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How to Sync Your Contacts with an iPad

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  adfm's Photo
Posted May 06 2010 12:30 PM

The address book is a core feature of any mobile platform. It has to be available to you at any moment or the device isn't worth hefting around, right? If you just picked up an iPad and wanted to know how to sync your contacts, then this excerpt from Biersdorfer's iPad: The Missing Manual will be of interest to you.
Putting a copy of your contacts file—also known as your electronic address book—on your iPad is quite easy, as long as you use up-to-date software. Windows users need to have their contacts stored in Outlook Express, Outlook 2003 or later, Windows Contacts, or the Windows Address Book (used by Outlook Express and some other email programs).

Mac folks need to use at least Mac OS X 10.5 and the Mac OS X Address Book, which Apple’s Mail program uses to stash addresses. You can also use Entourage 2004 or later, but you first have to link before you sync: in Entourage, choose Preferences and click Sync Services. Then turn on the checkboxes for sharing contacts (and calendars) with Address Book and iCal (Apple’s calendar program). Entourage shares the info, and Address Book and iCal sync it up.

To turn your iPad into a big glass address book, follow these steps:

➊ Connect your iPad to your computer and click its icon when it shows up in iTunes’ Source list. (If you use Outlook or Outlook Express, launch that now, too.)

➋ In the main part of the iTunes window, click the Info tab.

➌ Windows owners: Turn on the checkbox next to “Sync contacts from” and then use the drop-down menu to choose the program whose contacts you want to copy. Mac owners: turn on the “Sync Address Book contacts” checkbox. If you want to sync contact groups, select them from the “Selected groups” box. You can also choose to import the photos in your contacts files.

➍ Click the Apply button in the lower-right corner of the iTunes window.

The iPad updates itself with the contact information stored in your address book. If you add new contacts while you have your iPad plugged in, choose File’Update iPad or click the Sync button in iTunes to manually move the new data over to your tablet.

To look up a pal on the iPad, tap the Home screen’s Contacts icon. Use the Search box or, on the Contacts list, flick to the person on the left side of the screen; take a shortcut by tapping the letter tab on the outer edge. Tap the name to see the person’s details. Here are some of things you can do now:

Change the information. Need to update an address or change a phone number? Tap the Edit button at the bottom of the contact screen.

Add a photo. If you have pictures of your contacts in your desktop contacts program, the same photos should be here on the iPad. You can also add a picture to a contact from your iPad’s Photos app. Open the contact file, tap Edit, then tap Add Photo. Find the picture you want to use. Pinch and zoom to crop it to size for the address book.

Find it on the map. Tap the address to open the Maps app and see where the place is located.

Send a message. Tap the person’s email address to open up a new pre-addressed Mail message

Pass along the information. Tap the Share Contact button on the contact’s page to attach the information as a .vcf file (the format most computer address books use) and attach it to a new message.

To delete a contact, whack it from your computer’s address book and the person will disappear from your iPad the next time you sync it to your computer. To delete a contact directly on the iPad, tap it open, tap Edit, flick to the bottom of the file, and tap the Delete Contact button.

iPad: The Missing Manual

Learn more about this topic from iPad: The Missing Manual.

The iPad 2 is faster, lighter, and more versatile than its predecessor, but there's still no printed guide to using its amazing features. That's where this full-color Missing Manual comes in. Learn how to stream HD video, make video calls, manage your email, surf the Web, listen to music, play games, and maybe even do a little iWork. It's the book that should have been in the box.

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6 Replies

  ChrisSmithWebGuy's Photo
Posted Feb 06 2011 06:12 PM

With the introduction of Outlook 2011 for Mac, many Mac users are asking the burning question around how to sync Outlook 2011 for Mac with the native Mac Address Book. This is especially relevant as many users now sync their mobile phone contacts (Blackberry, Android, iPhone) with the native Address Book contacts manager. For example, RIM’s Desktop Manager for Mac syncs with iCal and the Address Book and relies on Sync Services to sync with Outlook 2011 contacts. If you will now be managing your contacts inside Outlook, you will need a way to sync these contacts back to the native Address Book.

This is also true if you are using Scrubly to clean up your Address Book contacts. You will need to turn on Sync Services inside Outlook to sync your newly cleaned up contacts from Address Book to Outlook Contacts. Follow the steps below.

Before we begin, you should note that Outlook 2011 will sync contacts from Address Book, and you can sync e-mail accounts with Mail. However, Outlook 2011 won’t sync events or tasks from iCal (in part because Microsoft’s primary design goal with Outlook was to make it work with Exchange). Outlook 2011 also does not support CalDAV.

