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How to open VCF file on computer?


Vcf stands for vCard File - it presents a text file for storing various contact information. In fact, this is an electronic business card that contains the name, telephone numbers, physical and postal addresses, e-mail, fax numbers and many other data. The vcf file can be attached as an attachment to an email - after receiving this, the recipient can add this information to his database.

Briefly about the VCF format

The vCard format was created by the Versit consortium in 1995, and in 1996 all rights to the format were transferred to the Internet Mail Consortium.

Using these files, it is very convenient to exchange electronic business cards, for which various devices with address books are used, where special applications must be installed.

How can I open a VCF file?

On Windows, a vcf file can be opened with:

  • Windows Contacts,
  • Microsoft Outlook Express
  • Fonlow IT Open Contacts,
  • Palm desktop,
  • Any text editor, etc.

Also, this file format is widely used in the corporate segment of programs related to mail and instant messaging - OpenFire, Mozilla Thunderbird, etc. All these programs can often receive contact data from other sources (Active Directory, OpenLDAP, etc., and map them to the fields of vcf files).

On Mac OS X, you can open vcf using the address book application. Also, the VCF format supports most modern mobile devices, regardless of their platform.

How to open VCF file on Android and IPhone

On the Android platform, you can open the vcf file using the free Contacts VCF program, which allows you to work with such files in the form of a convenient phone book. Thus, you can not only add and edit existing contacts, but also make calls, print contacts, forward them and save to .txt files using the export functions.

For example, in Google Android, these files, which are located in the System / PIM folder on the SD card, look like PIM00001.vcf.

On the iPad and iPhone, there is a Contacts application where you can download vCards.

In addition, vcf files can be transferred from one mobile device to another, while their OS may be different. For example, you need to transfer vcf files from NOKIA to Samsung. To do this, you need to upload all the vcf files to a separate folder on the Samsung smartphone card. After that, go to “Contacts” and select “Import files from SD card” in the options.

Please be aware that there may be a problem with displaying the birth dates of contacts. In Nokia, they appear as BDAY: YYYYMMDD, and in Samsung as BDAY: YYYY-MM-DD. What to do?

First you need to open the vcf file in any text editor and bring the date of birth to the desired form, and then upload it to the SD card.

So, all of how to open vcf files and use them on your devices is briefly outlined here.

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How many any programs for the computer. I found out about another useful application. I need to sit and poetically change and make my "business card." Fortunately, the article is written in an accessible language.

Files with the extension .vcf can create, for example, Skype. It is suggested that you save the contact list in these files so that you can easily restore it if necessary.

Niklas Zennström, if we are talking about transferring contacts to another person on Skype, it will probably be more convenient to do this through the “Send Contacts ...” command in the context menu for recording the desired contact. And you do not need to keep backup copies of your Skype contact list - they are stored on the servers of skype itself, and will not disappear even when reinstalling the operating system.

What is VCF?

The extension "VCF" is usually abbreviated as "Virtual contact file"(Virtual contact file). At the same time, there is also an alternative abbreviation - “vCard File” (vCard file).

This file is usually used to store contact information in a digital format (surname and name of a person, address, e-mail, phone and other relevant information). Using it, it is convenient to exchange contacts between address books, the file can be easily attached to an e-mail, pictures and other media content are supported in it.

In addition, the file with the .vcf extension can be in the form of the VirtualDub (VirtualDub Processing Settings) editor settings file, as the WorldToolKit Objects (Vevi Configuration File) API configuration file, as the FileViewPro utility file, the relevant file for VP HybridCAD Native Format, etc.

How to open VCF

If our file contains contact information, then the following programs will help to open it:

1.Windows Contacts (Windows Contacts) is a classic application for viewing Windows OS contacts. It works rather poorly with Cyrillic characters, so for a Russian-speaking user its use will not be very convenient.

Windows contacts

2.vCardOrganizer - a convenient program for working with digital cards. Allows you to create, modify and view vCards, supports displaying photos, printing cards on a printer, and so on. The program has a paid character, but you can try to search the network for its free variations.

3.Open Freely - a free viewer that can open many documents and media files (including the vcf files we need).

4.VCFtools - a set of utilities that allow you to work with vcf files, including viewing, combining, converting, and so on.

5.VCF Viewer - a free utility for viewing the contents of vcf files. Its main drawback is that it shows data from only one contact.

6.Open Contacts - another free tool, a program for storing contact data, allows you to open vcf-files.

7. The classic Notepad can also be used as a viewer of raw data from a vcf file. For a Russian-speaking user, it may become a problem to display Cyrillic characters incorrectly during such viewing (if the contact data is typed in Cyrillic), therefore Notepad in this case will not be convenient to use.

