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How to Back Up Contacts on iPhone Safely [Online, Locally]

Elena Spencer Updated on Apr 15, 2022 4:15 PM

Backup iPhone contacts to transfer them over to a new phone? You may be interested in iTransfer and Phone Transfer.

Recovering lost or deleted contacts from an iPhone is a kind of pain in the butt, especially there's no backup in place. So you absolutely have to backup the precious iPhone contacts, either to local computer or cloud server, so all important phone numbers as well as other contact info stay safe and sound. There're different ways to back up contacts on iPhone in case of a terrible loss, or even to make it easier when you need to upgrade to a new iPhone. Use at least two backup or syncing methods we mentioned in this article to create a safety net for iPhone contacts.

Part 1: Backup iPhone Contacts with iCloud

Option 1: Save contacts to iCloud in an automatic way

The first and easiest way is to sync contacts on iPhone with iCloud in a way that keeps things up-to-date once iPhone is locked, plugged in, and connected to Wi-Fi. It's an automatic contacts synchronization. To trigger a backup of iPhone contacts files, follow this:

  • On the iPhone of any model, open Settings and tap [Your Name] on the top, then tap on iCloud; if you are running on older iOS version, scroll down and tap iCloud.
  • Turn on the toggle next to Contacts. Wait a little moment, all your contact info are uploaded to iCloud server from iPhone.

Backup iPhone Contacts to iCloud

Option 2: Exporting iCloud contacts to computer (PC or Mac)

Now that the contacts stored on iPhone is all in Apple's iCloud drive, you're also allowed to export contacts to keep a local backup copy on computer in the event of some possible security breaches.

  • Open iCloud.com on browser and sign up with Apple ID and password.
  • Click Contacts to enter contact page. Click on any contacts there, then hold Ctrl + A on PC (or Cmd + A on Mac) to select all contacts.
  • Click the tiny Gear icon on bottom-left corner of the page and select Export Vcard... from its menu.
  • The contact details are downloaded and saved as .vcf on PC Mac machine locally. You could email this file to your device — whenever you need to restore contacts to iPhone after accidental deletion.

Import Contacts from iPhone to Computer

Part 2: Transfer Contacts from iPhone to PC or Mac Locally

Option 1: Using an iPhone Contacts Backup Tool

Making a backup of contacts on iPhone with iCloud has definite advantages, but you should keep in mind that it's restricted to only 5GB space, so if you have a lot of photos, videos and other data files needed to be synced, the contact list won't be able to uploaded or updated regularly. To solve storage issue and make the selective-recovery solution possible, you can employ iOS Data Recovery. It's basically the easier way to get started with data recovery and local backups.

It's literally an overall tool with Backup Feature built in, and makes bit-for-bit copy for a list of contacts and transfer it onto Mac or PC computer for a backup safely. Now, Download the software and install it on computer, then run it to perform a backup copy of iPhone contacts.

Download Now!

for Windows | for MacOS

Whether you're on a Mac or PC machine, transferring contacts from iPhone to computer is generally a pretty intuitive process with the program. Here is how.

Step 1: On the opening window, click on "More Tools" option on the lower left corner, then choose "iOS Data Backup & Restore" tab and choose "iOS Data Backup" option.

Step 2: Connect iPhone that houses the contacts to computer's USB slot, then click Start button to initiate the scan for contacts files.

Step 3: Check "Contacts" option and click on the Next button to do the business. The program will create a complete backup of the iPhone contacts. You can view them through the program, and restore to computer to export in CSV file.

How to Save iPhone Contacts onto Computer

Fairly noting, whenever you delete a contact from iPhone, you can recover it with this backup or existing local iTunes backup using the tool accordingly.

Option 2: Syncing iPhone Contacts to Computer with iTunes

Even if you don't use the iOS Data Recovery's Backup option to do a partial backup copy of contacts you added to iPhone, you can fully copy all data files to local machine thanks to Apple iTunes. Get the instructions from Apple Support on backing up an iPhone with iTunes.

  • Plug iPhone to computer via the included USB cable and launch iTunes.
  • Under the Playback options on the top left of the screen, you should see an tiny iPhone icon. Click on that, then select Summary on the left list.
  • Head to Backups section on the right pane, check This Computer under Automatically Back Up, and click Back Up Now button to force a backup copy manually.

There you go, all of the stuff including contacts on iPhone should save in computer. You could use this backup to restore entire iPhone anytime and get back a whole contact list. Also Read: How to Restore an iTunes Backup to iPhone

Copy Contacts from iPhone to Computer with iTunes

Part 3: Set up Contact Sync with Gmail, Yahoo on iPhone

Having more than one online backup is always a good idea, so it means Apple's iCloud is not the only option to sync and store iPhone contacts in the cloud over the air — Google Gmail, Yahoo Mail, Outlook and other services are offering contacts syncing function to save the contact list, in a way that guarantee that it won't get lost when disaster strikes.

Google has introducing the ability to back up iPhone contacts into its drive to keep in sync across devices. To get the iPhone contacts to sync with Gmail account, you need to:

  • Open Settings on iPhone, head to Accounts & Passwords > Add Account > Google.
  • Sign in your Google account (Gmail account) and enable Contacts sync option. And basically you can turn on Mail, Calendar and Note to get them backed up as well.
  • Once you've added contacts to Google Drive, you can find them by logging into Google Contacts.

Syncing Contacts to Gmail from iPhone

This way you've successfully transferred the contacts from iPhone to Gmail account. The process for making full iPhone contacts backup with Yahoo mail or Outlook is actually the same as the Google way does. All of them won't interfere with iCloud.

Beside those cloud storage services outlined above, Evernote, Dropbox or OneDrive are the incredibly useful contacts managers designed for backing up a list of contacts manually on the iPhone so as to minimize the chance you could ever lose it.

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