Video: Import and export vCards to Outlook contacts

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When someone sends you vCard contacts (virtual business cards that most email programs recognize), here’s how to save them to your Outlook contacts list.

Import a vCard from an Outlook email message

To save vCards you receive as attachments as new contacts, add each vCard one-by-one to the list of Outlook contacts.

  1. In the body of the email message, click a vCard, right-click it, and then click Add to Outlook Contacts. A new window appears, displaying the contact information.

  2. In the contact window, click Save & Close.

  3. Repeat steps 1 and 2 for each vCard in the message.

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Import vCards to Outlook contacts

Share contacts as vCards

Attach a vCard to an email message

vCards are Virtual Business Cards that you can share with others by importing or exporting them in Outlook.

And the most common way to do that is in email. Here is what they look like.

The vCard itself is a file with a VCF extension that is attached to the message.

When you send a vCard in Outlook, you can also include a picture of it.

What do you do with a vCard?

Well, if you want to keep the contact information, the easiest thing to do is to add it to your Outlook contacts.

Double-click the vCard file and Outlook displays a warning. You should open attachments only from trustworthy sources.

Once you get the message, you can uncheck this line to bypass the warning next time you open an attachment.

But we’ll keep it checked. Click Open and Outlook converts the vCard to an Outlook Contact.

Click Save & Close and it is added to your contacts.

Now, where does Outlook put the contacts you import?

Click People, and in the folder list, click your main Contacts folder. And there is the contact we added.

If you don’t know how to find your main contact folder, see the Course Summary.

After you import a contact to your list, you can work with it just like any other contact.

Open it, add or change information, save the changes and close the contact, and move it to another folder by clicking and dragging it.

You may also get a vCard that looks like this. It has the same contact icon, but no VCF extension.

This isn’t actually a vCard. It is an Outlook contact and you add it to your contacts the same way.

Double-click the contact and it opens. Notice that we don’t get an attachment warning this time.

That’s because Outlook contacts don’t have safety issues like vCards because they can only be saved or opened in Outlook.

Click Save & Close.

Since vCards are files, you may also receive them in some other way.

For example, you could copy them from a thumb drive, or download them from a website.

You add them to your contacts the same way.

Double-click the VCF file and it is converted to a contact. Then, click Save & Close.

Outlook contacts are saved as message files with MSG extension. Double-click the file and click Save & Close.

Here’s something you may come across when you are adding a contact.

After you click Save & Close, Outlook detects a duplicate contact – meaning Outlook has found a contact in your list with the same name or email address.

You can do one of three things. First, select the Update option, if you want to update your existing contact with the information in the new contact file.

This panel shows what will change.

Click Add new contact, if you want to keep the old information, but add the new contact anyway. In other words, have duplicate contacts.

You can use this option, if you want to update the contact information manually.

After you do that, you can Delete one of the duplicates.

If neither of these sounds appealing, click Cancel.

Up next, we’ll turn it around and export contacts as vCards and Outlook contacts.

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