January 01, 2009

Import Verizon Backup Assistant Contacts for BlackBerry Storm to Outlook using Firefox


(* Edited 11/20/2011 DS - Good news - this old posting from early 2009 can now easily be accomplished using Verizon tools: To sync Outlook to Verizon phone: (1) Set up Backup Assistant on the phone; (2) Use Backup Assistant to import Outlook contacts .csv; (3) sync should happen automatically. For instructions on generating a .csv from Outlook, see instructions below.*)

As a new owner of a new Blackberry Storm, I was disappointed to hear that there was no way to import my contacts from my old phone that I had stored in Verizon's Backup Assistant web app. After finding out how contacts work with the Storm, I thought I'd create a script that can convert Backup Assistant contacts to contacts that can be sync'ed to the Storm and share it for anyone else having the same problem.

(* Edited 2/26/09 DS - IE and Firefox versions now exist... Tested in IE Version 7+ and Firefox Version 3+.*)
One caveat... right now it only works in Firefox, so you'll need to download Firefox if you don't have it.
You will also need MS Outlook (that's what the Storm uses to sync contacts), and the Desktop Manager software, which comes with the Storm. And obviously, you'll have to have your old contacts backed up using Verizon Backup Assistant.

Here's a step-by-step overview of how to do it:

1. Get Firefox if you don't have it. Make sure you are running Firefox Version 3 and above or IE Version 7 or above.
2. Go to http://www.verizonwireless.com/backupassistant
3. Select "Print Address Book" (must allow popups)
4. Select all page text (Ctrl+a)

Edited 6/15/09 DS - Some browsers have problems processing the headers:
"I think the problem is you shouldn't do "CRTL+A" and get *everything*. Just highlight starting at the first entry and continue to the last one. Don't include "Backup Assistant Contacts", "Print Address Book", "Name", and so on."


5. Copy (Ctrl+c)
6. Go to The Backup Assistant to Outlook conversion script page
7. Paste text into top textbox
8. Click the "Convert to Outlook CSV text" button
9. Select all text from bottom text box
10. Create a new text file using Notepad/Wordpad, paste in text
11. Save the file with .csv extension
11a.(you may want to examine this file in Excel before importing to Outlook)
11b.(* Edited 1/28/09 DS - You may want to think about adding email and other info into the spreadsheet now - it's way easier to do it here than in Outlook.*)
12. Open Outlook, select File... Import and Export... Import from another program or file
13. Select Comma separated files (Windows)
14. Browse to the .csv file choose overwrite or duplicate
15. For destination folder, select "Contacts", select next, finish.

You should now see your newly created contacts in Outlook

Now plug your Storm into your PC/Laptop, launch Desktop Manager

16. Select the synchronize button/area
17. Set up synchronization for contacts
18. Synchronize

All of your Outlook Contacts should now appear under your Blackberry Contacts.

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68 comments:

  1. totally awesome! I have spent all day trying to get my contacts from backup assistant to my Blackberry Storm. Then I ran across your blog and bingo, I now know why I couldn't do it. Your instructions worked to to a tee. All my contact were imported into my Storm. Thanks you so much for posting this fix!
    Ed Dalton
    VA Beach, VA

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  2. Thanks. This helped me a trip to Verizon store and $

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  3. Thanks. This helped me save a trip to Verizon store and $

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  4. Thanks. After dealing with Verizon for the hundredth time we finally found your site. THANK YOU.

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  5. Great work Dan!!

    You saved me a good amount of time, and your documentation is very straight forward!!

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  6. forgot to mention that I did this on a Samsung Omnia i910.

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  7. Awesome!! Your da man!!!

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  8. Just tried another method. From my old phone, turned on bluetooth and connected to laptop. From cell clicked, contacts -> options -> send name card -> bluetooth -> mark all -> done. Then I chose my pc from bluetooth connections. This uploaded all my contacts to the Windows email on my PC. Next I installed the Bluetooth Desktop Manager software and configured synchronization to send the contacts to my phone. Worked great.

