How to Transfer Contacts from Older iPhones to iPhone X

Contacts are one crucial element on your iPhone. They are a link to your friends, family, and business partners. Additionally, it becomes impossible to remember all the phone numbers and other contact details. So, having access to your list of contacts is extremely important in your everyday life.

But, how can you retain the contacts when buying a new iPhone 8 or iPhone X?

With the features of iOS, transferring contacts from an old iPhone to your brand new iPhone X, or any other iPhone is not a big challenge. There are many ways how can you do that. However, you should choose a contacts transfer method depending on the number of contacts you are transferring, your old iPhone model, and the iPhone to which you will transfer.

In this article, I will explain to you different ways how to transfer contacts from an old iPhone to your brand new iPhone X.

One way to do that is with making a backup of your present contacts in the iCloud and restoring the backup to the new iPhone X. This method is convenient if you want to transfer your whole list of entries. On the other hand, if you need to transfer individual contacts, you can do that with the contacts sharing procedure explained in our second method. And lastly, if you have already synced the data on your new iPhone X or iPhone 8/8 Plus, you can use a free third-party app from the App Store.

Transfer Contacts to Your iPhone X Using iCloud

The easiest, most secure, and fastest way of transferring contacts from an old iPhone to your new iPhone X or iPhone 8/8 Plus is using iCloud. There are 2 ways to transfer your contacts using this method, which are explained in the rest of this section.

If using the same iCloud account on both your devices (the old iPhone and the new one), please follow the first method. And, if you are using a different iCloud account on your iDevices, you will need to perform the second process. I know that some people are switching to new iCloud accounts when buying new devices. So, if you belong in this category, you should definitely do the second transfer procedure.

Transferring Contacts Using the Same iCloud

Before we start with the transfer process, make sure that you connect both iPhones (the old and the new one) to a Wi-Fi network.

  1. Get your old iPhone and go to Settings, tap on your name and open the iCloud
  2. Log in to your iCloud account (if you haven’t done it already) and make sure to enable the Contact Sync
  3. Wait for the iPhone to sync the contacts to the iCloud.
  4. Take your new iPhone X or iPhone 8/8 Plus and follow the first 3 steps of this process (Login to the same iCloud account and enable the Contact Sync toggle).
  5. After some time, you will have all your contacts on your new iPhone.

Note: Make sure that on both devices you have enough battery juice before starting the synchronization. If any of the iPhones has less than 20% battery, plug it into the power outlet. You want to be sure that the sync process will finish without any interruptions to get the desired results.

Transferring Contacts From Your old iCloud to a New iCloud

First, let tell you that for this method you will need a computer with any of the following operating systems: Windows, Mac, Linux, or Chrome OS.

  1. Sync the contacts from your old iPhone to the iCloud. (Use the method described in the prior section).
  2. Wait until the process Make sure that all your contacts are transferred to the iCloud.
  3. Go to from your computer and log in using the same credentials you used in your old iPhone.
  4. Open the Contacts icon on the main screen.
  5. Click on Settings in the bottom left corner of your screen and choose Select all.
  6. While you have all your contacts selected, click on the Settings again and select Export vCard. With this step, you can export all your contacts to your computer.
  7. Now, Logout from the old iCloud account.
  8. Login to your new iCloud account, or sign up, if you haven’t created an account already.
  9. Follow the steps from 1 to 6 (including the step 6), but instead choosing Export vCard, select the option Import vCard.
  10. Select the file that you saved on your computer previously and the process will finish.

Now you have successfully imported all the contacts from your old iCloud account to your new one. Your next step is to sync these contacts from your new iCloud account to your new iPhone X or iPhone 8/8 Plus. For that purpose follow the steps in the “Transferring Contacts Using the Same iCloud” section from above.

Sharing Contacts from Your old iPhone to the New One

The contacts sharing method is suitable for all the users who want to share a contact or two from one iPhone to another one. If your old device is iPhone 5, or later, you can use the AirDrop function of iOS. Otherwise, you can share the contacts with iMessage or WhatsApp.

  1. Get your old iPhone and go to Contacts.
  2. Open the contact you want to share and click on the Share Contact
  3. If your new iPhone is near, and it is connected to the same Wi-Fi as your old one, select AirDrop. Otherwise, choose the Mail, Message, or WhatsApp to share the contact.

Transfer Contacts to Your iPhone X using Third-Party Apps

This method DOES NOT include using your iCloud account, and it is especially handy if you have had problems with your account on iCloud. Additionally, this is the easiest way to share contacts from one iPhone to another one.

There are many paid and free apps on the Apple App Store that can do this job for you. Here I will mention a couple of the free ones, which I find most useful. Our first pick for this task is My Contact Backup. To transfer your contacts download the app from the App store and follow the instructions. You will do the entire process for less than 5 minutes. If for any reason you can use this one, here you can find 2 alternatives Contact Backup and My Contacts App. The transfer procedure is not much different from the one found on the first app, so feel free to choose the one you like.

Final Words

As you can see, transferring contacts from your old iPhone to your brand new iPhone X or iPhone 8/8 Plus is not a big deal. Take your needs into consideration, and pick the method that fits you the best. That’s how you can get the job done. And remember, having your contacts synced with the iCloud is the best way to keep your contacts safe. No matter what happens with your iDevice, you will always have them in the iCloud, and will be able to access them whenever you need.

Additionally, do not be shy to share with us if you know any other methods for transferring contacts between iDevices.


Kevin Arrows

Kevin is a dynamic and self-motivated information technology professional, with a Thorough knowledge of all facets pertaining to network infrastructure design, implementation and administration. Superior record of delivering simultaneous large-scale mission critical projects on time and under budget.
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How to Transfer Contacts from Older iPhones to iPhone X

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