How to convert a CSV file to VCF to transfer contacts

Contacts apps, good ones, make it easy to import or export contacts from other apps, services, and devices. They normally do this via CSV or VCF files. VCF files are the more commonly used format when it comes to importing or exporting contacts. CSV is less common. If you have a CSV file with contacts stored in it, and you need to convert it to VCF before it can be imported to a device or service, you can use Google Contacts.

Google Contacts is one of those services that supports both CSV and VCF files for importing and exporting contacts. It can be used as an intermediary to convert a CSV file to VCF.

Prepare CSV file

Make sure the CSV file has the correct headers for Google Contacts to read. if you’re not sure which headers you need, open Google Contacts and create a dummy contact. Use the export option to export it as a CSV file.

Open the CSV file and take note of the headers that have been used. Make sure your own CSV file has the same headers.

CSV to VCF

Visit Google Contacts and click the More button. Select the Import option and from the dialog box that opens, select the CSV file that you want to convert to VCF.

Once the file has been imported, and all the contacts show up in Google Contacts, select them all. You can use the selection box at the top to select them all with one click. Click the More button and select Export. This time, select the VCF format to export the file.

You can use Google Contacts to convert a CSV file to VCF, or vice versa. For VCF files though, it may be a bit tricky making sure they’re properly formatted. If you’ve created a VCF file yourself and it doesn’t import in Google Contacts, consider using the same trick with the CSV file to figure out what the correct format is.

It’s also worth mentioning that while Google Contacts will reliably convert files to CSV or VCF, whichever you choose, without losing any information, the app or service that you import or export it to must support all contact fields that are in the file. If the app doesn’t support a particular field, the information simply being there will not help.

It is possible that information from some fields is displayed in a different one just so that you can access it.

Read How to convert a CSV file to VCF to transfer contacts by Fatima Wahab on AddictiveTips – Tech tips to make you smarter

How to disable ads on the New Tab page in Firefox

Firefox, the open-source browser that prioritizes user privacy above other things, has been delivering ads on the New Tab page. The ads aren’t crazy intrusive or anything. In fact, they’re just tame banner ads with no animation, sound, or pop-ups. That said, it’s the only popular browser that shows ads and users are not happy. Mozilla has made a statement claiming it was only an experiment but that doesn’t make much difference. The good news is you can disable ads on the New Tab page in Firefox.

Disable ads on New Tab page

You can disable ads on the New Tab page from Firefox’s settings. Open a new tab and click the cog wheel button at the top right of the page.

On the Options page, select Home from the column on the left and scroll down to the Snippets option. Disable the Snippets option and you will no longer see ads on the New Tab page. You don’t need to restart Firefox.

Firefox New Tab page ads

These ‘ads’ have been showing up on the New Tab page in Firefox for a while now. They appeared as helpful snippets suggesting useful Firefox features or additional Mozilla services that users could enable/use to get more out of the browser. The ads didn’t look like ads at the time. They appeared to be an on-boarding experience for new users and a simple way to show existing users what features they were missing out on.

What finally gave them away was when the snippets began to promote services that Mozilla didn’t own or that weren’t integrated with Firefox in any way.

Mozilla, in addition to saying the ads are experimental also said it didn’t receive money in exchange for promoting the services and it’s missing the point. The company could have benefited from paying attention to how users reacted when Microsoft began promoting OneDrive on Windows 10.

Windows 10 and Microsoft Edge do not pass up any opportunity to promote either OneDrive or the browser. In fact, if you visit the Microsoft website from Windows 10 in any browser other than Edge, you will see a banner at the top suggesting you try Edge instead. Microsoft has stuck with promoting only its own apps and services and Windows 10 users never took it well. Mozilla got away with more than Microsoft ever could since it didn’t just develop the browser it was promoting but also the OS it was promoting it on.

Read How to disable ads on the New Tab page in Firefox by Fatima Wahab on AddictiveTips – Tech tips to make you smarter

How to run extensions in Incognito mode in Chrome

Browser extensions are amazing; they allow you to leverage the features of an already powerful app (the browser) and build more features on top of them. They do come with a downside; security risks. A browser extension has access to information that passes through your browser which is why by default, Chrome doesn’t let you run extensions in Incognito mode.

Chrome’s aversion to allowing extensions to run in Incognito mode also has to do with the fact that Incognito mode is supposed to be a private browsing mode where none of your activity is ever saved by the browser. Extensions often contradict that in order to do what they do. That said, it isn’t impossible to run extensions in Incognito mode in Chrome. The option is built-in and must be enabled on a per-extension basis.

Extensions in Incognito mode

Remember the extensions are installed separately for each profile so open the profile that you use for browsing in Incognito. Open a normal browsing session and click the more options button at the top right.

From the menu, go to More tools>Extensions.

On the Chrome Extensions page, look for the extension that you want to use in Incognito mode, and click the Details button under it.

