How Do I Read VCF Files?

A file with the .vcf extension, or vCard, can be opened and read by most standard email clients, including Internet-based email systems such as Gmail. In some instances, rather than simply being clicked on, the vCard file might need to be imported into an email program in order to read it. The instructions for importing vCards are readily available in the help section of most email clients.

Non-email programs that can read a vCard file include Windows Contacts, Nokia PC Suite, OpenOffice, Apple Address Book, Microsoft Entourage and most mobile phone operating systems. A wide variety of freeware vCard reading software is also available.

The vCard, or Versitcard, is the standard file format for electronic business cards and can be easily transferred between computers and mobile devices, usually as an email attachment. The vCard file typically contains data such as a personal or business contact's name, email, physical address and phone number. Other custom data a vCard file may contain includes images, audio files, social media information and videos.

The vCard file format was a collaborative effort between a number of companies, including IBM and Apple, who then passed control of the project to the Internet Mail Consortium, the group that proposed it as the standard for storing contact information.