Manager Contact Open

8.Notepad ++ is an advanced text editor that allows you to make minor edits to contact data in a vcf file.

Notepad ++

9. The Eudora OSE mail client, which has a fairly rich functionality, is also able to open files with the vcf extension,

Microsoft Outlook and Handy Address Book programs are also able to open and view files of this format, the disadvantages include the paid nature of these products.

How to open vcf file in Outlook

In order to view vcf in Outlook, do the following:

  1. Launch Microsoft Outlook
  2. Click on the “File” tab, select “Import and Export”,

Import file into Outlook

  • In the list, select “Import a VCARD file” and click on “Next”,
  • Find our vcf-file on the computer’s hard drive, double-click on it,

    Upload file

    Contacts will be added to the "Users" section of this program.

    How to transfer contacts from a vcf file to Gmail

    Contacts from a .vcf file can be transferred to the Gmail contact list. To implement this, do the following:

    1. Go to the Gmail mail page,
    2. Click on the arrow next to the inscription “Gmail” (top left) and select “Contacts”,
    Go to Contacts
    • On the opened "Google Contacts" page, click on the arrow next to "More" and select "Import" there,
    • In the menu that appears, select "Import from CSV or vCard file",
    • We agree to the transition to the old version of "Google Contacts" by clicking on the appropriate inscription,
    • Click on the "More" button on the top, and select "Import."

      Import the .vcf extension

    • We find our vcf file and click on "Import", the specified contact will be added to the contact list.

    What is the VCF format?

    The vcf file format was invented in order to store contact information about a person. In particular:

    • Surname, name and patronymic

    • Contacts in Internet messengers

    • Addresses of work, residence, etc.

    The name VCF itself stands for vCard File, or a business card file. Since a certain time, this format has been supported to one degree or another by most computer mail programs.

    In essence, a vcf file is a text file that can be manually edited with a text editor. Unfortunately, sometimes texts containing Cyrillic in these files are written in encoded form, which does not allow working with them directly in notepad. Here, for example, looks like a card for the name "Ivan Petrov" with a phone number exported from a mobile device.

    If the numbers of the phone number are readable and you can view or edit them if you wish, then this operation is extremely difficult for the first and last name.


    The programs described by me above will help in playing the VCF file on the computer. Most of them are free in nature, making it easy to view the contents of vcf files. If you come across a file that cannot be correctly opened with the help of the listed programs, then perhaps it is a qualitatively different type of file (for example, the settings of the WorldToolKit Objects API) that a rather narrow specialist will work with.

    The problem with the encodings

    In modern versions of Windows there is a Windows Contacts application, which allows you to open a vcf file on a computer or add it to the contact list of the operating system, where the file will be converted to * .contact format and will be available for editing using Windows. But this feature is available only for files encoded in Windows. At the same time, many mobile devices and modern email applications save vcf files in modern UTF-8 encoding. And if you try to open such a file using Windows, then the Cyrillic characters will not be read properly.

    Interestingly, Windows-encoded files are available for manual editing in any text editor. Here's what the text contents of a vcf file created using Microsoft Outlook look like.

    It would seem logical to translate all the files into Windows encoding in order to be able to work with them on a computer, including and in text editors. However, the problem is that then these files cannot be used on other devices and in modern email programs. For example, the last vcf file, despite the fact that it looks beautiful in notepad and the Windows Contacts program, does not open correctly in the emClient e-mail program.

    The same problems arise when exporting vcf files to mobile devices. Therefore, the best way out of the situation is to use programs that can fully work with business cards in UTF-8 encoding. The aforementioned emClient program is quite suitable for this purpose. Moreover, it can export files in UTF encoding so that the readability of Cyrillic characters is preserved.

    Using emClient

    You can download the program from the download page on the official website. After installation, the application will work 30 days in full mode, after which you will either need to get a free license to use the limited home version, or buy a program. As a matter of fact, the home version may well both open a vcf file on a computer, and edit all its fields, as well as do bulk import and export of such files.

    To add vcf files to the program, you must either drag them into the program window with the mouse, or use the menu item “File / Import. ".

    In the window that appears, select the option "Import contacts from vCard (.vcf)."

    Next, indicate where and where to import contacts.

    After that, the program will scan the entire specified folder and import all the found business cards. In our case, one file is imported.

    Now it can be opened in the general contact list for editing.

    Similarly, using the menu item “File / Export. »You can save the edited contacts in a separate folder as a list of vcf files.

