Tips for transferring contacts and other stuff to a new Windows Phone

Tips for transferring contacts and other stuff to a new Windows Phone

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Picking up a Nokia Lumia 900 or other new Windows Phone soon? You’re probably excited—and maybe also a little apprehensive about how you’ll get contacts, apps, photos, and other precious cargo off your old phone and onto the new one.

Fear not. First, remember that the store you buy your Windows Phone from can often do much of the dirty work for you, especially if you’re sticking with the same carrier. If it does become a DIY project, here’s a cheat sheet for getting the job done as quickly and painlessly as possible.

Moving apps

If you’re upgrading your Windows Phone, it’s easy to get all your old apps onto your new handset—as long as you’ve set up your new phone with the same Windows Live ID you used on the old one. Once that’s done, go to My Phone and sign in. Click your name, and then click Account. You’ll see everything you’ve picked up from Marketplace, organized by date. To install an app on your new phone, just click Reinstall.

The Windows Phone website keeps track of the apps you've downloaded from Marketplace, making it easier to reinstall them later if you need to.

But that’s not your only—or even easiest—option. Using the website, you’ll need to install your old apps one by one. If you’re not picky, I recommend Reinstaller, a handy app that makes it possible to move all your apps at once. In fact, it should probably be the first thing you install on your new phone.

Moving contacts

My phone’s address book is my life. Luckily, all those names, numbers, and email addresses are stored in the cloud as part of online services like Hotmail, Facebook, and Gmail. That means when I add one of these accounts to my new phone—a process that takes all of a minute or so—my contacts automatically show up in the People Hub on my new handset.

What if your contacts are saved elsewhere—like on your PC or old phone’s SIM card? Take a look at this article for guidance.

Contact profile

Finally, AT&T subscribers can also reduce some of the dirty work using AT&T Mobile Transfer. The app, visible only on the phone and only to AT&T subscribers, is a free one-time service that helps you wirelessly transfer up to two gigabytes of contacts and photos to a temporary online storage depot, so you can later put them on your new phone.

Moving email

It’s a cinch to move email to your new phone. Just follow the steps in this how-to article. By the way, Windows Phone generally treats contacts, email, and calendar appointments as a package. So when you set up an Outlook, Windows Live, or Google account on your new phone, you can choose what info you want to show up.

Moving music, photos, and videos

If your phone is anything like mine, it’s probably packed with pictures, videos, songs, and other media files that would break your heart to lose. Before upgrading, make sure to sync your current Windows Phone handset with your computer, so all those media files are safely copied onto your hard drive. To do that, you’ll need to install the Zune software, then follow these step-by-step instructions.

Have a Mac? No problem. Just download the Windows Phone 7 Connector from the Mac App Store and then check out this how-to article.

Zune screen

Questions?

If you have questions about moving stuff to a new phone, let me know in comments and I’ll do my best to fill in the blanks. Better yet, I’d love to hear your own tips and tricks for getting the job done.

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  • Raihan
    2 Posts

    Hi Michael, yesterday I bough HTC 8S phone. I cannot copy contacts into new SIM. the ONLY option in people hub is to sync with my hotmail account. How do I copy those contacts into my new SIM and unsync with my homtail. I dont want to see my hotmail email and other private stuff poping up in mobile. If Ioose mobile then I will loose my privacy. I would only like to use my SIM contacts only.

    So far my search found that WP8 doesnt have any option to copy contact in SIM and WP8 doesnt see contacts in SIM. WP8 can import contact from SIM to mobile though.

    I been working as an Wintel Architect for 10 years. I bought my first Windows phone with a huge hype and expectation in my heart. Who is the einstein come up the idea that all your contacts should be in cloud. I travel a lot. if I use/sync hotmail via my mobile for contacts I will be charged for roaming.

    Do you have any solutions of this problem?

