How to Export Contacts From iPhone

Use vCard files or Excel/CVS format to transfer contact data to other platforms

When you need to share a contact from your iPhone with someone on another device or platform, you can export the information easily, either in VCard (VCF) format or in Excel/CSV format.

Many people rely on iCloud to automatically synchronize their iPhone contacts as a failsafe in case they lose or damage their devices. You can also use iCloud to transfer the contacts on your iPhone as vCard files in the VCF format.

Not every program accepts the vCard format, however. Microsoft Excel is a widely-used program that doesn't, but it does import files in CSV format. iCloud doesn't export entries in the Contacts app in any format other than vCard, but you can use a third-party app to export your iPhone's Contacts directly to a CSV file.

Instructions in this article apply to iPhones with iOS 13 through iOS 10 and to Macs with macOS Catalina (10.15) through OS X Yosemite (10.10).

How to Export Contacts From iPhone to Excel/CSV Format

Although there are several apps designed to handle this task, Export to CSV is free and well-reviewed by users.

  1. The first time you open the Export to CSV app on your iPhone, click OK to grant permission for the app to access your Contacts. You must agree to this permission for the app to work.

  2. Tap Begin Exporting.

  3. Select whether you are exporting only a group of individual contacts or all your contacts.

    An iPhone running Export to CSV.
  4. Tap the + sign at the top of the Export Details screen to indicate how many columns of data you want to export. If you only want to export first name, last name, and email address, for example, you need three columns.

  5. Tap the top Click to Edit Column Data to select the type of data you want the first field to contain. In this example, click First Name and tap Done to return to the column list. Repeat the process for the second and third entries that say Click to Edit Column Data and select Last Name and Email Address, respectively.

    An iPhone running Export to CSV
  6. After you assign the data types, select either Email or Dropbox as the source for the CSV file and tap Export. The CSV file you receive in your mail or Dropbox account can be imported into any program that accepts CSV format files, including Excel.

Export Contacts From iPhone to vCard Using iCloud

If you don't want to use a third-party app, export your contacts from your iPhone to the vCard VCF format via your iCloud account. The VCF format of a vCard is similar to the look and feel of an online business card and is a standard address book format.

  1. Tap Settings on your iPhone. Tap your name and then tap iCloud.

  2. Turn on the Contacts toggle switch. If this setting is turned off, contacts on the device won't sync with your iCloud account and cannot be exported to a file.

    Apple ID, iCloud button, Contacts toggle in iOS Settings
  3. On a computer, open a web browser, go to iCloud.com, and sign in to iCloud with your Apple ID.

    You may need to use Apple's two-factor authentication to log in.

  4. Choose Contacts.

    Contacts icon on iCloud.com
  5. On the Contacts screen, select the gear icon in the lower-left corner and choose Select All.

    To choose specific contacts to export, press Shift or Ctrl to select contacts one by one.

    iCloud Contacts
  6. After the contacts are selected, tap the gear icon again and choose Export vCard.

    Export vCard in iCloud Contacts
  7. The selected contacts are saved to your computer as a .vcf file.

Use the VCF File or Convert It to CSV

A vCard file is an industry-standard contacts file format. Many programs, including Microsoft Outlook, support vCards. vCards load naturally into most contact lists, making the format ideal for transferring contact information with a minimum of complexity.

If the application where you want to import your contacts doesn't support the VCF format, use an online converter to convert the VCF file to a CSV file. One of the better known free online conversion tools is AConvert. To use it, choose the VCF file you exported from iCloud and select CSV as the Target format. Select Convert Now and then download the CSV file.

AConvert website conversion