How to Sync Outlook Contacts with iPhone

Having a hard time on how to sync your Outlook contacts to your iPhone? We will tell you in this article.

• Filed to: iPhone Transfer • Proven solutions

If you’re a Microsoft Outlook user and you own an iPhone at the same time, you should know that there are several easy ways that allow you to have your Outlook contacts synced with your iPhone.

In this article, we’ll tell you how to sync your Outlook contacts to your iPhone and vice-versa.

Part 1: How to sync Outlook contacts to iPhone

Using iTunes

iTunes isn’t only a music player or a one-stop shop for paid downloads such as music, movies, books, and others. It also acts as an over-all manager for your iOS devices, specifically your iPhone. To sync your Outlook contacts with your iPhone, follow these instructions:

sync Outlook contacts to iPhone via itunes

Step 1: Connect your iPhone to your computer and open iTunes if it doesn’t launch automatically. Make sure you are running the latest version of iTunes to avoid any issues that may come up during the process.

Step 2: Now on the left sidebar, go to the Devices entry and look for your iPhone’s name under it.

Step 3: Of the tabs that you see on the upper portion of the screen, click on the Info tab.

Step 4: Tick the checkbox beside Sync Contacts with. Afterwards, select the drop-down menu beside it and select Outlook. At this point, you can choose to sync all your contacts or sync only selected groups. Now click Apply to finish the setup.

Step 5: It is very important to note that every time iTunes is syncing your contacts, Outlook will notify you that iTunes is attempting to access its data. You will need to check Allow Access for, set a time limit for iTunes’ access and hit Yes.

Using iCloud

Aside from iTunes, you can also make use of Apple’s cloud service, iCloud, to sync your Outlook contacts with your iPhone. Here’s how you do it with iCloud using the iCloud control panel (for Windows):

sync Outlook contacts to iPhone via icloud

Step 1: Before you start syncing, you need to back up your Outlook .pst file. Ensure that you have the iCloud control panel for Windows installed on your computer. If you don’t have it yet, you need to install it at this point.

Step 2: Now copy your default Outlook .pst file over to iCloud, setting your iCloud .pst as your default and taking care of the syncing and updating of changes on your contacts list between your iPhone and Outlook.

Step 3: In the iCloud control panel, tick the checkbox beside Contacts with Outlook. Next, check out your iPhone’s iCloud settings and switch Contacts to On to enable syncing contacts with Outlook.

Step 4: You have just finished setting up Outlook to sync with your iPhone. Outlook will now begin syncing contacts to your iPhone.

Using E-mail

If you aren’t comfortable with using iCloud or iTunes to set up Outlook for syncing with your iPhone, you can use your e-mail to do the syncing. Keep in mind that this method does not automatically update changes in your contacts in both Outlook and your iPhone. Anyways, to proceed, read and follow these steps:

Step 1: In Outlook, you’ll have to create a .vcf file, which is sort of a digital business card, and have it sent to your own e-mail address. To do so, select all of your Outlook contacts, right-click on them, and select Send as Business Card. Have it sent to your own e-mail address. Outlook will then create individual .vcf cards for each of your contacts.

Step 2: Open the e-mail you just sent to yourself in Outlook and save the attached .vcf files in a temporary folder in your computer, say “c:\sample”. Now open Command Prompt. At this point, you will be merging your multiple .vcf files into one .vcf file.

Step 3: In Command Prompt, enter “cd c:\sample” (given that you saved your .vcf files in “c:\sample”). Hit Enter to proceed. Now type "copy /a *.vcf c:\sample" and hit Enter again.

Step 4: Now create another e-mail and attach the newly-created allcards.vcf file that you just made using Command Prompt. Send the e-mail to your own address.

Step 5: Get your iPhone and read the e-mail from there. Open the .vcf file you created and attached and tap Add All Contacts.

Part 2: How to sync iPhone contacts to Outlook

If you want to sync your iPhone contacts to Outlook, you have two options, you can either use iTunes with the same set of instructions as stated in the previous part of the article, or you can use a free third-party application for convenient contact transferring.

Here’s how you do it with a third-party application:

Step 1: Head over to this link and download CopyTrans. Install it afterwards. While you will need to pay to get its premium features, its trial version is enough to get your contacts transferred or synced to Outlook.

Step 2: Now connect your iPhone and run CopyTrans. Once it launches, you will see your iPhone contacts in the main window.

Step 3: Tick the checkbox beside Contacts. If you want to selectively sync or transfer contacts, you may do so by ticking only the checkboxes of the ones you want to sync. Afterwards, hit Export Selected.

>sync iPhone contacts to Outlook 1

Step 4: You will be presented with options as to where you’d like to save your contacts. Choose Outlook (direct export to Outlook).

sync iPhone contacts to Outlook 2

Step 5: In the next window, choose where you’d like to store your iPhone contacts.

sync iPhone contacts to Outlook 3

Step 6: Now click OK to start syncing and transferring your iPhone contacts to Outlook. You may be alerted by Outlook via an alert message. Just tick Allow Access For, set the time for allowed access, and hit Yes to proceed.

sync iPhone contacts to Outlook 4

At this point you’re good to go as you now know how to sync your Outlook contacts to iPhone and back.

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