  • Caporal
    1 Posts

    1- How do I do to show the contacts that ARE NOT in my contacts in gmail but in other groups, like family, work and so on ?

    2- How do I make a call ? I open the dialer, click the contacts but there is no option to make a call and no phone number is displayed there

  • imuniem
    1 Posts

    nice article.but i have a question.let's say i downloaded a windows phone game and how can transfer the file??please help cause i'm buying a wp

  • So heres a good question. I am transferring from an Android phone to a Nokia Lumia. I have 750 contacts on the phone and do not have Exchange. I am running a Mac(maybe running Tiger so no iCloud). How do i get the contacts from the Android onto my Windows 7 phone and when i have how do i also have my Windows Mobile synch with my computer.

  • technoloG
    21 Posts

    The most pro-active thing we can do at this point is let our voice be heard and vote:

    windowsphone.uservoice.com/.../2748349-full-backup-capability-with-restore-transfer-funct

    We understand that the #SmartPhoneBetaTest is over and we are reporting a missing piece of core functionality. Wouldn't that this make it Alpha?

    The only way that WindowsPhone devices can truly be #FreeTimeMachines is if we are able to rely on them and the ability to restore data to them if something tragic happens.

    Please, Microsoft hear us: SAVE US FROM OUR PHONES!

  • Oh btw., they AFAIK only replaced the memory, and that was enough to not be able to restore the phone, because apparently the data is encrypted (great... thanks!) and tied to the phone. If anything changes, restoring won't work. It is bad enough that one has to send in his phone for a few days because of an issue, that you lose all the data might tip the scale. Fix this as fast as soon as possible, and let us retrieve the data that is in the backup.

  • Sorry, this is ridiculous. I had to send in my Optimus 7 for warranty, and made a backup (with a third party tool that triggers the WP7 backup that is created when updating the phone). When I got back my phone the backup could not be restored, because they have replaced a part of the phone. Really?! Look at how easy it is for iPhone users. Create a backup, get the new phone, restore the backup, DONE. And you wonder why no one is buying WP7?

    Even on Android you just install an app which will backup everything and restore it again. All you need is root (ok, it's not so easy as the iPhone, but vastly superior to WP7).

    No matter how much I like WP7, but my next phone is going to be an Android, until all these issues are fixed. I hate losing everything.

  • technoloG
    21 Posts

    That process is what everyone has an expectation for.

    We want a reliable and dependable platform for our current device and we want to be able to upgrade to new devices without any penalty. Having a unified platform in WindowsPhone means we can enjoy this kind of functionality in an update, provided Microsoft makes it a priority.

    We've enjoyed participating in the #SmartPhoneBetaTest and as live testers we are providing our bug reports and feature suggestions. The lack of backup functionality with restore and transfer capabilities via Zune isn't a bug or "wish list" feature. It's core functionality that has been missing and we are pleading that this become the highest priority for the next platform update.

    Keep voting at the WindowsPhone SuggestionBox (via UserVoice):

    windowsphone.uservoice.com/.../2748349-full-backup-capability-with-restore-transfer-funct

    We are asking that Microsoft recognize the value in keeping the data we rely on WindowsPhone devices to use in order to make our lives more efficient and accessible from anywhere.

  • SiPhone
    2 Posts

    Are you MAD!! You are saying to move from say an HTC Titan to a Lumia I have to do all of the above!!

    Surely I should just plug in to my PC the old HTC Titan, click migrate, it would pull all my Music/SMS/Phone Call Log/Contacts/Applications/ application Data/etc and inform me it has all been done successfully

    Next I plug in my Lumia and click restore my phone and it pushes back all the applications/app data/music/SMS/MMS/Phone Call Log/Contacts etc.

    This should take me 5 mins max not having to jump through hoops!!

