VCF (Virtual Contact File) and CSV (Comma-Separated Values) are both file formats that can be used for storing contact information. CSV is a simpler, more flexible format that can be used for a wide range of data storage purposes beyond just contacts. CSV files can be edited using a basic text editor and can be easier to work with for some types of data manipulation. VCF is generally the more suitable format especially across different mobile devices and apps. If you have saved all your contacts in a CSV file on your computer and like them import them to your mobile phone, you may need to convert it to VCF format first. Fortunately, both Windows and Mac come with the built-in program to help us with the conversion.
Part 1. Convert CSV to VCF via Contacts on Windows computer
Open Windows Explorer, browse to This PC > Windows (C:) > Users > [yourusername] > Contacts, here you can find all your contacts on PC.
There will be a toolbar below the address bar and above the contacts list. Here you can find the Import and Export options.
Step 1. Import Contacts
Click on Import in the toolbar. Choose the source from which you want to import contacts (e.g., vCard file, Windows Address Book, CSV file, etc.). Follow the on-screen instructions to locate and select the contact file you want to import. Configure the import settings as needed. For example, you can import and map the name, company, job title, email, phone, country, address, etc.
Step 2. Export Contacts
In the Windows Contacts window, select the contacts you want to export. You can hold down the Ctrl or Shift key or simply drag and drop to select multiple contacts. Press Ctrl+A to select all contacts. Then click on Export in the toolbar.
Choose a location to save the exported contacts and select the format (CSV or vCard). Here we Select vCard as the output format. Follow the on-screen instructions to complete the export process. Open the output folder, you will find separate vCard files, other than a single file for all contacts, in vcf format. You can then follow instructions below to join multiple VCF, vCard files into one from the Command Prompt on your computer.
Part 2. Merge VCF contacts via Command Prompt on PC
You will need to enter the Command Prompt in Windows to execute a command and combine all VCF files together into one. See details below.
- Step 1. Create a folder on your computer hard drive, then put all VCF files you need to merge into this folder. In this demo, we will create a “contacts” folder on hard drive D and put two vcf files into this folder.
- Step 2. Press the Windows logo key and the R key together so you will open the Run dialogue on Windows PC. Or you can right click on the Start button then select Run if you are on Windows 10.
- Step 3. Type “cmd” in the Run dialogue, click OK button to launch the Command line, Command Prompt or MS-DOS interface.
- Step 4. Change directory in DOS command to navigate to the folder where multiple vCard files or VCF files are store on your computer. In this example, it is “D:\contacts”. You can use the cd “d:\contacts” to change to the VCF files folder in Command Prompt.
- Step 5. Enter command copy /a *.vcf mergedfile.vcf in MS-DOS command and press Enter key to execute. All VCF or vCard files should be merged into a file vCard or VCF file.
Part 3. Convert CSV to VCF on Mac
Unlike Windows, the Contacts app on Mac can convert CSV file to a single VCF file which is easier to save and transfer. The VCF file can be easily imported into various contact management applications and devices, such as your iPhone.
Step 1. Import CSV to Contacts
Launch the Contacts app on your Mac. You can typically find it in the Applications folder or by searching for “Contacts” using Spotlight.
In the Contacts app, click File in the top menu bar. Choose Import from the drop-down menu, and then select CSV. Locate and select the CSV file you want to convert and click Open. You will be prompted to map the CSV fields to the corresponding contact fields in the app.
Step 2. Export to VCF from Contacts
Select the contacts you want to convert in the Contacts app by clicking on them while holding down the Command key to select multiple contacts or press Command+A to select all contacts in the list. Click File in the menu bar, choose Export > Export vCard, then choose a location to save the VCF file and click Save button to export contacts to your Mac computer.
VCF file FAQs
What’s the information included in VCF files?
VCF is the commonly-used filename extension for vCards. vCard is a file format standard for electronic business cards. They can contain name and address information, phone numbers, e-mail addresses, URLs, logos, photographs, etc.
What programs support VCF files?
vCard standard is widely supported by both Internet e-mail (web mail) and e-mail clients. Many web mail service and email clients allow you to export and import your VCF files, such as Gmail, Outlook, Mac Address Book, Windows Address Book and so on.
CSV vs VCF
VCF files are one of the most popular files to store your contacts. There are other similar files too, such as the most notable CSV files. Many address book from webmail providers or email clients should support both VCF and CSV files. But they are used for different purposes and have distinct characteristics. CSV is a generic format for tabular data, and VCF is a specific format for contact information.
Are VCF contacts mobile friendly?
VCF contact files are widely accepted by all kinds of smart phones as well. VCF file is compact and easy to transfer between mobile phones through email or other file sharing services.