Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Verizon Backup Assistant: Exporting Contacts to Microsoft Outlook

Verizon's Backup Assistance is a great tool for Verizon customers who are tired of losing their contacts stored only on their handsets and nowhere else. But unfortunately the developers of it didn't consult a decent UI developer so the user experience leaves a lot to be desired, not the least of which is they used Flex/Flash to develop it. Bad choice in my humble opinion nowadays with several other much better UI development tools. But oh well, at least it's available.

The very first thing I wanted to do with it was export all of my contacts stored on my phone (mainly phone#s) to Microsoft Outlook CSV format.

To do that I had to first get my contacts off my handset and onto Backup Assistant's online My Contacts site.

After loading the applet on my Verizon Moto-V9m phone, I did the backup just fine. That experience was relatively painless and I gotta give Verizon kudos for that.

At the end of the backup process my phone displayed the following website to view my backed-up contacts:


I went there, logged in using my VZW user ID/password, only to see a message declaring "We're working on enhancing your experience - Check back in 15 minutes." This message remained displayed on my contacts page for 3 DAYS! So apparently Verizon lives in an alternate universe where 15 minutes is stretched out to 3 days. LOL.

Nonetheless, after seeing my contacts "magically" (and finally) appear on Backup Assistant, I was very happy that they're at least backed up to some other place than just my little handset.

Next came exporting them to MS Outlook CVS format. I'm looking everywhere on how to do this and there isn't a single link or option that I can see which allows me to do this. I did immediately see the "Export to..." option under each contact and that was promising but damned I'll be if I was going to sit through exporting 160+ entries one-by-one.

So after much mucking around that site, several disconnects and being booted off, not to mention a lot of cursing I found where Verizon had HIDDEN the EXPORT ALL option. So I decided to write this up for others to see and not waste the time I did.

The default view for Backup Assistant is its "Card View".



This view has nothing on it even resembling a "Export All" option. You see "Import Contacts" on the right of it, but nothing obvious for exporting anything.

Well, that's what this how-to post was for. Follow the steps below to export all contacts:



...and finally you should see the export dialog box:


I certainly hope this little how-to helped somebody.

Cheers,

Jac

27 comments:

  1. This was awesome.. thanks man!

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  2. Totally helped me!!! Thank you so much!!!

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  3. Perfect! Plenty of threads and discussions out there of people trying to figure out a cleaner way to export all the contacts.

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  4. nice!!!! any ideas how to switch to a different number in a family plan so that, that number can also export as CSV?

    Mike

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  5. This looks promising. Would you happen to know how to do this for a phone that is not the primary number? every time I try to do this it will direct me to the primary number and not give me an option as to which number I would like to have the contacts recovered from...

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  6. Great help......completed it in 60 seconds.

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  7. Those with multiple numbers on family plan...just register your phone number. Go to the My Verizon tab on VW website put cell number in box, click next, follow instructions - it will ask for a USER ID - (make it different than your base plan phone ID), password, secret question - etc ...submit, phone will get a text message with temp password.

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  8. Thank you so much, the backup assistant website is AWFUL. Thankfully now I can import my contacts on my new iPhone and be done with Verizon.

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  9. Thank you so much!! I was going nuts trying to figure out how to get my contacts. I'm so thankful I came across your post.

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  10. Well, I'm very glad this was useful to you folks. I'm taking requests as to what else to research and post a how-to for.

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  11. Thanks a TON! This saved me, especially since there's no backup assistant app for my new phone (palm pre +).

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  12. Thanks, I've been reading about the 'list' view but didn't realize it was an undescriptive icon until I saw your screen shots. Very helpful!

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  13. Any idea how to export the file so it will load to the Droid correctly? It keeps loading all the information into the notes field.

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  14. Wow. This is so nice. I just spent an hour looking for it, and I didn't even find it! You dont know how much time you saved every one of us! Thank you!

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  16. Perfection. Saved me hours of hair pulling. Thnaks!

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  17. This is EXACTLY what I needed. Thanks so much!!

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  18. For me ms outlook is very important thing. It helps me to earn money on my job. I had a complicated trouble with it and was very nervous. But my skilful colleague worked out the issue for seconds. And he informed me that the tool which had helped me might be suitable for other similar problems - cannot view emails in inbox in outlook.

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  19. Thanks wow that was a great post.

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  21. I cannot even tell you how happy i am that you did this. I was pulling my hair out. THANKS!

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