Import vCard to iCloud

Do you want to upload contacts from local computer, either a PC or Mac, to iCloud account? If your contact files are saved as VCF or vCard files on computer, you can achieve in just a few steps. Basically you have two different ways to do that. You can access iCloud account from a web browser, like Safari, Firefox, IE, Edge, Opera, then drag a vCard to import to iCloud, or click the Import vCard button to browse to vcard, VCF files and upload them to iCloud. Another way is to transfer VCF or vCard files to iPhone, import them to Contacts on iPhone, then enable contacts backup to iCloud from iPhone settings. Check out details below.

Import vCard to iCloud from web

Visit www.icloud.com website from your web browser. You will be prompted to sign in iCloud account using your Apple ID and its password.
sign in to icloud from web browser

Once you are logged in to your iCloud account from the web, you will find various data types you can back up from iPhone to iCloud.

access contacts backup in iCloud account from web

You will find Mail, Contacts, Calendar, Photos, iCloud Drive, Notes, Reminders, Pages, Numbers, Keynote, Find Friends, Find iPhone in your iCloud account from the web. To import an electronic business card to iCloud, click on the Contacts icon to access contacts backup in iCloud. After that you will be able to view, edit, add, or delete contacts in your iCloud account. You can see three columns in your iCloud account. Your contacts groups are displayed on the left, contacts in the selected group are listed in the middle, the highlighted contact details will be displayed on the right. At the bottom left corner of your browser screen, there will be a gear Settings icon and a + icon. Click on Settings to expand the pop-up menu, choose Import vCard …. item from this menu, you will then get a dialogue where you can browse to your folder and vCard files or VCF files on your local PC or Mac. Select any vCard files or VCF files and then upload or import the contacts to iCloud account.

import vcard to icloud web

Import vCard to iCloud from web – the easier way

Except the above method to upload contact files from computer to iCloud account through a web browser, you have actually an easier method to import VCF vCard to iCloud account from the web. Browse to the folder where your contacts files are saved in Windows Explorer or Finder on Mac, then drag any vCard and/or VCF file from PC or Mac to the contacts list column in the middle, this will help you quickly import contacts from VCF, vCard to iCloud. See below screenshot.

drag vcard to import to icloud from web

If the vCard contains contact information for more than one person, each contact becomes a separate entry in iCloud Contacts.

Import vCard to iCloud from iPhone/iPad

A workaround to add vCard contacts to iCloud account is to transfer VCF or vCard files from PC or Mac to iPhone first, import contacts from vCard, VCF to iPhone,  then enable contacts backup to iCloud from iPhone Settings.

backup iphone contacts to icloud

Open Settings on iPhone and tap on iCloud, sign in your iCloud account with your Apple ID and its password to enable iCloud backup on iPhone and make sure to slide on to enable Contacts backup to iCloud. When your iPhone is connected to Wi-Fi, it will periodically backup through iCloud, or you can do so by connecting your iPhone to a power source. You can also manually do the backup immediately from Settings >> iCloud >>Storage & Backup >> Back Up Now.

Import vCard to iCloud FAQ & Troubleshooting

Still have trouble adding VCF to iCloud or importing vCard to iCloud? Here we put together some of the most frequently asked questions and troubleshooting tips for your reference.

Import Outlook Contacts to iCloud, Import Windows Live Mail Contacts to iCloud

If you are using an email client on Windows PC, such as Outlook, Windows Live Mail, you can export contacts as VCF files on PC, then follow above methods to import vCard, VCF to iCloud. A common issue is the “Unable to import vCard” or “Could Not Import Some Contacts” error as shown below.

could not import vcard to icloud contacts error

1 contact could not be imported because there was a problem reading the vCard.

If you click the Learn More link, you will open this page. They are however unhelpful error messages and insufficient support from the above link. Based on my experience importing VCF contact files to iCloud which were exported from Windows Live Mail 2012 on Windows 10, the real error was caused due to the vCard version as you can import vCard format version 3.0 and later into iCloud Contacts. See this link for the details. Many email clients on Windows PC however support only vCard 2.1 so far. So how can we import contacts from vCard version 2.1 or other versions prior to 3.0 into iCloud? How can we convert vCard 2.1 to 3.0 if you need to import vCard contacts to iCloud?

The workaround is extremely easy. You can import the vCard or VCF to an online email service, such as Gmail, then output them as vCard or VCF formats again. Although the file format will not be changed, the vCard version should be updated to a more recent version along with other fields and parameters. See this tutorial to export and transfer Gmail contacts as VCF file. The easiest way however would be simply change vCard version from 2.1 or other earlier versions to vCard version 3.0. You can use a text editor to  open and edit the vCard or VCF file. Find the Version and replace version 2.1 with version 3.0. If you have multiple contacts saved in one vCard or VCF file, then you should replace all of the version fields to version 3.0. On Windows PC, you can use a text editor, such Notepad to edit vCard file. Use its ‘find and replace in files’ feature in the text editor to replace VERSION:2.1 with VERSION:3.0 in all your files.

Merge vCard VCF contact files

Windows users may also encounter another problem. You will find there is no way to export all selected contacts as a single VCF file from Outlook or Windows Live Mail at present. Microsoft seems to miss this feature for long time. We hope this feature to be added to MS Outlook or other MS email programs in the future upgrade. For now, you can refer to this guide to merge VCF contacts files on PC. This method can help you combine multiple VCF contact files into one file without installing any third party software or VCF editors.