Setting up Sync Services for Mac:

1. Before turning on Sync Services inside Outlook 2011, be sure to turn off all other 3rd party sync services you may be running in the background. Once Outlook 2011 has completed its initial sync with Address Book, you may turn these services back on again.

2. As a precaution, make a backup of your Address Book contacts. File > Export > Address Book Archive. It’s important to make a backup of your data after you clean it up and before you sync. This way if there are problems you can erase and import the clean backup file.

3. In Outlook 2011, open Outlook Preferences by clicking Outlook > Preferences

4. Click Sync Services and select Turn on Sync Services for Contacts. Outlook 2011 does not yet support sync for iCal.

5. Select the accounts you would like to sync, (i.e. Address Book or MobileMe). Note that Outlook 2011 does not support MobileMe calendar or tasks sync at this time.

Troubleshooting Sync Services for Mac:

The above steps are really quite easy, however, many users have complained that syncing does not occur after following these steps. Here’s a few troubleshooting tips you can follow in the event this happens to you.

Important: Be sure to back up your Address Book and Outlook Contacts before testing any of these Troubleshooting steps.

Turn on iSync

1. Launch iSync, located in the Applications > Utilities folder
2. Open preferences window in iSync Application Menu
3. Check “Enable syncing on this computer”. Sometimes this option seems to be disabled or you can’t check or uncheck this option after starting iSync. In this case, wait for iSync to complete the sync process and then the option will be available again.
4. Reset Sync History. Important: If you are using the new MobileMe Calendar, resetting sync data is not an appropriate troubleshooting step to solve calendar sync issues. Instead, please see Troubleshooting new MobileMe Calendar issues. If you’re not sure how to tell if you’re using the old or new MobileMe Calendar, see this article.

Delete Plist Files

1. Force quit all applications currently running.
2. Go > Home > Library > Preferences
3. Search for all files containing “com.microsoft.outlook.XXXXX.plist” drag these files to the Trash
4. Search for the file “com.microsoft.SyncServicesAgent.plist” and drag this file to the Trash
5. Start Outlook
6. Tools > Sync Services and confirm that “Turn on Sync Services for Contacts” is checked on

Close and Re-Start Sync Services Agent

1. Force Quit Outlook
2. Applications > Utilities > Activity Monitor
3. Look for the Sync Services Agent under Process Name
4. Highlight this process and click Quit in the upper left
5. Close Activity Monitor
6. Re-Start Outlook

Hope this somehow helps ;)
+ 1
  rdcameo's Photo
Posted Feb 23 2011 12:37 PM

I spent over TWO weeks, looking for how to synch contacts. I FINALLY FOUND the BEST AND EASIEST way ever!!!

I bought the ebook: EASILY Transfer Contacts to iPad, iPhone, in the Kindle ebooks and I see it is in the iBookstore also.

BEST, EASIEST AND QUICKEST WAY!! Easy directions with step by step, screen shots and explains it in a VERY quick EASY way, unlike everything else I read!!!!! I now have control over my contacts FOREVER!!! What a great feeling!!!!

This is the ONLY way to transfer contacts back and forth to ipad and my iphone from my computer!!! I can do it myself very easily now, and always have these easy directions in ebook form!! LOVE, LOVE, LOVE IT!! Thanks for posting, as I read in a post on another forum!!!

This ebook should be included with the iPad and iPhone!!
  lk20715's Photo
Posted May 08 2011 08:11 AM

I bought the book Easily Transfer your Contacts to iPad and iPhone from Hotmail, Windows Live Mail written by Regina Everett and available at amazon.com for $3.99. It explained step by step how to get contacts out of any email account and into Windows Contacts so that iTunes can transfer it to iPad. It was simple and easy to follow. I recommend it for those who are not using Outlook 2011 (like me).

Even more surprising, I received an email from the author when I sent her a message. How's that for user support?

Thank you Regina.
  maikoadams's Photo
Posted Jan 15 2013 11:54 PM

These cause due to which tool you want to sync with your iPad is outdated so that it would not adjust with your iPad that's why you can't able to sync. If you want to sync contacts with an iPad or you want to transfer file then you can use third-party software to do this work. Use iPhone to Pc Transfer tools to sync your contacts with an iPad. With this tool you can transfer any file, music, video etc to iPad.
  mikeedward's Photo
Posted Feb 18 2013 01:19 AM

I use iCloud and the Outlook add-in to keep my contacts in sync with iPad. If you choose this route, read the instructions on the Apple site carefully to avoid duplicates. The add-in will handle all the work for you if you just follow the instructions.
  Brian Reece's Photo
Posted May 09 2013 03:16 AM

I’m no longer certain the place you’re getting your information, however good topic. I needs to spend some time learning more or figuring out more. Thank you for excellent information I was in search of this information for my mission.