How-To Mac Apps

Control Your Contact Details with a ‘Private Me’ vCard

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When you setup your Mac, the Contacts app created a contact card for you automatically.

This ‘vCard’ contains information such as your email address, phone number and home address, and is commonly used by other apps to auto-complete forms, for example if you’re purchasing something in Safari then you may notice that your delivery address appears in the form automatically.

This vCard also provides you with a quick and easy way of sharing your contact information with other people. When you share your vCard with someone, it allows them to add all of your contact information to their address book, either by double-clicking the card or by downloading it, depending on how you shared this particular vCard. This is a much quicker and easier method than typing out all of your contact information, sending it manually, and then the recipient having to copy/paste each piece of information into the appropriate section of their Contacts app.

The kind of information that’s stored in your vCard will vary depending on how much information you’ve shared with macOS, but it’s not unusual for a vCard to contain information that you don’t necessarily want to share with everyone, for example you may be happy to share your mobile number with new friends, but are less enthusiastic about sharing it with your new boss.

In this article, I’ll show you how to control exactly what information you share via your vCard.


Create a ‘Private Me’ Card

To control what information you share when you send your vCard:

  • Open your Mac’s ‘Contacts’ app.
  • Select ‘Contacts > Preferences’ from the Contacts menu bar.
  • Select the ‘vCard’ button.
  • Select the ‘Enable private me card’ checkbox. Exit this window.
  • Back in the main Contacts app, open your vCard, either by selecting your name from the left-hand menu (look for the name with the little ‘Me’ silhouette next to it) or by selecting ‘Card > Go to My card’ from the Contacts toolbar.
  • You should now see all of the information that’s included as part of your vCard.
  • Click the ‘Edit’ button, and a ‘Share’ checkbox should appear next to each piece of information.

You can use these checkboxes to control what information is included whenever you share your vCard, for example if you wanted to share your email address but not your mobile number, then you’d select the ‘Email’ checkbox and deselect the ‘Mobile’ checkbox.

You can tweak the information that’s shared as part of your vCard as many times as you want, which is ideal if you have different categories of information that you want to share with different contacts. For example, you may want to include your personal email address and mobile number when you share your vCard with friends and family, however when you share your vCard with work contacts you may want to keep this information private, and share your office’s address and work telephone number instead. In these scenarios, you’d simply open your vCard, click ‘Edit,’ and then make the necessary adjustments depending on who you’re about to send this card to.

Sharing your vCard

Once you’re happy with how your vCard is setup, you’re ready to share it:

  • Open the Contacts app.
  • Open your vCard, either by selecting your name in the left-hand menu, or by selecting ‘Go > Go to my card’ from the Contacts toolbar.
  • Your vCard will appear onscreen. If you want to make any last-minute changes to the information that’s included, then click the ‘Edit’ button, make your adjustments, and then click ‘Done.’
  • To go ahead and share your vCard, click the ‘Share’ icon and then choose an option from the menu that appears, for example you could email your vCard directly to the recipient, send it via AirDrop, or even post it to social networks such as Facebook.

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Chris

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