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How to transfer your contacts from iPhone to Android

Welcome to Android! Let's bring those iPhone contacts over.
By
September 10, 2022

What is the best way to transfer contacts from iPhone to Android? The process isn’t as convoluted as it once was. I remember when we had to input all names, numbers, and other info manually! Now smartphones, apps, and cloud services can do most of the work for us. Today we’ll go over a few methods, so you can pick whichever you prefer.

Also read: What makes Android better than iOS

QUICK ANSWER

The easiest way to transfer contacts from iPhone to Android is by syncing them to your Google account. On your iPhone, go to Settings > Contacts > Accounts > Gmail and toggle Contacts on. These contacts will sync to your Google account, which your Android device will automatically pull.


JUMP TO KEY SECTIONS

Editor’s note: All instructions in this post were put together using a Pixel 4a with 5G running Android 13, an iPhone 12 Mini running iOS 15.6, and a custom PC running Windows 11. Remember that steps may differ slightly, depending on your hardware and software.

Transfer contacts from iPhone to Android manually

People using an Apple iPhone stock photo 16
Edgar Cervantes / Android Authority

You might not care for fancy apps or cloud services. Those with a more hands-on attitude can transfer all their contacts manually with a .vcf file. You’ll need a little help from iCloud to do this, but if you’re using an iPhone, chances are this is not an issue.

How to download a .vcf file of your contacts:

  1. On your iPhone, go to your Settings and then tap on your profile at the top.
  2. Tap iCloud and toggle on Contacts. Your contacts will upload to Apple’s cloud services shortly.
  3. Use a browser to go to iCloud.com and log in with your Apple ID.
  4. Select Contacts and then click on the gear icon in the lower-left corner.
  5. Click Select all.
  6. Click the gear again and select Export vCard. When the .vcf file downloads, you can import that file to your Google Contacts or straight to your phone.
Export iCloud Contacts 1

How to import contacts into an Android phone:

  1. Transfer the .vcf file to your phone using any method. You can transfer it via a microSD card, by hooking up your phone to your PC, or simply using a cloud service like Google Drive.
  2. Find the file and tap on it.
  3. Pick which Google account you want to add the phone numbers to.

Transfer contacts from iPhone to Android with your Google account

Google account on smartphone 6 - Transfer contacts from iPhone to Android
Edgar Cervantes / Android Authority

First and foremost, you’ll need a Google account to use your Android phone. If you have yet to set one up, head to Google’s homepage, select Sign in, click on Create account, and follow instructions. Once that’s done, follow the steps below to transfer contacts from iPhone to Android using your Google account through the cloud.

How to transfer contacts from iPhone to Android using your Google account:

  1. On your iPhone, open the Settings app.
  2. Go into Contacts.
  3. Tap on Accounts.
  4. Select your Gmail account (add it if you haven’t).
  5. Switch the Contacts toggle on.
  6. Now contacts will automatically sync from your iPhone to Google Contacts. In turn, they will also sync to your Android device, as long as you’re using the same Google account.

 

Transfer your contacts using Google Drive

Google Drive featured stock photo 7 - Transfer contacts from iPhone to Android
Edgar Cervantes / Android Authority

Transferring your contacts via Google Contacts may be easier, but some of you like having more control over your contacts. Another way to move your contacts from iPhone to Android is to do a manual backup with Google Drive. Here’s how to do it.

How to transfer contacts from iPhone to Android using Google Drive:

  1. Download the Google Drive app for iOS.
  2. Sign in and set up your Google Drive.
  3. On the Google Drive iOS app, tap on the three-line menu button.
  4. Select Settings.
  5. Hit Backup.
  6. Make sure Contacts syncing is on. You can turn off Calendar events and Photos & videos if you want.
  7. Hit Start backup.

This will sync your contacts directly to your Google Contacts, so there’s nothing else to do as long as your Android contacts are synced to your Google account.

Transfer each contact by email or text

Gmail logo on smartphone stock photo 1 - Transfer contacts from iPhone to Android
Edgar Cervantes / Android Authority

There’s a third method to transfer contacts from iPhone to Android, but it requires much more work and patience. You can do this by sending each contact via email or SMS. It’s a good solution if you only have a few contacts to transfer, but those with a long list of friends are better off with any of the previous methods.

How to transfer contacts from iPhone to Android using email:

  1. Open the Contacts app on your iPhone.
  2. Go into the contact you want to move.
  3. Hit Share Contact.
  4. Select Gmail, Email, or any other app you wish to use.
  5. Send the email to yourself.
  6. On your Android device, pull out the email you just sent yourself.
  7. Tap on the attached .vcf file.
  8. Select which Google account you want to add the contact to.
  9. Done!

Should you try a 3rd-party app?

Google Play Store on smartphone stock photo 2 - Transfer contacts from iPhone to Android
Edgar Cervantes / Android Authority

Honestly, you could also use a 3rd-party app, but we feel like it’s better to go one of the listed routes as they are less complicated, and utilize accounts you already had for your iPhone or will need for your new Android devices. The methods listed above are by far the easiest. You can always check out apps on the Play Store, though. Or you can try one of our favorite backup apps listed in the link below.

Next: The best backup apps for Android


FAQs

The easiest way to transfer your contacts from iOS to Android is likely by syncing your contacts to your Google account. This is done automatically and is constantly syncing.

Yes. You can use a vCard or VCF file on both platforms.

Most backup apps store contacts for you. This may not be the case with every option out there.

If you’re storing contacts locally, there is no limit, other than your phone’s storage. On the other hand, those of us using Google Contacts have a limit of 25,000 contacts.