Windows 8 and 8.1 Forums


Moving Contacts from Windows Contacts into People App

  1. #1

    Moving Contacts from Windows Contacts into People App


    OK, this should be simple. I did a clean install of Windows 8. Of course, before doing the clean install, I backed up all of my data including the "Contacts" folder under my user name. The clean install progressed as expected (I've done clean installs many times previously). When I copied my information back, I also copied the contents of the Contacts folder back.

    Now I want to import my contacts into the new People App. I have a live ID and everything seems to be working fine, except I cannot get my contacts imported. I've gone to the contacts folder and exported the contacts as a CSV file (there are only two export options, CSV and vCard). When I go to the People App and try to "import from a file", I get an error message saying my CSV file is NOT a CSV file. Just to make sure I tried all my options, I went back and tried exporting as a vCard file and when I try to import I get an error message saying there is an internal error.

    I've searched the net and, from what I can find, I seem to be doing the right thing using a CSV file, but am not getting the end result. I've even seen some info on Microsoft's site which tells me to do exactly what I've done. Obviously, I must be missing something.

    Anybody done this conversion from Windows Contacts to the People App and made it work? If so, what did you do differently than I've described above.

    Thanks.

      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  2. #2


    Posts : 534
    Windows 7, Windows 8 RP


    If it's not working by importing to the Mail App directly you could try to log into your mail account online through the browser and access People from there. On the main page there is an option to import from file and through that you have the option of CSV or Outlook. If it works there then your Mail App should just update with your contacts at next sync.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  3. #3


    Thanks RObr . . . but already tried that and it doesn't work going through the browser either. Just sends me to the same place that you mentioned and with same results. Says the CSV file is not a CSV file. By the way, I looked at the file with a text editor and it is, in fact, a CSV (comma separated value) file.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  4. #4


    Posts : 534
    Windows 7, Windows 8 RP


    I just exported a CSV from Windows 7 Contacts to People through the browser connected to my Hotmail and it didn't give me an error. Does your CSV file have an extension .csv?
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  5. #5


    Yes, it does have a .cvs extension.

    Just so we're talking about the same thing, I want to clarify. I have my contacts in the "Contacts" folder under my User Account on my hard drive. In other words, my contacts are currently located in C:\Users\MYUserName\Contacts and are not located anywhere else (they're not located in the cloud anywhere, not gmail, not live, etc.). If I go to the "Contacts" Folder, one of the ribbon items at the top is "Export" which, when clicked, allows me to choose between a vCard Export or a CSV Export. I'm choosing the CVS Export option. Of course, before I click on export, I "Select All" contacts. This is the file I'm trying to load into the People App in the area where it allows me to get contacts from a number of sources (Twitter, Facebook, etc.) including "From a file."
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  6. #6


    Posts : 534
    Windows 7, Windows 8 RP


    Yes, that's where I exported from. I don't have any contacts as mine are all in the cloud but I created a few test contacts then exported then as you indicated above and imported though my hotmail account online. Once there they automatically sync to the People App after a while.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  7. #7


    RObR . . . Thanks for the feedback on your experiences. I did finally get it to work, but not as easily as it worked for you. I entered a few test transactions in my hotmail account and did a CSV export. Comparing this to the CSV export from my Windows Contacts, I noted that there were differences in some of the column headings and also there were some column headings that existed in one export but not the other.

    Taking the export from my hotmail account and using the column headings as a template, I copied the information from my Windows Contacts to the hotmail template. Once I did that, the import to the hotmail account went smoothly without a hitch. Obviously, there was something unusual about my Windows Contacts format that the hotmail import routine didn't like.

    Anyway, thanks again.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  8. #8


    OK, somehow my contacts are now in People but the address books did not transfer. How do I build new address books or transfer the old ones over. I gotta say, this People app is so limited and so not user friendly.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  9. #9


    Posts : 1
    Windows 7, 8.1, Android and some iOS


    Quote Originally Posted by Tomel View Post
    RObR . . . Comparing this to the CSV export from my Windows Contacts, I noted that there were differences in some of the column headings and also there were some column headings that existed in one export but not the other.

    Taking the export from my hotmail account and using the column headings as a template, I copied the information from my Windows Contacts to the hotmail template. Once I did that, the import to the hotmail account went smoothly without a hitch. Obviously, there was something unusual about my Windows Contacts format that the hotmail import routine didn't like.

    Anyway, thanks again.
    Hi Tomel

    I found your post a while after you wrote it, but am having exactly the problem you had. [we'll leave aside discussion on why the People app cannot simply recognise contacts in the contacts folder, or read the WAB file...]

    Could you (or someone else who's been through this) please share the details of the column headings and differences so I could follow the same procedure you did?

    thanks!
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

Moving Contacts from Windows Contacts into People App
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