2:22 pm - Saturday January 29, 1357

Moving Contacts between Mobile Phones

Slide1 Buying a new mobile phone is an experience which is always full of excitement. There is the pre-purchase period during which one tries to find information about the object of his/her infatuation, then there is the smirk period during which one enjoys the thought of buying a new gadget and finally is the dreaded period during which one starts using the device. That is when one has to move contacts and other data from the old device to the newer one.

Moving stuff form the (old external) memory card like photos/videos etc is easy as one can copy it on a PC and then transfer it to the new device using USB card reader or any other method. The major problem in most cases is moving the Contacts (which we are all afraid to loose). The prime reason is because all mobile phone makers have their own customized software for synchronizing data between devices and PCs. Nokia for instance has Nokia PC Suite and Nokia Ovi Suite, Sony Ericsson has its own version of the PC Suite and off course Samsung calls its sync application as Samsung New PC Studio.

Contacts are always saved in formats like .csv, .vcf, .npf. These formats have various fields for storing personal data like Name, phone number, email address , street address etc. The problem arises when you buy a different brand of mobile device then your previous one and your contacts are present in the old PC Suite.If your contacts are stored on the SIM then all you have to do is insert the SIM in your new mobile phone and start using it. But that is seldom the case, because normally we have contacts that far exceed the maximum 250 contacts limit set by SIMs. In  that case we are forced to store our contacts on phone and this means trouble when transferring them on to a device of a different brand.

For instance if your old mobile phone was a Samsung (you were using Samsung New PC Studio for storing contacts) and your new mobile is a Nokia (you will have to use Nokia PC Suite now). A Nokia will never connect with Samsung New PC Studio since the suite will never recognize the phone ion the first place. What to do then? Well some workarounds are available to shift contacts form one place to another.

The various methods are:

  • Phone to SIM. Copy all your phone contacts form phone to SIM using the contacts management of your mobile device. Insert the SIM in new phone and copy all contacts there. Next delete all contacts on the SIM and again insert in the old old device for copying leftover contacts. repeat the same procedure till all contacts are copied to the new device. This is a rather tedious procedure, but works when you have no other option.
  • Phone to Phone. Send contacts from one phone to the other one by one using Bluetooth or plain old SMS. This is most time consuming and difficult and should be avoided at all costs.
  • Backup in MS Outlook. The one common feature of all Synchronization suites is the native support built in to them to backup and store contacts in MS Outlook. They have the ability to Import as well as Export all contact to and from MS Outlook in bulk within seconds. This means all you have to do is export all your contacts to MS Outlook from say Samsung New PC Studio in .vcf format. Next install Nokia PC Suite and import all the contacts from MS Outlook in to the Nokia suite. Finally connect the new (Nokia) device and sync all contacts to it. This method is guaranteed to work and is efficient, it will do the job in seconds.

Besides all this it makes sense to Export all your contacts in .vcf format in a separate folder and burn it on a CD/DVD derive or store it somewhere on your hard drive.

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Filed in: Mobile, Tips/Reviews