Import SIM Card Contacts to Windows Phone 7

July 7, 2011, By Christian Cawley

While getting to grips with the basic contact management options in Windows Phone 7 might seem pretty straightforward, there is a lot more to this functionality. The People Hub features so many different tools – hardly surprising, given that the heart of any mobile phone is the contacts list – and Microsoft have ensured that with Windows Phone 7 you have the greatest flexibility possible.

For instance, if you have contacts stored on a SIM card, these can be easily added, while edits to your existing contacts and additional information can also be added, along with a profile photo so that you can see who is calling you before you read their name.

If your contacts list is as busy as mine is, having a photo to recognize who is calling is particularly useful, as is adding optional details such as their place of work or spouse.

Adding SIM Contacts to Windows Phone 7

If you’re adding a SIM card from a previous phone (perhaps you’re continuing a mobile phone contract, for instance) and wish to copy the same contacts across, you will need to begin by ensuring that you have saved the contacts from your old phone onto your SIM card.

While older SIM cards could hold a limited number of contact details, more recent SIMs have greater capacity. As a result you could expect to get 100-250 contacts with names, phone numbers and perhaps email addresses stored away.

Contacts on your SIM card will not be automatically added to your Windows Phone, however; instead, you will need to manually extract these. This is easily done via Start > Settings > Applications > People > Import SIM Contacts – the process shouldn’t take too long, and once complete your contacts will be added to your new phone! You can also use the same method to save contacts from multiple SIM cards to a single Windows Phone.

Add Images to Your Contact Profiles

It can be quite drab to browse through the list of contacts in your People Hub and find empty, blank tiles, particularly given how vibrant and active the phone seems to be. This can be remedied by manually adding images to your blank profiles.

There are two ways of doing this. The first is to find an image of your contact (or an image that represents them) online; you can use the phone’s browser to search the web and when a suitable image is found tap and hold and select Save picture. The image will then be saved to the Pictures Hub in the Saved Pictures folder.

Whether you use this method or you take a photo of your contact at the next opportunity (where it will be found in Pictures > Camera Roll) you will be able to add a new image by opening People, tapping the appropriate contact, tapping the Edit button and then Add photo to browse either Camera Roll or Saved Pictures for the image you wish to use. Once a picture is selected you can Crop it by dragging the square around the display to focus on a specific element, or hit Back to choose a different photo.

Adding Other Details to Your Contacts

From time to time you will need to edit your Windows Phone contacts, and this is made particularly easy thanks to the various options that are offered.

As we’ve seen, opening a contact and tapping the Edit button will allow you to add new phone numbers and email addresses as well as photos, edit the name and even assign a ringtone, but there is another very useful menu item listed as Other.

Using this option you can set birthdays, add physical addresses, job titles, notes about children and partners or just general custom notes to the contact, giving you the best selection of custom information types that you could expect!

Once you have added the information, a quick tap of the Done button will update the record, quickly and easily!

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