How to Sync Your Old Contacts to iPhone

BY Khamosh Pathak

Published 13 Feb 2017

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If you’ve just upgraded to your first iPhone, you’re going to need your contacts. Because let’s face it, there’s no way you remember them. No matter if this if your first iPhone or your third, we’ll guide you through the process of bring your contacts along, in the easiest manner.

How to Transfer Contacts from Android

Sync With Google

Android automatically backs up and syncs all your contacts to your Google Account.

Which means, getting your synced contacts on the iPhone is a matter of seconds. First, let’s make sure your Android phone is syncing your contacts correctly.

From your Android phone, open Settings and select “Accounts”.

Select your Gmail account and make sure Contacts sync is enabled. This means all your contacts are synced with your Gmail account.

Now, on your iPhone, open the Settings app.

Select “Contacts” and “Add Accounts”. If you’ve already signed in with your Google account for email, you should see it here. If not, tap on “Add Account”.

set up email new iphone 2

From here select “Google” and sign in with your ID.

From the next screen, tap on the toggle next to “Contacts” to enable contact sync. Then tap on “Save“. Your Google contacts will now start syncing with your iPhone. You’ll find them in the Contacts app in a couple of seconds.

Transfer Contacts from Gmail to iCloud

If you want to jump ship completely, you might want to move all your contacts from Gmail to iCloud. If that’s the case, follow the guide below.

The steps till making sure your Android phone is syncing contacts with Google are the same. After that, we’ll switch to your PC/Mac.

On your PC, open From the top-left section, click on “Gmail” and select “Contacts”.

Google Contacts will open up in a new tab. From the sidebar, select “More” and then “Export”. You’ll get a popup saying this feature is only available in the old view. Click on “Go to Old Contacts”.

From here you can click on the first checkbox to select all contacts, or choose just the contacts you want to sync.

Once the contacts are selected, click on “More” -> “Export”.

From the format, make sure you use “vCard Contacts”.

This will download a file with all your contacts.

Next, lets go to and login. Then click on “Contacts”. Here you’ll find that there are no contacts. Let’s import the contacts we just downloaded from Gmail.

iphone old contacts sync 1

Click on the Settings icon in the bottom and select “Import vCard”. Select the file we just downloaded.

In a second or two, all your contacts will show up here.

Now let’s go to the iPhone.

Now let’s sync it with the iCloud account so the synced contacts show up here.

Open “Settings” and go into “iCloud”. Make sure “Contacts” is turned on. Now if you go into the Contacts app, you’ll see that all your contacts are here.

Use Move to iOS App

Apple has released its own Move to iOS app that lets you migrate your Google account, messages and apps to your iPhone. You can only do this while setting up your iPhone, by selecting “Move Data from Android” option.


On your Android phone, make sure your contacts are synced. Then make sure both phones are on the same Wi-Fi network and then pair both devices. Then select “Google Account” from the list on things to transfer. Start the transfer and wait.

Personally, I haven’t had a great experience using the Move to iOS app. I would suggest you only use this feature just to move the Google Account and not heavy files like your photos and videos.

How To Transfer Contacts From Old iPhone

iCloud Sync While Setting Up

On your current iPhone, let’s make sure your contacts are synced with iCloud.

If it’s iCloud, go to “Settings” -> “iCloud” and make sure the name and ID displayed on the top are yours.

Then make sure the “Contacts” option is checked.

Now, tap on “Backup” and select “Backup now”. iPhone will now start backing iCloud content to the web. This might take a while.

Now, when you’re setting up a new phone, from the “Apps and Data” section, select “Restore from iCloud Backup”. Log in with your iCloud ID and wait while the data restore begins. Once it’s done, all your contacts show be there.

Google Sync

If you continue to use Google to sync your contacts, here’s how to get them on your new iPhone.

First, make sure that Google sync for contacts is enabled on your current iPhone.

Go to “Settings” -> “Contacts” -> “Accounts” -> “Gmail” and make sure “Contacts” is enabled. Make sure there’s internet connection so contacts can be synced to Google.

Then, on your new iPhone, open “Settings”, select “Contacts” -> “Accounts”, and tap on “Add Accounts”.

Select Google from the list log in and then make sure “Contacts” is selected before tapping “Save”. All the contacts that are in your Google account will show up directly on your new iPhone.

How Do You Like Your iPhone?

So how’s your iPhone experience so far? Share with us in the comments below.

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