How To: Export and move your contacts with a patch | webOS Nation

How To: Export and move your contacts with a patch 58

by Derek Kessler Sun, 24 Jan 2010 10:17 am EST

Exporting Contacts More and more patches arrive every week on WebOS Internals, and with each patch comes plenty of new and useful functionality. A new patch aims to alleviate a painful problem that has afflicted some Palm owners: getting your contacts out of the Palm Profile. As we’ve reported before, some users have run into an issue where a glitch between the Palm servers and your phone results in the Palm Profile’s personal data getting wiped.

The “Send All Contacts via Email” patch by bsiegel provides a way to get your contacts out of the Palm Profile and into whatever you want. The patch adds the menu option to export your contacts into a standard vCard file (which can take a while if you have a lot) and then attaches that file to an email for you to send to wherever you desire. We’ll use Google as an example here: once exported you can save the vCard file to your computer, and then upload all the contacts to Google by opening Contacts and clicking on Import.

Apart from transferring your contacts from the Palm Profile to Google, you can also use the patch to perform backups of your contacts data, as the patch does not discriminate between sources like Google, Palm, and Exchange.

Thanks to Matt for the tip!


Once again thanks to the homebrew community. you guys are great!

SO why don't people just not use the Palm Profile? My Google account is set up as my main account on my Pre. Whenever I add a contact, calendar entry, ect, it saves to my Google account, not my Palm Profile.

People have all these problems with it, it just really makes me wonder why people use it then? When I had to restore my phone, once I added my two Google accounts and my Exchange account, all my contacts were back (although it had lost some of the linking of contacts).

I do the same... haven't had problems. I like having computer access to my contacts as well, Google works for that as well. I just wish my company would support Exchange for me.

The problem comes when people get contacts transferred off of their old phones when they get a Pre - the new stuff is automatically dumped into the Palm Profile account. ;)

Switching the primary account to Google should sync your current contacts with that Google Account. I'm pretty sure you can do that at any time.


It'll do that for new stuff, but webOS does not automatically transfer data between accounts. Whatever's in the Palm Profile account still has to be manually transferred to Google or Yahoo or whatever.

Agreed. With google set as my main profile, even if I enter a new contact into the pre, it goes directly to contacts in google; accessible from desktops also.

The Palm Profile definitely lacks this. Why can't you access and edit Palm Profile via desktop yet? I hope this feature is coming as palm continues to grow the platform.

I love feeling we are building this platform!

how 'bout add it as a new feature in contacts not a patch..... please!!!

Homebrew comunity should win a 5billion dollar lottery :)

Saw this on th e forums a little while back, installed it.

Funny thing is, or maybe not... Since my contacts went amiss during one of those backwards updates ( I've went the extra, extra, safe route.

Csv sent to Google Contacts, sent to's contacts page (which is pretty darn good.. Considering) and I keep a copy on my pc. Great work HBDevs!

I just don't understand why palms doesn't work

do you even own one? zombie

What about facebook contact info? Can you export that into a vcard as well?

My Q as well. As it is, backing up via google does not save the facebook contacts you may have added info to, if I'm not mistaken. Certainly not their emails if thats all you've got.

This could be uber valuable, as well as noted by Palm as something to hbe included in future updates if it does indeed offer a true google back up of the entire cloud.

Anybody know?

This has not worked for me at all. I was so excited but it didn't even work. I even went as far as setting it all night & all this morning before work. Nothing. So idk what's wrong.

Was very excited to try this. Export worked fine, but for some reason, I can't import the file into Palm Desktop... Gives an error that it is not a valid file or there are too many entries. Any advice?

How does this work for outlook? I just tried this.. it only sent one contact on vcard.. obviously you saveas the file from wherever you are emailing it, then import via vcard and what should happen???

If you're really in a bind, Sprint stores can now pull the contacts off via a bluetooth connection on their Cellebrite machines. Cellebrite intercepts the 'tranfer contacts to car kit' built into the Pre, translates it and allows it to be read. Now the contacts can be transferred to any other phone or even back to the same Pre.

