vCard, also known as VCF (Virtual Contact File), is a common format for digital business cards supported by many email clients. In this article, I will explain how you can easily convert a VCF to CSV format (or vice versa) without using any third-party service and then show how you can import the contacts to Outlook.
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For privacy or security reasons, you might not want to upload all your email contacts to one of those many websites that allow you to convert. Thus, we will only use Windows File Explorer for the job.

First, we will export the email contacts from Roundcube Webmail, an open-source web-based email client used by most hosting providers, and then import the contacts into Outlook Web Access (OWA) provided by Microsoft 365. You need to convert the VCF file into CSV because OWS only supports contact imports from CSV.

Exporting email contacts ^

To export the contacts from Roundcube:

Log in to the webmail interface.

Click the Contacts icon.

Click the Export icon and select Export all (see screenshot below).

Exporting email contacts from Roundcube webmail

Exporting email contacts from Roundcube webmail

This downloads all your contacts to a file with a .vcf extension.

Importing contacts using File Explorer ^

The next step is to import the VCF file to Windows Contacts using File Explorer. To import the file:

Open File Explorer, paste the following path in the address bar, and press Enter:

%systemdrive%\users\%username%\contacts

This opens the Contacts folder for the logged-in user.

Click Import, as shown in the screenshot below:

Viewing the Import option in File Explorer

Viewing the Import option in File Explorer

You will see the Import to Windows Contacts dialog box with several choices. In this dialog box, select the vCard (VCF file) option, and click Import.

Import to Windows Contacts

Import to Windows Contacts

Note that if you're trying to convert a CSV file to VCF format, you should select the CSV (Comma Separated Values) option here.

Now, browse, and select the VCF file you exported from webmail in the previous section. You will see multiple popups for each contact. Just keep clicking the OK button, and the contacts will continue to be added.

At the end, you will see all the contacts in File Explorer, as shown in the screenshot below.

Viewing Windows contacts in File Explorer

Viewing Windows contacts in File Explorer

Exporting contacts to CSV ^

Now that you have your contacts added in Windows Contacts, you could use the Export option to generate either a CSV or a VCF file. Since we imported the VCF file in the previous section, we will export the contacts to CSV format so that it can be imported into Outlook Web App (OWA) straight away.

To export the contacts:

With the Windows Contacts folder open in File Explorer, select all the contacts (Ctrl + A), and click Export.

Start exporting Windows Contacts

Start exporting Windows Contacts

Now select CSV (Comma Separated Values) and click Export.

Export Windows Contacts to CSV using File Explorer

Export Windows Contacts to CSV using File Explorer

If you're converting to VCF, you should select vCards (folder of .vcf files) here. Note that you will get multiple VCF files—one for each contact. In this case, you can use the following command to merge multiple VCF files into a single file:

copy *.vcf contacts.vcf
Merging multiple vcf files into a single file

Merging multiple vcf files into a single file

Next, select the CSV option and click Export.

Now click Browse, provide the path and name to export the CSV file, and click Next.

Saving the exported CSV file

Saving the exported CSV file

Finally, select the fields that you want to export to the CSV file, and click Finish.

Selecting the fields to export in CSV

Selecting the fields to export in CSV

In the end, you will have all your contacts exported in the required file format (CSV format, in our case).

Importing contacts into Outlook Web Access ^

Now that we have our contacts in a CSV file, we will import the file into Outlook Web Access (OWA). To import the contacts:

Log in to OWA in your web browser.

Click the People icon on the left.

Now click Manage and select Import Contacts.

Importing contacts in Outlook web app

Importing contacts in Outlook web app

In the Import Contacts popup, click Browse to select the CSV file you exported earlier, and click Import.

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Importing CSV files to the Outlook web app

Importing CSV files to the Outlook web app

All the contacts are now imported into OWA.

5 Comments
  1. Steve Knight 3 months ago

    Good idea there, didn’t know that option existed, will come in useful.

    You can get directly to the path regardless of the user using this rather than having to put in username too:

    %userprofile%\contacts

    • Author
      %userprofile%\contacts

      is indeed a good shortcut to open Windows contacts. Thank you for mentioning it.

  2. Miles Wolbe 3 months ago

    Note that while Windows Contacts also offers a vCard export option, a long-standing bug in all versions (Vista through 11) converts Unicode characters to question marks in the VCF files (CSV export does not suffer from this issue): https://tinyapps.org/blog/201402210715_editing_vcards_with_bash.html

  3. Useful information. Thank you.

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