In this article we will look at how to go about importing multiple vCards, also known as .vcf files, or other contacts into either your Gmail account or Outlook account in one go. Note that I will be using Gmail’s Export tool to create the required csv file that will then be able to import into Outlook. The whole process shouldn’t take that long and is fairly simple to complete, so don’t be put off by the wall of text below.
You decide to export all of your contacts from your old email account, (in my case it was Yahoo! email) and wish to import them to a new email account, such as Gmail or Outlook. The contacts though are vCards, and a lot of them. Then you run into the issue of not being able to import multiple vCard’s at once to either Gmail or Outlook. Instead, you have to import them one-by-one as Gmail and Outlook don’t allow you to batch import multiple .vcf files. This can be pretty infuriating as vCards can contain a ton of useful information for your contacts such as the name and address information, phone numbers, e-mail addresses, URLs, logos, photographs, and audio clips. Now what if you want to import all of your contacts (that are all in .vcf format) to Gmail or Outlook at once without resorting to paid software?
Merge all of your vCards into one .vcf file via the command prompt in Windows and then just import that file to Gmail. For Outlook we will export a CSV friendly file from Gmail. To do this, you will first need to place all the .vcf files into a folder to the root of your C:\ Drive. Where you actually save it isn’t that important, but the command lines that I will be using will assume that the file resides in C:\ so you may need to adapt your commands if you choose to store it somewhere else. In my example I have named the file MyContacts. Note this is a step-by-step tutorial so if you know your way around the command line you can skip some of this.
Now open up a command prompt by hitting the Windows Key+R
Now type cmd and hit OK
Now type cd C:\MyContacts and hit Enter. This will make sure the directory is pointing to the root of the C :\Drive
Now type copy /B *.vcf all_in_one.vcf and hit Enter.
This will immediately start to merge the multiple .vcf files into one file called all_in_one.vcf containing all of the information. Once it has finished (a few seconds) you should see 1 file(s) copied.
Close the command prompt by either typing exit and hitting Enter or just hit the Red X at the top
Now open up the MyContacts file in C:\ and check that it has created your file. It will be the largest file there.
Now lets import your contacts into Gmail. Open your Gmail account and click on the drop-down arrow on the word Gmail and select Contacts
When in the Contacts window select the drop-down box on the More tab and choose Import
This will open the Import Wizard. Hit Choose File and navigate to your C:\ drive to where your MyContacts folder is and select the all_in_one.vcf file.
Your contacts will now be imported to your Gmail account.
That’s it for importing into Gmail. Now what about Outlook? Well, to get around this, I then exported my contacts from my Gmail to a .csv file that Outlook would accept. This is made very simple using Gmail
Click on the drop-down box on the word Gmail and select Contacts
Now you are back in familiar territory. However this time we are exporting, so click on the drop-down box on the word More and choose Export. You can see that I have already pre-checked all of the contact boxes I wished to export. You don’t have to do this as the Export Wizard will allow you to choose which contacts to export.
The Export Wizard will now present you with some options. Which contacts do you wish to export and in which format? As we are exporting our contacts to Outlook, select the Outlook CSV format. If you are wanting to import your contacts from Gmail to an Apple address book or another application (except a Google account) choose the vCard format. Hit Export to begin.
Once you hit Export, Gmail will output a copy of the contacts you chose to export to a .csv file to your default download area (in my case I have this set to my desktop as it makes it easier)
Now it’s time to export the newly created .csv file containing the contacts to Outlook. In my case I am using the desktop client for Outlook 2007
Open Outlook and go File>Import and/Export
Select Import from another program or file
Choose Comma Separated Values (Windows)
Now browse for the .csv file containing your contact information that Gmail created. I elected to not import duplicate items (contacts) but that is up to you.
Now Outlook will want to know which folder the information will be stored in. As this is contacts, save it to the Contacts folder.
Now hit Finish and you are done.
I hope this has helped. Thank you to l33tstr33t for his or her article for the tip on how to create a single vcf file via the command line.