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  9. That's good to know, thanks for the great info!

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  10. Hello!
    Please correct me if I am wrong.. When I press the convert button on your conversion page, I only get the tags. Do the contacts get converted next to the tags (name, address, phone number) and then I save the file in csv.?
    I am sorry if my question is so basic.
    Thanks!

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  11. I'm having the same problem as well. Doesn't seem to be working. May be a change to verizon's formatting.

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  12. I'm unable to reproduce your issue... any chance you could send me the text your using? danshultz11 at gmail.com

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  13. Dan, this is fantastic! I used this tool of yours to import my old phone (LG enV on Verizon) contacts to gmail, then synced those with Google Sync wirelessly on my new Blackberry Curve! You're a lifesaver - the nearest Verizon store is 45 minutes away, and then i'd have to pay Verizon $10 for something that should be free.

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  14. Awesome. I lost all of my contacts playing with my omnia. This trick saved me. I had just synced my contacts a few days before getting my omnia

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  15. Doesn't work for me. I'm going from a LG Dare to Storm.

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  16. You are fantastic. I was looking at the print page and trying to figure out how I could use it without needing to resort to BITPIM to get my data. I always hated doing that work. Searching for the cable etc. etc.

    I want to say THANK YOU. I have only done the export so far but it is obviously is done correctly.

    I hope you have either a good business of your own or employers that appreciate your skills and resourcefulness.

    Excellent Work Indeed.

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  17. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

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  18. Your CSV converter does not put the information in the right spots. I've tried it at least five times and it never put the names in exactly as I wanted them.

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  19. Awesome. Thanks for providing this.

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  20. hello dan could you please see make the link for the script to go to a page, it says it cant be found. i really need all these contacts ! your a lifesaver ty

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  21. I ran into the same as a few others with the CSV results being headers only. I think the problem is you shouldn't do "CRTL+A" and get *everything*. Just highlight starting at the first entry and continue to the last one. Don't include "Backup Assistant Contacts", "Print Address Book", "Name", and so on.

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  22. Thanks for taking the time to put this together. It's a huge time saver.

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  23. I can't believe I found this! This exactly solved my problem. You're doing the Lord's work. Thanks Dan!

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  24. Perfect! Worked for my Curve too.

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  25. I used it to create a csv file to import into my centro. Of course, it wasn't totally straightforward because the import didn't work properly- it insisted on putting the mobile field into main, and main into pager! But it was a big help.
    Nelson

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  26. Thanks - big help

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  27. What a great script and method! Thanks. This saved me a lot of time.

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  28. his was awesome. I would highly reccomend this to anyone. Thanks a bunch.

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  29. Thank you, thank you, thank you, thank you!!! Verizon couldn't pull my contacts from my previous phone due to a bad data port on my old phone. I used your script, imported it into Gmail, and then synced up using google sync. You saved me HOURS of manually typing in 400 contacts. This was done on an Omnia i910.

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  30. Thanks Dan. Worked great and saved my having to imput over 500 contacts......

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  31. Thanks for the great post. Saved me time and cash.

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  32. I can't thank you enough....the people at verizon had no clue what to do! I was just going to stop calling everyone, since 158 contacts was not worth the typing! :)

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  33. you are a modern gandhi for taking the time to write this.

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  34. ou're a live saver dude (or at the very least a huuuuuuge time saver). Thanks for doing this.

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  35. Thanks Dan . . . it actually worked! Make yourself a buck and sell the idea to Verizon . . they need the solution!

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  36. Thank you Dan for sharing this wonderful script with everyone! I love my new Storm, but without your incredibly handy script I was beginning to get frustrated! I am glad that I happened upon your blog! You saved me from the unpleasant task of giving an earful to some unlucky crony at Verizon Wireless for not explaining this detail...

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  37. Dan, Thanks so much for your script. Will your script work for Outlook 2003.
    Is your script for version Outlook 2007 only.
    When i do the on convert files
    text appear as follows:
    "Evan Home2018430093"
    All of the info under one cell labeled Last Name. Appreciate your help


    Lucy

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  38. I am having the same problem of it just getting the headers. I even tried just copy and pasting one contact to make sure it wasn't a porblem with the copying and it still did not work.

