How to Transfer Contacts from iPhone to iPhone XS/XR/X/8/7/6/5/4

Get a new iPhone, but do not know how to transfer contacts from old iPhone to new iPhone? This guide will show you 5 ways to transfer contacts from one iPhone to another with ease, iPhone XS (Max)/XR/X/8/7/6s/6/5 included.

By Joy Taylor | Posted on: Dec. 18, 2018, Last Updated: Aug. 16, 2019
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The new iPhone always catch people’s attention, especially those who can’t wait to upgrade their device to the latest one. It is awesome to upgrade to the new iPhone 8 or latest iPhone X/XR/XS (Max), but transferring contacts from old iPhone to new iPhone is a very tiresome business.

How to Transfer Contacts from iPhone to iPhone

How to Transfer Contacts from iPhone to iPhone

Unlike Android phones whose users can easily transfer contacts from the old one to the new one by inserting the SIM card with contacts to a new device, iPhone iPad iPod touch doesn’t allow users to backup contacts to SIM, and contacts have to be stored in the iPhone’s memory.

Worry not. In this guide, we will show you some ways to do the task. Since transferring contacts with iCloud/iTunes will erase all existing data on iPhone, here we will not only show you how to transfer contacts from iPhone to iPhone via iTunes/iCloud, but also share you another quick way to transfer contacts from one iPhone to another without wiping any data. Keep reading and choose one way that suits you most.

Method 1. How to Transfer Contacts from One iPhone to Another without iCloud/iTunes

If you don’t want to lose anything while moving contacts, or prefer a simpler and quicker way to transfer contacts from iPhone to iPhone, then you have to ask for outside help like AnyTrans for iOS. As one of the best iOS data management tool, it can help you make a smooth upgrade to new iPhone. When syncing contacts from iPhone to iPhone, AnyTrans is fitted with these top features:

Here is a video tutorial that illustrates the method of transferring contacts between two iPhones with AnyTrans 7.5.0. You might have a better understanding of this tool after watching it.

Now, Free Download AnyTrans for iOS on your computer, and then follow the steps below to move contacts to your new iPhone with ease.

Free Download

Free Download

* 100% Clean & Safe

Free Download * 100% Clean & Safe

Step 1. Connect your two iPhones.

Run AnyTrans for iOS on your computer > Connect your two iPhones to the computer with USB cables.

Step 2. Choose the transfer mode.

Click on the “Device Manager” mode > Choose your source device > Click on “More” to get contacts on your source iPhone.

Transfer Contacts to New iPhone with AnyTrans - Step 2

Transfer Contacts to New iPhone with AnyTrans – Step 2

Step 3. Select the contacts to transfer to the new iPhone.

Scroll the left panel screen down > Select the contacts you want to transfer (you can click the “Select All” button to check all the contacts) > Click on the “To iDevice” button at the top-right corner to transfer the selected contacts to your target iPhone.

Transfer Contacts to New iPhone with AnyTrans - Step 3

Transfer Contacts to New iPhone with AnyTrans – Step 3

Method 2. Transfer Contacts Between iPhones with iCloud

To transfer contacts between two iPhones with iCloud, normally, you have two ways to make it. One is with iCloud syncing, and the other one is with iCloud backup. Here we will show you do it.

1. If you haven’t synced the contacts to iCloud on the old iPhone, you need to sync them first:

For iPhones running with iOS 9 or older: go to Settings App > iCloudContacts > Turn it on if it is closed.

For iPhones running with iOS 10 or later: go to Settings App > Tap on your Apple ID’s profile part > Choose iCloud > Select Contacts > Tap on it to turn it on if it closed.

2. With iCloud syncing, you can’t select what to transfer or not, or you may find not all your contacts are synced to the new iPhone, and some contacts disappeared. If you just want to transfer some contacts instead of all the contacts on iDevice or want to transfer all contacts to new iPhone without losing any existing data, move to Method 1 to get another method.

Option 1: Transfer Contacts from iPhone to iPhone with iCloud Syncing

When it comes to transferring contacts from iPhone to iPhone or another iDevice like iPad or iPod touch, iCloud syncing can do you a big favor.

  1. Connect both of your iPhones to the Wi-Fi network > Log in the same Apple ID on your two iPhones.
  2. Go to Settings > Tap on your Apple ID’s profile part > Click iCloud > Select Contacts > Tap on it to turn it on.
  3. Select Merge when it says, “What would you like to do with existing local contacts on your iPhone”.
  4. Wait for the contacts on old iPhone syncing to new iPhone.
How to Transfer Contacts from iPhone to iPhone via iCloud Syncing

How to Transfer Contacts from iPhone to iPhone via iCloud Syncing

Option 2: Transfer Contacts to New iPhone with iCloud Backup

If you want to transfer contacts from iPhone to iPhone with iCloud backup, you can follow the steps below:

Step 1: Make a backup of your old iPhone: Settings > [your name] > iCloud > iCloud Backup > Turn on “iCloud Backup” if it is closed > Tap on Back Up Now.