So technically you could have them read, do your update in store and then have them put back on if your profile doesnt reconnect after you login.

Just a thought.

Does anyone know if this patch will export facebook info such as emails?

yes. It does.

how about some one write a desktop app that can intercept the bluetooth to car kit...? Is it possible...?

This may be a stupid question since this patch is about NOT using Palm Profile. What if I want to get all of my contacts TO my Palm Profile? How would I go about doing that? I have my contacts backed on gmail and my mac via Markspace. It would be nice to have another source for a back up. even though people have had problems with Palm Profile I have yet to have any.

great! thank you. worked like a charm.

Works great here, I "discovered" this patch on webOS internals, installed it, used it (successfully) and saw this article right afterwards... lol

Nice. Now to remember to do that every few weeks. Wait!! I think there's an app for that.

Just as easy to use webOSQI to back up my Pre.

doesnt work right. did the hack and saved the contacts. tried to upload it to outlook and all it did was one contact

Having the same issue. All the contacts show up under excel though. How do you get all contacts to open in outlook

So easy to use. No problems whatsoever. Was about to transfer over 160 contacts one by one to Google, but then I found this patch! Great job bsiegel!!

I can't get my calendar to sync from my Pre into my Google online calendar... I want to have faith in my Palm Profile, so it is set to be primary, but I need my 10+ years of old Palm datebooks to be backed up!! Any thoughts? -Thanks.

patch works great fixed my issues

It's been repeated many times. DON'T USE PALM PROFILE. :) However, for those that havethis seems like a great fix

OK so this turkey used palm profile and just got burned! i.e. I had to web os doctor and all my contacts added directly to the phone are gone. live and learn.

However, reading this I did not know the google idea? I now have google as the primary (since the restart) it doesnt appear to sync back to the google account. New accounts do, but not my original accounts. I tried adding a contact to my google account then syncing the pre, but that did not transfer to the pre. Some of the contacts from my treo profile are in here (about half), but the other 500 are missing.

I am thinking of exporting my outlook to csv and importing to google, but that doesn't appear to snyc to my pre?

For people who want to use this for outlook, not going to happen. Outlook does not like vCards with more then one contact.

For Outlook users (or other users who get only one contact when they import the vCard file), I recommend using the free tool vCardOrganizer ( which will let you split the big vCard file into individual files for each contact. A quick search for "vCard splitter" turns up similar programs for Mac and Linux as well.


I don't want to use outlook, just use outlook to get the initial contacts to googel, then just sync with google

You don't need to use Outlook at all. Just go to your Google Contacts page, click "Import" in the top right, and then select the .vcf that was exported from your Pre.

The patch only attaches my first contact to vcard file and just e-mails that. Is there a way to have it do all of my contacts?

I think that the first contact is gonna be the name on the v card but once you import it, all of the other names are their also.

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The question I have is should contacts added to google automatically sync with my pre if google is the default account?

we need a way to also export our calendar to a .vcf file!! -any thoughts??

For those trying to get their contacts to Google (gmail).

Your contacts from your Palm profile and Google will automatically sync. Facebook will not. This is not an issue with the Palm, it is a Facebook policy issue. Facebook does not allow it and will continuously block any attempt to automatically sync. This patch is the only way I know to get around that and you will have to import manually every so often.

For those of you who want to import to Outlook, have you tried:

1. open the file in Excel - you will see all contacts
2. save as an .xls file
3. import the Excel file into Outlook (under "import from another program or file")

This should work if you have full versions of both programs.


I am getting a error when I try to install this patch. This is the error. "Errors:Cannot find/var/usr/bin/lsdiff"
Anyone know what I need to do?

Thanks for this -- worked great! The Pre manual makes it seem that Pre contacts will sync with a gmail account, and they don't -- only new contacts sync. The way this app allows you save your Pre contacts to a vcard that can be imported into gmail takes care of that problem. I don't use gmail much but it's a good way to backup your contact list in a transparent way. Also a good way to modify your contacts, since it's easier to enter a lot of contacts on a computer than on the Pre.

