How to Transfer Contacts From iPhone to Android

Making the leap is pretty simple with these tips

Illustration of a phone to phone data transfer

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If you're switching from iPhone to Android, there's a lot of data you need to ensure makes the move with you. Along with your photos, music, and apps, it's crucial that you also transfer your contacts from iPhone to Android.

After all, you don't want to start using your new phone only to realize you've left every important phone number, email, and physical address on your old device.

Fortunately, there are a handful of different ways to transfer your contacts between phones. Which one is best for you will depend on what services and apps you already use, among other things.

This article pertains to transferring contacts from an iPhone to an Android. You can also transfer contacts from Android to iPhone and from iPhone to iPhone.

How to Use iCloud to Transfer Contacts

Perhaps the easiest way to get your contacts from one phone to another is through iCloud. Just export your iPhone contacts to your iCloud account and then use a special contact list downloader on your Android to retrieve those same entries on your new phone.

Start by uploading your iPhone contacts to iCloud:

  1. Open Settings on your iPhone.

  2. Tap your name and then choose iCloud.

  3. Tap the button next to Contacts to back them up to your iCloud account.

    Profile, iCloud, and Contacts toggle ON in iOS Settings app

    If this button is already green, then your contacts are already being backed up. If so, just leave this setting alone and continue with the next step.

  4. Select Contacts and double-check that they're backed up.

    screenshot: iCloud contacts app
    iCloud can store and sync your contacts.

Once you're confident your contacts are safely uploaded to iCloud, it's time to download them to your Android device. Android doesn't have built-in iCloud support, but you can install an app that provides the ability to download iCloud contacts.

Here are a few examples:

The exact steps to follow will differ based on the app you use, but generally speaking, you'll log in to your iCloud account in the app and then download your contacts. Confirm that they're imported into your preferred contacts app on Android and you'll be good to go.

You might need to set up app-specific passwords from your iCloud account before you can log in to these apps.

Transfer iPhone Contacts to Android With Apps

While iCloud is an appealing option because it's built into the iPhone, it's not the smoothest cross-platform experience, and it's far from the only cloud service capable of transferring contacts.

My Contacts Backup is a super useful contact transfer app that works by sending your iPhone's entire address book to your email as a VCF file.

  1. Tap Backup on the main page.

    Before exporting, you can go into the settings and choose which fields in the address book to export. Options include the phone number, email, URL, addresses, and more.

  2. Tap Email when you see it.

    Backup and Email buttons in MCBackup app
  3. Send the contact list backup to yourself or some other email address that you'll have access to on the Android phone.

  4. Open the message on your Android and view the VCF file.

  5. Choose Contacts when asked how you want to open the attachment.

  6. Select OK on the prompt asking to import the iPhone contacts to your Android.

    VCF attachment, Contacts button and OK button in Android

Other strong options include Google Contacts and Yahoo Contacts. These tools and similar ones live online and sync contacts to any compatible device, including basically all iPhones and Androids.

Wondering if you can use iTunes to transfer contacts? Find out in Got Android? Here Are the iTunes Features That Work For You.

Can't You Use a SIM Card?

Depending on the phones you had before your iPhone, you might be thinking that the easiest way to transfer your contacts to a new phone is with your SIM card.

With other phones, you can simply back up contacts and other data to the SIM card put the SIM into the new phone, and then import the data. No need to mess with the cloud.

Unfortunately, that's not possible with an iPhone because iOS doesn't support storing data on the SIM card.