How To Convert VCards

To convert VCards, you begin by determining whether you want to export contacts out of Outlook (to create VCF files) or to import VCF files to create Outlook contacts.

How to export vcards out of Microsoft Outlook®

A vcard is a method of specifying contact details like their name, address, etc – everything you already have in your Outlook contacts file. Once you save a contact in vcard format, it has the file extension vcf. You can open and edit any vcf file by simply renaming it from .vcf to .txt, then open it in Notepad or any text based editor.

If you only have a handful of vcards to export, exporting your vcards from Outlook contacts can be done without any add-ins. To do this, follow these instructions:

How to export contacts out of Outlook using just Outlook:

  1. Go to your Outlook contacts folder
  2. Select several contacts by holding down the ctrl key while you select them with your mouse (or use Ctrl-A to select them all)
  3. Then right click on any one of them
  4. Choose Send Full Contact … In Internet Format (vCard)

An email with all the contacts in vcard format will be displayed. From here, you can either save the contacts to a Windows folder (in vcf format) or you can send the email to a recipient. You can then send the email to your Android phone or other device so that you can import the contacts there. Alternatively if you choose to save the vcf files to a Windows folder, then you must copy them to a USB drive to get them to another device (like an iPad).

If you have say, over 100 contacts or so, a problem you might run into with this method is that Outlook is slow, and it can be unwieldy to have an email with that many attachments. It can also take quite some time if you need to save them each to a Windows folder. For these cases, it is best to use an Outlook add-in like our Vcard Converter add-in tool. This tool provides you with the ability to go into your Outlook contacts and save them all into your Windows folder directly. In addition, it can save all the contacts to a single file (called contacts.vcf) that can contain multiple contacts. This can be a useful format for efficiency. To export your contacts using the add-in, follow these instructions:

How to export all contacts using the Vcard Converter:

  1. In Outlook, click on the Sperry Software button
  2. Click on the Vcard Converter
  3. Choose an Outlook folder where your contacts are held
  4. Next choose a Windows folder where you want the contacts.vcf file to be stored
  5. Click the Export Now button

After it is complete, there will be a new file called contacts.vcf that holds all your contacts in that one file. But, you might be asking, how do I export just a few select contacts with the tool? In that case, follow these instructions:

How to export selected contacts using the Vcard Converter:

  1. In Outlook, go to the contacts folder you’re interested in
  2. Select the ones you’d like to export by holding down the Ctrl key while selecting them with your mouse
  3. Click on the “Export Vcards” toolbar button
  4. Choose the folder where the individual vcf files will be stored

After it is complete, each vcf file will have the name of the contact as the filename.

How to import vcards into Microsoft Outlook

Importing contacts into Outlook from vcards can be straightforward and simple if each of your vcf files represents just one Outlook contact. It is not always easy to tell if this is the case though, because if you double click on a vcf file, an Outlook contact will be shown that represents the first entry in the vcf file. However, if the vcf file holds more than one contact, Outlook is unable to parse this data out and makes it look like there’s only one contact in that file, when in actuality there could be many. The only way to know for sure is to look at the body of the contact…if there is text in there and it pertains to other people or you see the vcard keyword “BEGIN:VCARD”, then you know that the vcf file has many contacts held within it. Another (better) way is to rename the file from a vcf to a txt file extension then double click it. You can also right click the vcf file, then choose Open With, then choose Notepad. Again if you see multiple vcard keywords like “BEGIN:VCARD”, then you know that there are lots of contacts in that file.

Without a tool like the Vcard Converter add-on, the only way to import this file is to break up the individual contacts vcard section into its own section in its own file. This can be time consuming.

With a tool like our Vcard Converter, you don’t have to worry about how many contacts are in a single vcf file. That’s because the add-in simply reads them in parsing them along the way. Here are the instructions on how to import:

How to import contacts using the VCard Converter add-in:

  1. In Outlook, click on the Sperry Software button
  2. Click on the Vcard Converter
  3. In the Import section, choose an Outlook folder where your contacts will be held
  4. Click the Import Now button
  5. Navigate to where the vcf file is located when prompted
  6. Click Import Now

After it is complete, all your contacts in that vcf file will now be in Outlook.

If however, you have just one contact per vcf file, you can follow these instructions to import them into Outlook:

How to import contacts using the VCard Converter add-in:

  1. In Outlook, click on the Sperry Software button
  2. Click on the Vcard Converter
  3. In the Import section, choose an Outlook folder where your contacts will be held
  4. Click the Import Now button
  5. Navigate to where the vcf file is located when prompted
  6. Click Import Now

Need more information?

See Import vCards in Bulk in Microsoft Outlook.

Download a free trial version of the VCard Converter add-in.

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