. Here’s a few to consider that are currently available.

Note: Before Google hits the kill switch, make sure to follow Bogdan’s article on how to export and back up your data feeds using Google Takeout. Then save the archive to a convenient location on your system.

Google Takeout

Google gives you a zip file with your archived feeds. The amount of time it takes will vary depending on the amount of feeds you’re subscribed to. After it’s downloaded, extract it to a convenient location.

Extract Archive

In that zip file you’ll find a bunch of .JSON files and one .XML file – and that’s the one you’ll need.


Import Google Reader Feeds to Microsoft Outlook

If you’re a user of Outlook, you might not know that it includes a RSS reader that’s actually pretty decent. Whether by choice or because it’s forced upon you at work, chances are you live in Outlook for several hours during the day.

In Outlook 2013 and 2010, right click on RSS Feeds under your inbox and select Import OPML File.

Import OPML

The Import an OPML file wizard will open. Click the Browse button and navigate to the Subscriptions.XML file you just extracted. If you don’t see it, make sure the dropdown menu is set to OPML Files (*opml,*xml) and click Open.

subscriptions XML

The path to the XML file will be listed in the import field. Click Next.

Import OPML Wizard

In the next screen, all of your sites you’re subscribed to will be listed. Check the ones you want to import and click Next.

Select Feeds

Then you’ll see that the site feeds you selected were added to Outlook. Click Finish.

Import Successful

Next your feeds will be synced in Outlook. Again, your mileage will vary depending on the amount of feeds that are being imported.


When the sync is finished, Click RSS Feeds in Outlook, and you can start going through your feeds. When a new feed comes in, the site title will be bolded and it displays the number of unread stories for each site.

RSS in Outlook

Now you can read all of the feeds you had in Google Reader in Outlook. When you click to read an article, it will open in your default browser, so it’s not quite as a seamless experience as using Chrome for example.

Outlook also gives you the option to keep your RSS Feeds subscriptions synced between Outlook and the Common Feed List (CFL) in Windows.

RSS Feed Advanced Options

You can add new RSS feeds as well. Right click RSS Feeds and select Add a New RSS Feed.

Add a new RSS Feed

Then enter in the site link and click Add.

Enter Feed Address

Next you can use the default settings and click Yes, or click the Advanced button.

verify Adding Advanced

The Advanced screen allows you to change the feed name, change the delivery folder, set automatic download enclosures, download the full HTML attachment, and set and update limit or not.

Feed Advanced Options

If you live in Outlook all day, it’s easy to import your Google Reader feeds and it just might be the alternative solution you need when Google finally kills Reader.

1 Comment

1 Comment

  1. Lisa Smith

    April 15, 2013 at 6:51 am

    It worked..thanks for putting this out there

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