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Windows 7: Problems Syncing Live Mail contacts with web


14 Sep 2010   #1

Windows 7 pro 32 bit
 
 
Problems Syncing Live Mail contacts with web

Hi,
I searched everywhere and can't seem to find my exact problem so here it is for the world to see. Please Help!!!
I am running Win 7 and using Windows Live Mail. There are 2 user ID's on this machine, both with WLM set up with all the accounts (some POP and some IMAP) and contacts and categories.
I am signed in to live.com in WLM
I have 3 issues :
1) There does not seem to be a way to save the categories. I have exported the accounts and mesgs and contacts. But there is no way to export the categories. This really stinks!!!. I have a few categories with 20 and 30 contacts and I want to be able to back these up. Does anyone know how??? I don't think there is....
-Which leads me to my next problem-
2)I thought I could just use the Live.com version of my contacts and categories as a backup. But I can't figure out how to force sync the categories. I made some changes to 1 of my categories and I created a new category with over 20 entries and the change and the new category are not showing up at live.com. (but some of the categories I created in Windows Live Mail are there) I clicked sync everything, I logged out of the website (live.com) and quit WLM and started it back up, and the changes aren't there. The only thing I can't figure out how to do is log out of live.com when in WLM, which is my last problem...
3)How the heck do I log out of live.com when I am using WLM. I see my name in the bar at the top (under the minimize/maximize buttons) and there is no optionn to log out. Only "view your profile", "view your acct" , and "sign in with a diff id"

Thanks for the help in advance while I keep reading through these forums.
kfacc


My System SpecsSystem Spec
.

16 Sep 2010   #2

Windows 8 Pro w/MC 32-bit
 
 

It looks like categories is just a convenient way to sort contacts in WLM. The inport/export function of contacts only deals with all the contacts at once. The only time this is an issue is during a "restore" to a new WLM installation, which hopefully would not occurr often.

If it's not immediately obvious in which category each contact belongs, you could put a code word in one of the saved fields of each contact. Alternatively, before signing-in with a new installation of WLM you could go to www.live.com to look at the contacts and categories as you left them. Print out each category and use that as a guide when sorting the new installation.

As to logging out, there is a way: Options/Connections/"stop signing in". You will be logged out immediately and must manually choose "sign in" the next time you open WLM. However once you do that you will be automatically signed in the next time unless you log off before closing WLM (by using "stop signing in"). Also, if you're not signed in you can create a new list of contacts that you will only see when not signed in (your "not-signed-in" contacts). These only reside on your pc and not at live.com.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
16 Sep 2010   #3

Windows 7 pro 32 bit
 
 

roncerr,
Thanks for the reply. I was wondering if anyone was going to have any ideas.

A code word in one of the unused fileds is a great idea. It still stinks that I would have to manually recreate each category.
Also, the "stop signing in" worked just as you said. Thanks for that. I looked everywhere and was looking for a "sign out" - so I never thought of "stop signing in". It seems counterintuitive but at least it works.

Lastly,
Is there a way to force a sync of the WLM and live.com contacts?
They don't match up even though my WLM has been "signed in" since I first installed Win 7. I have a lot of time behind a keyboard and I can't believe that I can't figure these things out. It seems like there should be a sync option -from WLM to live.com or the other way around. I would like to know that I can access my current contacts at live.com when I am not at home.
I might just delete all my contacts on live.com and see what happens. (the most correct version of contacts resides on my computer in WLM)
I will export all my contacts first so I can get them back if they get lost.
What do you think????
My System SpecsSystem Spec
.


16 Sep 2010   #4

Windows 8 Pro w/MC 32-bit
 
 

I haven't tried many different ways of using it yet but generally I use the WLM on the PC to do anything and don't use the hotmail website except to view the current status of the inbox at hotmail (which is now always empty since I forward everything to a pop3 account). When I view contacts and categories on the web (hotmail) I see the last signed-in state of the "signed-in" contacts in the program WLM.

As for backing up, yes, whenever I backup my local emails, I'd also backup the contacts using the contacts export feature so they can be re-imported. There may be another way: Just save the Windows Explorer folders "Windows Live Contacts" and "Windows Live Mail" under c:<username>/appdata/local/microsoft. But importing from those locations may be tricky or not possible so we may need to experiment further before depending on it in lieu of the export functions built in to the program.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
17 Sep 2010   #5

Windows 7 pro 32 bit
 
 
test run of syncing

I backed up my contacts using the export function, made sure I was signed in to live.com with WLM then I did some testing. When making changes to WLM contacts, it seemd kind of random as to what got synced to live.com. The categories were especially sporadic. Some updates made the move and some didn't.
Then I decided to try it the other way around. I went onto the internet and logged into live.com. I made some changes to the contacts and the next time I started up WLM the changes were there. Then I deleted all the contacts on live.com and sure enough they were all gone on WLM. So I imported my csv file and started again. This time I messed around with categories. And again it seems that the categories have a mind of their own when it comes to syncing. Some changes synced from live.com to WLM and some didn't. I can't figure out what makes it work and what makes it not work. Maybe this is something for an "Essentials" programmer to look into.

Update - Just to let anyone know who is reading this : I tried this with both WLM and Windows Live Mail Beta that was downloaded on 9/13/10. I get the same sporadic results with both programs.

