4 Replies Latest reply: Jan 6, 2009 5:04 AM by pc2k07
pc2k07 Level 2 Level 2 (170 points)
Why does syncing contacts with outlook 2007 still not work correctly? I stopped syncing contacts a while ago because when I did my contacts in outlook always got messed up. So now since I'm sick of the poor performance on my iphone I decide to finally do a restore. So in the kb it says to do a sync before you do the restore to make sure everything is synced up and you get a good backup, so I do that, and decide to sync the contacts to make sure any contacts I have on the iphone get transferred over to outlook.
When I did the sync of contacts any contacts that were not in outlook, but were on the iphone are now gone. If the contact was not in outlook, but was on the iphone it got deleted from the iphone instead of transferred over to outlook. Itunes gave me the warning about more than 5% changing, but the warning didnt have anything under delete, so why did contacts on the iphone that weren't in outlook get deleted? I lost alot of contacts. Also it modified some of my outlook entries and removed numbers from people who had multiple numbers even though those multiple numbers existed in both outlook and on the phone, but the sync decided to randomly remove some of the multiple numbers from both places. So now my contacts are completely screwed up. (what a piece of work this thing is)
Is there any way to get them back to how they were? Does the iphone backup hold my contact info?

Dell Inspiron 17" wide screen, Windows XP Pro, iPhone 4gb
  • rkkeller Level 1 Level 1 (125 points)
    Syncing with Outlook 2007 has always worked perfectly for me.

    Make sure to read any messages that pop up and go ONE AT A TIME
    manually thru the changes it asks about. Do not just let it do
    things automatic.

    If its saying more than 5% has changed, that can be a lot and you
    need to go one by one thru what it shows.

    FWIW, dont you do regular PC backups every week/month like you should ?
  • pc2k07 Level 2 Level 2 (170 points)
    Yes I do backups, every week actually. I just ended up pulling my outlook.pst file off of my backup and restored outlooks contacts. Then I turned off the contacts sync in itunes and manually entered in all my contacts on the iphone.
    Contacts sync with outlook 2007 has never worked right for me. The problem lies in the fields/labels that outlook has for phone numbers (mobile, home, home2, businees, business2, other, etc) do not match the fields that the iphone has. The iphone is too limited in labels. For example, there is no home2 or business2 on the iphone so when it syncs on the iphone if there is already a home or work, it files it under other, then if you sync again that other gets transferred back to the outlook other field that may have info in it already and it messes it up. The fields/labels on the iphone should be the same as the fields/labels in outlook if apple wants it to sync correctly. Heck, the iphone doesn't even have business, it has work. My contacts have multiple numbers listed, some have 2 and 3 mobile numbers, and 1 or 2 home numbers, along with 1 or 2 business numbers, as well as 1 or 2 email addresses. The iphone just doesn't seem to handle all those numbers and all those fields/labels correctly. When the iphone sees multiple entries and doesn't have a label to correspond to it, it starts putting them under other and then you start running into sync problems, as outlook has an other field and outlook see it labeled as other and files it under other making a mess. The prob isn't with outlook but the lack of matching fields/labels in the iphone. It's an iphone programming issue as far as I can tell. Until apple adds all the exact named labels in the iphone contacts as in outlook I dont think it will ever work correctly for hardcore users that have multiple phone numbers under several different labels. I guess I could try adding custom labels on the iphone to match outlooks labels, but I have no confidence that that will work and really don't want to spend hours erasing the contacts on the iphone and manually entering them in again.
    If anyone knows if custom labels will fix this issue, please let me know. I'd be willing to try that if someone can verify it will work. Thanks.
  • DainBramage1 Level 1 Level 1 (5 points)
    I noticed that your sig says you have an iPhone 4gb, so I don't know if any of the following will apply... using my iPhone 3G with Outlook 2007, I have been pretty happy with how the two sync. I have created contacts in both the iPhone and Outlook and had them show up on the other. I have created a custom "M2M" label in the iPhone, to identify telephones who I have free Mobile-to-Mobile minutes with (AT&T wireless network), and that shows up under Outlook as "Other", which does not appear automatically in the (Outlook) contact's list of phone numbers (default is Business, Home, Business Fax and Mobile), but you can just select "Other" instead of one of the ones showing, and the number will appear. In fact, "Other" will have a check mark next to it, which indicates that there is something in that field. Now, if I could figure out how to make the default list be Business, Home, Mobile and Other, THAT would be sweet!! Also, I've had no problems with phone number types not matching... "work" numbers in the iPhone show up as "business" numbers in Outlook, and vice versa. BUT, I don't have a lot of occasions where I need a Home2 or Business2, so I can't be any help there, but yes, I would guess they would all end up as "Other", which could be quite a mess.

    The only other strangeness that occurs from this is that voice dialing apps (such as vlingo or Say Who) don't know which phone number to call if you say "call Jane Smith on M2M"... they recognize what you are saying, but don't know what to do with it.

    Don't know if this will be of any use, but I'll say it anyway... the AT&T guys tried three different times to transfer the numbers from my old Motorola to the iPhone with no luck... in the end, we ended up transferring the numbers to the SIM, and then I imported the numbers from the SIM.
  • pc2k07 Level 2 Level 2 (170 points)
    Thanks for your feedback. I think I will try making some custom labels on the iphone that match the default labels in OL2007, but I'm going to do it as a test scenario. I'll create a new .pst file in OL, put in a few test contacts, create the lables on the iphone, and entries on the iphone to match OL, then sync and see what happens. I may mess up my iphone contacts and have to reenter, but it would be nice to get syncing of contacts working correctly, so I guess its worth a try. The only problem I have in OL is that I really need two mobile labels and it only has one. Reason being is that I have my cell number blocked permanently at ATT's end, so for family or friends I have their numbers in contacts as *822345678 and also (555)234-5678. The *82 number is to release my number block when I call them so they know its me calling and the second is for when they call me so caller ID works on my end. (if the iphone was smart enough to match their caller ID with the *82 entry then I wouldn't have to enter in their numbers twice, but I've never found a phone that could do that). So I will have to use other or another label in outlook for the *82 entry and then the mobile entry. I assume as long as i match all the labels in both using custom labels on the iphone it should work. I probably wont try this test until the weekend, but if it works I'll post back. thanks.