    Ideally it would be nice if i could edit my backup to remove data I don't want restored like apps/app data/sms/etc in an Advanced backup viewer before restoring but a bare minimum would be to restore the stuff from one phone to another or why would I even WANT to upgrade if you put such issues to migration in my way.

    come on update ZUNE to support the simple migration, I know you are fully attached to the cloud but the world is not ready yet for 100% cloud, seriously to get my apps back I have to reinstall one by one???

  • technoloG
    21 Posts

    Messages - via SMS/MMS text or Live Messenger - are not backed up. If something happens to the device, they are gone!

    Be sure to vote for all data to be backed up so that it can be restored or transferred here:

    windowsphone.uservoice.com/.../2748349-full-backup-capability-with-restore-transfer-funct

    Let Microsoft know that you want to upgrade to a new device such as a Nokia Lumia 900, but won't until you can transfer your data.

    It isn't a #FreeTimeMachine if you lose everything and have to start all over again!

  • SarahB
    1 Posts

    I'm still looking for a way to save texts from my phone to my computer. Anyone know if that's possibly yet?

  • enochr
    1 Posts

    Anyone know of a way to backup text messages?  There was an app for 6.5 that would drop them to a txt file... haven't seen one for 7/7.5.  Need to do this to document an unfortunately legal situation I'm in...and copy/paste per individual text will be a loooonnnnnnggggg process.  thx

  • What about SMS?? and if I already had a Windows Phone, a general way is ABSOLUTELY NEEDED to transfer everything from one device to another: apps, sms, settings, the links in the people hub between my contacts' Exchange, FB and twitter accounts... This problem occurs if I upgrade, if I lose my phone and get a replacement, if I need to wipe it for some reason (typically after Verizon support asks me to!)... PLEASE fix this gaping hole asap...

  • technoloG
    21 Posts

    Agreed about purchasing a new handset. It's probably better to hold off if all data cannot be transferred from another device.

    The only hope is that you don't suffer a tragedy that renders your current device useless and you are required to start over.

    Make your voice heard and vote for this core functionality in the next release of WindowsPhone:

    windowsphone.uservoice.com/.../2748349-full-backup-capability-with-restore-transfer-funct

    To be clear: this is an effort to support the devices and a platform that we are passionate about - one that we want to see succeed. We are not griping we just want peace of mind!

  • alunj
    3 Posts

    Adding my own voice here - I did this recently (yes, it was after hacking the phone to have twice the storage, but then I'm an MVP, and we void warranties), and the experience really did suck.

    There should be a backup / restore option. Restoring to the same model of phone at least should not be too hard to do, and would cope with things like my recent phone submersion incident, as well as the update to larger storage.

    Restoring to a different model of phone should be possible for anything not specifically tied to the OEM.

    Reinstaller is a pile of poo, as is the web site. Don't give me twenty at a time lists of links that I need to repeatedly click approve, next, next, back, back, approve, next, next, back, back. I need a list of all my apps (infinite scrolling like Bing's images search), with a check-box on each app, an option (or default) to "Select all", and then uncheck the ones I don't want, with a big honking button to install all selected apps.

    While it was wonderful to see all my OneNote notes come back into the phone with my Windows Live account, I should say that I wanted the same functionality for my other apps - including non-Xbox games - as well as the ability to bring in phone history, message history, etc.

    When all's said and done, after a catastrophic incident, or a user-induced change of phone, I want as much as possible of my old phone back - not excuses about how hard it is to do it properly. That's why you pay your programmers the big bucks.

    Having said that, I love my Windows Phone 7 - HTC HD7. It kicks the iPoop's arse.

  • I have to agree with everybody else.  The phone switching process needs to be *much* better.  Hopefully this can be addressed for the Windows Phone 8 wave of new phones.

  • I'll put it another way... I won't be buying a new Windows Phone handset until I can move my save-game and app-settings to it.

  • I'm sorry, but you have GOT to have a method for backing up all apps and data (i.e. WINDOWS EASY TRANSFER!!) on to the PC, to enable restore to a new device. Failing that, ALL apps should be storing data to SkyDrive where possible - currently a couple of apps that I use do this, but games don't! NO ONE wants to lose progress & save-game states.