Make a Backup of Your Old iPhone

Make a Backup of Your Old iPhone

Step 2: Now, go to Settings on your new iPhone > General > Reset > Erase All Content and Settings > Erase iPhone.

Erase Your New iPhone

Erase Your New iPhone

Step 3: Set up the iPhone until you access the Apps & Data screen and choose to Restore from iCloud > Select the backup you just created.

Restore from iCloud Backup

Restore from iCloud Backup

Method 3. How to Transfer Contacts to New iPhone with iTunes

Some tutorials also advise you to restore your new iPhone with the old iPhone’s iTunes backup. But you must clear that your contacts will be transferred to the new iPhone as well as all the other data on your old iPhone. This means all the existing data and files on new iDevice will be replaced by the contents in backup, and the contents in the backup you may don’t want to restore also will be transferred to your new iPhone.

If you want to keep all your contacts safe, please move to Method 1 to get the solution. Next, we will show you how to transfer contacts from iPhone to iPhone with iTunes.

  1. Connect your old iPhone to a computer and open the iTunes (the latest version).
  2. Choose your iPhone and click Info, and then select Sync Contacts option, click Apply to sync your iPhone as well as the contacts with your computer.
  3. After the sync, unplug your old iPhone and plug in your new iPhone.
  4. Choose your new iPhone in iTunes and click Info to make sure that the Sync Contacts option is checked.
  5. Scroll down to the Advanced menu and check Contacts under Replace information on this iPhone. Finally, click Apply to sync contacts to your new iPhone.
Transfer iPhone Contacts Using iTunes

Transfer iPhone Contacts Using iTunes

Method 4. Transfer iPhone Contacts Using AirDrop

AirDrop is a feature that lets iOS users share files wirelessly between Macs and iOS devices. So, you can try this feature to transfer contacts to a new iPhone. 

However, AirDrop only allows you to transfer one contact at a time. When you want to move all the contacts from iPhone to iPhone via AirDrop, there would be a lot weary and tiresome duplication. To transfer all your contacts at a time from iPhone to iPhone quickly, jump to Method 1

Step 1: Swipe up from the bottom of the screen or swipe down from the top-right corner of the screen on iPhones with Face ID to launch Control Center.

Step 2: Press and hold on the wireless control box on the upper left side of Control Center and tap AirDrop.

Step 3: Tap the AirDrop button to reveal the permissions: Receiving OffContacts Only, or Everyone.

Turn on AirDrop on iPhone

Turn on AirDrop on iPhone

Step 4: Open the Contacts app on your source iPhone and find the contact that you want to transfer to the target iPhone. 

Step 5: Tap on the Share Contacts button and tap AirDrop > Choose the target iPhone > Hit the Accept button on your target iPhone.

AirDrop Contacts from iPhone to iPhone

AirDrop Contacts from iPhone to iPhone

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Method 5. Transfer iPhone Contacts by Importing from SIM Card

If you have stored your contacts in the SIM card on your old iPhone, then you can transfer contacts to your new iPhone by removing the SIM card from the old iPhone. Next, insert the SIM card to the new iPhone. Then, go to Settings, tap on Contacts and you will see the Import SIM Contacts option. After the process completes, the contacts on your old iPhone should be transferred to the new iPhone.

Import SIM Contacts

Import SIM Contacts

However, iPhone iPad iPod touch doesn’t allow users to backup contacts to SIM, and contacts have to be stored in the iPhone’s memory. So, if there’s no contact on your SIM card, refer to the other ways in this article to move contacts to new iPhone.

If you have needs of transferring contacts from iPhone to Mac/PC, from computer to iPhone, from iPhone to iTunes, it also helps you make it easier.

Besides contacts, AnyTrans also supports transferring others up to 25 types of data from iPhone to iPhone, like messages, photos, videos, music, voice memos, etc.

The Bottom Line

That’s all about how to transfer contacts from iPhone to iPhone. As you can see, if you prefer a quicker way to make it, then AnyTrans for iOS is a better choice, lets you just transfer needed contacts directly. And if you also want to transfer other data, it also can help you finish the job. Just give it a try by yourself!

Joy Taylor

Member of iMobie team as well as an Apple fan, love to help more users solve various types of iPhone related issues.

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