Methods to Transfer iPhone Contacts to Computer

--Tuesday, Nov.29, 2016

If you get used to an Android phone, you might know that your contact list is able to be saved to a SIM card. Therefore, contacts will come along with your SIM card even if you upgrade to a new Android phone. However, that might not work with iPhones. Instead of keeping contacts in SIM card, contacts will be saved in memory card by default, which is unchangeable.

Though this feature has been complained a lot, Apple doesn't seem to come out with a good idea, but instead is never weary of reminding us to do a backup for current data. So, if you didn't back up contacts with iTunes or sync them with iCloud, they'll be lost for good due to any reasons as below.

1. Inadvertent deletion

2. Software update (Data loss happens somehow after iOS update)

3. Restoration of iPhone via iTunes

4. Accidents like iPhone being damaged/broken/stolen/lost (Recover lost data via iPhone Data Recovery)

5. Systematic problems like iPhone being stuck in black screen/recovery mode/apple logo (Get them solved via iOS System Recovery)

However, in order to prevent you from the bad things above, this post is going to show you three different ways to keep your contacts safe with you. Please read on and take a look.

Method 1: Export Contacts from iPhone to Computer through Email

If you've shared contacts with friends via "Messages", you would know that contacts could also be shared through email. Though we're using this feature as a way to transfer contacts to computer this time. Please check it out.

Step 1. Open "Contacts" app on iPhone. (Or switch to it on "Phone" app.)

Step 2. Tap and select a specific contact.

Step 3. Tap "Share Contact" option, then a pop-up will show up.

Step 4. Choose "Mail" and enter your email address. Then, tap "Send".

Step 5. Log in your email on computer and download the contact VCF.file.

Transfer Contacts iPhone to PC via Email

Method 2: Copy Contacts from iPhone to Computer via iCloud

Another option is to download your contacts from iCloud, so you need to back up contacts to iCloud in the first place. Please follow the steps below.

Step 1. Launch "Settings" on iPhone.

Step 2. Tap "iCloud", and log in your Apple ID if prompted.

Step 3. Toggle on "Contacts" bar. If already enabled, move on to next step.

Step 4. Scroll down and tap "Backup", enable "iCloud Backup" and hit "Back Up Now" button.

Note that iTunes is able to do an iCloud as well.

Backup Contacts via iCloud

Step 5. Log in your Apple ID on iCloud.com.

Step 6. Choose "Contacts" from the panel, and you can preview contacts.

Step 7. Click "Settings" icon on the lower right and choose "Select All".

Step 8. Click again "Settings" and select Export vCard". Then, choose a route to save your contacts.

Note that Contacts will be saved in vCard format, which can also be imported back in iCloud.

Transfer iPhone Contacts to PC via iCloud

Method 3: Transfer Contacts from iPhone to Computer with iPhone Transfer

iPhone Transfer is well-designed to transfer various types of data from iPhone to computer or another iOS device. What's more, it's able to merge duplicate contacts, import files back to iPhone and so on. Don't beat around the bush, let's see how it works.

Step 1. Connect iPhone to Computer

You need to install iPhone Transfer to proceed. After the installation, please launch the software and connect your iPhone to it. If connected, you can see the interface as image shows.

Connect iPhone Transfer

Step 2. Select and Transfer Desired Contacts

Please choose "Contacts" from the left panel. Then, your existing contacts will be listed on the software. You're able to create, delete or merge duplicate contacts as well. Now, please highlight the desired contacts and click "Import/Export" option. Next, choose "Export Selected Contacts" or "Export All Contacts". Then, make your choice to export to Outlook, Windows Address Book or exported as files in CSV or vCard formats.

Export Contacts to Computer

Comparison: Pros and Cons among Three Different Methods

Given that you might be confused with contact files of different formats, let me explain the differences to you. There are three formats of files that we've mentioned above, of which are CSV, vCard and VCF files. However, vCard and VCF files are the same thing of different name, so what really need an explanation is the difference between CSV file and vCard (VCF) file.

CSV stands for comma separated values, and it's perhaps the most supported file format for address book data. CSV file can be opened in Windows Excel easily. vCard (also VCF) is a standardized method of storing and transferring contact data. It is superior to CSV in that it cannot only store textual and numeric data, but also contact photos. It that clear? If so, let's continue to check out the comparison of three methods.

If you're transferring contacts via Email, you have to export one contact at a time, which is really inconvenient, especially when there is quite a long list of contacts. Also, if you download contacts from iCloud, you can select either one or all contacts only. As opposed to them, iPhone Transfer allows to selectively transfer and export your contacts.

Exporting contacts either through Email or iCloud, users have to re-download contacts from websites, which takes quite a few steps and is really time-consuming. As for iPhone Transfer, all you take is just two steps, no more no less. Moreover, if you're using "Backup Contacts" feature, it could be done within a click.

That's all. Just choose the way you like and export your contacts to computer for safety as a backup. If you wish to import them back in iPhone later on, iPhone Transfer is here for you.

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