    Come on MS... make it so.

  • @ScubaDog2011 there is a way to use a backup on any hardware for windows its called sysprep(sure it brings us back to the oobe state but any updates applied before sysprep are still installed minus drivers)

    speaking of setup for email does it store the email in a hotmaill account even if you dont want it or do you directly use your email account eg. yahoo mail

  • technoloG
    21 Posts

    User preference.

    If the user is given a choice to save or remove data then it is up to the user as to what they want to preserve. However, not having a backup feature for said data is not acceptable.

    Some may not wish to keep emails; but it is their choice. The same would go for even call history. I think we'd prefer not to debate what data each of us thinks is important but instead have a feature that provides peace of mind to our preferences at any level.

    We are looking for a feature that backs up ALL data. We understand that we may choose not to keep all of it; but whatever it is, we want it backed up in case it needs to be restored or transfered to another device.

    Be sure to vote for the feature in the User Voice feedback suggestion box!

    windowsphone.uservoice.com/.../2748349-full-backup-capability-with-restore-transfer-funct

  • I confess to not understanding the need to save SMS messages.  I delete them pretty quickly after finishing a thread.

  • Mantvydas
    15 Posts

    SMSes?!! Why do you leave out the SMSes? They have to travel with all my Windows Phones. I so much liked the MyPhone service, because it saved my SMSes.

  • technoloG
    21 Posts

    It doesn't matter who the audience is. Mimimizing the issue by associating with a group that will tolerate it doesn't encourage anyone to push hard to resolve it.

    There's no question that we love WindowsPhone and are passionate about it and that the workarounds address some of the concerns, albeit in an extremely tedious and incomplete way; but what we're all asking for now is total peace of mind - for ourselves and others - regardless of our skillset, professional background or even device collection. We love these devices and we are proud of the efforts that have gone into the WindowsPhone platform since its release. We want to be proud of all of the labors of love that have gone into it and we want to see it be successful and thrive.

    Some of us are even willing to contribute if that will help other owners and promote these products.

    We've patiently waited for features such as Copy-Paste and Background Tasks and were extremely grateful when they arrived; but over each release we were hoping - either secretly or vocally - that some core functionality would eventually be in place. If Microsoft was proud to announce such things were addressed then such a core piece could be in its own update (how about "Go-Go" as in "Go get it done"); but we can see how this might cause unwanted negative press. So, this could be rolled in with other features into an update and merely a bullet point - one that would seem insignificant when identified but, in which the true impact most likely create a very positive stir.

    Again, this is peace of mind via expected core functionality for everyone, not for only a certain group.

    Let your voice be heard for this feature!

    windowsphone.uservoice.com/.../2748349-full-backup-capability-with-restore-transfer-funct

  • thanks for the tips. I used the app reinstall technique to reinstall some apps. But it was a real pain when you have 50 apps+ because you still have to select 1 app at a time, agree to some terms, then go back, re-find where you left off in the big list, then repeat. This is where the "cloud" with WIndows Live should just work ... during phone setup, ask me if I want my apps installed. Ask if I want all or to choose from a list. Then let me select the ones I want (if I choose that option). Then do it. Done. 15 seconds total.

    On your web site, instead of a big list ... make it a shopping cart so i can pick and go.

    For developers like me, not a huge deal, but for my wife, kids, family, friends ... they were instantly turned off and said "Apple just works".

    I offer this in hopes it will change :-)

  • technoloG
    21 Posts

    One usability concern would be whether or not the backup and restore functionality should in fact be manual or automatic. This could be a user preference that puts some responsibility on the user to either allow for automatic backups performed when connected to Zune or manual by clicking the "backup" button. In either case "checkpoints" would be created (similar to Windows System Restore Points).

