Transferring contacts from iPhone to iPhone is the first thing you should do when you get a new device.
Wondering how to transfer contacts from iPhone to iPhone? We’ve got you covered!
While we may not always think it, your contacts data is among the most critical on your iPhone. That’s because the iPhone is primarily a communications device: video calls, phone calls, text messages, messenger apps – those are among the most common things we do on our smartphones.
Back in the day before the iPhone, if someone got a new phone it wasn’t rare for them to forget to transfer all their stored phone numbers over. That’s because pre-SIM phones used to have the contact info stored on the phone itself, making a transfer hard.
When SIM cards came along, contacts commonly became stored on them. So as long as you transferred your SIM from phone to phone you had the same contacts.
Thankfully, smartphones like the iPhone have made transferring your contacts phone to phone ever easier.
Matter of fact, the iPhone has multiple ways to transfer your contacts between itself and another. Here’s are the three best, safest, and fastest ways to transfer contacts from iPhone to iPhone.
To transfer Contacts From iPhone To iPhone: Using iCloud Backup
The easiest way to transfer all your contacts over from your old iPhone to your new iPhone is to simply do it via an iCloud backup. Whenever your old/current iPhone is plugged into power and on Wi-Fi, it will back up all your dat and documents to iCloud.
This iCloud backup is what your new iPhone will then use to transfer all your data from your old iPhone to itself. iCloud backups are great because they are essentially single file with all your stuff.
During the setup process on your new iPhone you’ll be asked if you want to set up the new device from an iCloud backup. You can follow the steps how to do so here, or just follow the steps on your iPhone’s screen.
In either case, once your new iPhone is set up using your current iCloud backup, all your contacts will automatically be on your new iPhone.
To transfer Contacts From iPhone To iPhone: Using iCloud Sync
But let’s say you don’t want to set up a new iPhone or completely restore it to set it up from an iCloud backup. Then how do you get your contacts onto an existing second iPhone you may have? Thankfully this is even easier. All you need to do is sync your existing iCloud information to your new iPhone.
iCloud sync is what lets you keep all your bookmarks, contacts, and calendar events in sync across your iPhones, Macs, and iPads. If you enter your iCloud details on your second iPhone, it’ll then automatically sync over all your iCloud data – including your contacts.
Or, to manually just sync your contacts across both phones, do the following:
- Go to Settings > Your Name and make sure you are signed in to iCloud on both devices.
- Under Settings > iCloud, toggle the Contacts switch on ON (green) on both devices.
- When a popup appears asking if you want to merge contacts, tap Merge.
To transfer Contacts From iPhone To iPhone: Using Your SIM
Finally, the other easy way to transfer your contacts between iPhones is to use the old SIM method, which has been around almost as long as SIMs themselves. The only drawback here is that both iPhones must take the same-sized SIM, which shouldn’t be a problem if each iPhone is made within the last five or so years.
- Remove the SIM from your old phone contains your contacts.
- Place that SIM in your new iPhone.
- Open the Settings app.
- Tap Contacts.
- Tap Import Sim Contacts.
And that’s it! It should take a few moments for your iPhone to import your contacts from the SIM. Once it does, those contacts will now be able to be found in your Contacts app on the new iPhone.
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Frequently Asked Questions
Q: Do iPhones have SIM cards?
Yes, all iPhones ever made have a SIM card slot. However, newer iPhone’s are dual-SIM, which mean they have one physical SIM card and one electronic SIM card.
Q: How should I back up my iPhone contacts?
The easiest way to back up your iPhone contacts is to enable iCloud backup. This way your contacts are always synced to your iCloud account. So even if you lose your iPhone, you’ll still have all your contacts saved in the cloud.
Q: Do contacts sync between Mac and iPhone?
Yep! As long as you are signed in to your same iCloud account on your Mac and iPhone, your contacts will sync effortlessly between them.
Apple expert and novelist, Michael Grothaus has been covering tech on KnowYourMobile for the best part of 10 years. Prior to this, he worked at Apple. And before that, he was a film journalist. Michael is a published author; his book Epiphany Jones was voted as one of the best novels about Hollywood by Entertainment Weekly. Michael is also a writer at other publications including VICE and Fast Company.