Transfer contacts from iPhone to iPhone

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Aina Martin
@ainamartin

With today's guide we will see together how to transfer contacts from iPhone to iPhone. In this guide, we detail five ways to transfer contacts between iPhone and another iPhone: via iCloud, an iCloud backup, iTunes, web-based tools, and third-party software. The instructions in this article apply to iPhones with iOS 9 and later.


How to Transfer Contacts from iPhone to iPhone with iCloud

The simpler methods of transferring contacts use the features that come with the iPhone, such as iCloud. Since iCloud can keep data in sync across all your devices, using it to sync contacts from iPhone to iPhone makes it an easy choice.



Make sure both iPhones are signed in with the same Apple ID and are connected to Wi-Fi.

  1. On both phones, open Settings, tap your name, then tap iCloud.
  2. Move the Contacts slider to lit / green.
  3. This step will upload your contacts to iCloud if they aren't already there. If you need to back up a lot of contacts, it may take some time to complete.
  4. If you see a message about joining contacts, choose this option so that none of the contacts are deleted.

Since the data from both phones is first uploaded to iCloud and then synced to both phones, you need to sync all your contacts on both devices.


How to switch from Android to iOS

How to transfer contacts from iPhone to iPhone by restoring an iCloud backup

In addition to the contact syncing process from the last section, iCloud can also backup the data to your iPhone and then restore that backup to another iPhone. That's how:



  1. Connect iPhone to Wi-Fi.
  2. Backing up to iCloud requires a lot of data. Use Wi-Fi instead of cellular data included in your phone plan.
  3. On the iPhone with contacts, tap Settings> [your name]. If prompted, sign in with your Apple ID.
  4. Older devices may not display your name on this screen.
  5. Tap iCloud> iCloud Backup.
  6. Move the iCloud Backup slider to on / green, then select Back up now.
  7. If you see a message on your iPhone that it no longer automatically backs up to computer when you sync with iTunes, tap OK.

The iPhone uploads your contacts and other data to iCloud. This backs up the entire iPhone so it will take some time.

You may need to upgrade your iCloud account to have enough storage space for the full backup.


On the new phone you want to add iCloud backup to, follow the standard new iPhone setup procedure. On the Apps & Data screen, choose Restore from iCloud Backup and follow the prompts to complete iPhone backup restore and copy old contacts to new phone.

If your new iPhone is already set up, restore the backup data to it by wiping the contents and settings and choosing to restore from an iCloud backup when prompted.

How to transfer iPhone contacts using iTunes

If you prefer to back up your iPhone to a computer, use iTunes instead of iCloud. Here's what to do:



  1. Connect your old iPhone to the computer you normally sync it with.
  2. Open iTunes and enter the screen showing your iPhone. If it doesn't open automatically, click the phone icon.
  3. In the Backup section, click This computer, then click Back up now.
  4. If you are asked to encrypt the backup to make your iPhone more secure, do so with the Encrypt Backup button. You can decline by selecting Do not encrypt. You can change this setting later.
  5. Wait while the iPhone backs up to the computer. To track your progress, look at the blue progress bar at the top of iTunes.
  6. When the backup is complete, eject the old iPhone and connect the new one.
  7. To restore your new iPhone from backup, select Restore Backup and follow the instructions.

If iTunes explains that you need to disable Find My iPhone first to restore the backup, do so via the iCloud> Find My iPhone option in the Settings app.



How to transfer phonebook from iPhone to iPhone using third party software

There is a solid world of third-party software that transfers contacts, usually rather quickly since they don't have to do with iTunes or iCloud. Easy Backup is an example of a contact list backup app that works by sending an email to your contact list so you can copy your contacts to your new iPhone. Just open the mail on the new phone, select the attachment and import the list.


Why can't transfer iPhone contacts using a SIM card

If you've used other phones that can transfer contacts from your SIM card, you may be wondering if you can do the same on your iPhone. This method backs up the contacts to the SIM card and then you have to move the old SIM to the new phone to use the backup.

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