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How Do I Sync My Windows Phone Contacts to My PC?

written by: •edited by: Simon Hill•updated: 3/30/2011

There is no obvious way to sync contacts from Windows Phone 7 to your PC - it all happens in the background, thanks to Windows Live!

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    Manage Contacts on Windows Phone 7 with the People Hub

    Windows Phone 7 handsets utilize a hub dedicated to handling your contacts. Known as the People Hub, this database of names, phone numbers, e-mail addresses and home pages can be integrated with Facebook to deliver up to date social networking information to your phone. Names might be copied to your Windows Phone via your Windows Live account, and this happens automatically with little fanfare. Other contacts can be copied in from your Facebook account or Google Mail.

    However, getting your contacts onto your phone from your PC is another matter entirely.

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    Preparing to Sync Your Windows Phone Contacts

    How to Sync Windows Phone 7 Contact to Pc Depending on which e-mail client you use on your PC, the process of syncing contacts to your Windows Phone should be pretty straightforward.

    Unlike previous mobile platforms from Microsoft there is no way to directly sync contacts or calendar items to or from your Windows Phone 7 device. The only syncing available is through the Zune client, and this is restricted to movies, photos and audio tracks.

    In order to start syncing you need either Microsoft Outlook 2007 or 2010, or Windows Live Mail. Outlook is available as part of Microsoft Office, while Windows Live Mail is a part of the free Windows Live Essentials suite.

    With one of these chosen and installed, you will then need to set up a new e-mail account that links with the one on your Windows Phone. This will be a Windows Live account, the same one that is used to access the Zune Marketplace, your Windows Live SkyDrive and various other services on your Windows Phone 7 device. See Using Outlook Connector Pack for more on setting up a Windows Live account in Outlook.

    Screenshot by author

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    How to Sync Windows Phone 7 Contacts to PC

    Sync Windows Phone 7 Contact to Pc from the People Hub The whole desktop to mobile sync process for Windows Phone 7 centers on the Windows Live service, and this offers various benefits for syncing data between mobile and desktop devices.

    Thanks to your Windows Phone connection to the Windows Live service, contacts from your handset will be synced to your PC, although note that some contacts will be missing if you use the Facebook integration in the People Hub. If this is the case, go back to your Windows Phone, Edit the contact and select Windows Live as the service to add new details to.

    Image credit: Windows Phone Newsroom,

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    How to Sync Windows Phone 7 Contacts from PC to Phone

    How to Sync Windows Phone 7 Contact to Pc Note that you will also be able to sync contacts from your PC to your phone, by either creating them in Windows Live Mail/Outlook or importing them from another program.

    For instance you can export contacts from your previous e-mail client and import them into Windows Live Mail. To do this, open the Contacts view and then go to Import and use select your preferred import format.

    After your contacts are imported into the Microsoft Outlook or Windows Live Mail software you will be able to view and edit them, and if necessary, delete any that you no longer need.

    Screenshot by author

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    Source: Author's own experience.