Transfer Outlook Contacts to an iPhone Without Syncing or Using iTunes
Have you ever needed to move an entire Outlook contact list to an iPhone without using iTunes to sync the device to a computer, and without deleting the contacts already stored on the iPhone? No problem, here’s a simple two stage process on how to migrate all contacts from a Windows PC with just about any version of Outlook. This guide will also work with an iPad or iPod touch.
Exporting the Outlook Contacts as iOS Ready vCards
From Outlook on the Windows PC:
- Select all contacts in Outlook and forward them all to yourself as vcards
- Save all the attachments as vCards in a temporary easy to find folder, such as c:\temp
- Open a command prompt (Start menu, Run, type “command.com”) and type the following commands:
copy /a *.vcf c:\allcards.vcf
The last commands are essential because it joins all of the Outlook contacts together into a single vCard file that can then be easily imported into iOS and the iPhone.
Importing the Outlook Contact List Into the iPhone
Your next step is to use the traditional email method of transferring contacts to the iPhone without the assistance of iTunes. You should probably back up your iOS device before proceeding just in case the Address Book gets messed up:
- From Outlook, create a new email and attach the newly created “allcards.vcf” file to it, send this to whatever email address is setup on the iPhone
- From the iPhone, open the email address and scroll down to the attachments list, tap on the “allcards.vcf” file and then choose “Add All ## Contacts”
Verify the import worked by returning to the iPhone home screen and tapping on the Phone icon and then “Contacts”, where the Outlook contacts should now appear within the iOS Address Book alongside any other contacts that previously existed.
This is a great tip for people who are switching from Windows, changing jobs or computers, or if you just want to pull a long existing contacts list to an iOS device without having to sync and associate the device to that computer.
Thanks to EK for the tip!