Sync iPhone 3G with Windows Live Contacts

Ever wondered how you can sync all those Contacts you have in your MSN Messenger to your iPhone. Well wonder no more cause there’s a simple solution. The trick is to use Windows Vista and Windows Live Messenger (which is one of the many programs to manage your contacts). You must do the following:

  • Install Windows Live Messenger (obviously, only if it’s not installed)
  • log in using your Windows Live ID
  • Open Live Messenger window
  • From the Menu, choose Tools then select Options

You are now in the Options Dialog. Click on the Security tab and you’ll find an option titled “Encrypt contact list data so that it is not accessible outside of Windows Live Messenger.” You need to uncheck this option, as it’s checked by default. Click OK to close the window.

What has happened? If you open your Windows Contacts in Windows Vista, you’ll see that a new folder was created titled as your Windows Live ID ( In it you’ll find your Windows Live Contacts automatically synced with your account.

How do I sync now? The only thing remaining is to open up your iTunes and sync the iPhone with Windows Contacts. If you make changes or add new contacts on your iPhone, they are synced back to Windows Contacts. Another important thing is that next time you open Windows Live Messenger, the new synced contacts from the iPhone are automatically synced back to Windows Live Contacts (online).

This means that your contacts are synced throughout the whole cloud…

  • On the web (Windows Live Contacts)
  • On any computer (Windows Contacts, Windows Live Messenger)
  • Anywhere you go (iPhone, iPhone 3G and any other mobile that is capable of syncing with Windows Contacts on Vista)


31 Responses

  1. This does not seem to be an option with the latest Windows Live Messenger beta (version 2009, build 14.0.5027.908).

  2. Just curious… i have 2 msn messenger accounts. I have 2 folder in the contacts folder for the separate accounts. Neither of them sync directly to my iphone..

    How do I set the iphone to sync to that folder directly??

  3. Great Work-they had no idea at iphone help. Thank you,Thank you,Thank you.

    Now do you know how to sync th live calender?

  4. Why can’t Microsoft just open up ActiveSync on hotmail / windows live accounts – looks like it might be coming with Outlook Live (but some time away yet), already here with Exchange Online services – but aimed at businesses.

    With ActiveSync, iPhone users can use the Exchange Connector (i.e. the ActiveSync connector) to sync Mail/Contacts/Calendar all in one go!

    Come on – it’s what everyone wants!!

  5. Seems to me the option to “Encrypt contact list data so that it is not accessible outside of Windows Live Messenger” isn’t displayed on the newest version of WL Messenger (Build 14.0.8…). Anyone notice this? Am I missing something? Is there a workaround?

  6. Hmmm didn’t work for me…

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  7. i have unchecked option titled “Encrypt contact list data so that it is not accessible outside of Windows Live Messenger.” but i still can’t find the new folder as described and still can’t sync my contacts

  8. I have no problem with contacts synching. but I cannot get Windows Live calendar items to synch with anything on the iphone… not via mobileme, nothing… how do I get my windows live calendar visible on the iphone???

    I have connected the windows live calendar to outlook 2007 and use outlook to view my calendar. but I can’t get the data visible in any way on the iphone. thanks.

  9. how about spending some chump change and get mbox mail. it syncs almost everything on…except calendar and bookmarks, but mbox is working on it.

  10. The processor chip is described as somewhat newer model number but it and the GPU are likely the similar speed as the 3GS. The old Contact with the similar CPU and GPU since the 3G was faster. Besides having the clock speed turned up higher the Contact has much less software programs to run since it’s not a phone. It ought to do better than any iPhone to day in performance.

  11. Good day
    I am trying to sync my Iphone with my messager live using window 7, I always have a msg of outlook 2000 disk need to be install, can you help

    • I think it should work in Windows 7. If you click on start and click on your name, you will be redirected to your personal folders. One of them is Contacts. When Synching windows live messenger contacts, they should be copied in this Contacts folder. Hope this helps 😉

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  13. Thankss a lot!! .. I’ve been searching about this sync but I’ve found nothing in my language..then I’m here.. it is very kind of you to share this very useful (maybe easy for most people but not for me =) ) // God bless you!

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