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Problem: I am trying to copy ~300 contacts from my iPhone (in a Microsoft Exchange mail account that I now don't have the password for) to my computer / GMail account.

Background.

I have been using my iPhone to sync with a corporate MS Exchange (2007) server to keep ~300 personal contacts up-to-date and in one place. However I left the company yesterday and no longer have access to the Exchange account - password has been changed (although I think that the account still exists, for now). Going back to the security team and asking for access will be a massive hassle so that isn't an option.

The problem is that I thought that the contacts on my phone were copies, but it turns out that if I 'delete' the Exchange account on my iPhone all my contacts will disappear! So I'm trying to work out if there is a way to get the contacts synchronised somewhere else using only the iPhone (GMail? Or as a CSV file?).

I have full access to the contacts at the moment but whenever I open 'contacts' or 'mail' on the iPhone it tells me that my Exchange password is not valid, and I click cancel. I am worried that in a week or two when my old corporate Exchange account is deleted I may lose all the contacts.

I could also connect the iPhone to my computer and try and find them that way (by exploring the folder structure) but I can't imagine that would work as presumably the files are encrypted.

Help please!

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3 Answers

up vote 1 down vote accepted

I've used Funambol to recover\merge\backup my iPhone Exchange Contacts in the past with good results. It was a bit fussy so follow the instructions carefully with regard to what you want to sync back to their cloud and how you want contacts to be merged or you can end up deleting things you want to keep. The safest approach is to initially set it up just to back up rather than update the iPhone contacts, once you are happy that you have your contacts saved then you can use it to push the contacts back to the iPhone without worrying.

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Thanks Helvick. I used Funambol and it sync'ed fine - but then although I switched sync direction from 'phone->internet' to 'internet->phone' I still lost the contacts once I deleted the Exchange account from my phone. It wasn't the end of the world as I had a 95% complete backup from a couple of months before. However I suspect that in future (or with a more 'high-risk' operation) I'd make sure that I had an exported separate file (vcard or CSV) before doing anything with the originals! –  Nick Seeber Dec 24 '09 at 11:26
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I almost had a similar problem as I lost over 400 contacts after syncing my iPhone with iTunes, although I don't remember if I had ticked the contacts box. I am always syncing my contacts via wireless through Microsoft Exchange.

After searching for a solution and trying many, the best was to download an iPhone app called ExcelContacts from the App Store. ExcelContacts will export all of your contacts to an Excel zipped file where you can save it and easily import it back to your iPhone contacts when the mess is over.

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I've been using soocial.com with good results. I found Funambol didn't always get custom fields or put things in odd places. Soocial seem to do a good job of getting a complete capture of your contact data. It can then be used to sync with Google contacts, or at the very worst export it all in a vcard formatted text file.

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Thanks for this Evan. –  Nick Seeber Dec 24 '09 at 11:22
    
PS see update to Helvick below. I think I should have used Soocial as well! Live and learn. Thanks anyway, no dout this will help someone else in future... :-) –  Nick Seeber Dec 24 '09 at 11:27
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