    Using emClient, you can either open vcf files on a computer or fully edit their contents while working with data in the form of a contact list. Edited contact information can be exported back to a set of vcf files, which may be relevant for manually transferring contacts to a mobile device or other computer. Due to the fact that the program understands files in modern UTF-8 encoding, there will be no problems with Cyrillic characters when exchanging data with modern mobile devices. And the business cards exported by this program open in a text editor in a readable form, so that you can, as an option, use the bulk search and replace Notepad ++ programs.

    Definition of vcf files

    The name of the vCard File format stands for "business card file." And this is no accident: vcf, in fact, are electronic business cards. They can contain any contact information about a person, namely:

    • surname, name and patronymic,
    • position held
    • phone,
    • photograph of a person
    • E-mail address,
    • personal site,
    • home address

    and much more.

    You can recognize vCard files by the * .vcf extension. Initially, this format was developed for mobile phones, but today it is actively used by many mail programs. This helps users not only easily import and export contacts, but also share them by email. In this case, any vcf can to attach to the letter as an attachment.

    In fact, vcf are ordinary text files, but only with special markup. And this means that they can be opened if desired in any text editor, for example, in Microsoft Word or even in Notepad.

    However, vCard is much more convenient than plain text. Firstly, they provide the user with information in a clear and orderly manner, as in a questionnaire. Secondly, they may include various media data, such as photographs. And thirdly, if vcf files do not contain media, then they have a very small size (less than 1 kilobyte). Therefore, they can be easily sent to another user, even from phone to phone.

    Unfortunately, there are several problems with vCard. The main one is that this format was originally designed for phones, and therefore does not open on all computers. And the user who received such a file may simply not have the right program to view it.

    The second problem is related to the media included in vcf. If all other information can be viewed through a regular notebook, then the contact photos in it will look like a long series of obscure characters.

    And the third problem is incorrect work with the Cyrillic alphabet. Contacts that were recorded in Russian, Ukrainian or Belarusian can be displayed as unreadable icons. And if the phone and web page addresses in such a file can still be parsed, then the names and surnames can no longer be decrypted. Fortunately there are today a bunch of excellent contact programs that solve all these problems.

    Initially, vcf files were opened only by applications that came with phones (for example, “Nokia P. C. Suite” or “Samsung P. C. Studio”).

    However, today there are at least four kinds of tools that allow you to view or edit the vCard format:

    1. Programs for working with contacts.
    2. Email clients.
    3. Gmail (Google email service).
    4. Text editors.

    Let's take a closer look at how to open vcf contacts on a computer using them.

    Contact programs

    The most common contact application is the Windows Address Book (Windows Contacts). It is usually not required to install it, since it is present by default in all modern versions of Windows. In this case, to open the file, you just need to click on it with the mouse pointer.

    The program converts the visited business cards to the contact list of the operating system and saves them in its format (* .contact). Alas, the Windows address book does not always correctly handle the Cyrillic alphabet.

    Another application for working with personal contacts is Handy Address Book. If you need to view a couple of vcf files once, then installing this program is hardly worth it (this can be done in more simple ways). But if required If you constantly sort or edit business cards, then Handy Address Book will become an indispensable tool.

    To manipulate contacts, the program uses its own kind of files. However, it can work with other formats, including vCard. There are two ways to open a vcf file in Handy Address Book:

    1. After installing the program, it will be entered in the Windows registry as one of the applications for working with vCard. And this means that after that all contacts will be opened simply by clicking the mouse. If Windows asks which application to open these files in, select Handy Address Book from the list of suggested programs.
    2. Business card files can also be opened manually. Go to the menu “File” -> “Import” and select the item “vCard File” in the drop-down list. Then click the “Next” button and find your file. The program will add all open business cards to its contact list.

    From other Windows applications, you can try the following:

    • vCardOrganizer. The program is designed specifically for working with vcf files: viewing, creating and editing them. It correctly displays photos and even knows how to print selected business cards. Unfortunately, this application is paid.
    • vcftools. Another good program for vcf files. С ее помощью пользователи могут не только просматривать и редактировать визитки, но и конвертировать их в другие форматы.
    • vcf Viewer. Простое и бесплатное приложение для просмотра контактов. За один раз показывает только одну визитку, что не очень удобно.
    • Open Contacts. Бесплатная программа для хранения контактов. Поддерживает несколько форматов, в том числе и vcf.

    Почтовые клиенты

    Самое популярное сегодня приложение для работы с почтой — Microsoft Outlook. Программа входит в пакет Microsoft Office и установлена на многих современных компьютерах. Не все это знают, но Outlook умеет просматривать и редактировать различные файлы контактов, включая и vcf.