But the easiest thing to do for new Pre owners who have to enter a lot of contacts is this -- don't enter the contacts until you have set up and synced with a gmail account. Then your contacts will get into both places just by entering them into gmail. Unfortunately I didn't know this.

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I am unable to get a successful install. I get the following error

ERROR:An error occured while attempting to run /tmp/

/media/cryptofs/apps/usr/lib/ipkg/ca.canucksoftwarepatches.emailall.postint: line 1: sytax error:redsirection unexpected

please email me if you can assit "greg[@]" thanks!

I cant install either .. have been trying for a few days - both through preware and WOSQI

Beware of using the Cellebrite data transfer at the mobile store. Cellebrite will only transfer names and phone numbers, but not addresses. I found this out the hard way with AT&T. I then had to do an Erase Apps and Data reset to clear out all of my 1200 contacts. I then exported all of my contacts from PalmOS via a VCF file, CSV did not work for me. Then I imported that VCF file into Google contacts via my desktop computer. It transferred ALL of my contact data. The only glitch was that all companies ended up having "Unamed" placed into the Name field while the company name transferred correctly to the Company Name field. I had to manually delete all of the "Unamed" entries. Once that was done it synced automatically to my Pre once I set up the Google account on the Pre, Any new entries placed on the Pre sync to Google and vice versa. This is the way to go. For my Memos and Calendar data, I used the Palm Data Transfer Assistant - worked great. All of the Calendar data then synced up with my Google Calendar account. Using Google Contacts and Calendar always gives me a backup for that data.


You sir are an ass. Since people buy the product and think it works. HOW are they to know Palm database sucks!!? It is only AFTER the fact that you find out just how bad Palm sucks. So all of us are in the boat of trying to recover. Some that just moved over, to the palm are in luck, since they can just redo it to Google. For others, if they have used it for a year ,that is whole nother problem. Engage your brain before you engage your mouth will help you. ;)

I understand your point. However, I find it funny that you suggest someone engages their brain before engaging their mouth .... and YOU called the wrong person an ass!!! LOL

Do you not understand that the signature is at the END of the comment - not the beginning??? KBLOM wrote it ... not jayjam99 (unless he's an ass for saying 'Thanks').

Pre (Sprint)
I ran the patch to send all the contacts via email. The phone is not on anymore. I need to get the vcard file. Does anyone know the path to the vcard file? I have WebOS Quick Install if I can get there that way. Otherwise, I can copy it throug "INTERNALZ" to a folder where I can see it as a hard drive. OR, is there a way to make all folders visible when hooked up as a hard drive?

Any help would be appreciated!

I guess this process can take awhile, but exporting my 1475 contacts only took about 2 minutes after I over-clocked my CPU to 1 GHz. I highly recommend that method.

The depressing part? My Sprint Pre is dying and I have to get a new phone and have 0 options for WebOS. It sucks, and I may have to get an Android despite loving this OS. Any thoughts on avoiding that are welcome.

Where in the hec is this to download??????

Searched now for more than an hour??

Hi "Hiflier68," I was going NUTS trying to also find it; gave up, and thankfully found something that worked SO easy. All my 1,500 Palm Profile contacts are now saved on my PC hard drive as a vCard file, which uploaded to Gmail with NO problem. Here's the link, and good luck to you!:

So what should I do with all that text you call a patch?
I mean how do I install/run it in my Pre?
(sorry about my ignorance but I'm trying...)

The matter is that I have a lot of contacts in the phone that are already linked to their facebook and gmail profiles (the old ones that I've allready have in my old PalmCentro + about 6 months of hard using it for work), so now I'm going to change my SIM and I'm affraid to lose all that changes.

I've tried companionlink but all the contacts must be reentered as CL USB sync account, so i need a fast way to get 'em back to my PC...