I found how I can save a single contact as a vCard, but is it also possible to export my entire Contacts folder in the vCard format rather than msg-files, txt-files or csv-files?
Can I also save them all within a single multi-contact vCard file which I can for instance import on my iPad?
Outlook doesn't have an export option to directly export all your contacts as vCard files or a single multi-contact vCard file, but with a little bit of extra effort you still can achieve this without any 3rd party tools.
Multiple vcf-files: Forwards as vCard
Outlook has the option to forward contact information as a vCard. This options still works when you select multiple Contacts.
- Select your Contacts folder.
- Select the contacts which you want to export as vCards.
- Forward the items:
- tab Home-> Forward Contact-> As a Business Card
- A new message will pop-up with all your selected contacts added as vCard attachments. Depending on how many contacts you selected, this process could take a while.
- Right click in the Attached area and choose: Select All
- Drag & drop the selected items out of Outlook and into an Explorer folder.
As an alternative, you could also use CTRL+C in Outlook and CTRL+V in Explorer or use the right click menu to choose the Copy and Paste commands.
Single multi-contact vcf-file: Gmail Contacts detour
If you only need to convert your contact once into a multi-contact vcf-file, you can also take a little detour via Gmail.
- In Outlook, export your contacts to a csv-file.
- File-> Open & Export-> Import/Export-> Export to a file-> Comma Separated Values
- In Gmail select the Contacts section by clicking on the Contacts module in the vertical menu on the right or by clicking this link.
- Import the csv-file via the Import command in the left menu.
- After importing, use the Export command in the left menu.
- Select: vCard format (for importing iOS Contacts)
Gmail Contacts lets you export multiple contacts into a single vCard file.
Repetitive use and convert more properties: Use a 3rd party add-in
As you’ve noticed, Outlook’s export functionality regarding vCards is quite limited and dated.
In fact, Outlook doesn’t even fully support the 2.1 vCard specification where most other applications use the 3.0 standard and starting to adopt the 4.0 standard. This is why we used Gmail’s export options instead as it uses the 3.0 standard.
The 3.0 standard for instance allows for storing multiple contacts within a single vcf-file and also supports more contact properties so you can transfer more complete contact details within vCards.
By using a vCard add-in, you can add support for the 3.0 specification to Outlook.
The VCard Converter Add-In from Sperry Software (discount code: BH93RF24) is such an add-in which also allows you to export your contacts to the 3.0 vCard specification or create multi-contact vcf-files.
This will allow you to import your contacts to other clients such as Lotus Notes or your iPhone/iPad via a single file while maintaining as many contact properties as possible.
For more vCard converters and Contact add-ins see the Add-ins section on HowTo-Outlook.