Transferring contacts from an old phone to the iPhone

Transferring contacts from an old phone to the iPhone

Getting contacts off your old mobile phone and onto the iPhone may or may not be a straightforward process. If you already have your contacts stored neatly in Outlook (Windows), Address Book (Mac) or a Yahoo! Address Book (Mac/Windows), the process is as simple as syncing via iTunes. If all you have is a set of contacts stored on an old Nokia, Samsung, Motorola or other phone, however, the process is a bit more involved.

Here are your options:

Go to an AT&T store (Mac and Windows) AT&T will copy contacts from your old phone's SIM card to a USB thumb drive (you can bring your own or pay $15-$20 for one at the store). Unfortunately, the contacts will be stored in the PBB format, which isn't readable by Mac OS X's Address Book or Outlook under Windows.

Bring your USB thumb drive home then go to this site. Follow the instructions to upload your contacts and convert them to .csv format.

If you're using Windows you can import this .csv file directly into Outlook or your Yahoo! Address Book (login to your Yahoo! Mail account via a Web browser, select Options then Mail Options, then Contact Options, then Import/Expoert. Click the Browse button, and select your .csv, then click Import Now).

Alternatively, you can use the AT&T "Content Manager" to convert the PBB file into an Outlook compatible format, but some readers have experienced difficulty with this tool.

You can then sync them to your iPhone: open iTunes, select your iPhone and choose the Info tab, then use check the "Sync Outlook contacts" or "Sync Yahoo Address Book" option.)

If you're using a Mac, you have a few options. You can use Address Book Importer to push the .csv file data directly into Address Book then sync via iTunes. Or, you can import the .csv file into Yahoo! (login to your Yahoo! Mail account via a Web browser, select Options then Mail Options, then Contact Options, then Import/Export. Click the Browse button, and select your .csv, then click Import Now) and sync via iTunes.

Mobile Handset Manager (Windows) This $40 tool can import contacts from a wide array of mobile handsets into Outlook. The contacts can then be synced via iTunes to your iPhone. It's surprisingly easy to use, and comes in both USB and Bluetooth versions (pick one depending on your phone's capabilities).

Once you've moved your contacts to Outlook using this tool, open iTunes, select your iPhone and choose the Info tab, then use check the "Sync Outlook contacts" option.

Missing Sync (Mac) If you're starting with a Palm, Windows Mobile or BlackBerry device and using a Mac, Missing Sync is likely your best bet. The tool works by culling data from an old handset (using a different, device-specific version of Missing Sync, which can be used in trial mode for 14 days) then converting it to iPhone-compatible data, which is subsequently pushed to the iPhone. A single installer includes English, French and German language versions. Electronic downloads are priced at $40 from the Mark/Space Online Store.

Manually transfer contacts A terrible prospect for many, transferring contacts by hand to the iPhone is nonetheless effective. Once your contacts are on the iPhone, you can sync them back to Address Book or Outlook easily.

Feedback? info@iphoneatlas.com.

 

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