We’ve shown you how to export a contact to and import a contact from a vCard (.vcf) file. However, what if you want to export multiple contacts at the same time to multiple vCard files or even a single vCard file?
Outlook doesn’t allow you to directly export all your contacts as vCard files or as a single vCard file, but there is a way to accomplish both tasks.
Export Multiple Contacts to Multiple vCard Files
Outlook allows you to forward contact information as a vCard. You can also select multiple contacts and forward them all at once. This feature allows you to indirectly export multiple contacts at once to multiple vCard files.
Click the People tab to access your contacts.
Select all the contacts you want to export using the Shift and Ctrl keys as needed. Select Contacts the same way you would select files in Windows Explorer.
Click Forward Contact in the Share section on the Home tab and select As a Business Card from the drop-down menu.
The selected contacts attached to a new email message as .vcf files. To select all the attached .vcf files, right-click in the Attached box and select Select All from the popup menu.
Make sure the folder to which you want to export the contacts is open in Windows Explorer. Drag the selected attached .vcf files from the new email message to the open folder in Windows Explorer.
A .vcf file is created for each contact you selected and dragged to the folder.
You can close the Message window by clicking on the X in the upper, right corner of the window.
NOTE: You can also close the Message window by clicking the File tab.
Then, click the Close option on the left.
Because you already have your .vcf files, you don’t need to save or send the message, so click No when asked if you want to save your changes.
If it turns out that a draft of your message was saved, the following message displays. Click No to delete the draft.
Export Multiple Contacts to a Single vCard (.vcf) File
If you would rather export your contacts to a single vCard (.vcf) File, there is a way to do this using Gmail. We’ll export the contacts from Outlook as a .csv file and then use Gmail to convert the .csv file to a .vcf file.
Select the contacts you want to export on the People page and click the File tab.
On the Account Information screen, click Open & Export in the list on the left.
On the Open screen, click Import/Export.
The Import and Export Wizard displays. Select Export to a file from the Choose an action to perform list and click Next.
In the Create a file of type box, select Comma Separated Values. Click Next.
Contacts should be already selected in the Select folder to export from box. If not, select it. Click Next.
Click Browse to the right of the Save exported file as box.
Navigate to the folder to which you want to export the .csv file. Enter a name for the file in the File name edit box, keeping the .csv extension.
The path you selected is entered into the Save exported file as edit box. Click Next.
The final screen of the Export to a File dialog box displays listing the action to be performed. Click Finish to begin the export process.
Once the export process is finished, you will see the .csv file in the folder in Windows Explorer.
Now, we will import the .csv file into Gmail. Go to Gmail and sign in to your account.
Click Gmal in the upper, left corner of the main page and select Contacts from the drop-down menu.
On the Contacts page, click More above your list of contacts and select Import from the drop-down menu.
Click Browse on the Import contacts dialog box that displays.
Navigate to the folder in which you saved the .csv file and select the file. Click Open.
Click Import on the Import contacts dialog box.
A screen displays listing the contacts you imported, but not yet merged into your main Gmail contacts list. Select the contacts you imported.
NOTE: The contacts you imported may be the only contacts in this list. If that’s the case, they all should be automatically selected.
Click More and select Export from the drop-down menu.
On the Export contacts dialog box, select Selected contacts to indicate which contacts you want to export.
NOTE: We could have selected The group Imported 10/10/13 because that contains the same two contacts as the Selected contacts.
Select vCard format for the export format. Click Export.
Gmail creates a contacts.vcf file containing the selected contacts and asks you whether you want to open the file with Outlook or save the file. To save the file, select the Save File option and click OK.
Navigate to the folder in which you want to save the contacts.vcf file, change the name of the file in the File name edit box, if desired, and click Save.
The .vcf file is saved to the selected directory and contains all the contacts you exported from Outlook.
This could be used as a way to backup your contacts in one file. You could also backup the .csv file. However, if you have a lot of contacts you will probably find that the .vcf file is smaller. We only exported two contacts, and our .csv file was 2 KB, while the .vcf file was 1 KB.
We will be showing you how to import multiple contacts from a single .vcf file into Outlook soon.
- Published 10/28/13