I just wish there was a "sync button" for contacts and categoris
My System SpecsSystem Spec
17 Sep 2010   #6

Windows 7 pro 32 bit
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by roncerr View Post
I haven't tried many different ways of using it yet but generally I use the WLM on the PC to do anything and don't use the hotmail website except to view the current status of the inbox at hotmail (which is now always empty since I forward everything to a pop3 account). When I view contacts and categories on the web (hotmail) I see the last signed-in state of the "signed-in" contacts in the program WLM.

As for backing up, yes, whenever I backup my local emails, I'd also backup the contacts using the contacts export feature so they can be re-imported. There may be another way: Just save the Windows Explorer folders "Windows Live Contacts" and "Windows Live Mail" under c:<username>/appdata/local/microsoft. But importing from those locations may be tricky or not possible so we may need to experiment further before depending on it in lieu of the export functions built in to the program.
Roncerr,
I loooked for the folder you mentioned (c:<username>/appdata/local/microsoft)
but what I have in my Win 7 Pro install is :
C:\Users\<myuserid>\AppData\Local\Microsoft\Windows Live Contacts\{longuseridstring}\DBStore
The "contacts.edb" files in the 3 {longuseridstring} folders are over 3 days old and I have made changes to contacts today and yesterday. So I know these are not the current files in use. I did some browsing and found 2 "contacts.edb" files that have current time and date stamps. I am going to try to delete them one at a time and see what happens. The files are located in :

C:\Users\<myuserid>\AppData\Local\Microsoft\Windows Live\Contacts\<myuserid>@live.com\W4CR1\DBStore
&
C:\Users\<myuserid>\AppData\Local\Microsoft\Windows Live\Contacts\default\W4CR1\DBStore

(I guess the W4CR1 is for Wave 4 - I figured I would try the Essentials beta and see if it works better for me but the problem is the same)

If anyone at MS sees this - I wish there was a sync button for contacts and categories - to keep my WLM contacts in sync with my live.com contacts!!!
My System SpecsSystem Spec
18 Sep 2010   #7

Windows 8 Pro w/MC 32-bit
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by roncerr View Post
...There may be another way: Just save the Windows Explorer folders "Windows Live Contacts" and "Windows Live Mail" under c:<username>/appdata/local/microsoft. But importing from those locations may be tricky or not possible so we may need to experiment further before depending on it in lieu of the export functions built in to the program.
Results of experiment with "Windows Live Contacts" folder:

It looks like saving that folder as a backup will in fact save all the contacts and their categories. This applies to both the "signed-in" contact list and the "not-signed-in" contact list.

Some details: I deleted the folder so that it was saved in the recycle bin with WLM closed. Upon opening WLM w/o an internet connection (working offline and not-signed-in) the contacts folder was empty. Next I closed WLM and restored the "Windows Live Contacts" folder from the recycle bin. (I was asked to confirm the replacement of various files/folders.) After re-opening WLM w/o an internet connection I could now see the "not-signed-in" list fully restored. Upon connecting to the internet and signing in, I could see the "signed-in" contact list fully restored. Since changes in WLM eventually show up on Hotmail and changes to Hotmail quickly show up on WLM the final WLM contact list should look like which ever one is more recent. So I doubt if one could consider the saved "Windows Live Contacts" folder as a backup for the Hotmail contacts since if you had deleted any Hotmail contacts that new list would replace your restored (older) version of the "signed-in" contacts.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
18 Sep 2010   #8

Windows 7 pro 32 bit
 
 

Roncerr,
Thanks for trying all that out. I was messing around with the files and was thinking about trying it while offline. (but you did it first) Well at least with the info you posted, anyone who reads this can figure out how they want to backup their contacts. The fact that changes to online version of contacts cause the changes to be made in a signed in version of WLM rather quickly is good if that's what you want or at least know about. The fact that changes to contacts in a signed in vers of WLM "eventually" sometimes, maybe, probably, hopefully make it to the online version is absurd to me. Especially without some kind of way to force sync. And that leads me to my last statement of this post.
I know I said it before and I'll say it agan : There should be a "sync contacts" button.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
19 Sep 2010   #9

Windows 8 Pro w/MC 32-bit
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by kfacc View Post
...The fact that changes to contacts in a signed in vers of WLM "eventually" sometimes, maybe, probably, hopefully make it to the online version is absurd to me...
In my limited testing of the speed of updates from WLM to Hotmail, it's not that bad. I just created a new category containing two contacts, closed WLM, opened Hotmail on the web and by the time I navigated to the web contacts the new category was there already. I would imagine there is no sync button because updates are done automatically asap or upon closing WLM. Another possibility could be that you need to refresh your browser to see the updates. My IE8 Internet Options/Browsing History settings say "Check for newer versions of stored pages...every time I visit".
My System SpecsSystem Spec
20 Sep 2010   #10

Windows 7 pro 32 bit
 
 
still testing it out

roncerr,
I have a thread going at "windowslivehelp.com" and the "windows live" person said pretty much what you said and she couldn't duplicate my problems. I am going to check my internet options for "new vers of page checks". For some reason I never thought of that.
here is the link
problem syncing WLM preBeta and Baeta contacts and categories with contacts at live.com
kfacc
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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 Problems Syncing Live Mail contacts with web




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