Moving iPhone Contacts to iCloud the Easy Way!
Are you tired of the hassle of trying to get MobileMe contacts into iCloud?Â Does the “advice” provided by Apple make you increasingly frustrated?Â I was.Â Here’s an easy (and inexpensive) fix that is sure to work.
If you’re using MobileMe on a MSWindows computer with Outlook 2007 or higher, you probably don’t need this fix, but I recommend you take a look at it anyway because this is much easier than a Windows backup.Â And safer.Â If you’re using a Mac machine to back up your iPhone, you probably don’t need this, either.Â But, I’m not a big fan of having to plug my phone into something to back it up, so I’ll recommend this for you, too.
The problem is Apple’s advice for transitioning contacts from MobileMe to iCloud consists of a lot of useless hassle and BS.Â Why?Â I’m not sure and no one I’ve read or talked to seems to know, either.Â It is a simple matter to tell the MobileMe-to-iCloud transition tools to move the contacts.Â But it won’t.Â Ever.Â Their solution to that?Â Use Outlook 2007 or later to back up the contacts from MobileMe, then resync them into iCloud when you back up your phone with iTunes.Â Why would I want to do that?Â I wouldn’t!Â I intentionally don’t install Outlook on my machines at home, and I don’t want to use a computer-based backup when I can backup to iCloud.
Unfortunately, that’s the only solution they offer.
Fortunately, there’s an easy and inexpensive solution, and it will serve you well down the road to make periodic backups of your contacts off of iCloud, which is a good idea anyway.
This process took me less than ten minutes from start to finish, including the time to install the app and move the contacts.Â And it works beautifully.
Here are the steps:
- Install ExcelContacts.Â The app, written by Sam Yu, beautifully exports all of your contacts to an Excel-compatible format using several different export options that provide convenience for anyone.Â They include email attachment, wifi transfer, USB, and Dropbox.Â And the app is fast.
- Export your contacts.Â Select the options in ExcelContacts that you want to use, and export your contacts.Â If you want tea or coffee or something, go get it, but don’t expect the app to be busy when you return.Â Thousands of contacts can be exported before you have time to make tea.
- Verify the export.Â You don’t have to do this step, but I recommend opening the file in Excel or another compatible spreadsheet application to be sure all of the contacts are in there.Â You can verify this quickly by checking to see if the total number of contact rows equals the total number of your contacts.
- Transfer anything else you want moved via MobileMe-to-iCloud.Â I’m not going to tell you how to do this.Â Typically, the Apple transition tool works.
- Turn off MobileMe on your iPhone.Â This is the step where you make MobileMe stop messing with your phone.Â When you toggle off the Contacts option in MobileMe’s profile in Settings, it will ask what you want to do with the contacts already on your phone.Â Delete them.Â Really.Â Do not keep them.Â Once this is done, the only contacts on your phone should be any that were created after you turned on iCloud and made it the default Contacts location.Â Go to Contacts and verify this is the case.
- Import from ExcelContacts.Â Go to the app and import the contacts file you saved in step 2.Â If you have set up iCloud correctly on your phone, all of your contacts should now be in the iCloud addressbook and no others (unless you intentionally set up another addressbook).Â From this point forward, all of your contacts should be backed up to iCloud and should be replicated on every device using that AppleID that also has iCloud Contacts turned on.
Voila! Contacts moved from MobileMe to iCloud quickly and painlessly.Â I wish I had known about this app three months ago.Â It isn’t very productive to fruitlessly search for a function that Apple should have provided.Â I mean, really?!, Apple’s solution to moving your contacts from a phone they made to a service they offer is to use Microsoft Windows and Outlook?! At least they didn’t suggest you go buy a Windows phone as a solution…
Take care, and enjoy life,