Sync Contacts from Your PC to a Windows Phone

July 7, 2011, By Christian Cawley

Once upon a time there was a mobile phone platform that allowed you to synchronize contacts from Microsoft Outlook directly to the phone, in addition to other information such as calendar appointments and tasks.

Sadly, the mobile phone in question was unable to keep up with developments, either in other devices or within the software it was designed to sync with, resulting in an antiquated user interface and an inability to sync contacts without resulting in duplicates and errors.

The writing was on the wall for this one noble mobile phone operating system, and its creators decided to introduce a replacement platform, once which would avoid the whole notion of duplicates by dropping synchronization altogether.

It’s true: whereas on Windows Mobile you could easily synchronize contacts with Outlook, this isn’t possible with Windows Phone 7.

So just how do you get contacts copied from your PC onto your Window Phone?

(Note: the following steps are for users who do not have access to Microsoft Exchange.)

Outlook Hotmail Connector and Windows Live SkyDrive

Contact and calendar sync in Windows Phone 7 depends on the cloud, namely the Windows Live SkyDrive. To this end, you require a Windows Live username and password to access the service, the same account that you would use when downloading apps and games to your phone.

With this, you can then sync contacts from Outlook to your phone via the cloud. To do this you will need to make sure that your Windows Phone has an active 3G or wireless Internet connection.

However, there is another step: because Outlook cannot connect natively to SkyDrive, the Outlook Hotmail Connector is required. This will enable you to setup your Windows Live email account in Outlook and sync contacts to your phone with considerable ease.

In order to do this, head to and download the Windows Live Essentials 2011 suite, of which the connector utility is a part. Follow the prompts for installing the software – this will involve you having to choose between either installing the entire suite and just the part that you require.

Getting Ready to Sync

With your Outlook Hotmail Connector makes it possible for you to add a Windows Live/Hotmail account to your copy of Outlook, something that shouldn’t take too long to occur. In most cases the software will prompt you to enter your account login details, but if not use the File > Add account button to begin the process. Soon your details will be copied from your Windows Phone via the cloud to Outlook on your PC!

From now on, whenever you make any changes to your contacts on your PC, these will be updated via the web and synced to your Windows Phone 7 handset.

I don’t know about you, but wireless syncing via the cloud seems preferable to plugging in a USB cable every time I want to check/edit something,,,

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