Contacts are the most important part of your phone, maybe even your life. On an iPhone, unless you sync them with a cloud service like iCloud or Gmail (which is easy to do), they are pretty locked down. If you’re moving to a different phone, and for some reason are not able to sync with any service, we’ll tell you how to extract all the contacts from your iPhone.
Sharing One Contact at a Time
iOS, unlike Android, does not have a built-in export/import feature for contacts. You can, however, share contacts one at a time. This is a painful affair but if you only have a handful of contacts and for some reason can’t download the app we’re going to talk about below, try this out.
Go to the Contacts app, tap on the contact name and scroll down till you find Share contact. This will bring up options for Message, Mail. Select the appropriate option if you want to send the contact as an email or SMS.
Exporting All Your Contacts with My Contacts Backup
Download the free My Contacts Backup. Open the app and give it access to your contacts.
The app is pretty simple. It has a big Backup button in the middle of the screen. Tap it and the app will scan all the contacts on your phone and create a .vcf file.
The button will now change to Email and tapping it will bring up the familiar Mail app pop-up. The .vcf file will be attached there. Address the email and press send.
Customizing App Settings
If you want to fine-tune the contact export, you can do that from Settings.
First, you can change from vCard (vcf) to Excel (csv) format. Below, you’ll find a Configure button.
This will allow you to disable the fields you don’t want to export. Here you can turn off fields like Notes or URLs.
What To Do With the Exported File?
Now that they are out of your old iPhone, the best thing to do with your contacts is to attach them with the email service of your choice. We recommend you upload all the contacts to Gmail. This will make syncing with non-Apple devices easier. But you can do so with iCloud as well.
Cool Tip: You can sync multiple Gmail account contacts to a single iPhone.
To import the contacts to Gmail, go to google.com/contacts, click the More button and choose Import. Now upload the file that you got in your email and all the contacts will show up.
If you want to import the contacts to your iCloud account, go to icloud.com and log in. Go to Contacts and from the Settings menu in the bottom left corner, select Import vCard and upload the file in your email.
Now, on your new iPhone, log in with the same iCloud account and from Settings -> Mail, Contacts, Calendar -> iCloud, make sure Contacts is turned on. All your contacts will now sync directly.
Where Do You Store Your Contacts?
Where do you keep your contacts? On the cloud or locally? Do you regularly back them up to your email? Let us know in the comments below.
Last updated on 03 February, 2022
The above article may contain affiliate links which help support Guiding Tech. However, it does not affect our editorial integrity. The content remains unbiased and authentic.