Not long ago my sister asked me to help to restore contacts on her new iPhone. In normal situation people would synchronize it through iCloud and then it’s not a problem, but in her case some “helper” guy managed to backup all her contacts in 1500 separate vcf files. Insane! Why would you do this in the first place? Why not just use iCloud? Never mind… As you already understood, in this tutorial I will show you how to import vcf contacts to iPhone.

Just to make it clear, my sister lives quite far, so she asked some guy in the local phone shop to help with contacts back up. And guess what? That guy saved every contact as a separate vcf file. Well done!!! More than 1500 contacts…

VCF (Virtual Contact File), or simply vCards, is commonly used file format to store contact’s details in digital format. Usually VCF file keeps full name, e-mail address, telephone numbers, etc. Basically it’s like a container to carry contact data between different devices. Moreover VCF is supported by all popular operating systems (Windows, MAC OS, iOS and Android).

So! We have 1500 vcf files with contacts… How to transfer all these vcf files to iPhone now? First we tried, what we thought was, a “proper method” – using iTunes to synchronize with Outlook or Windows Contacts. I tell you straight away, this method of importing contacts had failed on me. It just didn’t properly work.

It’s also possible to import vcf contacts directly on iCloud website, but you have to add them one by one. That would take forever in our case.

Luckily I found a proper way, so here it is. If you also need to transfer all vcf contacts from computer to iPhone, follow the guide below.

PHASE 1: Merge all vcf files into one file

First thing we have to do is to merge all contact files into one large vcf file. It might sound weird, but trust me… it just works. Before we merge files, make sure they are all located in the same folder. Then all you have to do is to run a command from a command line (Windows) or Terminal (MAC).

Windows users (run cmd.exe):
copy *.vcf contacts.vcf

MAC OS users (run Terminal):
cat *.vcf > contacts.vcf

I hope you managed to get to necessary folder before running a command above. In case you don’t know how to navigate your route from a command line, here are the commands you need:

cd folder name — open the folder
cd.. — exit from the current folder
dir — shows the content (files and folders) of your current location

cd folder name — open the folder
cd — changes your current position back to user’s folder
ls — shows the content (files and folders) of your current location

EXAMPLE: My contacts were located in folder named CONTACTS, which is located in Downloads. In order to proceed to folder with contacts I run two commands (see below):
cd downloads
cd contacts

PHASE 2: Import vcf contacts to iPhone

As a result of PHASE 1 you should have all of your contacts in one file. From now follow three simple steps to get your contacts transferred to iPhone.

  • STEP 1 Send vcf file to the iPhone over e-mail (which was set on that iPhone). If you haven’t set up any e-mail account on your device, do it right now. Detailed tutorial for this is coming soon.
  • STEP 2 Launch Mail app, open the message with attached file. Tap the attachment.
  • Send vcf contacts to iPhone

  • STEP 3 Tap on “Add All XXX Contacts” then confirm “Create New Contacts”.
  • Import vcf contacts to iPhoneCreate new contacts

All contacts will be added to iPhone’s Contacts. For future I suggest to set iCloud synchronization to avoid such headache. You can do this in Settings > YOUR NAME > iCloud.

That’s it! If we helped you today, click that like button and share the article through social nets. This tutorial is the first one from the range… soon I will show how to transfer contacts from Android to iPhone and vice versa. Don’t miss – Subscribe!

How to import vcf contacts to iPhone [Simple Tutorial]
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