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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
June 19, 2022

While Android is still king, iOS is a significant platform, and you may want to switch over 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, though. 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 a bit of extra work. Here are the best ways to transfer your contacts from Android to iOS!

See also: Which is the best iPhone for you?

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 instructions to get the phone ready. During your iPhone set-up, 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.


JUMP TO KEY SECTIONS

Editor’s note: We’ve put together these instructions using a Google Pixel 4a with 5G running Android 12, and an iPhone 12 Mini running iOS 15.5. Remember, some of these steps might be different depending on the phone and software version you’re running.

Move to iOS app

Google Play Store 2021 2
Joe Hindy / 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, 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 instructions.
  3. During your iOS setup, you should select the option to Move data from Android. Your iPhone will give you a code, which you’ll need to enter on the Android Move to iOS app.
  4. Your iPhone will create a temporary Wi-Fi network. Connect to it from your Android device.
  5. Pick what you want to migrate.
  6. Select Next.
  7. Enter the security code and let the process run.
  8. 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

Google account on smartphone 2
Edgar Cervantes / Android Authority

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.

Keep in mind this only works if you already 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 Passwords & accounts.
  3. Tap on your Google account.
  4. Select Account sync.
  5. Make sure Contacts is toggled on.
  6. Let your contacts sync.

Transferring contacts will be a breeze if you have been associating all your contacts with Google’s servers.

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 checker is on.
  6. Your contacts should now be on your phone!

Transfer contacts from Android to iPhone manually using a VCF file

Edgar Cervantes / Android Authority

Don’t like dealing with all that darn cloud stuff? We can understand. There are also ways to transfer your contacts from Android devices to iOS ones manually. 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. Tape 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 then 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

Google Play Store on smartphone stock photo 2
Edgar Cervantes / Android Authority

If you are having trouble with all other available solutions, several third-party apps can facilitate the process of 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.

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