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Windows 7: Windows Live Mail - Exporting Contacts loses all Category information

16 Sep 2012   #1

Windows 7 Home Premium 64 bit
 
 
Windows Live Mail - Exporting Contacts loses all Category information

I am using Windows 7, sp1, and Windows Live Mail, Version 2011 (Build 15.4.3555.0308). I wish to copy (i.e. export then import) my Contacts list from one computer to another. I use Contact "Categories" (used to be called "Groups" in Outlook Express) extensively, but exporting WLM contacts seems to lose all Category information. I must be doing something wrong for this to happen. How do I export Contact info while maintaining each Contact in their relevant Category/Categories? Perhaps there is a way of exporting in ".wab" format; or perhaps there is a different way around this? Many thanks


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17 Sep 2012   #2

Win7 H.Prem. 32bit+SP1
 
 

Hi Joyaa, welcome to Seven Fiorums

hope this helps. WLM Mail Tips.docx


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17 Sep 2012   #3

Windows 8 Pro w/MC 32-bit
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by Joyaa View Post
...I wish to copy (i.e. export then import) my Contacts list from one computer to another. I use Contact "Categories" (used to be called "Groups" in Outlook Express) extensively, but exporting WLM contacts seems to lose all Category information...
True, the categories are lost during export/import. However, if you had been "signing-in" you would be using your "signed-in" contact list which is duplicated at contacts.live.com. Then as soon as you sign in on the new computer you would continue to use the same list, including the categories. Do you remember if your original import from the OE *.wab file preserved the groups? If so, just do it again on the new computer. (However I don't think you can move contacts back to OE from your current WLM contact list.)

Having said that, I remember when I started using WLM back in 2009, I played around with the contacts folders in Windows Explorer just to see if I could recreate my contacts by replacing the folders created during a new install with the folders from the old install. It worked, although Windows doesn't believe you really want to do that so there are numerous confirmations like "yes" "allow" and "no I'm not crazy" but when the dust settled, I had duplicated the contacts and categories on the new install.
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18 Sep 2012   #4

Windows 7 Home Premium 64 bit
 
 

Thanks Roderunner and Roncerr ...
Roderunner, my problem is that exporting in csv format loses all group/category info. Unfortunately "step 2" of the link you gave does just that - it exports in csv format so again all category data would be lost.
Roncerr, no I haven't been "signing in"; instead I have been using WLM just as I used OE in the past. I'm not sure how to describe this ... maybe: "an offline email program that I have set to go online only to send and receive messages".
Thinking about your 2nd paragraph, what I might need is a way to understand/interpret the file "contacts.edb" - see attached screenshot, "menu bar" ("Hermes" being the name of my computer).
Or a way of exporting the WLM contacts other than cvs and vcf, neither of which keep "category" data.
I'm not an IT tech so I hope the above makes sense? Cheers.


Attached Thumbnails
Windows Live Mail - Exporting Contacts loses all Category information-menu-bar.jpg  
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18 Sep 2012   #5

Win7 H.Prem. 32bit+SP1
 
 

I strongly suggest getting a hotmail account if you don't have one already. Or better still an Outlook.com mail account. Now export your contacts from your current mail account by accessing it directly, then import them into Outlook.com directly. Sign-in to WLM, wait till all folders are added then delete the account it if you don't intend using it. Once you have reset 'Categories' they should be retained everytime you reinstall WLM & sign-in.
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18 Sep 2012   #6

Windows 7 Home Premium 64 bit
 
 

Hi Roderunner.
I don't have hotmail but do have gmail so I imagine that I could use this.
In the past my wife and I have maintained the "primary" address book on her computer and periodically I exported this over to my computer (and all the "group" information was maintained intact). Do you believe that the procedure you outline will cover this situation? Would I export from my wife's computer to the online contacts list each time, then sign in from my computer to have my contacts list & categories updated? Thanks.
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18 Sep 2012   #7

Win7 H.Prem. 32bit+SP1
 
 

All my contacts are stored in my Hotmail account which I use to sign-in to WLM, giving me instant access to them but only use Gmail in WLM. Combine both your contacts lists in Outlook.com when you get it.
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18 Sep 2012   #8

Windows 8 Pro w/MC 32-bit
 
 

According to your initial question, all you have to start with is the "not signed-in" contact list in WLM. Categories will be lost as soon as you "export" from WLM. You could try the drag and drop (via a usb stick) procedure in Windows Explorer, with WLM closed on both computers. If it's not too much of a hardship, I'd just accept the category loss and manually re-categorize them. If you want to preserve the categories for future installs, always "sign-in" so the contact list with categories will be maintained at contacts.live.com and will simply show up in WLM when you sign-in.
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18 Sep 2012   #9

Windows 7 Home Premium 64 bit
 
 

Thanks RR & RC. I did set up a hotmail account but these seem so prone to hacking [I got another of those scam emails today - "i am presently in London,i am stranded here because i happened to get my wallet and phone stolen...." etc etc] that I am really averse to going down this route...
So I have decided to go with RC's suggestion of manually recategorising the contacts, and no longer trying to synchronise the contacts/categories list on our various computers. Sad, but if WLM doesn't easily support this there's little point.
That said, I may change my mind so I'd like to ask about RC's drag 'n drop approach - specifically, in which folder in Windows 7 does one locate the contacts list - with "categories" maintained? Even if I don't go with this approach, someone reading this thread will...
Many thanks, J.
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20 Sep 2012   #10

Windows 8 Pro w/MC 32-bit
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by Joyaa View Post
...I did set up a hotmail account but these seem so prone to hacking...
The LiveID that you set up with Microsoft for purposes of downloading software (like the live Essentials suite) or for signing in to WLM may take the form of a Hotmail address, but you never have to use that address for email and if it appears in WLM as an email account, you can simply delete that email account. Of course, everything saved in "the cloud" is out there to be hacked but Microsoft is well aware of this possibility and provides many safeguards. It's a good idea to go through the security options and the level-of-sharing options available at Live.com, in addition to not using "123456" as your LiveID password.
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