Here are ways on How to Transfer Contacts from iPhone to iPhone.

If you have upgraded your iPhone to a newer one, you will need to transfer a lot of stuff from your old iPhone to the new one, most importantly, your contacts. There can be other scenarios, where you would share a single or few contacts with your family and friends or would like to change your device with another on a temporary basis. For any reason, it is important to know how to setup your iPhone in quick steps and make it ready to use as well as how to transfer contacts from iPhone to iPhone.

There are many ways to accomplish a successful transfer between two iPhones, but it all depends on the resources you have at hand, along with the time you can invest. Here is a brief description of all the methods possible to transfer that can help you to select the appropriate method for yourself.

Method Time Consuming Internet Requirement Devices Required Transfer Options
1 Quick Start Yes Yes iPhones- Old & New All possible settings, apps, contacts etc.
2 Restore Backup iCloud Yes Yes iPhone- Only New All possible settings, apps, contacts etc.
3 Restore Backup Computer No No iPhone- Only New & Computer All possible settings, apps, contacts etc.
4 Sync Contacts with iCloud Yes Yes iPhones- Old & New Only Contacts
5 Finder or iTunes No No iPhones- Old & New & Computer Only Contacts
6 Single Transfer Airdrop No No iPhones- Old & New Only Contacts
7 Single Transfer Email No Yes iPhones- Old & New Only Contacts


Important Read: Things to check before selling your iPhone.

How to Transfer Contacts from iPhone to iPhone?

Method 1. How to Transfer Contacts from iPhone to iPhone Using Quick Start?

Note: This method can be used only once when you turn on the new iPhone for the first time.

Apple has introduced a new feature known as Quick Start, which can be availed only once when setting up your new iPhone. The reason why Apple thought over this feature is that it wants its users to be able to use the new device as quickly as possible without waiting to transfer contacts, apps, and other required stuff.


Image Source: AppleInsider

Users can choose to transfer almost everything from one iPhone to another during the initial setup. The process is time-consuming, and it totally depends on how much data exists in your old iPhone. To activate Quick Start, follow the below-mentioned steps:

Step 1. Turn your new iPhone on and place it next to the old one, which must be turned on as well.

Step 2. Enter the Apple ID when prompted on both the iPhones, and tap continue.

Step 3. Soon a swirling pattern will appear on the new iPhone, and you will have to open the camera app of the old iPhone and scan the pattern.

Step 4. Enter the passcode of the old iPhone and follow the onscreen instructions.

Step 5. This process consumes time but will create a mirror image of your old iPhone on your new iPhone.

If you have turned on and ran through the first set up process, then you will not be able to access Quick Start option unless you choose to factory reset your iPhone and erase all contents. Once your iPhone is factory reset, it will provide you with the option of Quick Start again, but it will also be a single-use option.

Method 2.  How to Transfer Contacts from iPhone to iPhone by Restoring a Backup?

Note: This method is only applicable if you don’t have your old iPhone with you but have taken a backup.

Although Quick Start seems to be the most efficient option to transfer contacts from iPhone to iPhone, it works if you have both the iPhones at hand. If you have sold or exchanged your old iPhone, then you cannot use the Quick Start feature, but nevertheless, you can still transfer your contacts to your new iPhone by restoring them from a backup.

restoring them from a backup

Image Source: Apple

Restoring from backup recovers a lot of other information, including your contacts, provided you have taken a backup and stored the backup file in a safe and accessible place. To restore from the backup file on your new iPhone, follow the following steps:

Step 1. Follow through the Prompts you receive while setting your new iPhone until you reach Apps & Data Page. You can now choose how to restore from the iPhone backup from options given.

Step 2. If you have taken the back up on the iCloud, then just sign-in using your Apple ID credentials and select the latest backup file to restore. Restoring the backup from iCloud is a time-consuming process, and this process entirely depends on your internet speed. It can take up to an hour, but you will find that there are a lot of similarities between your old and new iPhone, once the restoration is complete. However, storing a backup file on iCloud is one of the safest and reliable methods to store your iPhone data, and the data can be restored anywhere & anytime.

