Your iPhone contacts represent the people you care about: friends, family, colleagues, clients. This collection of people is truly important to us, so we take it with us wherever we go - on our phones. But what happens when you get a new phone, or if you should lose your contacts?
This article will guide you through how to transfer contacts from iPhone to iPhone with or without iCloud
Quick jump to the 2 reviewed options:
How to Transfer Contacts from iPhone to iPhone without iCloud: TouchCopy
This method is for those users who like complete control over their data. If you want to access your iPhone contacts from your computer, without any online uploads or cloud activity, TouchCopy is for you.
With TouchCopy you can access your iPhone's data, allowing you to browse through on your PC or Mac computer. At that point, you can choose what to copy from your device to your computer. Transfer music from iPhone to PC, backup contacts, save messages as PDF or print them off, TouchCopy can do it all.
In this way you can copy all our iPhone contacts to your computer, or directly into your contacts manager like Windows Contacts, Outlook or Address Book (Mac). Then, if you want to transfer those contacts to a new iPhone, simply sync them with iTunes! Here's how to transfer contacts from iPhone to iPhone without iCloud:
- Download TouchCopy on your computer and run it.
- Connect your iPhone to your computer using your USB cable.
- Open the "Contacts" section in TouchCopy.
- Copy your contacts to Outlook / Contacts app / Mac Address Book.
- Open iTunes and connect your new iPhone.
- Click the device icon > Info > tick "Sync Contacts with".
- Select Outlook or Windows Contacts or Address Book.
- Click "Apply" to transfer!
Be advised that iCloud needs to be disabled for iTunes contact syncing to work. From your new iPhone, go to "Settings" > Your username > "iCloud" and next to "Contacts" ensure that iCloud is toggled off. Next, you can connect your new iPhone to your computer, open iTunes and click on your device icon. Click on the Info tab in iTunes and check "Sync Contacts", choose your address book program and click on the "Sync" button.
✔ Stores files on your PC or Mac ✔ Local Transfers ✔ Transfer only what you need to your computer ✔ Full control of what is transferred between iPhone and computer ✔ Popular and Trusted softwareTry TouchCopy Free
How to Transfer Contacts from iPhone to iPhone with iCloud
Next up is iCloud. Using iCloud is great if you don't have much space on your computer. Storing files in iCloud means they are stored by Apple, and you can access the data stored on any device which uses your Apple ID. You can also set our iPhone to manually backup to iCloud (read more about backing up your iPhone).
The downsides here are that you only get 5GB of free iCloud storage space. If you need more, you'll have to pay for it. Also, unlike TouchCopy above, you can't access data from iCloud backups manually to copy out specific songs, or messages etc.
Now, there are 2 ways to move contacts to your new iPhone - Restore a backup of your old iPhone to your new iPhone, or to merge backed up contacts with contacts already on an iPhone.
Method 1: Transfer Contacts to a New iPhone using an iCloud Backup
- Make a backup of your old iPhone: Settings > your username > iCloud > Backup > Ensure "iCloud Backup" is enabled > Tap "Back Up Now".
- Restore the iCloud backup to your new iPhone: (on your new iPhone) Settings > General > Reset > Erase All Content and Settings > Erase iPhone > Set up the iPhone until you access the Apps & Data screen and choose to Restore from iCloud > Select the backup you just created.
As you can see, using this method on a device which contains data already will erase the current data and replace it with the data in iCloud. If you want more control over what data is transferred, see TouchCopy, or if you want to merge from iCloud see Method 2.
Method 2: Transfer Contacts from iPhone to iPhone with iCloud Merge
To use this method, first ensure that your contacts are backed up to iCloud from your old iPhone. To do this, on your old iPhone, go to Settings > your username > iCloud > iCloud Backup > tap "Back up Now". You'll need enough free space in iCloud to contain the new backup.
Once you have your contacts backed up in iCloud, you can transfer them to your new iPhone:
- Ensure the new iPhone is connected to Wi-Fi and is logged in to your Apple ID.
- Go to Settings > Tap your username > iCloud > Toggle "Contacts" to enabled.
- Select Merge when asked, "What would you like to do with existing local contacts on your iPhone?".
- Your Contacts will start transferring from iCloud to the new iPhone!
✔ Stores backups in iCloud ✔ 5GB free storage (payment needed for more) ✔ Encrypted backups ✔ Create and use backups over Wi-Fi ✔ Able to use backup to restore to iPhone