how to transfer contacts from iphone to iphone

How to transfer contacts from iPhone to iPhone

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Hello! I bought a new iPhone and now I need to know how to transfer contacts to new phone! Could you please help me out?


Probably you have upgraded your iPhone to a newer model, or you’re quitting a job and want to transfer all the data to a personal device. And now you need to know how to transfer contacts from iPhone to iPhone. You can also have these questions in your mind while transferring phone number to new iPhone:

Why didn’t all my contacts transfer to my new iPhone?
How to transfer all contacts from iPhone to iPhone without iCloud?
Why are my contacts not syncing between iPhone and iPhone?
How do I transfer contacts from iPhone to iPhone manually?

We outline 5 ways to move contacts from iPhone to iPhone without iCloud or iTunes, or using iCloud and iTunes if you like or using the AirDrop feature. You can even transfer contacts to new iPhone if you don’t have the old device anymore!

How do I transfer contacts from iPhone to iPhone?

NOTE: If your contacts are stored on your SIM card, follow the official Apple tutorial on how to import SIM contacts to your iPhone.

How to transfer contacts from phone to phone

The easiest and fastest method to transfer contacts to new iPhone, all of them at once! The method will also help if you’re wondering how to transfer all contacts from iPhone to iPhone with a different Apple ID.

backup iPhone contacts
✔️ Transfer only selected contacts or all at once.
✔️ Manage iPhone, iCloud, Outlook, and Gmail contacts.
✔️ Transfer contacts between different Apple IDs.
✔️ Save contacts in .xlsx; .vcf; .csv formats.
✔️ Merge old and new contact sets.

Download CopyTrans Contacts

First, we’ll export contacts from iPhone 1 to a PC as .vcf files, and then we will import them from the PC to iPhone 2.

Let’s get started!

How to transfer contacts from iPhone to computer

  1. Download and install CopyTrans Contacts:

    If you need help, please refer to the installation guide.

  2. Run CopyTrans Contacts and connect your iPhone to the PC. You will see a loading icon: the program is retrieving all your contacts, messages, calendars, and notes. Wait until the loading is finished, only then proceed to Step 3.

    ➕ If your iPhone is encrypted, you may be asked for an iPhone backup password. What password?

    Contacts loading in CopyTrans Contacts

  3. Select the contacts you wish to copy to your PC.

    ➕ To select several entries, hold down Ctrl while clicking on each contact.
    ➕ To select all contacts at once, check the box on top of the contact list OR press Ctrl+A.

    Select all contacts on your iPhone

    TIP: If you don’t see your contacts in the CopyTrans Contacts interface, follow this troubleshooting guide.

  4. Click Export selected:

    How to transfer contacts from iPhone to PC with CopyTrans Contacts

  5. After that, select iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch (multiple .vcf files):

    Transfer vcf contacts to iPhone

  6. Select the destination folder. I’ve created a new folder on my desktop for this purpose. Click OK:

    Transfer iPhone contacts to selected folder on PC

How to import contacts to iPhone

  1. Halfway there! Let’s connect the target device. In my case, the device is empty, and so is the CopyTrans Contacts interface. But not for long… Click Import contacts:

    Import contacts to iPhone

  2. Find where you saved your contacts, select all the .vcf files (Ctrl+A), then click Open:

    Select all vcf files to import contacts

  3. All the contacts you’ve selected will now be imported to your iPhone:

    Transfer contacts from iPhone to iPhone result

Give CopyTrans Contacts a go!

🖖 Transfer your contacts between cloud accounts;
🖖 Export messages, calendars, notes to PC;
🖖 Move your contacts between iPhone and Outlook;
🖖 Export WhatsApp chats in a printable format;
🖖 … and more!

Get a free trial version

Transfer contacts to new iPhone without iCloud

This method allows you to move contacts from one iPhone to another bypassing iCloud. You also can restore contacts from an older iTunes backup to your new iPhone with it! So, let’s start transferring contacts to your new iPhone.

How to backup contacts on iPhone
✔️ Transfer both iCloud and iPhone contacts in 2 clicks.
✔️ Retrieve your contacts from an iTunes backup.
✔️ Transfer only contacts without erasing other data.
✔️ No internet connection needed.

Download CopyTrans Shelbee

So, here’s how to transfer contacts from iPhone to iPhone without iCloud:

  1. First, download and install CopyTrans Shelbee. If you need help, refer to the installation guide.
  2. If you already have an iTunes or CopyTrans Shelbee backup, skip this step. If you don’t, create a full Backup.

    If you need step-by-step instructions, see how to make a full backup with CopyTrans Shelbee.

    transfer contacts to new iphone without icloud

  3. Now connect the target device: iPhone or iPad. The feature you need is Custom restore: it will restore contacts selectively, without overwriting the rest of the data.

