Office 365 / Outlook / iTunes Wiped My Contacts – And How I Rescued Them

My main e-mail was had been Gmail since I joined the beta way back when.  I never really used it for storing contacts because of how Gmail can figure out email addresses from the contents of the inbox.  My repository was the phone.  When I got an iPhone, it became phone & Outlook (synced by iTunes).  Then I got an iPod and it was in sync with them … when ever I would connect it up to the laptop (rare enough to be honest because I charge it separately).

Last night I made a big change to my email habits.  I switched from Gmail and Hotmail to Office 365.  I connected up Outlook and set Office 365 as my primary mail account.  This morning, I hooked up my phone to sync up some podcasts for the commute to work.  After work I came home, synced the iPhone again (which backed up the phone and erased the previous iTunes data backup), and I got a call (the first of the day).  No name came up … but it was my Mom.  Hmm, she hadn’t changed numbers or phone.  Why the frak did that happen.  Then I checked my contacts … well …  I checked the now empty repository of contacts.  Yoiks!

Panic stations.  No one likes every one of their contacts being blasted away and the lot being synced as zip.  Somehow, the Outlook switch over decided that my contacts should not merge my contacts between the phone and my new mail account, but should in fact reset them to zero.  Well I suppose it would be interesting to make a whole new set of friends and family Winking smile

I had an idea to rescue my contacts.  My iPad hadn’t been synced.  I fired it up and there were the contacts sitting pretty.  iCloud would rescue me.  I’ve never used it before.  I’ve never even tried it before. 

  1. Did an iCloud backup of the iPad.
  2. Configured iCloud to sync my calendar and my contacts.
  3. Logged into iCloud and verified that they were all there.
  4. Disabled iCloud sync on the iPad (to keep the data safe) and left the data on the iPad (no delete)
  5. Disconnected my iPhone, and configured it to sync with iCloud.  My contacts and calendar entries were back.
  6. Removed all trace of my now redundant Gmail account (IMAP) from Outlook and from the iPhone.
  7. Closed and restarted Outlook and iTunes.
  8. Disabled iCloud sync on the iPhone, leaving the data on the phone.
  9. Connected up the iPhone to the laptop and let iTunes sync with contacts (verify this is set up in the Phone – Info area).
  10. Dismissed the dozens of meeting alerts that appeared for past reminders.
  11. Checked Outlook Contacts and there they were … rescued.


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2 Comments on Office 365 / Outlook / iTunes Wiped My Contacts – And How I Rescued Them

  1. Thank you! I’m sure I’ll be needing this info shortly too.

  2. Thank you!

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