We have this issue every time we setup an iPhone on Exchange.
Selecting “Keep on My iPhone” will keep contacts on your iPhone, but only on your iPhone. This defeats the purpose of having Exchange, which is to automatically sync your contacts across multiple devices.
ContactMover iPhone app
To jump straight to our solution, check out the ContactMover iPhone app. Read on to see the time-consuming workarounds that inspired us to write this app.
1. Sync iTunes
- Configure iTunes to synchronize to an Outlook profile with at least one contact in it
- Export the PST that has the contacts in it
- Import the PST into an Outlook profile that is configured to that Exchange server
- Delete the contacts from the phone, and watch them trickle in from the Exchange server.
However, there are several issues with this workaround:
- You will not always be near the computer that the end-user normally syncs iTunes to
- iTunes may not be installed, and you may not have time to wait for a 100MB download and lengthy installation process
- You may not want to alter iTunes/Outlook sync settings
- iTunes is a heavy program, and you could literally be there for an hour trying to make this happen
2. Export CSV
There are other applications that email you an exported CSV that you can import into Outlook. You then must spend 30 minutes mapping the fields in Outlook. But Outlook’s field mapping interface is unforgiving – get one wrong and you have to delete all the imported contacts and start over.
3. Contact Groups
Some apps let you manage groups of contacts on the iPhone. But they all present you with a single list of “All Contacts” with both Exchange and Local merged. None of them distinguish between sources which is the difference between Local and Exchange.
Our contact sync solution
Stop wasting time with workarounds to this problem. Purchase the ContactMover iPhone app through iTunes, move the contacts directly, and be done.
Version 1.2 is now compatible with iOS5 and iCloud contacts.
New in version 1.3
Version 1.3 fixes a bug where the app would not always select the default Exchange contact list (e.g. “Suggested Contacts”).
September 17, 2012 Update
We have received several questions regarding the following error message:
You do not seem to have an Exchange source of contacts therefore this application can do nothing for you. It is possible that you only have Local contacts and no Exchange account setup.
The error is mostly affecting non-English speaking customers. The app is currently looking for a folder called Contacts, literally. In Outlook, simply create a new folder in your Inbox and call it Contacts. The app should now function as expected.
Please note, the app will not work on iOS6 since several changes were made in how an app can communicate with a user’s contacts list.
New in version 1.4
Introducing full support for iOS 6, while retaining legacy support for iOS 5. We also updated messages and notifications to help users run the app successfully.
New in version 2.0
Released September 16, 2013, version 2 offers a new interface that lets you choose your source and destination address books. Now, copy contacts between Exchange, iCloud, Local, and other sources.
Our app will work in just a few clicks on a lot of transfer scenarios. But, there are some situations that require you to perform a few extra steps. We have programmed the app to identify these situations and provide step-by-step assistance available at http://immense.net/contact-mover-help.html.
Contact us with any issues
As IT professionals, we do our best to test Contact Mover with various versions of iOS, Exchange servers, and account configurations. We want this app to be a foolproof solution for moving contacts quickly, and we want individuals and other IT professionals to rely on its ability.
Released September 25, 2013, version 2.1 introduces full support for iOS 6 and 7 and legacy support for iOS 5. Please ensure your device is running a supported version of iOS before purchasing this app.
Thanks to everyone for the feedback over the years. Certain things on your device have to be correct for this app to function as expected, and we are constantly adding helpful messages and walkthroughs within the app itself when we determine that your situation requires a few extra steps.