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How to edit a VCF file on Windows 10

Email apps and services, and messaging apps can keep a list of people you often message. Most apps and services let you export these people i.e., your contacts and can likewise import them from other apps and services. There are loads of email and messaging apps and they don’t all connect with each other. That’s why the contacts are exported and imported as VCF files. Email and messaging apps can edit VCF files however if you want to edit a VCF file without an emailk or messaging app, you can do so with some limitations.

Edit VCF file

You can use almost any text editor to edit a VCF file. To open the file on Windows 10, right-click it and select the Open With option. Select Notepad from the list of apps, or if  you prefer a much cleaner interface for editing the VCF file, you can use Notepad++ instead.

The contents of the VCF file will differ based on which app or service, or device the contact was created on. For example, the contents of a VCF file for a contact exported from iCloud can be seen in the screenshot below. The contact was originally created on an iPhone which is why you see Apple Inc./iOS 11.1//EN in the file.

Note: Some information has been edited for privacy.

If you need to change the phone number, name, or email you can easily find those fields in the file. There is some information you won’t be able to edit for example, in the file contents above, you can see there’s a field called ‘X-Activity-Alert’ which is for a custom alert that was set up for the contact on an iPhone. This field can’t be edited and it won’t be present in the VCF file for a contact that was exported from Gmail.

After you edit the file, you can just save the change with the Ctrl+S keyboard shortcut. This only works for text based information e.g., names, and phone numbers etc. VCF files also contain images i.e., profile pictures and that isn’t something you can edit with any text editor. If what you essentially want to edit is the image saved for a contact, you’re going to have to go through an email app like Outlook or a service like Gmail Contacts that has an interface for editing that particular field. Both mobile and desktop apps/services will do but since you’re dealing with a VCF file, it’s easiest to import it on your desktop.

If you are editing a VCF file, you should be careful about how the information is synced. Most services and apps sync contacts somewhere online so the edits might be overwritten.

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