10 Replies Latest reply: Feb 18, 2009 1:44 PM by A Mazur
redpony Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
How do I get my iPhone Contacts to use "groups" for easy sorting and look-up of contacts. (Note that Apple uses the term "groups" to have the same meaning as "categories" in Microsoft Outlook.) My iPhone Contact list synchronizes with a Microsoft Outlook Contact list, that uses categories, however, I can't get the iPhone to use the category (i.e., group) data. Am I missing something here?? Help, please!

Dell Latitude D620, Windows Vista
  • roaminggnome Level 10 Level 10 (92,655 points)
    If you do a forum search you will find this question asked and answered numerous times.
  • BenjaminSF Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    Hey Roaminggnome, I have done a forum search on the topic of contacts, ms outlook and categories. I've seen this question asked many times, but not seen it answered. Can you provide a link?
  • jeromieg Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    Same here. I have also found supposed answers on other web sites, none of which seem to work.
  • sparkyguy Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    I assume this is the same question -- I've searched the forums and the Apple "Support" pages without luck, making me think that this is a problem fairly unique to a few of us:

    I have a lot of Outlook (2003) contacts organized into Outlook "Categories", and would like to sync only some of the categories -- not all of them -- to the iPod Touch/iPhone. However, in iTunes, I only have the option to sync All Contacts: "Selected Groups" is greyed out.

    Does anyone else have this problem?
  • DarrenBrackett Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    Same here - I have four categories in Outlook and on the iPhone they are lumped into one. Would like to know if it's possible (but assume it is not).
  • habakkuk4 Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    What I've heard so far is that the iPhone syncs its "Groups" with Outlook Contact Folders - not with Categories which is what I would have wanted. In Outlook, a contact can be in one and only one folder, but it can be a member of more than one Category. This concept is much closer to the iPhone's Groups, and I am still looking for a trick to make the iPhone sync its Groups with Outlook's categories.

    I wish iTunes exposed this as an option on the info tab of the iPhone where you choose how you want to sync your contacts.
  • brendanschulte Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    i am not an expert but have been working on this for hours. Aftersearching this forum high andlow i have compiled info to make it work for me, FOR NOW.

    1.First close Itunes. Open outlook and catagorize all you contacts in outlook 03/07 the way you want them. Also create a catagorie for "new contacts from iphone". All of these catagories are attached to your peep in the "contacts folder". Probelem is that your iphone can't distiguish catagories. But now you r set for you pc outlok contacts. So that is ens of setp one.

    2. Under personal folder you have a "contacts folder" which contains all of your contact regardless of their catagory. Now right click that "folder" and create a new one. Name to match one of you catagories. Now you should have two. For me it was "contacts" and "coworkers". I have went on to populate 7 more folder to correspond with all my catagories.

    3. View your contacts by catagory. Now proceed to drag them to the folders that the catagories match. When you done your master "contacts" folder will be empty but you will have all of the other folders for your contacts that are separted by catagory.

    4.Close Outlook. Open itunes Itunes will now be able to see this on your next sync and when you look at the info tab on your iphone. The drop down "sync contact with: outlook" the "selected Groups" check box should be selectable now and you can pick which "groups" or outlooks case "folders" that you want synced.

    5. I just synced my phone after all that and i can finally look at my contacts by groups. The groups button has finally appeared on the top left and i can pick which one i want.

    Ok now i have to figue out how to email to these groups. Or have distributions lists work on my iphone. I will update later. This worked for me hopefully its helpful to you.
  • Jeannie Long Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    BRILLIANT - worked first time for me! Thanks for all your hard work
  • joeclark1 Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    Hi Brendan,

    i followed your great instructions, and was able to make that circle under contacts not be greyed out anymore, and was able to sync selected groups while using outlook (2007). however, what could be done about syncing only specific groups under google contacts, or in yahoo address book? i don't really use outlook, so any info about this would be great. thanks so much in advance for your help1!
  • A Mazur Level 1 Level 1 (25 points)
    Hi brendanschulte
    Thank you for compiling this data.

    I noticed that I could only select the Group after the sync process started.

    Meaning, after I followed your directions and opened iTunes and still could only select "All Contacts". I sync'd anyway and until that point iTunes then populated the option to "Selected Groups".

    Thank you for the information I greatly appreciate it!!
    Tony