Jun 4, 2013

iCloud plunders Outlook

I recently got a smart phone, OK I’m a bit of a  Luddite when it comes to phones. I thought that synching Outlook to the cloud and and thereby getting all my contacts on my phone would be a good idea. Turns out, not so much.

I use Outlook 2010 on Windows 7 and used Apple’s iCloud to synchronize my data to the iPhone.  Synchronize would not really be the correct word. Separate and remove would be a better description. iCloud first removed all the synched contacts from my outlook contact folder and then put them in a separate iCloud folder. Didn’t seem like that big a deal until I went to search my contacts and realized the search feature that searches all the contact folders at once  doesn’t search the iCloud folder. That’s enough right there to obviate the usefulness of iCloud. Then this week I reinstalled Windows (don’t ask) and decided I wasn’t going to use iCloud anymore,  but guess what? My .pst file no longer has all those contacts and I’m not sure where they went.

So…, I began a long annoying journey of trying to get my contacts back from iCloud and into Outlook. It seemed at first that it was going to be straightforward. iCloud can export your contacts to a vCard. The problem is Outlook will only import the first contact from the resulting file. Exporting 600 contacts one at a time didn’t seem like a fun way to spend the day.

image A bit of Googling about found multiple solutions. The one I finally decided on uses the Contacts folder in Windows (who knew?).  Here’s the 10-step program to recovery.

image 1. Open up your iCloud account on the web, select all contacts if they aren’t selected (use the Groups button shown at left to get to the option to select all contacts. 


2. Using the gear icon at the bottom  use the Export vCard… option to export all your contacts.



Step 3.  Navigate to the standard user directory (typically something like c:\Users\<YourUserName>) and open the Contacts folder. Across the top is a menu bar with an option for importing. Click Import and navigate to the vCard you exported in the previous step.

4. Now use the Export option and export the data as a .csv file.

image5. In outlook use File->Open, Import as shown at left.

SNAGHTML340ccb16. Use the Import from another program or file selection and click Next.

SNAGHTML34232b4 7. Select Comma Separated Values (Windows) and click Next.

SNAGHTML343aef58. Browse to the .csv file you exported above. Make a choice about what you want to do about duplicates and click Next.

SNAGHTML346650a9. Select the destination location. I just selected my main Contacts folder. Click Next.

SNAGHTML346f90e10. Click Finish.

About Me

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Tod Gentille (@todgentille) is now a Curriculum Director for Pluralsight. He's been programming professionally since well before you were born and was a software consultant for most of his career. He's also a father, husband, drummer, and windsurfer. He wants to be a guitar player but he just hasn't got the chops for it.