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I am trying to export a single contact from Outlook on Windows to iCloud.com. I successfully exported the vCard but when I import it I get:

1 contact could not be imported because there was a problem reading the vCard.

I tried "saving" and "exporting" the file from Outlook but neither would import. How can I do this?

Here's an example of an "exported" vCard that won't import into iCloud.

BEGIN:VCARD
VERSION:2.1
N:
X-MS-OL-DEFAULT-POSTAL-ADDRESS:0
X-MS-CARDPICTURE;TYPE=JPEG;ENCODING=BASE64:
 /9j/4AAQSkZJRgABAQEAYABgAAD/2wBDAAYEBQYFBAYGBQYHBwYIChAKCgkJChQODwwQFxQY
 GBcUFhYaHSUfGhsjHBYWICwgIyYnKSopGR8tMC0oMCUoKSj/2wBDAQcHBwoIChMKChMoGhYa
 KCgoKCgoKCgoKCgoKCgoKCgoKCgoKCgoKCgoKCgoKCgoKCgoKCgoKCgoKCgoKCgoKCj/wAAR
 CACUACcDASIAAhEBAxEB/8QAHwAAAQUBAQEBAQEAAAAAAAAAAAECAwQFBgcICQoL/8QAtRAA
 AgEDAwIEAwUFBAQAAAF9AQIDAAQRBRIhMUEGE1FhByJxFDKBkaEII0KxwRVS0fAkM2JyggkK
 FhcYGRolJicoKSo0NTY3ODk6Q0RFRkdISUpTVFVWV1hZWmNkZWZnaGlqc3R1dnd4eXqDhIWG
 h4iJipKTlJWWl5iZmqKjpKWmp6ipqrKztLW2t7i5usLDxMXGx8jJytLT1NXW19jZ2uHi4+Tl
 5ufo6erx8vP09fb3+Pn6/8QAHwEAAwEBAQEBAQEBAQAAAAAAAAECAwQFBgcICQoL/8QAtREA
 AgECBAQDBAcFBAQAAQJ3AAECAxEEBSExBhJBUQdhcRMiMoEIFEKRobHBCSMzUvAVYnLRChYk
 NOEl8RcYGRomJygpKjU2Nzg5OkNERUZHSElKU1RVVldYWVpjZGVmZ2hpanN0dXZ3eHl6goOE
 hYaHiImKkpOUlZaXmJmaoqOkpaanqKmqsrO0tba3uLm6wsPExcbHyMnK0tPU1dbX2Nna4uPk
 5ebn6Onq8vP09fb3+Pn6/9oADAMBAAIRAxEAPwD6ZdwpA7mlBGC2Tj3qCQ7mJpjk/gKZRJLc
 AcJyfWnQjIy2c8c1UQZYA1dX5Y8kds0CKsvzzbfTiiiHl2aikA/pk+lFB6UUxjYRubjoTU1w
 dsZHrxTbYDIpl0eQvpQIRDtizRSS8Kq0UhDz14pD0paTv9KZRYhGFz61VY75/wAatk7Ij7Cq
 kHLE0CYkxy+PSimudzk+popCJqWIDK5+tJUsC9z2GKZQl02IwB3qKM7YifWi7bMgHoKVlLKF
 Xk8ZpCK9FTCNFGXPPpRQId14qaJsKMck84pAY85Cc/ShyVQkDbTKEMS7i0nJPYVHJKVwqDbx
 TYcl2JJJApkpzI2OlIQiDe3zGimgZ4FFAFyIZcfnSznGB26mliX5T78VHIylzxkjjnoKYxIA
 QmffOaiwin5juPoKmkOIyDgcAVVpCHtITwvyj2oplFAjSPyrzzgVVA3EYPWrEx/dn3qCPqT6
 DNMobOeAOxyagqWc/Pj0GKipEhRRRQBcnYA+wpsWQvzdzRIcsxpTwvbA/rTKKrHLE0lK33j9
 aSkSFFFFAFsNkgEfrTnK9OBn1pidc46Uj4yvsKZQ3y0PI9exppi46/mKjb7x+tKGYdCaQhdh
 AyOfpRRvJ6gH6iigRYT7j/hTWOXb60UUyiu33j9aSiikSFFFFAH/2Q==

