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How to add iOS contacts to People on Windows 10

If you use an Apple product, and only one Apple product, you will quickly run into lots of roadblocks when you try and get it to work with the other non-Apple devices that you use. A very common example of this is users who own iPhones but still prefer Windows or Linux desktops. Getting the two different devices to play nice isn’t easy and you miss out on lots of features. Windows 10 tends to be more open while iOS and macOS are restrictive. To that end, if you want to sync iOS contacts to People on Windows 10, you’re going to find there’s no way to connect the two services.

While you cannot sync iOS contacts to People, you can still import them. There’s a difference between the two which we’ll explain towards the end but for now, let’s get down to adding iOS contacts to People. The bigger problem is importing them because the People app is just the worst. It has no direct import option.

Export iOS contacts

You need to export your iOS contacts. To do that, you must have your contacts synced to iCloud. You can enable sync on your iPhone. Once you’ve done that, visit iCloud in your browser and select the Contacts app.

At the bottom left, click the cog wheel button. Select ‘Select all’ from the menu, and then the export option. This will export all your contacts as a single VCF file.

VCF to CSV

You’ve got all your contacts in a VCF file but, in order to import them, you need the file to be in CSV format. There are numerous online converters that can do the job. Pick any one and use it to convert the VCF file to CSV. Not all apps work equally well so if you have trouble importing the converted CSV file in the next step, use a different app to convert the VCF file to a CSV file, and try again.

Import CSV file in Outlook

Your iOS contacts are now in a CSV file. Visit Outlook contacts online. Sign in, click the Manage button, and select the Import option. The contacts will take some time to import depending on how many there are.

Add Outlook to Mail on Windows 10

Return to your Windows 10 desktop and open the Mail app. Click the cog wheel button. In the panel that opens, select Manage Accounts. Add the Outlook account you just imported contacts to.

Once the account has been added, select it under Manage Accounts again. You will see an option to manage sync settings for the account. Click it and make sure both Email and Contact are enabled.

This should do the trick. Your contacts will now appear in the People app. If you disable Email sync for the account, the contacts will disappear from the People app. Don’t ask us why. That’s just how it works.

Sync vs Import

You’ve jumped through quite a few hoops to import these contacts but they’ve been imported. They are not syncing. This means that if you update or add new contacts on your iPhone (or MacBook), you will need to go through this entire process again. The new changes won’t automatically be added to the People app. The whole process is what red tape looks like in an online world and if you feel like setting your computer on fire at this point, we understand.

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