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How to Transfer Contacts from iPhone® to iPhone

How to Transfer Contacts from iPhone® to iPhone

Aug 28th 2018

We never really think about the contacts on our iPhone, do we? Year after year, we just keep adding more until one day we must figure out how to transfer contacts from one iPhone to another. Maybe we dropped our iPhone and must find out how to transfer contacts to new iPhone. Or maybe we simply upgraded to a newer iPhone. Or maybe we had to reset the iPhone and must get it back working again.

Whatever the reason, at one time or another we’re going to need to transfer contacts from one iPhone to another iPhone. Now, if you’ve ever used a smart phone from another manufacturer, you may be thinking that you know this already. Isn’t the easiest way to transfer contacts between phones just to take the SIM card from one phone and put it in another? Well, yes. On other phones you just remove the SIM card from the old phone and put it into the new phone.

But the iPhone doesn’t work like that. It doesn’t back up data on the SIM card, so you can’t transfer contacts from iPhone to iPhone that way. Fortunately, the iPhone is designed to be user-friendly, and Apple® offers several different ways to backup and transfer data that are just as simple, in their own way. Let’s look at some of them.

How to transfer contacts from one iPhone to another using iCloud®

Like we said, the iPhone is simpler than it seems. And that’s especially true when it comes to transferring Contacts. In fact, quickest way to transfer contacts from iPhone to iPhone is built into the phone – iCloud.

With iCloud, every time you sync your iPhone to a Wi-Fi network, it automatically backs itself up, storing all your most recent data into your iCloud account. You don’t have to do anything. And, of course, it will transfer your contacts from iPhone to iPhone along with everything else. So, if you ever need to transfer your Contacts to a new iPhone, you can download them directly from iCloud:

  1. Make sure both iPhones are connected to a Wi-Fi network and signed into the same Apple ID account.
  2. Tap Settings
  3. On iOS 9, tap iCloud and skip to step 6
  4. On iOS 10 and up, tap your name at the top of the screen
  5. Tap iCloud
  6. Make sure the Contacts slider on the old iPhone is moved to on/green. This will upload your Contacts to iCloud if they're not already there. If not, it may take some time to upload them.
  7. Repeat these same steps on the new iPhone.
  8. When you move the Contacts slider to on/green, a menu will pop up. Tap Merge.
  9. Your Contacts will automatically download from iCloud to the new iPhone.

How to transfer contacts from one iPhone to another using iTunes®

As simple and convenient as iCloud is, some people prefer to keep their data to themselves. We understand. And so does Apple. That’s why created a way for iTunes to store and back-up your data virtually identical to using iCloud. Here’s how to back-up your Contacts using iTunes:

  1. Connect the old iPhone to the computer you normally use to sync it
  2. Go to the main screen and make sure “This computer” is checked in the Automatically Back Up section
  3. Click Back Up Now
  4. Eject the old iPhone and connect the new one when the back-up is complete
  5. Click Restore Backup on the main screen
  6. Follow the onscreen prompts to select the backup and download it onto the new iPhone.

How to transfer contacts from one iPhone to another with Google® and Yahoo®

Believe it or not, you can store and sync your iPhone Contacts without iCloud, by using similar tools from Google (Google Contacts) and Yahoo (Yahoo Address Book). You can use both to transfer contacts from one iPhone to another.

In fact, these tools offer a unique opportunity to merge all your Contacts. Suppose your Contacts are stored in different places? Maybe you entered some on the address book in your laptop. Maybe you stored others in your online Google or Yahoo account. So how could you get them all in one place, on your iPhone? Is that even possible?

Of course, it is. As is always the case with Apple, their engineers have thought of almost everything. Apple has built features into the iOS that make it simple to automatically sync Contacts between Google Contact, Yahoo Address Book, and your iPhone.

Transferring contacts using Google contacts

If you want to sync Google Contacts to your iPhone, your Gmail account must first be set up on the phone. Assuming that’s done, simply follow these steps:

  1. Tap the Settings app
  2. Scroll down to Mail, Contacts, Calendars
  3. Tap Gmail
  4. Move the Contacts slider to On/green
  5. “Turning on Contacts” will appear while Contacts are syncing

From then on, any time you add an address to Google Contacts, it will automatically sync to your iPhone. And likewise, any contacts you add to your iPhone will automatically sync to Google Contacts. However, remember that if you move the slider to “Off/White,” Google Contacts will be deleted from your iPhone.

Transferring contacts using your Yahoo address book

As we mentioned, you can also transfer Contacts from your Yahoo Address Book to your iPhone. Again, you must first set up your Yahoo email account on your iPhone. Assuming that’s done, you can sync your Contacts by following these steps:

  1. Tap the Settings app
  2. Scroll down to Mail, Contacts, Calendars
  3. Tap Yahoo
  4. Move the Contacts slider to On/green
  5. Enter your Yahoo account password
  6. You’ll see “Turning on Contacts” while contacts are syncing

And that’s it. You’ve synced the Contacts between your Yahoo Address Book and your iPhone. From now on, any contacts you add to your Yahoo Address Book will automatically be added to your iPhone. You can turn off syncing by moving the Contacts slider to “Off/White.” And while this deletes the contacts from your Yahoo Address Book form your iPhone, any changes you made while they’re synced will still be saved in your Yahoo Address Book.

how to transfer contacts from one iPhone to another using third-party apps

While we’re not going to go into detail on how to transfer contacts from one iPhone to another using third party apps, we will mention them. We’ll start by saying almost all these apps are paid and they’re all designed to do the same thing – transfer your data, including photos, text messages, music, and of course, Contacts.

Our recommendation is to be wary of any phone transfer app, and don’t assume their claims are backed up by anything. A phone transfer app often claims to include features that neither iCloud nor iTunes offers. Some phone transfer apps claim to offer the ability to browse for individual files on your iPhone and to be able to recover data that might otherwise be lost. As with most claims like this, the ability of these phone transfer apps to do what they say varies widely. You can find these phone transfer apps, but again, we recommend caution.

Keeping your contacts up to date

Keeping all your data – especially your contacts – up to date and in one place is perhaps the single greatest challenge of owning an iPhone. And however, you choose to transfer contacts from one iPhone to another, it’s worth the time and the effort to do it. It will help the phone function as it was designed – and help you get more done, personally or professionally.

It might take a little time but knowing how to transfer contacts from one iPhone to other beats having to hunt down information on a contact just at the moment you need it. And will make your life infinitely easier.

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