Transferring phone contacts from Android to iPhone

02 August 2017

Porting your phone contacts from Android to iPhone is nice and easy - especially now.

Apple has simplified the process considerably with its 'Move to iOS' app and campaign, but if circumstances require you to do it the old-fashioned way (i.e. backing your phone’s contacts up in the Google cloud, and then syncing them with your new iPhone), we'll walk you through the whole process.

In the wrong place? Maybe you want to transfer contacts from iPhone to Android.

Cheat method: use 'Move to iOS'

The easiest way to move contacts from your Android phone to a shiny new iPhone is to download Apple's specifically-made Move to iOS app. 

As long as your current device runs Android 4.0 or higher, you should be fine to download and use Move to iOS to round up all your contacts, text messages, media, email and calendar entries, and transfer all of the above to a new iPhone.

Move to iOS collects and exports all of your info over Wifi, and it's a no-fuss way of making the jump from Android to Apple's own ecosystem. You can download the app free of charge from Google Play.

If Move to iOS isn't working for you - or you're running an older version of Android - there's still several options for taking your contacts from Android to iPhone. Get the following details ready, and read on.

Old school method: Back up and sync

You will need:
  • Your Apple ID and password
  • Your Google ID and password
  • Either WiFi or mobile broadband access for your devices

Step 1: SIM is dead, long live the cloud

SIM cards aren't often used to store contact information these days, but you still may have a few key numbers stored away in there.

Let's begin by syncing those straight to your Google account.

  • Go to Contacts and hit the Menu button. Select Manage Contacts and then Import.
  • In the 'From' section, select SIM. In the 'To' section, select your Google account email.
  • Hit Ok, then select which contacts you want to sync. You can grab all of them at once by tapping the option at the top right of the screen.

Step 2: Backup phone contacts to Google

By default, Android phones back up your contacts to the cloud automatically about once a day when you are on a WiFi network. Even so, it's best to make sure everything is in order by triggering a sync yourself.

  • Go to [Settings] and find the Accounts section, then select [Google].
  • Tap on your Gmail account. If you have multiple accounts repeat the following instructions for each account you wish to sync.
  • Tap the Menu icon at the top right, then select Sync Now. If this is not an option, there may also be a Sync Contacts button already onscreen.

Step 3: Importing to the iPhone

  • On your iPhone open up [Settings] and select [Contacts].
  • Tap [Accounts]
  • On the next screen, select [Add Account]
  • Select the [Other] option. Note: do not select Gmail, this will not allow you to sync phone contacts; only other services, like email and calendars. 
  • Tap [Add CardDAV Account].
  • Enter your Gmail address in User Name, your Gmail password under Password, and a description.
  • Hit [Next] and you’re all done.

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