Export Mac Mail Address Book Contacts to CSV File

You aren't limited to the VCF file format

What to Know

  • Download AB2CSV. Select Mode > CSV, then go to AB2CSV > Preferences > OK > CSV. Choose categories and select File > Export.
  • Convert VCF to CSV: Open Contacts. Select a list to convert and choose Contacts > File > Export > Export vCard. Name and save the file.

There are two ways to get your contacts into the CSV file format. You can either use a dedicated tool that exports a CSV file from the start, or you can export the contacts into the VCF format first and then convert the VCF file to CSV. We show you how to do both using any Mac with OS X Snow Leopard (10.6) or later.

Export Contacts Directly to CSV Format

Exporting information contained in the Contacts application requires a helper application. Some paid helper apps, such as AB2CSV and Address Book to CSV, are available in the Mac App Store. Others are available from third-party vendors.

This example uses the application AB2CSV, which saves your contacts to a CSV file without having to create a VCF file first.

  1. Download AB2CSV from the Mac App Store—the price is $0.99—and launch it.

  2. Select Mode in the AB2CSV menu bar and click CSV in the drop-down menu.

    AB2CSV menu bar showing CSV selection
  3. To configure which fields to export, go to AB2CSV in the menu bar and select Preferences in the drop-down menu.

    AB2CSV drop-down menu showing Preferences selection
  4. Click OK in the pop-up window that asks you to grant the app access to your contacts.

    Permission screen to access Contacts
  5. Select the CSV tab.

    General preferences for AB2C with CSV tabSV
  6. Select the fields you want to export by checking the boxes in front of the categories.

    CSV options in AB2CVS
  7. Click File on the menu bar followed by Export. Pick a location for the CSV file. It will have a .csv extension.

    Export screen in AB2CSV

Convert the VCF File to CSV

If you'd rather not install an application or pay for an app to make a CSV file, export the Contacts application's VCF file and then use an online utility to format the VCF file as a CSV file. To do that, you first have to create the vCard file.

  1. Open the Contacts application from the Dock or the Applications folder.

    The Dock showing the Contacts app icon
  2. Choose the list in the left pane that you want to export, such as All Contacts.

  3. From the Contacts menu bar, select the File > Export > Export vCard.

    Contacts application export screen
  4. Name the exported list of contacts and choose a location for the file. Click Save.

Now that the contacts are in the VCF format, use an online VCF to CSV converter such as ACConvert to make the CSV file.

Upload your VCF file to the website and select CSV as the output format. Click the Convert Now button when you're done to make the CSV file.

ACConverter web page

Why Export Contacts to CSV?

By default, the Contacts or Address Book program on a Mac exports entries to the vCard file format with a VCF file extension. However, CSV is a more common format that works with many email clients, so having an Apple Contacts list in CSV format makes it easier to import it into other email clients or view them in a spreadsheet program like Microsoft Excel.

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