    For "Mango" there were also hints that a cloud-based backup solution would be made available; however at this time the only thing that gets restored from the cloud – via Live – is your contact and calendar information. A cloud-based backup and restore solution is welcome; but a local solution via Zune must be present (and again is demonstrated to work in updates).

  • technoloG
    21 Posts

    This is a major issue that has persisted unaddressed since the release of WindowsPhone in November 2010. Microsoft has indeed demonstrated strong developer support with outstanding tools and even catering to SmartPhone-aware users by including features that many come to expect such as Copy-Paste in the “NoDo” update. Unfortunately, the question of backup and restore has never been given priority.

    See this blog post and comments:

    windowsteamblog.com/.../be-what-s-next-with-mango-developer-tools-and-platform.aspx

    For the "Mango" release users were led to believe that there was some form of backup and restore functionality on the way; however after attempting this manually most users realized that a backup would only be performed when an update was made available. These updates are too far apart to justify the rationale for not allowing for more frequent backups.

    With that said, obviously the functionality does indeed exist, as demonstrated in backups created when an update is available. The question comes down to why this functionality isn't more readily available.

  • technoloG
    21 Posts

    I'm sorry, but I feel that this is an unacceptable amount of steps needed for the transfer user experience; and there are similar concerns that have been lingering when it comes to backup and restore functionality.

    What is being expected of the user is to remember or otherwise personally keep track of several locations that different portions of device state and data may be located; and then the user is required to perform a series of complex steps to get the device in a state that isn’t even close to the original expected configuration. This is punishing the user and does not provide peace of mind to the user; nor does it entice a user to try a new device. Lastly, it leaves the user helpless in the event that a disaster occurs with their WindowsPhone device.

    See the stories here:

    answers.microsoft.com/.../4d38a00c-917f-497c-96b9-b60e29feb5f0

    Regardless of the fact that there are different hardware configurations in the different flavors of devices available, one thing remains true: there is only one platform. This is different from the segmented Android market; however it is more of a hybrid situation compared to iOS (many more devices yet still a unified platform). Because there is only one platform it shouldn’t matter what WindowsPhone device a user has.

    Apple’s devices technically do change – from iPhone flavors such as 3G, 4S, etc. – however not as diverse as WindowsPhone devices. Newer iOS devices have features such as front-facing cameras, as do newer WindowsPhone devices; but in the case of iOS devices there is only one hardware manufacturer, as compared to multiple manufacturers for WindowsPhone devices (HTC, Samsung, Nokia, etc.). Again, in both cases the platform stays the same and therefore backup and restore, as well as transfer functionality, should be consistent. None of this has anything to do with Android or Blackberry, and certainly not iPaq or even Palm.

  • technoloG
    21 Posts
  • Are you serious? As much as I am a fan of WP7 and own a Focus since it was available I hate the fact that I cannot backup and restore my phone. I have so many apps installed and you suggest using Reinstaller a third party app which does not backup the settings or saves game progress. I want to buy a Nokia Lumia 900 but the lack of restore is keeping me from upgrading or resetting my phone. Great OS but missing glaring obvious features.

  • wizll
    9 Posts

    Reinstall app was good to give me a easy queue to deal with, but still a lot of tapping, and took me almost an hour of mindlessly tapping to install all the apps I had on my old wp7 phone to the Lumia. There really needs to be a better solution to migrate what I have on my old windows phone over to my new windows phone more easily. I already dread having to do this again in a year or two.

    The other thing is game saves for games. Kind of annoying that my game progress does not follow me to my new phone. I'll either need to start over, or just continue the game on my old phone. microsoft needs to provide developers a cloud save framework. of course save locally still in case you have no internet, but it should just automatically sync to the cloud when the phone has internet.

  • Has anyone else run into an error going to page two of apps you have installed in the windowsphone.com website?  I have over 40 apps installed on my Focus, and only 19 show up on page one of the website.  When I click on Next to get to the second page it gives me an "Ooops" error page, offering to send me back to windowsphone.com.

