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How to Backup Contacts on iPhone in 5 Easy Ways: iCloud Account vs Other Methods

Jason StagnittoValentina BravoIgor Kurtz

Written by Jason Stagnitto (Writer)

Reviewed by Valentina Bravo (Editor)

Facts checked by Igor Kurtz (Fact-checking editor)

Last Updated: 2024-04-23T16:02:00+00:00

All our content is written fully by humans; we do not publish AI writing. Learn more here.

Key Takeaways: How to Back up Contacts on iPhone
  1. Cloud storage: You can use most cloud storage providers to keep a backup of your contacts as long as you have an internet connection.
  2. iTunes backup: PC owners can use iTunes to back up their contacts on their computers. 
  3. iCloud sync: iCloud account holders, which includes nearly everyone with an Apple device, can quickly back up their contacts.
  4. Google backup: Google offers a couple of ways to back up your iPhone contacts using Gmail or Google Drive.
  5. Mac transfer: You can use your Mac to back up your iPhone contacts through the Finder app.

Facts & Expert Analysis About Transferring iPhone Contacts

  • Back up your contacts: We strongly recommend that you back up your contacts. There are several ways to do so.
  • Apple connectivity: It may go without saying, but backing up your contacts using apps within the Apple ecosystem provides the most seamless experience. 
  • External sources: Apple makes it easy to back up your contacts to external applications if you don’t want to diversify where you store your contact data.

Contacts are among the most important data on your iPhone. They are the connection point to the people you care about most and those you need to communicate with professionally. Fortunately, several methods are available to protect your contacts. In the following sections, we will show you how to back up iPhone contacts.

Though photos get the spotlight when it comes to irreplaceable data on your iPhone, it’s tough to understate the importance of your contact list. Fortunately, if you regularly back up your iPhone, your contacts are likely included. However, if you want to ensure that you protect your contacts, use one of the following methods.

There are several pros and cons to the different methods outlined below. Some of these options use an internet connection, while others are offline options. Cloud storage features prominently — you’ll see services from the best cloud storage providers.

  • 04/22/2024

    This article was rewritten to capture the most recent methods to back up iPhone contacts.

How to Back up Contacts on iPhone: Overview

Cloud storage backupAccessible through your iPhone; easy to upload and updateA cloud storage account — most likely a paid one — is required to ensure enough storage space.
iTunes backupSeamless integration with Apple iTunes and your iPhoneReserved for PCs and is not automatic; you must connect each time you want to perform a backup.
iCloud syncEasy to sync and keep updatediCloud is not a proper backup service.
Google backupMultiple ways to use your Google account to back up your contactsNot the best for privacy-minded users
Mac transferFast and easy iPhone backupNot automatic; you must connect regularly to keep your contact backup updated.

1. Backup iPhone Contacts to Cloud Storage

You can use cloud storage to back up your iPhone contacts. Some cloud storage services have functionality built into the mobile app to back up your contacts, but you can still back up your contacts even if they don’t. We will use to demonstrate how. For more, check out our review.

  1. Open “Contacts”

    The mobile app doesn’t have a way to back up your contacts. To perform a backup, open “contacts” on your iPhone and then tap on “lists.”

    iphone contacts
  2. All Contacts

    You can choose from the list of contacts. For this guide, we will back up all available contacts. Long press “all contacts” until you see the option to export. Tap “export,” decide on the fields you want to include and then tap “done.”

    iphone contacts export
  3. Upload to

    From the menu, tap the app icon. You can change the location or change the name of the file if desired. When you’re ready, tap “add.” This will upload your contacts to

    iphone contacts sync

2. Backup All Your Contacts to iTunes

Using iTunes to backup contacts requires that you own a PC. As you will see below, using a Mac entails a different process. PC owners will need to download iTunes and follow these steps: 

  1. Open iTunes

    Find iTunes in your application list or on your desktop. Once you’ve opened it, connect your iPhone to your PC.

    windows itunes
  2. Access Your iPhone

    Tap on the iPhone icon in the upper-left corner. You will see a menu of options.

    windows iphone connect
  3. Backup Your iPhone

    Tap on “back up now” to back up your iPhone data to iTunes. Doing so will back up everything, not just your contacts. You can move through the tabs and customize what you back up to iTunes.

    windows iphone backup now

3. Sync Contacts to iCloud

With iCloud and an iPhone, you can back up your contacts directly from your device. Before using iCloud, we recommend you check out the best VPN for mobile. To use iCloud, follow the steps below.

