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)

33 Responses to “Sync iPhone 3G with Windows Live Contacts”

  1. deandaman Says:

    any idea if this will work in windows xp sp2?

  2. buckeye01 Says:

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

  3. ry Says:

    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??

  4. Kenneth W. Ritchie Says:

    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?

  5. Petra Says:

    Hmmm didn’t work for me…

  6. Steve Says:

    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!!

  7. Ray Says:

    Thank you, it works like a charm now!

  8. Kenton Says:

    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?

  9. Counterpoint Says:

    Is there any other application that will let me do this? Messenger won’t let me sign in.

  10. Brian Says:

    No option to ‘Encrypt contact list dat etc’ in my version of live mesenger 2009

  11. Françoise Says:

    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

  12. sergio Says:


  13. alany Says:

    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.

  14. ryan Says:

    try mbox mail…works for me

  15. ryan Says:

    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.

  16. Ryanne Says:

    I don’t even have a security tab under my options… does anyone have the same problem I do?

  17. Kevin Says:

    Mbox does not sync your Live contacts with your local iPhone contacts… that is the issue.

  18. buy iphone 3gs Says:

    I just saw the awesome new Apple Ipad. Is it going to be better than the 3G Iphone?

  19. Sarai Hentschel Says:

    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 its not a phone. It ought to do better than any iPhone to day in performance.

  20. Richard Says:

    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

    • ciappara Says:

      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 😉

  21. David Says:

    Works awesome with iTunes. Make sure you connect your iPhone and go to sync and contact outook sync

  22. Trike Motorcycles · Says:

    sometimes windows7 won’t install if you install it on a pc with a previous installation of windows XP :

  23. gazom pieprzowym Says:

    Pretty good post. I just stumbled upon a webpage not to mention wanted towards state who I have truly enjoyed reading a website not to mention articles. Anyway I’ll turn out to be subscribing a give food not to mention I just desire towards read a website yet again.

  24. Windows Live Contacts To Iphone | cm Says:

    […] Sync iPhone 3G with Windows Live Contacts | Clive … – Aug 21, 2008  · alany Says: July 12, 2009 at 12:29 am. I have no problem with contacts synching. but I cannot get Windows Live calendar items to synch with anything on … […]

  25. Windows Live Contacts Iphone Sync | ch Says:

    […] Sync iPhone 3G with Windows Live Contacts | Clive Ciappara … – Aug 21, 2008  · The only thing remaining is to open up your iTunes and sync the iPhone with Windows Contacts. … to “Sync iPhone 3G with Windows Live Contacts … […]

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