How to Transfer Data From Samsung to an iPhone

Use an online address book or back up to a Samsung SIM card

What to Know

  • Without a computer, sync contacts to an online address book like Google Contacts, then import to iPhone in Settings > Contacts > Accounts.
  • Back up contacts to Samsung SIM card, insert the SIM card into iPhone, and import them from Settings > Contacts > Import SIM Contacts.
  • From photos to music to apps, you can also transfer many other kinds of data from Samsung to iPhone.

This article explains several ways to transfer contacts and other data from Samsung to iPhone.

How Do I Transfer Contacts from Samsung to iPhone?

Here are the details on three of the most common and simplest ways to transfer contacts from Samsung to iPhone without losing any.

Import Contacts from SIM Card

iphone SIM card
image credit: ra-photos/E+/Getty Images

This is maybe the simplest option. With it, you back up all of your contacts onto your Samsung SIM card, put the card into your iPhone, and then import the contacts. Here's what to do:

  1. On your Samsung phone, open the Contacts app. Then tap the three-line icon > Manage contacts > Import or export contacts > Export > SIM card > Export. Then tap all of the contacts you want to export > Done > OK > OK.

    These instructions use Android 10. On other OS versions, the steps may be slightly different, but the core concepts are the same.

  2. When the export has finished, remove the SIM card from your Samsung. Do this by pushing a paper clip into the hole in the SIM card tray and popping out the SIM.

  3. Repeat the SIM-removal process on your iPhone, put the SIM card from the Samsung into the iPhone SIM tray, and then insert it into the iPhone.

  4. On the iPhone, go to Settings > Contacts > Import SIM Contacts and follow the onscreen instructions.

    If you're using a different SIM card with your iPhone than your Samsung, make sure to swap the correct card into the iPhone when you're done.

Sync Contacts via Computer

Screenshot of the settings for syncing iPhone files

You can also use your computer to transfer your contacts from Samsung to iPhone. All you need is a contacts program that can sync with both of your phones. Try Windows Address Book or Outlook on a PC or Outlook or Address Book on a Mac. Here's what you need to do:

  1. Start by getting a program to sync data from your Samsung to your computer. There are many options, from free apps to paid programs. Pick the one you like and install it on your computer.

    Make sure to pick a program that can back up and transfer contacts. It would be great to pick one explicitly designed to help transfer data to an iPhone, but it's not required.

  2. Connect your Samsung phone to your computer and launch the program you chose in step 1.

  3. Follow the program's on-screen instructions for making a backup of, or transferring, your data.

  4. Add the contact data you just imported from your Samsung phone to your contacts program. The exact steps for doing this depends on the program, so look for an import option.

  5. Connect the iPhone to your computer and set it up to sync its data with your computer.

  6. In Finder (on a Mac) or iTunes (on a PC), click the Files tab on the iPhone management screen. In the Contacts section, select the contacts program you added your data to in step 4. Click Apply in the bottom right corner to sync contacts to your iPhone.

Sync Contacts Using Google or Yahoo Contacts

transferring data between smartphones
Getting your contacts from iPhone to Android doesn't have to be hard.

exdez/DigitalVision Vectors/Getty Images

If you prefer using the cloud to transfer your contacts, you can use Google Contacts or Yahoo Address Book to get the job done. For this option, if you've got an account with either service, you can sync your Samsung contacts to the account in the cloud. Then, set up the Google or Yahoo account on your iPhone and enable contact syncing. We've got a detailed, step-by-step article showing you what to do.

How Do I Transfer From Android to iPhone?

So far, this article has only covered transferring contacts from Samsung to iPhone, but there's a lot more to switching from Android to iPhone. If you're like most people, you have photos, music, apps, and lots of other data you need to transfer, too.

Luckily, Apple simplified transferring data from Android to iPhone with its free Move to iOS app for Android. Install this app on your Android before switching and follow its on-screen instructions. It takes all of your data, transfers it to your new iPhone over Wi-Fi, and imports it to the correct locations and apps. There's probably no easier way to move from Android to iPhone.

Curious about exactly what you can and can't transfer to iPhone? Check out our full breakdown in What You Need to Know When Switching From Android to iPhone. You'll especially want to read this if you have many purchased music, movies, and apps.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • Can I transfer my data from a Samsung phone to an iPhone for free? Yes, the Move to iOS app is free to download and use on Android and iOS over a Wi-Fi connection. If you have an older Android version or can't access this app on Google Play, download the Move to iOS installer.
  • How do I transfer WhatsApp data from Samsung to iPhone? If you're moving between devices and keeping your number, it's easy to transfer most WhatsApp data from Android to iPhone. Download WhatsApp on your iPhone and register your phone number. These steps maintain everything associated with your account except chat history. While there's no direct way to transfer your messages from Android to iOS, you can export chat history on your Samsung phone and save it to a cloud account or email it.
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