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Windows Phone sync and transfer options

Created by Kosh---01
Technical Level : Intermediate



This post explains the options available for synchronizing and transferring contacts, calendar and tasks from your Windows PC to a Nokia Lumia with Windows Phone.


How Contacts, Calendar and Tasks are synchronized between a Windows PC and a Lumia family phone depends on which software is used on the PC


If a S40, S60 or Symbian Nokia phone was used before contacts, calendar and tasks can be synchronized between this phone and your PC using Nokia Suite with the following:

    • Microsoft Windows 7 contacts
    • Microsoft Windows Vista calendar and contacts
    • Microsoft Outlook 2002, 2003, 2007, 2010
    • Microsoft Outlook Express
    • Mozilla Thunderbird


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Nokia Suite (v3.6.x and later) allows for an easy transfer of contacts, calendar and photos to your Nokia Lumia Windows Phone via SkyDrive.


Here's how this feature works;

  • Connect your Nokia S40, S60 or Nokia Belle phone to your PC using the USB cable.
  • After Nokia Suite is started and your phone shows as connected select Tools>Upload to SkyDrive and follow the on screen instructions. If you do not have one yet you will have to create a Microsoft account which has a SkyDrive attached to it. You can create such account here.
  • You will now have to reset your Nokia Lumia Windows Phone. Doing so will erase all content from the phone and return it to it's 'out of the box' state. Make sure you have synced any media files to your PC (Zune for WP7.x devices / copy them through explorer on WP8.x devices) or Mac(Connector). You can sync these back after the reset. When finished reset your Nokia Lumia Windows Phone using Settings>about>reset your phone.
  • Go through the Device First Use sequence and when asked enter your Microsoft Account used to save the content from Nokia Suite. When the setup has finished your will find your contacts, calendar and photos have all transferred to your Lumia. These will also be available through your Microsoft account through the web interface. The list of installed (paid) apps is also restored and the phone will start downloading these once the restore is complete. You can switch to WiFi for this if you have access.


It is important to note this transfer will only work to the Nokia Lumia at the Device First Use sequence (after a reset). If you have your Lumia setup it will not look for or sync the information copied to SkyDrive through Nokia Suite.


SMS message can not be transferred directly, but you can export all messages in Nokia Suite (Messaging>File/Export all text messages) and open the resulting Comma Separated File (.csv) in Excel or OpenOffice Calc to create an Excel sheet (.xls file) this can then be copied to your SkyDrive and opened from the Office app. You could also use a tool to create separate files from the exported .CSV file and copy all of these to SkyDrive.


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If a Microsoft Exchange server is used an Outlook account is created on the Lumia. This is done through 'Settings > email + accounts >add an account > Outlook'. The following settings are required. Usually these can be obtained from the system administrator for the Exchange server:

    1. Mail address
    2. User name (usually the same as the login name for the business PC)
    3. Password (usually the same as the password for the business PC)
    4. The Microsoft Exchange server Domain
    5. The address for the Microsoft Exchange server


If Microsoft Outlook is used for private mail account(s) the Outlook Hotmail Connector needs to be installed to synchronize with the primary Microsoft Account and with the Lumia.


The mail account needs to be set up as a separate mail account through:

'Settings > email + accounts >add an account > other account'

More information on setting up a mail account can be found here.


A useful tool for setting up the Outlook Hotmail Connector can be found here.


Additional Microsoft support pages for contacts and calendar.


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If Windows Mail, a part of Windows Essentials, is used contacts, calendar and tasks are synchronized directly with the Lumia as long as you log in to Windows Mail using the same primary Microsoft Account as the one which is used on the Lumia. Contacts and/or calendar can be imported in to Windows Mail as follows:


Microsoft Windows 7 contacts, Microsoft Windows Vista contacts (and calendar)

    • Open Windows live mail
    • Go to contacts
    • Click on import
    • Import from current Windows user


Mozilla Thunderbird

    • Use the Hotmail extension for Thunderbird
    • Export contacts and import into Windows Mail


I hope this is helpful 


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