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How to Easily Export Contacts from Mac OS X

How to Export All Contacts from Mac OS X Contacts App

This will export the entire book of contacts from the OS X Contacts app into a file:

1. Open the “Contacts” app in OS X, found within the /Applications/ folder, Launchpad, or Spotlight

2. Click on “All Contacts” from the left side menu, then hit Command+A to Select All (or go to the Edit menu and choose “Select All”)

3. From the “File” menu of Contacts, go down to the “Export…” menu and choose one of the following options:

  • Export vCard – This will generate a VCF (vCard) file with all contact information stored within the app, a vCard file is a universal standard and would be the most compatible with many platforms, including other Mac OS X apps, iOS, Windows, Android, Blackberry, etc – recommended for maximum compatibility of stored contact information, especially for backups
  • Contacts Archive – This will generate an .abbu file with all contact information stored within, abbu is a proprietary format for Contacts app and the Address Book app from older versions of OS X, making this format appropriate for Mac users – less recommended due to address information being primarily compatible with Mac specific applications
4. Save the file as usual, placing it somewhere that is easily accessible for whatever your needs are, like the Desktop


This will generate an exported contacts file with the following icon:


Entire exported contacts lists are generally quite small and efficient, for example, a book of 500 contacts or so will be a couple hundred kilobytes, making it easy to transfer as needed.

How to Export a Single Contact from OS X

If you want to export a single contact from the Mac Contacts app, you can do that too:

1. From Contacts app, search for the individual person or contact you wish to save

2. With that contact selected, go to the “File” menu and go to the “Export” menu, selecting ‘Export vCard’ (recommended) or ‘Contacts Archive’ (less recommended)

3. Save the single contact as any other file


A single exported contact will have the same icon as an entire address book of contacts, but the file size will be smaller.

Source: osxdaily.com