X-MS-OL-DESIGN;CHARSET=utf-8:<card xmlns="http://schemas.microsoft.com/office/outlook/12/electronicbusinesscards" ver="1.0" layout="left" bgcolor="ffffff"><img xmlns="" align="fit" area="16" use="cardpicture"/><fld xmlns="" prop="name" align="left" dir="ltr" style="b" color="000000" size="10"/><fld xmlns="" prop="org" align="left" dir="ltr" color="000000" size="8"/><fld xmlns="" prop="title" align="left" dir="ltr" color="000000" size="8"/><fld xmlns="" prop="blank" size="8"/><fld xmlns="" prop="telwork" align="left" dir="ltr" color="000000" size="8"><label align="right" color="626262">Work</label></fld><fld xmlns="" prop="telcell" align="left" dir="ltr" color="000000" size="8"><label align="right" color="626262">Mobile</label></fld><fld xmlns="" prop="email" align="left" dir="ltr" color="000000" size="8"/><fld xmlns="" prop="blank" size="8"/><fld xmlns="" prop="blank" size="8"/><fld xmlns="" prop="blank" size="8"/><fld xmlns="" prop="blank" size="8"/><fld xmlns="" prop="blank" size="8"/><fld xmlns="" prop="blank" size="8"/><fld xmlns="" prop="blank" size="8"/><fld xmlns="" prop="blank" size="8"/><fld xmlns="" prop="blank" size="8"/></card>
REV:20140129T142902Z
END:VCARD  

Here's an example of an "saved" vCard that won't import into iCloud.

BEGIN:VCARD
VERSION:2.1
N;LANGUAGE=en-ca:Blow;Joe
FN:Joe Blow
ORG:Galactic Enterprises
TITLE:CEO
TEL;WORK;VOICE:(416) 123-3456
TEL;CELL;VOICE:(416) 456-7890
TEL;WORK;FAX:(416) 789-0123
X-MS-OL-DEFAULT-POSTAL-ADDRESS:0
EMAIL;PREF;INTERNET:jblow@galactic.com
X-MS-CARDPICTURE;TYPE=JPEG;ENCODING=BASE64:
 /9j/4AAQSkZJRgABAQEAYABgAAD/2wBDAAYEBQYFBAYGBQYHBwYIChAKCgkJChQODwwQFxQY
 GBcUFhYaHSUfGhsjHBYWICwgIyYnKSopGR8tMC0oMCUoKSj/2wBDAQcHBwoIChMKChMoGhYa
 KCgoKCgoKCgoKCgoKCgoKCgoKCgoKCgoKCgoKCgoKCgoKCgoKCgoKCgoKCgoKCgoKCj/wAAR
 CACUACcDASIAAhEBAxEB/8QAHwAAAQUBAQEBAQEAAAAAAAAAAAECAwQFBgcICQoL/8QAtRAA
 AgEDAwIEAwUFBAQAAAF9AQIDAAQRBRIhMUEGE1FhByJxFDKBkaEII0KxwRVS0fAkM2JyggkK
 FhcYGRolJicoKSo0NTY3ODk6Q0RFRkdISUpTVFVWV1hZWmNkZWZnaGlqc3R1dnd4eXqDhIWG
 h4iJipKTlJWWl5iZmqKjpKWmp6ipqrKztLW2t7i5usLDxMXGx8jJytLT1NXW19jZ2uHi4+Tl
 5ufo6erx8vP09fb3+Pn6/8QAHwEAAwEBAQEBAQEBAQAAAAAAAAECAwQFBgcICQoL/8QAtREA
 AgECBAQDBAcFBAQAAQJ3AAECAxEEBSExBhJBUQdhcRMiMoEIFEKRobHBCSMzUvAVYnLRChYk
 NOEl8RcYGRomJygpKjU2Nzg5OkNERUZHSElKU1RVVldYWVpjZGVmZ2hpanN0dXZ3eHl6goOE
 hYaHiImKkpOUlZaXmJmaoqOkpaanqKmqsrO0tba3uLm6wsPExcbHyMnK0tPU1dbX2Nna4uPk
 5ebn6Onq8vP09fb3+Pn6/9oADAMBAAIRAxEAPwD6ZdwpA7mlBGC2Tj3qCQ7mJpjk/gKZRJLc
 AcJyfWnQjIy2c8c1UQZYA1dX5Y8kds0CKsvzzbfTiiiHl2aikA/pk+lFB6UUxjYRubjoTU1w
 dsZHrxTbYDIpl0eQvpQIRDtizRSS8Kq0UhDz14pD0paTv9KZRYhGFz61VY75/wAatk7Ij7Cq
 kHLE0CYkxy+PSimudzk+popCJqWIDK5+tJUsC9z2GKZQl02IwB3qKM7YifWi7bMgHoKVlLKF
 Xk8ZpCK9FTCNFGXPPpRQId14qaJsKMck84pAY85Cc/ShyVQkDbTKEMS7i0nJPYVHJKVwqDbx
 TYcl2JJJApkpzI2OlIQiDe3zGimgZ4FFAFyIZcfnSznGB26mliX5T78VHIylzxkjjnoKYxIA
 QmffOaiwin5juPoKmkOIyDgcAVVpCHtITwvyj2oplFAjSPyrzzgVVA3EYPWrEx/dn3qCPqT6
 DNMobOeAOxyagqWc/Pj0GKipEhRRRQBcnYA+wpsWQvzdzRIcsxpTwvbA/rTKKrHLE0lK33j9
 aSkSFFFFAFsNkgEfrTnK9OBn1pidc46Uj4yvsKZQ3y0PI9exppi46/mKjb7x+tKGYdCaQhdh
 AyOfpRRvJ6gH6iigRYT7j/hTWOXb60UUyiu33j9aSiikSFFFFAH/2Q==

