Importing and Exporting Contacts On a Mac

Exporting contacts from the Contacts app to a spreadsheet may seem impossible until you learn one simple trick. You can also export a spreadsheet to a CSV format and import contacts into the app.

Comments: 23 Responses to “Importing and Exporting Contacts On a Mac”

    Jeff
    7 months ago

    I consider myself above-average at manipulating text and data but never spent the time trying to understand how to import or export Contacts data. Nice tutorial on how to do this. Very helpful. Thanks so much.

    Henry Halem
    7 months ago

    I can see how to print my contacts but I cannot find a way to adjust the column width for printing. It seems as if I’m stuck with the width a default width.

    7 months ago

    Henry: Maybe bring them into Numbers like I show and customize them there.

    Jim Haynes
    7 months ago

    Can I just export contacts in a group?

    7 months ago

    Jim: Go to that group, select all of those contacts, export to Numbers like I show in the video.

    Lyn Erickson
    7 months ago

    I tried to follow these directions as I would very much like to transfer both ways. I created blank spreadsheet in Numbers – opened contacts ( I have 788 contacts) highlighted all / dragged them to spreadsheet / a dialogue box comes up and says ‘Spreadsheet is updating’ but then it is always blank. I highlighted 10 contacts and went through same process and it worked. Do you have to use small groups? (I have extra characters… just want to thank you for all your shares…)

    7 months ago

    Lyn: Could be that 788 is too many. Maybe try 200 at a time? Or, maybe it is a particular entry. Try some at a time to narrow it down.

    Adam
    7 months ago

    That was a really great and helpful video in many ways. I am saving a link to this for later, and also forwarding to friends and family who use Macs. Thanks for making this one!

    Murray Cater
    7 months ago

    this was a great video & timely as well. so “exported” into numbers, edited the rows & columns down to just under 400 lines. saved it as a CSV. imported into contacts & got over a total of 632 lines. the extra’s are bits & pieces of other contacts.

    Simon Caust
    7 months ago

    Thanks Gary, I’ve been needing to do this to tidy up my nearly 4000 contacts. Like Lyn It wouldn’t handle them all so I did it letter by letter.

    Justin Ross
    7 months ago

    Hey Gary, thank you for the video. I’ve watched several times but having troubles on one of my machines. It’s only bringing over 4 fields and and out of order. For example if I have an email listed under “other email” it’s just brining over first and last name of that person. No address at all. Any remedy?

    7 months ago

    Justin: Is that particular machine using an older version of macOS maybe? If it works on your other machines, just do it there instead unless you can figure out the problem.

    Kath
    6 months ago

    Thanks Gary I have followed this exercise through with success but all my phone numbers now have additional before and after marks which I presume are to do with the textedit file eg ‚Ä≠‭03 ‭‭5441 8923‬‬‬‚Ĩ What did I do wrong?

    6 months ago

    Kath: Not sure. Do you see those in the CSV? Or maybe there are quotes around the phone numbers in the CSV?

    Kath
    6 months ago

    Yes Gary there is a Quote filter attached in the CSV file. I have tried with one card to remove the filter and it works well. Many thanks

    Kath
    6 months ago

    I had success with one card but how do I reformat the entire column in my numbers spreadsheet before converting to a CSV file. The columns remain on Automatic format and will not accept my alterations unless I re-enter all the numbers.
    I tried to Format the column using Data Format/Cell/Create Custom Format as you showed in another video “Reformat Phone Numbers”

    6 months ago

    Kath: Not sure. It depends on how things appear and you experience. You could use text functions to grab the phone numbers from one column and only use the middle characters, stripping away the quotes. But depending on your experience and the amount of numbers, it may be easier to just do it manually.

    Richard Guenigault
    5 months ago

    This is useful thanks. Any thoughts on how to restrict the Mailing Labels to one address per contact? Some of my contacts have a home and a business address. I want to generate a Mailing Labels list to home addresses only.

    5 months ago

    Richard: Not sure. I’ve never tried that. Play around, but I’m not sure you can have that detailed of control over what is printed.

    Monis
    3 months ago

    Hello Gary, I tried importing csv files with less than 100 contacts into the Contacts app but it does not do anything.I initialy tried with 575 but that didnt work. There are 6 columns of info, Last name, first name, Job, Company, Email, Country. I do get the dialog box of verifying the Fields but when I click ok to proceed nothing happens and I have to cancel out. Can you advise why this may be happening and what I can do to import?

    3 months ago

    Monis: Not sure what the problem could be. It should be pretty straight-forward.

    Victoria Leonard
    3 days ago

    Hi Gary. I am trying to get my contacts from Mohave to Big Sur. I have exported as .abbu and .vcf. Neither will import into Contacts nor into Numbers. What should I try? Thank you.

    3 days ago

    Victoria: From Mojave to Big Sur? So you just upgraded your Mac? They should be there without any other effort like exporting and importing. Are you sure they are not there already?

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