Step 3. If you have taken a backup of your iPhone on your Mac or PC, then connect your iPhone to your computer, and open iTunes and wait for your iPhone to sync in. Open the iPhone summary page, and click on Restore Backup. Choose the backup file you wish to restore to your new device and click ok. This process is rather faster than iCloud backup and does not require internet but requires you to be physically present in front of the computer where the backup file has been stored.

This is one of the most preferred methods to move contacts from iPhone to iPhone.

Also Read: How To Create WhatsApp Backup On iPhone: Top Three Methods!

Method 3. How to Transfer Contacts from iPhone to iPhone with iCloud?

Note: This method will only transfer contacts from iPhone to iPhone,and you cannot transfer any settings, media or apps.


Image Source: Apple

If you think to restore from a backup was a bit of a  difficult process, or you need to just move contacts from iPhone to iPhone, then this is a quick and simple method. The process involves connecting both the devices to the same iCloud account and then choosing to sync contacts between devices. The iCloud account then receives all the contact information from one device and pushes it out to the second one. The steps to facilitate a transfer of contacts from iPhone to iPhone:

Step 1. Connect both iPhones to the internet (Wi-Fi preferred) and sign in to the same iCloud account using the Apple ID credentials. You can verify your Apple ID by checking it at the top of the screen in Settings.

Step 2. Once both the devices are signed in to the same iCloud account, you can then access setting > Account Name > iCloud and turn on Contacts on the old device.

Step 3. Locate and select the option labelled as Merge your iPhone contacts with iCloud.

Step 4. Once the sync is completed, the contacts will then automatically replicate in your new iPhone.

This process is also a bit time consuming, and you can grab a cup of coffee while all the syncing and transferring is automatically being carried out.

Method 4. How to Transfer Contacts from iPhone to iPhone Using Finder or iTunes?

Note: This method can move contacts from iPhone to iPhone without the internet.

Sometimes we may not have access to the internet at a place, or the connection might have a slow bandwidth. In this scenario, it is possible to transfer contacts from iPhone to iPhone by connecting your iPhone to your computer via iTunes. The steps to accomplish this include:

Step 1. Turn your computer on, and open iTunes (Finder in macOS Catalina or later) and connect your original iPhone with the charging cable that facilitates data transfer.

Step 2. Click on Trust the Connection on your computer and iPhone.

Trust the Connection

Step 3. Turn off the contacts by accessing the iCloud settings on both iPhones. If you get an option to Keep contacts on your iPhone, then select it.

Keep contacts on your iPhone

Step 4. If you are using iTunes, then click the iPhone icon located on the top left corner otherwise, you can select the iPhone icon from the sidebar. Access the Info page for more options.

Step 5. You can now select the option to Sync contacts between your iPhone and the computer. You can choose all the contacts or just a selected few and then click on Apply and wait for Sync to complete.

Step 6. Now connect the new device and repeat the steps. This will transfer the contacts from iPhone to iPhone.

This method allows you to transfer a selected number of contacts only as well as the entire address book.

Also Read: How To Transfer Photos From Your Mac Or PC To Your iPhone And iPad

Method 5. How to Transfer Individual Contacts From iPhone to iPhone?

Note: This method can be used for a quick transfer of contacts from iPhone to iPhone.

If you want to transfer a couple of contacts from your iPhone to your friend’s iPhone, then you do not need a computer or carry out the time taking procedures involving iCloud. This can be accomplished using a variety of applications like AirDrop, Messages, Mail, etc. The steps to transfer a contact instantly are:

Step 1. Open your contacts app and select the contact you want to share.

Step 2. Access the contact information page and scroll down, and locate the option to Share Contact.

Step 3. Choose your preferred method and send the contact to the other device.

Step 4. You will have to accept the transferred contact on the second iPhone and save it to your contacts.


The Final Word on How to Transfer Contacts from iPhone to iPhone

There are some of us who don’t upgrade their phones just because they wish to avoid the hassle of transferring their contacts and other data from their old iPhone to the new one. However, using the methods described above, switching phones is now a child’s play (and I don’t mean Chucky the killer doll). Personally, I prefer to take the entire backup of the iPhone on iCloud, Restore the old device to factory settings and trade it in the best exchange offer you can find. You can always restore the backup from iCloud on the new device. Although this method requires the internet and is time-consuming, it isn’t every day that I am changing phones.

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