    For detailed instructions, refer to the CopyTrans guide on selective restore.

    how to transfer contacts from iphone to iphone without icloud
    How to transfer contacts from iPhone to iPhone
  4. That’s it! After the custom restore has finished, the contacts from your old iPhone will be waiting for you on your new device.
    Transferring contacts iPhone to iPhone result

The perks of using CopyTrans Shelbee:

Backup and restore iPhone, iPad without iTunes;
Transfer only contacts or another data type without erasing all the other data;
⚡ Restore from iTunes or third-party backups;
⚡ Transfer WhatsApp and other apps from device to device;
Validate your backup when you create it.

Try CopyTrans Shelbee for free

Speed Round

How to transfer Contacts from one Apple ID to another?

CopyTrans Contacts allows you to transfer contacts from iPhone to iPhone with different Apple ID because it doesn’t deploy the native sync feature: you copy contacts from one iPhone to another via your PС manually. Here’s a detailed guide on how to do it.

How do I sync my Contacts across all Apple devices?

To do this, you will need to sign in to iCloud with the same Apple ID on all of your devices and turn iCloud sync on for Contacts. Here’s how to set up iCloud on all your devices and sync contacts.

Why are my Contacts not syncing between iPhone and iPad?

For your iPhone and iPad to sync automatically, you 1. have to be signed in to iCloud with the same Apple ID on all of your devices. You also 2. have to have iCloud sync turned on for Contacts on all devices. If your Contacts are not syncing or you need to transfer contacts between devices with different Apple IDs, you might want to handle contacts manually.

Why didn’t all of my Contacts show up on my iPhone?

We have a separate guide on how to tackle the problem of iPhone contacts missing, check it out.

How do I sync Contacts from iPhone to iCloud?

If you have set your iCloud account but the usual sync is not working for you, here are some fixes and alternative solutions compiled in our article on what to do if Contacts are not syncing to iCloud.

How to transfer contacts to new phone

from iPhone backup

Did you know that you can restore your iPhone contacts to a new device even if your older iPhone has been broken or stolen? If you don’t have your old iPhone, CopyTrans Backup Extractor will still fight to retrieve your contacts.

iPhone backup location on PC

✔️ find all the backups automatically;

✔️ save all the backup data on your PC;

✔️ Extract contacts to PC – without the device;

✔️ compatible with different backups: iCloud, iTunes, CopyTrans Shelbee, or other programs;

Download CopyTrans Backup Extractor

We will transfer contacts to new iPhone in 2 steps: we will retrieve contacts from an iTunes, iCloud, or another backup first, and then we will import them to the device.

Retrieve contacts from backup

  1. Download and install CopyTrans Backup Extractor. For help with the installation, follow the installation guide.

  2. Run the program and log in to iCloud if you want to find more backups. Once ready, click Find Backups.

    We care about your online safety: your credentials go directly to Apple through a secure SSL connection.

    Find iPhone backups with CopyTrans Backup Extractor

  3. Wait for the backup hunt to be complete. You will see a list of all available backups: choose the latest backup which contains your contacts.

    ➕ If you are restoring from an iTunes backup, you may be asked for a backup password. What password?

    ➕ iCloud backups will be marked with a cloud icon (☁️) and they are never password-protected.

    Enter the iPhone backup password in CopyTrans Backup Extractor

  4. From the list of items to restore, choose Contacts and press Next. You will be prompted to select the destination folder.
    how to transfer contacts to a new iphone
  5. Voila! Choose Go to folder to open the directory with your Contacts. They are now ready to be imported to your iPhone.

    Contacts from iPhone backup on PC

Give CopyTrans Backup Extractor a go!

⭐ Access iTunes and iCloud backups from PC;
⭐ See what data types each backup contains;
Recover photos, chats, voice memos, and more without device;
Delete old backups to free up space on PC.

Try CopyTrans Backup Extractor for free

Import contacts to iPhone

  1. Now, let’s start importing! For that, we will need CopyTrans Contacts. If you haven’t downloaded it yet, now is a good time:

    Download CopyTrans Contacts

    If you already have it installed, let’s move to the next step.

  2. Launch CopyTrans Contacts and connect your iPhone to the PC. Give the program time to load your data, then select Import contacts.

    Import contacts to iPhone with CopyTrans Contacts

  3. Choose to import contacts from a file:

    Select contact source in CopyTrans Contacts

  4. Choose the folder where you previously extracted your contacts to and select all or part of contacts for import.

    Select files for iPhone contact transfer with CopyTrans Contacts

  5. Enjoy your newly imported list of contacts! And do not forget to back up your device from time to time.

  6. Share contacts between iPhones using CopyTrans Contacts

So, here is how to transfer contacts from iPhone to iPhone without iTunes or iCloud. If you’d prefer a more traditional solution, read on.

