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How To Transfer Contacts to a New iPhone



Migrating from one phone to another used to be a major pain. Backing up contacts was nearly impossible, and inputting them into a new phone involved pressing each individual number on the number pad repeatedly. With iOS 6, and a new iPhone, getting contacts on the device couldn’t be easier. Here is how to do it for existing users and new users.

Existing iPhone Users

For existing iPhone users, making sure that the phone is set to backup to iCloud is the easiest way.

Open Settings on the iPhone.

iPhone Settings Menu

Choose iCloud from the menu.

iPhone iCloud Button

iPhone iOS 6 iCloud Menu

Scroll down to find Storage & Backup.

iPhone Storage and Backup

iPhone iOS 6 Storage and Backup Menu

Then make sure the iCloud Backup toggle is set to ON.

Whenever the iPhone is connected to Wi-Fi and charging, the phone will backup. Once the phone has been backed up, migrating to the new phone is simple. By clicking the Back Up Now button, it will force a backup.

When setting up the new phone, it will at one point prompt the user to choose to Restore from an iCloud Backup. Choose that and then follow the prompts. A short time later everything will be on the new phone, including contacts and all the apps.

New iPhone Users

During the initial setup of the phone it would have prompted the user to create an iCloud account. Since a large percentage of iPhones sold are sold at wireless stores (and not Apple stores) the in-store associate most likely helped the user set up the account.

Adding contacts (and other information) to the iPhone through iCloud is incredibly easy if the user has access to a computer. Here is how to do it.

Open the web browser and visit

iPhone updating through iCloud

Then login with the correct credentials.


Logging into iCloud

After logging in, choose the Contacts option.


iCloud Main Screen

Once the Contacts screen opens, select the “+” button at the bottom of the screen.


iCloud Contacts Screen

Then fill out the contact information and click Done.


Add New Contact in iCloud

The contact information will automatically synchronize with the phone. To verify this, unlock the iPhone and check the Contacts app for the new name.


iPhone Contacts app with new contact.

Simply repeat the process for each person needing to be added and that’s it! It is much easier to input this contact information over the computer than by using the phone’s keyboard, especially if there are a large number of contacts to enter.




  1. IOU812

    07/28/2013 at 2:57 pm

    God another nerd?? I think we know this basic setting too!!

  2. Derek

    07/29/2013 at 9:10 am

    I could not use the above guide because my old iPhone was running iOS 4 and did not support iCloud. What I did instead to transfer my contacts to the new iPhone 5 is this instead:

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