2 Ways to Import VCF to Google Contacts without Hassle

Peter William
March 01, 2022 Preview 14.6K Preview 1
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Google Contacts (contacts.google.com), formerly the contact manager built in to Gmail, is a contact management app by Google. vCard (with the extension .vcf) is a file format standard for storing contact information. A vCard file is also called a VCF file. This article will show you how to import VCF to Google Contacts.

Google Contacts does support importing contacts from a VCF file (which is Method 1), but there are limits. For example, it doesn’t allow you to import multiple VCF files. And sometimes it fails to import. Luckily there is Method 2.


Method 1. How to import VCF to Google Contacts directly

Applies to: Windows PC, Mac

A single VCF file can contain one or multiple contacts. To import the contact(s) in the file to Google Contacts, follow the steps below.

1. Open contacts.google.com.

2. Click Import on the left panel.

the Import option on the left panel

3. Click the Select file button to upload the VCF file you want to import from your computer.

4. Click Import.

click Import to import VCF to Google Contacts

Frequently asked questions

Why can’t I import vCard to Google Contacts?

Sometimes, when importing VCF into Google Contacts, you may receive an error message, such as “Gmail is temporarily unable to access your contacts”, “Can’t import contacts” or “Select a CSV or vCard file under 20 MB”.

Here are some reasons.

  • Import too many contacts at a time. Google Contacts only empowers you to import up to 3000 vCard contacts at once.the Can’t import contacts error message
  • Reach the limitation. You can import up to 25,000 VCF contacts or 20 MB (images not included). For each vCard contact, it can’t exceed 128 KB, 500 fields, and 1,024 characters per field (except “Notes”).the Select a CSV or vCard file under 20 MB error message
  • Incompatible formats. Make sure the contacts you intend to import to Google Contacts are in vCard (or CSV) format.
  • The network is down.

Here are some fixes.

  • Use Method 2 to do the import without limits.
  • If you wish to import more than 3000 VCF contacts, you have to split them into multiple ones.
  • Pay attention to the file limitations.
  • Check the format of the import contacts.
  • Try to import vCard to Google Contacts again a few minutes later.

How do I import multiple VCF to Google Contacts?

Google Contacts can only import contacts from one file at a time. What if you want to import dozens or even hundreds of vCards? In such a case, use Method 2.

If you want to stick with the first method, there are two workarounds.

Workaround 1. Merge multiple VCF contacts and then import them

These steps are for Mac users.

1. Drag all vCards files into one folder on Mac.

2. Launch Terminal app and navigate to that folder in Terminal.

3. Type the command “cat *.vcf > combinedfile.vcf” into Terminal.

4. Press the Enter or Return key to execute the command. Your VCF files will be combined into one file and named as “combinedfile.vcf”.

merge VCF files into one one on Mac

These steps are for Windows users.

1. Copy your vCard files into one directory/folder via File Explorer.

2. Click the Start button. Type “cmd” and press Enter to run Command Prompt.

3. Go to the destination directory where your vCard files are stored.

4. Enter the DOS command “copy *.vcf all.vcf”. Or you can try another command like “copy *.vcf combinedfile.vcf” or “copy *.vcf merged.vcf”.

5. Press the Enter key.

merge VCF files into one one on Windows

After the combination, you can start to import vCard to Google Contacts. But it’s difficult to merge multiple VCF contacts into one, as the process is time-consuming and asks for technical experts.

Workaround 2. Manually create multiple contacts

1. Open contacts.google.com.

2. Click Import on the left-hand side.

3. Click the hyperlinked text Create multiple contacts.

4. Manually add the names, emails, or both you desire to import to Google Contacts. For example: Florence B. Gomez, FlorenceBGomez@armyspy.com, David S. Deese David.

create multple contacts

Will the imported vCard contacts be added to Other contacts in Google Contacts?

No, they won’t.

The Other contacts tab is different from the Contacts tab. The former contains the contacts that you’ve sent email messages to. The latter collects the contacts you have imported, saved, or created. After you import VCF into Google Contacts, the vCard contacts are displayed only in the Contacts tab and Labels.

the Contacts tab in Google Contacts

Method 2. How to (bulk) import VCF to Google Contacts easily

Applies to: Mac

If you are a Mac user, the easiest way for you to import VCF files to Google Contacts is to use Cisdem ContactsMate, the best contact manager app for Mac.

ContactsMate main features:

  • Import contacts from VCF to Google Contacts, Outlook, iCloud, Mac, Facebook and more
  • Also import contacts from CSV
  • Export contacts to Excel, CSV, vCard, Pages and more formats
  • Make it easy to backup and restore contacts
  • Find and remove duplicate contacts
  • Let you view, search, edit, add, group, tag, share, print and sync contacts
  • Gather all your contacts to manage in one place
  • Easy to use and powerful

Steps: How to import VCF to Google Contacts

1. Download and install ContactsMate.

Free Download

2. When you first open the app, click OK to allow access.

click OK

3. Click Add Account in the toolbar, which will open the Internet Accounts window.

the Add Account button in the toolbar

4. Choose Google from the right panel and sign in to it.

choose Google and sign in to Google Contacts

5. Make sure that you check the Contacts option. Click the  button next to the Updated contacts detected message.

the Contacts option being checked

6. In the left sidebar, you will see Google (with all your Google contacts in it).

import VCF to Google Contacts by dragging and dropping one or multiple VCF files

7. To import VCF to Google Contacts, click Import to import one or multiple VCF files and then drag the imported contacts from Latest Import into Google in the left sidebar.

When you check the contacts on contacts.google.com, you will find the new VCF contacts are added to Google Contacts.

Method 3. How to import vCard to Google Contacts on Android

Applies to: Android

In addition to being available as a web app, Google Contacts is available as an Android app. This part will show you how to import contacts from a VCF file to the Google Contacts app on your Android phone or tablet.

1. On your Android device, open Google Contacts.

2. In the top left corner, tap the 3-line icon.

3. Select Settings > Import.

select Import in Settings

4. In the Import contacts from dialog box, select the .vcf file option.

select the .vcf file option to import contacts from a vCard

5. Import the VCF file that contains the contacts you’d like to import.

Closing thoughts

After importing contacts from VCF to Google Contacts, you can easily access and use these contacts. For example, you can directly choose them as email recipients and quickly send messages to groups of people.

This article talks about how to import VCF to Google Contacts in different ways. Although Google allows you to import vCard files straightway, it might encounter unexpected problems and make your procedure unsuccessful. Hence, I’m more inclined to an all-in-one third-party contacts management tool like Cisdem ContactsMate. Not only can it import, sync, export contacts, but also keep your address book well organized, preventing it from being messed up.

Peter William
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Peter has always had great enthusiasm for writing, programming and web development. He likes writing about software and technology, his works are featured on some tech blogs or forums like Tom's Hardware, CNET, etc.

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  • Ana Campos

    I have been looking for a tool to manage all my contacts. Now I found it. I imported over 1000 vcf contacts to the app and it worked well. Saved me lots of time. Thanks!

    1 years ago commonReply

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