Transfer contacts from iPhone to iPhone

using iCloud

Possible pitfalls:

❌ You can’t select contacts for transfer — it’s all or nothing.
❌ You have to use the same ID for both devices.
❌ If you have other contact sets, they will be merged.
❌ Requires iCloud sync and Internet connection.

If you’re not put off that easily, here’s how to move contacts from iPhone to iPhone using iCloud sync:

  1. Both should be connected to Wi-Fi.
  2. Make sure the contacts on your older device are synced with iCloud: go to Settings > click on your Apple ID at the top > iCloud > make sure the Contacts toggle is on: sync contacts to icloud
  3. If you aren’t logged in on the iPhone you want to transfer the contacts to, open Settings > tap Sign In to your iPhone > enter your Apple ID & Password > Enter your iPhone Passcode > Click ‘Merge’ to upload and merge your contacts with iCloud: sign in to icloud to merge contacts
  4. Now, wait until all the contacts are synced with your new iPhone. That’s all!
  5. You might have some contacts that haven’t been transferred over. It means that those contacts are not in iCloud: most likely, they are contacts that have been created on the device and weren’t pushed to iCloud. You can use CopyTrans Contacts to transfer iPhone contacts to iCloud.

TIP: iPhone contacts not syncing to iCloud? Follow this troubleshooting guide by Apple.

How to transfer contacts from one iPhone to another

using iTunes

Transferring iPhone contacts with iTunes is easy: back up, then restore.


❌ iTunes restore will overwrite your photos, messages, calendars, and all the other data.
❌ You can’t select contacts for transfer — it’s all or nothing.
❌ iTunes doesn’t check backups for errors, unlike CopyTrans Shelbee.

If you are okay with restoring the whole backup to your new device, let’s get going:

  1. Download iTunes.
  2. Connect the iPhone you want to transfer the contacts from. Click on the phone icon on the top left: click on device icon in itunes
  3. Click Back up now. Wait until iTunes finishes the backup: create an iphone backup in itunes
  4. Connect the iPhone you want to restore your contacts to. Keep in mind that iTunes will restore the whole iPhone backup, not just contacts. If you want to restore contacts only, use CopyTrans Shelbee.
  5. Click Restore backup: restore iphone from backup in itunes
  6. A dialogue box will appear. Select the backup that contains your contacts (the one you’ve just made) and click Restore: restore iphone with itunes backup
  7. Now, wait until the restore is finished. Restoring your iPhone is time-consuming and can take up to several hours. That’s it! This is how to move contacts from iPhone to iPhone using iTunes.

How to share contacts on iPhone

Airdrop contacts

AirDrop is a nice and easy way to share contacts between iPhones in real-time.


❌ You can only share one contact at a time.
❌ AirDrop transfer often fails due to connection issues.
❌ If you want to avoid security issues, you have to use the Contacts only feature and be added to the other person’s address book.

The only downside is that you can only share one contact at a time. So, how to transfer contacts from iPhone to iPhone via AirDrop? If you want to share a small group of contacts, that’s the way to go!

  1. First, make sure the two iPhones are close to each other and have Wi-Fi and Bluetooth on:

    Wi-Fi and bluetooth turned on iPhone

    You can do so by swiping up from the bottom of the screen, which will open the control center. Tap on Wi-Fi and Bluetooth icons to turn them on.

    You can also do so by going to Settings > Wi-Fi and Settings > Bluetooth and switching the toggle on.

  2. Next, turn AirDrop on. Press and hold the Wi-Fi (or any other) icon in the control center to show other options, tap on AirDrop and tap Everyone.
    You can also start AirDrop by going to Settings > General > AirDrop > Everyone (or Contacts Only, if you only wish to get AirDropped by people you have in your contacts).
    Make sure Hotspot is turned off on both iPhones:

  3. Turn on AirDrop from iPhone control center

  4. How to AirDrop contacts? Go to Contacts > pick the contact you want to share > tap Share Contact > choose the iPhone you want to share the contact with:

  5. How to sync contacts from iPhone to iPhone via AirDrop

  6. Click Accept on the other iPhone to finish the transfer:

  7. Accept contact via AirDrop

How do I transfer my contacts from my old phone to my new one?


Thanks for reading this lengthy article 🙂 Maybe you know another way to transfer contacts from iPhone to iPhone? Hit me up! If you have any questions or problems, leave a comment below.

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By Iris

Iris is a marketing and tech-support specialist in charge of the English-speaking market, who dyes her hair in the color of her cats' fur (future cat lady detected) and enjoys sitting on her balcony on a rainy day reading books, watching TV shows, playing video games and drinking hot chocolate. With marshmallows.