How To: Remove Exchange Accounts Without Losing Your Contacts (Mac and Gmail)

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Sometimes you work for a company that uses Microsoft Exchange for internal emails. Many of us change careers, or companies and we lose access to that account. No need to keep that information on your phone…right? Not unless you happened to also keep your personal contacts in that list.

The tutorial is a long one, so we've placed it after the jump.

Before your big move, make sure you can grab your email contacts:

1) Use Outlook to export your contacts as a .csv (Comma Separated Values) file.  

       a) Select File > Export

       b) A New window called "Import and Export Wizard" should pop up

       c) Choose "Export to a File"

       d) It will ask you for a file type. Choose "Comma Separated Values" (csv)

       e) It will then ask which file you want to export. There should be one called "Contacts," choose this.

       f) Now it will allow you to give your .csv file a name and choose a place to save it to. The best place             is the desktop for our purposes. You will also want to give it a name, the name is up to you, but                 make it something you can easily identify later.

      g) Click "Finish" to save the file.

2) Now, you must take that .csv file to your Mac (For import to Gmail, skip steps 3-5). This can easily be accomplished by storing the file on a USB stick or emailing the file to yourself as an attachment.

3) Transfer the .csv file to your home computer. Preferably onto the desktop. (For our example we just used a list of US Presidents we found online)

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4) Launch Address Book.

      a) Select File > Import

      b) Choose the csv file and select "Open"

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      c) The next screen will have you assign information to each field in the address book, as seen below:

         (for example, you would assign their first and last names to their respective fields, as you would with            their email and so on)

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5) Now you have your contacts in the address book. This will add your new contacts to your old address book, so there is no need to worry about writing over your previous contacts. That said, PLEASE, please, make sure you have backed up your iPhone data before you try anything. As we always say at iSmashPhone, it's better to be safe than sorry. The very final step is simply to sync your iPhone to your computer. This will quickly and easily put your address book contacts onto your phone.

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Gmail: Note that it's also possible to import a CSV file into Gmail. This will be handy if you don't use a Mac.

Gmail has a tutorial on their website http://mail.google.com/support/bin/answer.py?hl=en&answer=14024, but here's what you do:

1) Have your csv file handy.

2) Sign into Gmail.

    a) Select "Contacts" on the sidebar to the left.

    b) Choose "More Actions" from the menu.

    c) Select "Import"

    d) Click on "Choose File"

    e) Find and higlight your csv file.

    f) Click on Import.

3) Your contacts are now imported to Gmail.

Know that these contacts don't directly import to your iPhone, but it's a great way to make sure you can keep in touch with the people you care about.

It's always best to avoid this kind of trouble from the start. Keep your work contacts and your personal contacts separated. We find that it's best to keep personal contacts in Gmail. That way they aren't lost when one leaves their job. 

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