  • stefan00
    11 Posts

    The reason for that post? There is no well working backup-function in windows or zune.

  • @scubadog Sorry dog--actually iPhones DO change and have had _significant_ CPU switcheroos done under the hood since the original iPhone launched.  You can take a backup from an iPhone 1 which runs an ARM 1176JZ cpu and restore that backup onto ANY other flavor iPhone--be it the 3GS (with Arm Cortex-A8), iPhone 4 (Apple A4) or iPhone 4S (dual core A5 processor) and the restore will work just fine.  So yes, even on iPhone the hardware DOES change ... but Apple has successfully managed to abstract that and solve that issue such that the backups and restores STILL WORK between ANY iPhone devices.  The one commonality amongst all iPhones is IOS...and that is all that is required for backup/restores between different underlying hardware differences to work.  Likewise, all Windows Phones run WP OS, and similarly it should not matter the underlying differences in CPUs...you should be able to restore all your data and settings.

  • @kkauffman, don't you see what you're saying, though?  Apple's devices DON'T CHANGE.  They're ALWAYS iPhones.  It doesn't really matter if the thing is a 3, 3GS, 4 or 4S.  It's an iPhone, cradle to grave.  So, of COURSE, they've "nailed" the backup and restore.  Nothing of significance is different.  On the other platforms, however, there are enough differences that it's not as cut and dried.  When I had my iPaq 3630 I couldn't backup on it and restore to my Axim X5 when I bought it.  And, I couldn't take the backup from my X5 and restore it to my X3i, either, and they were both Dell devices.  Oh, and consequently, you can't do a system backup on your PC and restore it to different hardware, either.  Now, are there SOME aspects of the process that should move more seamlessly?  Yep.  I just got my Lumia 900 (by the way, and it is COMPLETELY AWESOME!!!!!!!) and as soon as I signed into my account it began restoring my major items (photos, contacts, etc.).  Since I don't want to reinstall every app I've ever purchased or tried, I certainly don't want to automatically reinstall apps, and windowsphone.com makes it really easy to remotely install just what I want.  It would be nice, though, if come of my preferences were automatically reloaded, though.  But aside from that, I was up and running normal within minutes.  Fabulous!

  • @ kkauffman - [quote]...I can say Apple has NAILED the backup/restore functionality on their phones and the ability to move from device to device without losing a single bit of data or settings.  There's no excuse for Microsoft to come to market years after iPhone and not have a similar, elegant solution.  While we're at it, I'll say Apple also nailed the way updates to the devices are handled as well...taking the carrier completely out of the equation...[/quote] - Well said man, I cannot possibly agree more.

  • @Michael Stroh - you wrote:

    "If you’re upgrading your Windows Phone, it’s easy to get all your old apps onto your new handset—as long as you’ve set up your new phone with the same Windows Live ID you used on the old one".

    But if you've moved countries in the meantime, then because of Microsoft's infrastructure design, you can't use "the same Windows Live ID" as you so blithely suggest.

    This issue is long-standing, and in contravention of EU laws. www.itisourdata.com

  • @Scubadog

    Itunes used to lean exclusively on their proprietary AAC format...however they ditched that now a couple of years ago in favor of drm-free MP3s.  As I pointed out in my post, and you did in yours as well, iTunes does not do a good job of storing metadata in MP3s, relying on their own databases/XML files instead.  But you know what?  That doesn't--and shouldn't--matter to end users.  That metadata is not un-gettable--if you look at how Microsoft handles this problem on the Mac side--it proves it.  On the Mac side, the Windows Phone connector can burrow into the iTunes library and get all of that metadata out of iTunes and correctly tag/album art/playlist all of your music on your Windows Phone.  However on the Windows side they force you to use Zune software and then you open the can of worms about keeping both the Zune and the iTunes "versions" of your MP3s tag data up to date.  That is ridiculous.  

