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This article describes the process of importing contacts from a .csv or .xls file to your iPhone.

This guide will help in the following situations:

Let’s get started!

Import CSV or Excel contacts to iPhone

Install and open CopyTrans Contacts, go to the Contacts tab, and click “Import contacts” in the top left corner:

Import contacts

A dialogue window will appear. Select: “From a file” and choose your .csv file:
Import contacts from a file

You can also just simply drag and drop your CSV or Excel file into the program:

Drag and drop Excel file to iPhone

    The CSV import wizard will open.

    CSV import wizard

  • The white columns are the columns that were automatically matched by the program.

  • The red columns are the ones that could not be matched automatically. If you want to import data from those columns to your iPhone, you need to manually select the appropriate column header for those columns from the drop-down list.

  • When you change a column header the column turns blue.

You will see the data of the CSV file as a table. Here you will need to match the columns from the source file (.csv or .xls) with the iPhone contact fields (like first name, middle name, phone number, etc.) Just select a column header for each column from the drop-down list.
Select from dropdown list

If you have any questions or problems with this step, refer to the troubleshooting guide below.

There are a lot of different types of CSV files. The Import Wizard is designed to customize the transfer and prevent data loss. In some CSV files, the information is presented in two columns: data type and data value. For example, the phone number information consists of the data type (such as home, business, mobile, etc.) and data value i.e. the phone number itself, like +1-313-123456.
Data in Excel

Those two-column files should be matched accordingly in the Import Wizard:
Matched columns in CopyTrans Contacts import wizard

You can exclude some or more contacts from the import – just simply uncheck the checkbox next to the contact.
Unckeck the checkbox

If you do not want to import a column from the source file to your iPhone, select “Do not import” from the drop-down list.
Do not import

To make your job easier, you can choose to only view the unmatched columns. This way only the red columns will be displayed.
Hide unmatched columns

The first line of the CSV file usually contains the column header name and therefore is grayed out by default and will not be imported. If you wish to import it, uncheck the “Do not import the first line” in the advanced settings to avoid losing data.
Do not import the first line checkbox

If you regularly import CSV files from a particular source, you can save your import settings. To do this, enter the title of the backup once you’ve finished customizing the fields, and click the Save icon. You can use these parameters during the next transfer simply by selecting them from the list. You can also choose the “Last used” to use the last import settings.
Save import settings for CopyTrans Contacts import wizard

Troubleshooting Tips

  • I do not see any of my contacts from CSV file
    Please try to change the encoding. Sometimes the encoding of the source file can not be detected automatically.
    Encoding

  • My contacts are not displayed correctly: special characters like é, è, ç are not displayed.
    In this case, it is quite possible that your contacts are not properly stored in the CSV file. Open the CSV file with a text editor (ex. in Notepad++) and check if your data is displayed correctly there. You can then edit them manually directly in the file or in your iPhone after the import.

  • I get an error message “1/1 of your contacts could not be imported”
    This means that the source file is probably corrupted. We recommend opening it in Microsoft Excel and saving it: this may be enough to fix it. Then try importing it into CopyTrans Contacts again.

  • I noticed an error in the contact details
    To edit your contacts, open the source file in Excel or Notepad++ and then re-import it. You can also do it in CopyTrans Contacts on your iPhone after the transfer.

For other questions please contact us by email at copytrans@copytrans.net

Import CSV or Excel contacts to iCloud

To import your contacts to iCloud, make sure you have logged in to your iCloud account in CopyTrans Contacts.

Then follow the steps above to import the contacts into the iPhone. After that, select the contacts you wish to transfer to iCloud and right-click. You have two options: Copy To and Move To. In the first case, the contacts will stay on the iPhone and also will be copied to iCloud. If you choose to move them, these contacts will be removed from the iPhone and will be transferred to iCloud.

Copy csv contacts to iCloud

Compatibility

The method works when importing the CSV or Excel contacts from the following sources:

  • Outlook
  • Thunderbird
  • Yahoo
  • Hotmail
  • Slack CSV
  • Skype
  • Facebook
  • TeamViewer
  • Synology

Avatar for Irina CopyTrans

By Irina CopyTrans

Irina 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.