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How to transfer ‘Contacts’ from one iPhone to another


How do I transfer ‘Contacts’ from one iPhone to another?


If you have iCloud on your old phone, sync your contacts to iCloud (Settings>iCloud>Contacts>On). 


Then set up your new phone with the same iCloud account and turn on Contacts syncing with iCloud.  If prompted, choose merge.


Alternativitly if you do not have iCloud, you can still transfer your contacts using the below steps:


  1. Setup
  2. Syncing the First iPhone
  3. Syncing the Second iPhone


1. Setup


Step 1 of 3: Open the iTunes software program on your computer


Step 2: Open the 'Preferences' settings - located under the 'iTunes' menu in a Mac and under the 'Edit' menu on a PC


Step 3: Click the 'Devices' tab in 'Preferences' ensure that there is a tick in the checkbox next to 'Prevent iPods, iPhones, and iPads from syncing automatically', then click 'OK'


This allows you to control this synchronization of contacts. You can always change the option back if you prefer.


2.  Syncing the First iPhone


Step 1 of 6: Connect the first iPhone, with the contacts you wish to transfer to the other iPhone,  with its Universal Serial Bus (USB) cable.


Step 2: Click on the ‘iPhone’ icon in the left-hand pane of  iTunes. It may take a few moments for the icon to appear, then click the ‘Info’ tab, in the main pane of iTunes.


Step 3: Ensure that there is a tick in the checkbox labeled 'Sync Address Book contacts' Then you can select either 'All Contacts', or individually select contacts or select specific groups on your phone.


Step 4: Deselect all other sync options in the 'Info' tab.


Step 5: Click 'Apply' in the bottom-right corner of iTunes. This begins the syncing process, which may take a moment or two.


If you have never synced this iPhone with iTunes, iTunes will ask you if the contacts should merge between your computer and the iPhone, overwrite the iPhone's contacts or overwrite the computer's contacts.


Choose either to merge the contacts or overwrite the computer's contacts. If there are no contacts on your computer, you can select the merge option.


Step 6: Unplug the USB cable from the iPhone. You should leave the cable connected to your computer so that you can attach the second iPhone.


3.  Syncing the Second iPhone


Step 1 of 5: Now plug the USB cord into the second iPhone and wait for iTunes to recognize it.


Step 2: Click the ‘iPhone’ icon in the left-hand pane and then click the 'Info' tab in the main pane of iTunes.


Step 3: Check again, to make sure that the only sync option selected, is the address book contacts.


Step 4: Click 'Apply' iTunes will likely ask you again if you want to merge or overwrite the existing contacts on this iPhone -  if you choose to overwrite the phone's contacts this will replace that iPhone's existing contacts with the new contact list. Otherwise select the merge option to combine both contacts lists.


Step 5: Wait a moment for the synchronization to complete, then unplug the phone.

Version history
Revision #:
7 of 7
Last update:
May 2017
Updated by:

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