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iPhone contact sync – what a nightmare!

January 4, 2010

After having my iPhone for over a week I thought I had better migrate all my contacts over from my old mobile. I had been procrastinating as I thought I would have to do it manually.

Turns out doing it manually may have been faster.

First I realized that my crappy old phone actually had Bluetooth and so does the iPhone. This old Sanyo 6600 was able to pair with the iPhone but the iPhone was not capable of receiving the contacts. Turns out the only thing the iPhone Bluetooth is good for is connecting to headset/handfree/ headphone devices and sending/receiving files from other iPhones or iPod touches (using an app like Mover).

iTunes however had a contacts sync function with Microsoft Outlook so I sent all my contacts to my laptop using Bluetooth, they transferred over pretty quickly, in .vcf format. I then had to drag these all into Outlook and save them one by one which was a bit if a pain.

The real pain though, was trying to get iTunes to sync with Outlook.

I just could not get this to work. Contacts already in my iPhone were synced to Outlook with no problem, however it would not add any new contacts to the iPhone. Hours of troubleshooting and forum trawling later I gave up on Outlook. I exported all the contacts as a .csv file and imported them into Windows Mail. I then set iTunes to sync Windows contacts instead of Outlook contacts and voilĂ ! It worked. What a nightmare though!

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