Jun 4, 2013

How to import a vCard file with multiple contacts into Outlook (after exporting from Lotus Notes)

I ran into an issue when trying to move a users contact list from Lotus Notes into Outlook 2013.   He had exported out his 146 contacts into a single vCard file.  But when I imported that vCard into Outlook, it only gave me a single contact, not the full list.  After some research, it turns out that Outlook doesn't support the vCard format very well and it doesn't have the ability to recognize multiple contacts in a single vCard. 

There seemed to be a variety of tools out there for download that would help with this task but I was looking for a free solution.  So after jumping through a couple of simple hoops, I was able to get them into Outlook.  

Here is what I did:

  1. Log in to any Gmail account that you might have and go the Contacts area - you can create a new folder for these temporary contacts but it did that automatically for me with a folder called "Imported 6/4/2013".  Now import your vCard file into your Gmail Contacts
  2. Select all of the contacts that you just imported and now export them out of Gmail.  Choose "Outlook CSV file" as the export type. (Note : When I click the "Export" button in the export wizard, nothing happened. I found a tip that suggested that I click "Classic Contacts" at the bottom of the Gmail window and it reverted back to an old version of the contacts screen and then the export worked fine.)
  3. Now go into Outlook, and go to File -> Open & Export -> Import/Export (in the case of Outlook 2013, it may vary but it will be similar in other versions of outlook.) Now in the import/export wizard, select "Import from another program or file" and then "Comma Separated Values" (CSV), select your CSV file that you exported from Gmail and then select your Contacts folder as the destination.  
Now you should have all of your Contacts imported into Outlook!


Unknown said...

Hi Jason,

I tried your tutorial. There is only one thing...i cannot find the "classic contacts' setting, so nothing happens....
Can you please be a little bit more specific where i can find it in Gmail?
Thanks a lot.
Marc Drost

Anonymous said...

Tnx! :)

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