  1. Open iCloud

    From your “settings” icon, tap your name under Apple ID and then “iCloud.” 

    iphone icloud
  2. Back up Phone Contacts

    In your Apple ID, under the “apps using iCloud” list, tap “show all.” This will expand the list. Scroll down until you see “contacts.” If it’s already selected, it means your contacts are backed up to iCloud. If not, tap the slider to turn the backup on. You’ll have the option to “merge” existing local contacts on your phone, which we recommend.

    iphone icloud contacts

4. Backup to Google Contacts

There are plenty of alternatives to iCloud. Google is one such option and offers a couple of ways to back up your contacts, such as with Gmail or Google Drive. We will outline both methods below.

Backup iPhone Contacts With Gmail

The first way to sync your contacts with your Google account is through Gmail.

  1. Find “Contacts”

    From the “settings” icon, scroll down until you see “contacts.”

    iphone gmail settings
  2. Gmail Account

    Tap “accounts” and then choose the Gmail account with which you want to sync your contacts.

    iphone gmail accounts
  3. Sync Contacts

    Select the Gmail account you want to use and then tap the slider next to “contacts.” Your contacts will now be synced with your Gmail account.

    iphone gmail contacts

Backup iPhone Contacts to Google Drive

Backing up your contacts to Google Drive is just as simple as with Gmail.

  1. Open “Contacts”

    Similar to with, open the “contacts” app and then tap “lists.”

    iphone contacts
  2. Export Contacts

    Long press “all contacts” and then choose “export.”

    iphone contacts export
  3. Choose Google Drive

    From the list of options that populates, scroll until you see the Google Drive app. Make any changes you want, such as the folder location, or add people if you want to share. When you’re ready, tap “upload.”

    iphone google drive

5. Transfer Contacts to Mac via Finder

If you want to use your Mac to back up your contacts, you can use Finder on a Mac in a similar way to how you would use iTunes on a PC.

  1. Connect Your iPhone

    Connect your iPhone to your Mac. In “Finder,” you will see your iPhone populate the “locations” section. Click on it.

    iphone finder
  2. Backup Your iPhone

    Click on “back up now” to back up your iPhone data, including your contacts. You can use the tabs along the top to customize what you back up with your Mac.

    iphone backup now

Final Thoughts

Backing up your iPhone contacts is recommended no matter which method you choose. Fortunately, you have several choices both within and outside Apple’s ecosystem. For those who want to stay in Apple’s ecosystem, iCloud and Mac computers make it easy. iTunes is a great option for PC users. You can also use a cloud storage provider like or Google. 

When was the last time you backed up your iPhone contacts? Do you use one of the methods listed in this article? What is your preferred method to back up your iPhone contacts? Let us know in the comments section below. Thanks for reading our article. 

FAQ: How to Back up Contacts From iPhone

  • You can use a cloud storage provider to back up your contacts without using iCloud. Google has several options, or you can use a provider like Alternatively, you can connect your iPhone to your Mac or PC and use Finder or iTunes to perform a backup.

  • You can open “contacts” on your iPhone, go to “lists” and long press until you see the option to export. You can then export your contact list to another app, like a cloud storage provider.

  • Tap the “i” icon next to a phone number and select “create new contact” from the list of options. Alternatively, open the “contacts” app, tap the “+” icon in the upper right and create a new contact.

  • In your contact list, choose “all contacts” and long press until you see the option to export. Then, choose where you want to export your contact list to.

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