    I actually used to own a Zune --it's in a drawer somewhere now...but for awhile I lived with iTunes and Zune both--and it was a nightmare.  I'm allllll too familiar with the program MP3Tag and it was the only option to try and keep your tags up to date...as well as the varying standards of MP3tags internally within files and which platform uses which sets of tags (ugh!!!) and I routinely ran into problems where you would update tags in Zune/MP3Tag and then load up iTunes and it would stomp back over tags again...or vice versa.  It's just a disaster of a "solution."

    The bottom line is, I don't care how it gets implemented...if they bring the Windows Phone connector from Mac to Windows or if they have Zune use the iTunes library or some other solution.  

    I saw a news story over the weekend that said that 50% of American households have at least 1 Apple product (mac, ipod, iphone, ipad)...which means ~50% of American households are running iTunes--for better or worse.  That is the reality.  Microsoft HAS TO acknowledge that reality HEAD ON...provide the web pages that talk about how easy it is to move from iTunes to Windows Phone and then back that up with straightforward, easy to use software that my grandmother could use that just...makes...it....work.

    @bglopez Absolutely!...bash Apple/iTunes all you want, but as an iPhone user for the past 4 years I can say Apple has NAILED the backup/restore functionality on their phones and the ability to move from device to device without losing a single bit of data or settings.  There's no excuse for Microsoft to come to market years after iPhone and not have a similar, elegant solution.  While we're at it, I'll say Apple also nailed the way updates to the devices are handled as well...taking the carrier completely out of the equation.

  • @kkauffman, that's definitely an iTunes issue.  Since they also have their own propietary audio format, they do store their metadata in a funky way.  Also, they don't stick to the MP3 standards for meta tags.  I still have to deal with iTunes occasionally since some of my favorite artist in contemporary Christian music only make their music available that way.  I find, more often than not, that as soon as I download music via iTunes I immediately run a program called MP3Tag, which is constantly updated with the latest standards.  I find I end up adding the tags for the first time, correcting screwed up tags, or updating them to the latest standard.  Then I add songs to my Windows library so Zune sees them.  It's a pain, I know.

  • stefan00
    11 Posts

    Right theme to the right time ;)

    But you see, to change the phone with all these parts is not easy. Apart from that you didn't need this posting ;)

  • wp7Dave
    36 Posts

    @bglopez +1

    For example, installing apps your already "purchased" one-at-a-time is a major PAIN, let alone losing the settings for each app. Plug and play...in other words, get your phone, associate the same live idea and after a few minutes (or an hour at most) on WiFi the phone should simply restore it's state to your where your old phone left off.

    Another annoying issue is that ~50% of the time, the install from the web fails and you get emailed instructions on how to (re)install you app. PC Load Letter? WTF???

  • bglopez
    1 Posts

    Microsoft should have a TOTAL RESTORE function for Windows Phones.

    If you loose you phone, break it or simply or decide to change to a new Windows Phone then Microsoft should make it as easy as possible. This means having a system where you can get ALL you Contacts, Pictures, Music, Settings, Applications and most importantly History's and SMS's on to a new phone quickly. This should have been an absolute no brainer from the start of the WP7 software platform. I cannot believe that we are almost two years into the platform and there is still no total restore capability. Surely in the largest software company in the world it is not too much to ask for such a simple and important feature.

    I love the platform and I think it will grow - but I dread the time if and when I have to get another Phone. Simplicity is the key for wanting to change (either phones or platforms) and Microsoft should recognise this and do something about it.

  • Michael, what about SMS messages? I don't want to lose those, I want to transfer them from my old HTC 7 Mozart to my Nokia Lumia 800.

  • Got a new HTC Titan today. My HD7 screen broke and ATT sent me a Titan as a replacement so your post could not have been more timely. All advice has worked seamlessly, but I seem to be unable to get my calendar to synch over. It seemed to do  it automatically before. What might I be doing wrong?

