Transferring Contacts to a new iPhone


Q: I have an iPhone 4 whose contacts I want to back up so that I can copy them onto my new iPhone 5. How do I do this? Kindly respond with a step-by-step tutorial since I am not so conversant with Apple technology. Thanks!

Transferring Contacts to a new iPhone

– Violeta

A: Firstly, if you’re moving completely from an iPhone 4 to an iPhone 5, the simplest thing to do is to just restore your entire iPhone backup from either iTunes or iCloud to your new device. This will not only bring along your Contacts, but also all of your device and application settings as well as automatically restoring your installed apps and media content from your iTunes library. Detailed instructions on how to do this can be found in our Complete Guide to Transferring your Content to a new iPhone, iPad or iPod touch.

If you’re not interested in restoring your iPhone 4 setup onto the iPhone 5 for whatever reason, you can still transfer just your Contacts to the new device via iCloud. This is a free service provided by Apple that stores and syncs all of your contacts making them readily available to any device that shares the same iCloud account. If you haven’t already signed up for a free iCloud account, this would be a great time to do so, as it provides a number of other useful services, including Photo Stream, automatic wireless backups, and more.

If you’re already using iCloud, all of your Contacts will already be stored with your iCloud account, and should appear automatically as soon as you sign into iCloud on your iPhone 5. It’s really as simple as just signing onto the same iCloud account that you used on your iPhone 4 during the initial setup process.

If you’ve already been through the iOS Setup Assistant and skipped the Apple ID stage, you can setup an iCloud account manually under iCloud in your iPhone Settings app.

If you haven’t already setup an iCloud account on your iPhone 4, it’s also the same basic process: Go into your iPhone Settings app, go to the iCloud section, and then follow the instructions there to either log in with an existing Apple ID—such as your iTunes Store account—or create a new one for iCloud.


Transferring Contacts to a new iPhone

Once you’ve done this, simply ensure that the “Contacts” option is enabled in the iCloud settings and your contacts will be transferred to (or from) iCloud.


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Jesse Hollington

Jesse Hollington was a Senior Editor at iLounge. He's written about Apple technology for nearly a decade and had been covering the industry since the early days of iLounge. In his role at iLounge, he provided daily news coverage, wrote and edited features and reviews, and was responsible for the overall quality of the site's content.