    После установки программа пропишется в реестре, и в ней будут открываться все визитки по умолчанию. To view the vCard file, just left-click on it or drag its program window. The viewed data will be saved in the Outlook mailbox.

    If for some reason the files do not open automatically, they can be viewed in another way. To do this, run the program and go to the menu "File" -> "Open" -> "Import". In the window that opens, select "vCard import", and then just find the file you want.

    A free alternative to Microsoft Outlook is the Mozilla Thunderbird application. Today it is one of the best e-mail programs. She has her own address book, into which you can import vcf and other contact files. However, installing Mozilla Thunderbird just for viewing business cards is impractical because the program is large and takes a long time to install.

    You can add vCard contacts to Thunderbird as follows:

    1. Open the "Address Book" in the program.
    2. Go to the menu "Tools" -> "Import".
    3. In the window that opens, select "Address Books" and click the "Continue" button.
    4. Specify file type (vCard).
    5. Find the required vcf file.

    Mozilla Thunderbird will then add the contact to its address book, where it is easy to view or edit.

    From other email clients, you can try the Eudora OSE application. It has rich functionality, supports vcf and other contact formats.


    Organizers are programs for scheduling time and managing task lists. Today, many of them are able to integrate with mail and work with contacts, including the vCard format.

    One such program is the Palm Desktop Organizer. The application is small in size and may be suitable for one-time use. You can open a business card in it in two ways:

    1. Minimize the program to the size of the window and drag the desired file onto it. The application will open the contact and offer to select the group to which it should be added.
    2. If the first method didn’t work, you need to go to the “Address” tab, and then go to the “File” -> “Import” menu. In the file search window that opens, change the format to vcf and find the desired contact.

    Gmail Service

    If there is no suitable application on the computer, but you don’t want to install anything, you can use mail service Gmail from Google. In this case, the algorithm for opening vcf files will consist of 7 steps:

    1. We go into your inbox in Gmail. If you don’t have an account yet, you’ll have to register, but it won’t take much time.
    2. We click on the Gmail inscription in the upper left corner and select “Contacts” in the drop-down list.
    3. In the menu on the left, click on “More” and select “Import” in the drop-down list.
    4. In the window that appears, we find “Import from CSV or vCard file”.
    5. We confirm the transition to the old version and select "Import contacts" in the menu on the left.
    6. A window will appear in which you need to click the "Select File" button.
    7. We find the necessary business card and confirm the import.

    After that, the contact will appear in your Gmail address book.

    Text editors

    As already mentioned, vCard files are easily opened in any text editor. However, the most suitable solution for working with electronic business cards is an improved Notepad ++ notebook. It supports dozens of various encodings, and therefore is able to correctly display any text file. In Notepad ++, you can view and even edit contacts, but, of course, you won’t be able to export them to other formats.

    If there are no suitable programs or access to the Internet, then you can open vcf with a regular Notepad (just Notepad). It is also suitable if you just need to quickly find any important data in an electronic business card, for example, a mailing address or phone.

    How to view vcf in Notepad? Very simple: just right-click on the file, select "Open with" in the context menu and select Notepad as an application.

    To find the necessary information in an open file, you need to pay attention to the service markup. For example, the contact’s phone will be indicated after the “TEL” attribute, and his mail after “EMAIL, TYPE = INTERNET”.

    However, it must be borne in mind that some data in Notepad may not be displayed correctly. Instead of a contact photo, only a set of characters will be visible, and instead of the Cyrillic alphabet, incomprehensible icons often appear.

    Encoding Issues

    Many applications on a computer use Windows encoding (for example, ANSI) to work with text. And on smartphones and tablets, in turn, UTF-8 encoding prevails. It is because of this that the vcf phone files on the computer may not display correctly. If you edit them for Windows encodings, they will not be readable on the phone. To avoid such problems, it is necessary to use those applications that can work with UTF-8.

    One such program is the email client and emClient organizer. It can export vcf in UTF-8 encoding, so that the Cyrillic alphabet on the phone will always be displayed correctly.

    After downloading and installing the application will fully work for 30 days, after which it will offer to either take a free license for home use or buy a program. To view, edit and export electronic business cards, a license for the house is quite enough.

    There are two ways to open vcf in this program:

    1. Just drag the desired file into the application window.
    2. Go to the "File" -> "Import" menu and select "Import from vCard" in the window that opens. After that, you need to specify the folder in which vcf files are stored. The program will scan it and count all electronic business cards from it.

    After that, all the information from the business cards will appear in the contact list, which is very convenient for viewing and editing. The list can be exported to vcf at any time and transferred to your phone or other computer.