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  39. Any chance you could email me a failing row? - danshultz11 at gmail dot com.

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  40. I finally got the script to work with just two issues after import to outlook:
    no 1
    all phone nos starts with semi colon symbol (;2018881949)

    no 2
    mobile phone no field contains the label mobile so it appears as follows:
    Mobile Mobile;2013781294

    any suggestions on how to fix the problem

    thanks
    Lucy

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  41. I finally got the script to work with just two issues after import to outlook:
    no 1
    all phone nos starts with semi colon symbol (;2018881949)

    no 2
    mobile phone no field contains the label mobile so it appears as follows:
    Mobile Mobile;2013781294

    any suggestions on how to fix the problem

    thanks
    Lucy

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  42. Much thanks. You saved me a lot of time and anguish with your converter.

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  43. Dear Dan,

    Thank you! You saved my a**!

    Next I need to move my calendar from my Palm Tungsten to my iPhone. Let me know if you have any suggestions!

    I really appreciate you and your site. Thanks!

    Gail

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  44. Wow you saved me hours of time thanks soo much

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  45. Made a Kapow Robot:

    http://service.openkapow.com/jrweinb/vzwbackupassistant.rest

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  46. Dan, thanks a bunch. Saved me a trip back to the verizon store!

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  47. Absolutely convenient. Had to do a little clean up to some contacts that had 3 names like "Mary Kate Ashley" and some Mobile2 contacts. Thanks for the site.

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  48. At solves problems in MS Outlook I usually use-outlook express troubleshooting address book.Because this tool helped me many times,it is reliable and can too quickly parse damaged files with wab extension.

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  49. This helped me so much. Thanks a lot for the instructions!

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  50. This works with the Tour, also. Thanks a lot, Dan.

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  51. Thanks! Much easier than munging the data in Excel to make it map easier.

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  52. All I get is the headers. Tried CTL-A, tried just highlighting the actual contact lines, even tried with the headers and all contacts - same thin no matter what I try.

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  53. Thanks for this. Exactly what I needed.

    Be sure to use Firefox for running the conversion script too. Doesn't work in IE.

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  54. Hi

    The kapow robot is amazing - so much easier than the script

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  55. The conversion works well but the problem I've seen and others have reported is that the 2nd mobile phone entry seems to be put into the last name column, as there is no column for 2nd mobile phone. That seems to explain some of the comments by others.

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  56. Wow you are the best ever! I am sooo grateful for the time you have saved me in going from a Backup Assistant capable phone to a smartphone without it! Awesome! Thank you! Thank you! Thank you!

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  57. This works for Active Sync / Windows Mobile Device Center for Windows Mobile Operating system Devices as well!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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  58. Can anyone recommend the well-priced Patch Management utility for a small IT service company like mine? Does anyone use Kaseya.com or GFI.com? How do they compare to these guys I found recently: N-able N-central inventory management
    ? What is your best take in cost vs performance among those three? I need a good advice please... Thanks in advance!

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  59. Your blog keeps getting better and better! Your older articles are not as good as newer ones you have a lot more creativity and originality now keep it up!

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  60. OMG thank you thank you thank you soooooooo much I was about to pull my hair in frustration on this importing thing.. it works!! =)

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  61. It worked great for me on my new Droid, upgrading from my old Dare. I ordered my phone online and I was having problems transferring contacts, and when I went into the Verizon store they told me it would $20 for them to do it for me. So thank you for saving me $20.

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  62. Verizon has removed the print option from the Backup Assistant web site. Is there any way to print out my contacts?

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  63. do you know why the converter link doesnt work anymore?

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  64. hi dan, i have a blackberry curve and love my memo pad and have a lot of lists and inventories set up for work. my port is damaged and i am unable to back up my phone except for my contact at backup assistant thanks to finding this site. any way to transfer other info to a new droid with bad ports on my blackberry? thanks terry

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