How to merge Google gmail contacts with Windows Live contacts

Everyone goes throught a journey of different kinds of cell phones. Cell phones are based on different technologies and specifically on different OS. My first cell was a Motorola Razor, a flip flop phone which stored my contacts in its own SIM card. My second cell was a mytouch, android based smart phone which uses a gmail email address as its primary email and contacts management service. All my contacts got stored in the gmail contacts while I used this phone. Recently my company switched me to the Windows Phone which uses a Windows live email address as its primary email and contacts management service. I use hotmail as my primary personal email so my contacts with their email are stored in the hotmail contacts.

Problem:

My Windows phone should show the Google gmail contacts (phone numbers) along with the Windows Live (hotmail) contacts (email addresses). Also if there is a common contact between Windows Live contact list and Google gmail contact list, Windows phone should show the contact in one view and not 2 individual contacts.

Solution:

Option 1:

Add gmail account to Windows phone to pull the gmail contacts in the phone. The drawback is that Windows Phone shows 2 entries for the overlapped contacts between Google gmail and Windows live contacts and the user experience was not smooth. Also if I need to update the phone number of any contact, it is not intutive to find if it updates the information in Windows Live contact list or Google gmail contact list, making the contact list more disparate.

Option 2:

A excel macro which goes through the gmail contacts individually, finds a match in the Windows live contacts, and either updates the Windows live contacts with the phone number or creates a new entry in Windows live contacts. This results in a merged Windows Live Contact list and Windows Phone shows everything correctly.

Below are the steps:

1) Go to Windows live account. Export the contacts in a csv file format. The default name of the file is wlmcontacts.csv. Use the same file name and save it in the folder c:\MergeContacts. Please refer to the Screen Shot 1 below as a reference for this step.

2) Go to Google gmail account. Export the contacts in csv file format. The default name of the file is google.csv. Use the same file name as save it in the folder c:\MergeContacts. Please refer to the Screen Shot 2 below as a reference for this step.

3)  Download the excel file Merge-WindowsLive-Google-Contacts.xlsm from the link below. This excel file has a macro in it and hence the extension is xlsm.  Save this file to the folder c:\MergeContacts.

https://skydrive.live.com/redir.aspx?cid=61082aa0aed16691&resid=61082AA0AED16691!283&parid=61082AA0AED16691!282

4) Open the excel file downloaded in step 3 above. Turn on the macro option as it is turned off by default for security reasons. Please refer to the Screen Shot 3 as a reference for this step.

5) Run the macro “Merge Google Contacts to Windows Live Contacts” from the Quick Access Toolbar. Please refer to the Screen Shot 4 below as a reference for this step. This macro is the main gut behind this merge process. Enter Alt-F11 to go to the macro window and review the code for your own knowledge. The main sub is the Sub MergeContacts() which does the merge. It does the following to merge the contacts

  • Open the workbook wlmcontacts.csv from step 1
  • Open the workbook google.csv from step 2
  • Reads the first name, middle name and last name from the workbook google.csv individually
  • Matches the first name, middle name and last name in the workbook wlmcontacts.csv.
  • If match is found, the macro updates the values from google contact to Windows Live contact. It does not update any value in the Windows Live contact if it already exists.
  • It match is not found, macro creates a new row (contact) in the Windows Live workbook.

If prompted to save the workbook wlmcontacts.csv, enter Yes. The new wlmcontacts.csv file is ready to be merged into Windows live contacts.

 6) Import the new merged wlcmcontacts.csv file into Windows live account using the import option under contacts manage option. Please refer to the Screen Shot 5 for the reference to this step.

7) You should be able to access all the google gmail accounts from Windows Live account now. 

Limitations of the current solution

  • While merging the Google gmail contacts into Windows Live contacts, it only updates the Home Phone Number, Mobile Phone Number and Email Address only if these fields do not have any values in the Windows Live Contact List
  • This is updating live contact list in your Windows live contact. So be extra cautious while using this solution.
  • The solution can be extended to incorporate other fields in the contact list. Currently it only updates a) Home Phone Number b) Mobile Phone Number and Email address from Google gmail contacts to Windows Live Contacts.

Screen Shot 1

Screen Shot 2

Screen Shot 3

Screen Shot 4

Screen Shot 5

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