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How to transfer contacts from Android to iPhone

Don't get stuck in the game of transferring contacts one by one!
By
December 25, 2023

While Android is still king, iOS is a significant platform, and you may want to switch to an iPhone at some point. We won’t judge! After all, there are some things iOS does better than Android. You will probably want to transfer all your data to your new phone. This transition is often seamless, depending on which devices are involved. In this case, we’re talking about two completely different platforms, so it might require some extra work. Here are the best ways to transfer your contacts from Android to iOS!

QUICK ANSWER

Transfer contacts from Android to iPhone using the Move to iOS app. Download it on your Android phone, launch the app, and follow the instructions to get the phone ready. During your iPhone setup, select Move data from Android. You'll get a code, which you can use to link both devices. Pick what you want to migrate, enter the code, and let the app do its thing.

There are alternative methods to transfer contacts from Android to iPhone. Some others might actually be easier. Please keep reading to learn more about them.


JUMP TO KEY SECTIONS

Editor’s note: We’ve put together these instructions using a Google Pixel 7 running Android 14, and an Apple iPhone 12 Mini running iOS 17.2.1. Remember, some of these steps might differ depending on your phone and software version.

Move to iOS app

Apple iPhone on table stock photo 3
Edgar Cervantes / Android Authority

Did you know Apple has Android apps in the Google Play Store? Move to iOS is one of the few Apple apps on Google’s storefront.

Move to iOS is meant to help Android users… well, move to iOS. Despite the poor reviews, the application does what it’s advertised to do, and it does it well. Apple loves making experiences simple and easy, which is precisely what this data transfer application accomplishes.

Your mileage and experience may vary, but you can easily migrate contacts, messages, photos, videos, bookmarks, email accounts, and calendars straight to any iOS device when it works.

How to use Move to iOS to transfer your contacts to Android:

  1. Download and install the Move to iOS app on your Android device.
  2. Open the app and follow the instructions. You’ll have to agree to terms and allow certain permissions.
  3. Once you reach a page that asks for a code, put the Android device down and move to your iPhone.
  4. During your iOS setup, you should reach a Quick Start page. Select Set Up Manually.
  5. Select the option to Move data from Android.
  6. Your iPhone will give you a code, which you’ll need to enter on the Android Move to iOS app.
  7. Your iPhone will create a temporary Wi-Fi network. Hit Connect from your Android device.
  8. Pick what you want to migrate. For the purposes of this guide, you should at least pick contacts. Other options include camera photos and videos, files and folders, display settings, web bookmarks, calendars, and more.
  9. Select Continue.
  10. Your content will be transferred, and your iPhone will even download the free apps you had on your Android device, given that they are available.

Use Google sync

While Apple is not traditionally fond of supporting Android devices, Google is the complete opposite. Most of the search giant’s services and features work very well on iPhones, and grabbing contacts from their servers is a breeze.

Remember that this only works if you sync your contacts to your Google account. Some devices don’t do that by default. Don’t worry; it’s easy to turn on Google Sync.

How to turn on Google sync for contacts on Android:

  1. Open the Settings app.
  2. Go into Google.
  3. Tap on the All services tab.
  4. Select Backup. Follow the instructions to turn on Backup by Google One, if you haven’t yet.
  5. Hit Google Account data.
  6. Make sure Contacts is toggled on.
  7. You should also make sure syncing is turned on from the Contacts app. Launch the Contacts app.
  8. Tap on your profile image and select Contacts settings.
  9. Go into Google Contacts sync settings.
  10. Select Also sync device contacts.
  11. Toggle on Automatically back up & sync device contacts.

Let everything back up. Transferring contacts will be a breeze once you’ve set up and backed up your contacts to Google Sync.

How to transfer Android contacts to iOS using Google sync:

  1. Turn on your iPhone and open the Settings app.
  2. Go to Contacts.
  3. Select Accounts.
  4. Pick your Gmail account (or add it).
  5. Make sure the Contacts toggle is on.
  6. Your contacts should now be on your phone!

After this, all your contacts will start moving to your iPhone, and you will have them in your iOS Contacts app in no time.

Transfer contacts from Android to iPhone manually using a VCF file

Don’t like dealing with all that darn cloud stuff? We can understand. There are also ways to manually transfer your contacts from Android devices to iOS ones. You can make a VCF file, transfer it over to the iPhone, and then open it to grab all your contact data. The process is more straightforward than it seems; let’s walk you through it.

How to transfer Android contacts to iOS manually:

  1. Unlock your Android device and head to the Contacts app.
  2. Hit the three-dot menu button on the top-right corner.
  3. Tap on Select all.
  4. Tap on the Share button.
  5. You can now select how to share the file with your iPhone. I like sending it to myself via email, so hit Gmail and send yourself the file.
  6. On your iPhone, open the email or extract the file from wherever you stored it.
  7. Tap on the attached file and select the Share button.
  8. Select the Contacts app.
  9. Hit Add All Contacts.
  10. Follow the steps and be on your way. Your contacts have been transferred!

Use your SIM card

Another way to transfer your contacts from Android to iOS is to use your smartphone’s SIM card. This is handy if you’re either having trouble with your Google account, are offline, or don’t want Google’s involvement for whatever reason.

The only problem is that Google is moving away from this method, and there is no longer an official way to do it from the Contacts app. With that said, some manufacturers still allow it. Not to mention you can download third-party apps. Something like Copy to SIM Card can be helpful.

How to transfer contacts from your SIM card to iOS:

  1. On your iPhone, open the Settings app.
  2. Go into Contacts.
  3. Select Import SIM Contacts.
  4. Pick the account you want to sync the contacts to.

Transfer contacts from Android to iPhone with a third-party app

If you are having trouble with all other available solutions, several third-party apps can facilitate switching to an iPhone. One of my favorites is Copy My Data (Android/iOS). Give it a look!


FAQs

You can transfer individual contacts by using the VCF file method.

While the Move to IOS app is meant to be the easiest method for transferring contacts from Android to iOS, we would argue using Google Sync is easier. Chances are you’re already syncing your contacts to Google, so all you might need to do is sign into your Google account on your iPhone.

The maximum amount of contacts you can sync to Google is 25,000.

The maximum amount of contacts you can sync to iCloud is 50,000.

As you can see, there are plenty of ways to get this taken care of. Keeping your contacts shouldn’t be challenging, so we are glad having multiple platforms isn’t stopping us too much. The process isn’t exactly straightforward, but you can do any of these without too much effort or research.

Those who need to transfer other types of data should also take a look at our guides for transferring data from Android to iPhone. We have one for transferring images, too.

If you ever want to return to Android, we have a guide to switching from an iPhone to an Android phone! Also, check out our guides for the best Android phones and budget devices when you’re ready to return to the wilder side.