X-MS-OL-DESIGN;CHARSET=utf-8:<card xmlns="http://schemas.microsoft.com/office/outlook/12/electronicbusinesscards" ver="1.0" layout="left" bgcolor="ffffff"><img xmlns="" align="fit" area="16" use="cardpicture"/><fld xmlns="" prop="name" align="left" dir="ltr" style="b" color="000000" size="10"/><fld xmlns="" prop="org" align="left" dir="ltr" color="000000" size="8"/><fld xmlns="" prop="title" align="left" dir="ltr" color="000000" size="8"/><fld xmlns="" prop="blank" size="8"/><fld xmlns="" prop="telwork" align="left" dir="ltr" color="000000" size="8"><label align="right" color="626262">Work</label></fld><fld xmlns="" prop="telcell" align="left" dir="ltr" color="000000" size="8"><label align="right" color="626262">Mobile</label></fld><fld xmlns="" prop="email" align="left" dir="ltr" color="000000" size="8"/><fld xmlns="" prop="blank" size="8"/><fld xmlns="" prop="blank" size="8"/><fld xmlns="" prop="blank" size="8"/><fld xmlns="" prop="blank" size="8"/><fld xmlns="" prop="blank" size="8"/><fld xmlns="" prop="blank" size="8"/><fld xmlns="" prop="blank" size="8"/><fld xmlns="" prop="blank" size="8"/><fld xmlns="" prop="blank" size="8"/></card>
REV:20140129T143443Z
END:VCARD 

These files are from Outlook 2007 on Windows.

  • Sounds like a corrupted vCard. Any chance you could post the contents of the file, removing any personal details, of course? – zelanix Jan 29 '14 at 1:42
  • Also, where are you trying to import it from, i.e. where is the file located? Is it just on the desktop, for instance? – zelanix Jan 29 '14 at 1:43
  • OK, I've added the two types of vCard to the question. It doesn't look corrupted to me but maybe you will notice something I didn't. – Stephen Rasku Jan 29 '14 at 14:48
  • Well, the first one doesn't have a name, but the second one imports fine for me. Please download my copy from dropbox and see if you have the same problem with this file. – zelanix Jan 29 '14 at 15:36
  • Nope, same problem. Are you importing to the iCloud.com website? – Stephen Rasku Jan 29 '14 at 15:57
2

It seems from here that the iCloud website does not support importing vCards marked as version 2.1.

By changing the second line to

VERSION:3.0

I was able to import the vCards. This is a bit of a pain, but if you can export all of your contacts from Outlook in a singe vCard file then it should be ok (I am not sure if Outlook supports this). Alternatively you could use a text editor with 'find and replace in files' feature such as Sublime Text 2 to replace VERSION:2.1 with VERSION:3.0 in all your files.

Finally, the version 2.1 files import fine into Contacts.app on OS X so this may work if you are using a mac.

  • Cool, this worked. I have a Mac but I don't have it at work. That's why I ran in to this problem. I don't know why Apple insists on non-helpful error messages. Thanks for the solution. – Stephen Rasku Jan 29 '14 at 20:42
  • Indeed. Unhelpful error messages and insufficient support for even their own data formats. – zelanix Jan 29 '14 at 21:48
0

None of the above worked for me - the vCards were already at Version 3.0 but I still got that error, despite being well within the iCloud limits. Luckily enough, I was a Mac user so I was able to workaround this by import into into the Contacts up on the MacBook, which seems to be less fussy about vCard format. You can set up the Contacts app to sync to the iCloud.

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