How To Transfer Contacts From Your Old Phone To Windows Phone 8.1 Device

Khamosh Pathak

windows phone people

With the 8.1 update, Windows Phone can finally be considered as a mature operating system. Headlining features like Cortana that can do things even its competitors can’t only make things better.

There’s a lot to explore on your Windows Phone but you can’t do that till you’ve done the most basic thing, which is importing your contacts.

From Google, Outlook, iCloud

If you are coming from Android or iPhone and used Google or iCloud to sync your contacts, Microsoft has made this really easy for you. All you have to do is log in to these services to import stuff like mail, calendar and of course, contacts.


Step 1: From the apps page, go in to Settings and select Email+accounts and tap on Add an account.

email accountsemail accounts

Step 2: Now, select the account where your contacts are stored. Options include Exchange for business users, Outlook, Google, iCloud, Yahoo and even Nokia account.

Google Google

Step 3: Log in to your service and let the synchronization begin.

People appPeople app

Step 4: To actually see the contacts you’ve imported, you’ll need to enable the service from the People app. So open the app and you’ll see Showing contacts with phone numbers in blue. Tap that and another page listing all the accounts you have logged in to will show up. Select your preferred account and you are good to go.

Importing CSV

If for some reason the above method doesn’t work for you, or if there is some problem with two-factor authentication, you might need to revert to the plain and simple CSV import method.

The only problem is that unlike Android phones, you can’t just import a CSV file that you copied to local storage. You’ll have to access the Outlook account that’s linked to your phone and import a CSV file there. The contacts will subsequently show up on your device.

Exporting Contacts From Google Contacts or iCloud

Go to Google Contacts and from the top menu select More. From the drop-down menu, choose Export.

Google Contacts

From the popup box select if you want all the contacts or just a group. Download the file in Outlook CSV format and remember where you saved it.

Google Contacts

To export a CSV file from iCloud, go to, log in and select Contacts. On your keyboard tap Ctrl+A to select all the contacts and from the gear icon in the lower left corner, select Export.

iCloud Import

Importing in Outlook

Go to the online People hub and log in with your Outlook/Live details. There’s a button for Google there to import your contacts by linking the two accounts together. You can do that if you want.

Microsoft Contacts

To import the CSV we downloaded in the step above, choose the Start Import button from the Import Contacts section right below.

From here you can either go into Google or Other. The process is the same, only the Google tab will give you instructions to export contacts that we’ve already done.

Microsoft Contacts

So from the Other option, you’ll see a Choose File button. Select the file we downloaded above and then tap on Upload.

All your contacts now show up in the People tab in your Outlook account and on your phone.

How To Import Contacts From SIM Card

Step 1: From the People app locate the three-dot menu button on the lower right corner and tap on it.

Import contactsImport contacts

Step 2: Now, select Settings and from the new page tap on Import from SIM.

Import contacts Import contacts

Step 3: Select the SIM card and the destination for the contacts. You can import them to any of the connected accounts like Outlook, Google or iCloud.

Import contacts

Step 4: Now a list of all your SIM contacts will show up. Deselect the ones you don’t want to sync. Tap on Import and all your contacts will be imported.

That’s it. All your SIM contacts will now show up in the People app.

Also See
#contacts #synchronization

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