On the Details page for the extension, scroll down to the Allow in Incognito mode section. Every extension’s details’ page will have this section. The section has a switch which, when turned on, will allow the extension to run in Incognito mode.

Open an Incognito window in the same profile and you will be able to use the extension.

Remember that some extensions may not work correctly since Incognito mode has limitations. If an extension relies on your browsing history to work, it likely will not work. It may be allowed to run in Incognito mode but it cannot force the browser to start storing your history.

When you enable extensions to run in Incognito mode, be careful. If an extension stores information, even it if stores it locally, anyone using the normal browsing window will be able to access it. Extensions do not make a distinction between normal and incognito modes when they store data.

If you only need to use an extension in Incognito mode for a brief period of time, don’t leave it enabled after you’re done working. Disable it again so that it doesn’t compromise your security.

If you want to prevent all extensions from ever being run in Incognito mode, there’s no way to do that. What you can do instead is disable Incognito mode in Chrome.

Read How to run extensions in Incognito mode in Chrome by Fatima Wahab on AddictiveTips – Tech tips to make you smarter

How to view recent file versions on Google Docs

Google Drive can keep multiple versions of the same file. The version management on Google Drive is pretty clever and flexible. Google Docs has similar version control for the documents that you create in it. Given that Google Docs is a collaboration tool, file versions are all the more important. Here’s how you can view recent file versions on Google Docs. This works for Google Sheets and Google Slides as well.

File versions on Google Docs

Open the Google Docs file that you want to view older versions of. Go to File>Version History>See version history. You can also use the Ctrl+Alt+Shift+H keyboard shortcut to open the version history for a file.

The version history opens in a panel on the right. By default, the versions are named by the date they were last edited on. You can select the version you want to view. By default, the changes made between the last and the most recent version will be highlighted.

Google Docs saves a version of a file each time you stop editing it and close it. If you’re collaborating on a file with other people, and they continue to edit it even though you’re not working on it, Google Docs will not save it as a separate version until everyone else stops working on it.

To make the versions easier to manage, you can name them. To name a file version, open it in Google Docs and go to File>Version History>Name current version. This option lets you name the current version only. To name older versions, open the version history panel, and click the more options button next to a version of the document. From the menu, select Name this version and give it a name.

You can also make a copy of the version and save it to your Google Drive.

Limitations

We should mention that file versions on Google Docs are available only for documents that were edited in Google Docs. You can upload and open Word and Pages files in Google Docs however, when these files are imported into Google Docs, no history of the recent edits made to the file will be imported. It doesn’t matter if you uploaded several versions of the file to Google Drive and then opened it in Google Docs. As far as Google Docs is concerned, it only has access to the current version, and all subsequent edits that you made to the file from inside the app itself.

Read How to view recent file versions on Google Docs by Fatima Wahab on AddictiveTips – Tech tips to make you smarter

How to manage file versions on Google Drive

Google Drive, like other cloud services, maintains different versions of files. We explained how you can access older file versions on OneDrive a while back. Google Drive’s file version control is exponentially better than that of OneDrive though. It not only lets you upload different versions of a file, but also gives you an easy way to manage them. Here’s how you can mange file versions on Google Drive.

Identify File Versions

Google Drive identifies file version as files that have the same name and same file extension and that have been uploaded to the same location. This means that if you try to upload a text file called Text File to the root of your Google Drive and then immediately upload another text file with the same name (Text File) to the root of your Google Drive, it will be identified as another version of the file you uploaded earlier. Google Drive will not examine the contents of the file to see if it’s actually similar to the previous file.

Manage File Versions

Visit Google Drive and go to the folder that you want to upload a file, or version of a file to. Upload the original, or the first version of the file like you would upload any other file.

Same file name

If you’re updating a file but not saving it with different names i.e., different versions of the file have the same name, you can upload the subsequent versions of the file like you would any other file. When Google Drive detects the same file name and type being uploaded to the same folder, it uploads it as a second, newer version of the current file and it gives you the option to save it as a separate file.

If you choose to save it as a separate file rather than a second version of the file already in your drive, Google Drive will add a number at the end of the file name.

Different file name

You want to first upload the first version of the file. To add a second version of the file that has a different file name, right-click the original file in Google Drive and select Manage Versions from the context menu. This will open the file version manager.

Here, you will see an Upload New Version button. Click it and select the file that is a second/newer version of the original file.

When you upload the second version, the original file’s name will not be updated to that of the second version. It will retain its original name however, when you open the file, you will see the latest version of it.

Regardless of how you named the files and uploaded various versions of it, Google Drive will always open the most recent version of a file when you double-click it. As for accessing older versions, you can download them from the version manager but you cannot open then directly in Google Drive.

Read How to manage file versions on Google Drive by Fatima Wahab on AddictiveTips – Tech tips to make you smarter