  • @ Cisco...

    Yes! Read the part of the article labled "Moving Apps" this works for games as well...

  • @kkauffman

    Awhile ago when the "new to smartphone" users were the target market I would have disagreed with you, somewhat, but now that current smarphone users make up 50% of the market, and it is important that some switch to WP, I have to say..... YOU HAVE A VERY GOOD POINT!

  • CJSCO
    2 Posts

    Is there any way to transfer saved games? With Xbox being such a touted feature on the platform I would think there would be a way of doing it but i'm not sure how.

    Looking at using my Omnia 7 upgrade to Lumia 900 but not sure it's worth the pain.

  • What about us Windows users who are fleeing the iPhone?  Specifically iTunes and my collection of nearly 6000 MP3s that are meticulously tagged, album-arted, with multitudes of playlists, running WINDOWS?

    It seems as though iTunes breaks the rules (no!) about where it stores metadata about MP3s...sometimes it's in an MP3, sometimes it's in iTunes proprietary database/XML files.  When I fire up the latest version of the Zune software and it imports my MP3 files ... most songs do not have the correct tags on them (album name, album art, artist, genre, year).

    Here's my beef:  If Microsoft is SERIOUS about being a player in the mobile phone space they HAVE to provide a solution for those fleeing other popular platforms...iTunes and Android.  This isn't at all like Nintendo's launching of the Wii -- where Nintendo awoke an entirely new market segment and got grandmothers gaming without cannibalizing much from the Xbox/PS3 world.  EVERYONE already has a cell phone ... Microsoft is not creating a new market...they are pleading with the entrenched masses to abandon the very established iPhone or Android and come to their unproven new platform...and then they provide very little tools/assistance for those who are inclined to switch to make that switch painless.  Remember when Apple used to put up web pages on their site that guided Windows users on how to move to OSX?  Where is that same treatment for Windows Phone?  Those web pages should be hanging off the Windows Phone home page...clearly identified.

    If Microsoft is serious about getting iPhone users, they need to provide very clear resources and, moreso, very helpful tools that can slurp up EVERY single bit of information out of iTunes and bring it into Zune.  Even better would be what many others have suggested, and even this article eludes to--just create a Windows Phone connector for Windows (like exists on the Mac) so that if you are heavily invested in iTunes already, you at least have the option to not have to try and keep both Zune and iTunes platforms updated/configured...just let the Windows Phone connector pipe through into iTunes and sync elements of your iTunes library to the Windows Phone.

    Why does Microsoft make it so difficult and provide so little assistance for end users to embrace their fledgling platform?

  • @Michael Stroh, A friend of mine picked up a Verizon Windows Phone, a few months ago.  Generally she is very happy with her new phone.  The one pain point, that she reminds me about frequently, is that she is unable to import more than 100 contacts into her new Live account.  She only setup a Live account when she got her new phone.  She has about 400 contacts in Outlook on her home computer.  After exporting the contacts, she is only able to import about 100 of them into her Live account.  I have been told by Microsoft support that because her account is a new account, that she can only have 100 contacts.

    This issue has led to a bad first impression.  Microsoft should have some way for a new Windows Phone user to easily transfer their contacts to their phone.

  • I want an easy way to transition from my IPHONE.

  • wow. such a long process to switch phones. did you guys consider an easy backup restore solution? do i lose all of my game progress?

  • @ChrisLynch I just asked that question so that Microsoft know that this feature is missing and we badly need it.

  • @chandramuralis:  You lose your app settings for most apps.  Very few store the app settings "in the cloud."  Hopefully MS can address this by Windows and Windows Phone 8.

  • Great post.  Just wished that Zune wouldn't convert my images or HD video I captured from my older Windows Phone device.  It did it when I upgraded from the original Focus to the Focus S.

  • what happens to our app settings?