5 Most Effective Ways to Transfer iPhone Contacts to Mac

By Vernon Roderick, Last updated: January 7, 2021

Contacts are very important to most people, especially business-oriented people. However, you’ll find a lot of those kinds of people to struggle in extracting those contacts into their computer. This is especially true for iPhone and Mac users.

The reason behind this is that the methods to transfer iPhone contacts to Mac are not very well-known to a lot of people. You can say that it’s only known by a handful.

If you want to be part of them, this article may help you. Here you will learn to see different ways to transfer iPhone contacts to Mac. Let’s start with what I consider to be your best choice as of now.

Transfer iPhone Contacts to Mac with Finder/iTunesTransfer iPhone Contacts to Mac with iCloudTransfer iPhone Contacts to Mac with AirDropTransfer iPhone Contacts to Mac from GoogleAlternative Method to Transfer iPhone ContactsConclusion

Transfer iPhone Contacts to Mac with Finder/iTunes

One way to transfer iPhone contacts to Mac is by sync the iPhone and Mac.

When you sync two devices, it will initially send all files from the first device to the other, and vice versa, in a way so that both devices have the same files. At that point, any change done in one device will be applied to the other.

There are two ways for you to sync iPhone and Mac, either with Finder or with iTunes. Learn how you can sync by starting with Finder.

Transfer iPhone Contacts to Mac with Finder

Finder for macOS Catalina or later

Finder is a built-in app exclusive to Mac. It is the file management app that allows you to manage your files, so you can transfer iPhone contacts to Mac.

Below are the steps that you need to follow:

  1. Open a session of Finder via the Dock.
  2. Connect your device to the Mac computer with a USB cable.
  3. The connected device will appear on the left side of the window. Click on your device.
  4. If you are prompted to trust the device, simply allow it.
  5. Now select the tap for the type of file or content you’d like to sync. In our case, that would be contacts inside the Info tab. So go to the Info tab and check the box for Contacts.
  6. Click on Apply from the bottom-right corner of Finder.
  7. Click the Sync button to start syncing, if it hasn’t already done yet.

iTunes for macOS Mojave or earlier

iTunes is yet another built-in app on Mac, though it is also available on Windows. It was originally a multimedia player, but it’s now evolved to something more.

Below are the steps to transfer iPhone contacts to Mac by syncing with iTunes:

  1. Open the iTunes app on your computer.
  2. Connect the iPhone to the Mac computer with a cable.
  3. Click on the device icon found at the top-right corner of iTunes and from the resulting list, select your iPhone device.
  4. Now on the left side of the window, there will be different file types. One of them includes Info. Go to this tab.
  5. Now click on the checkbox for Contacts on the resulting page for the Info tab.
  6. Click on Apply and then on Sync.

This is how you can transfer iPhone contacts to Mac by way of syncing either through iTunes or Finder. It doesn’t really matter which you use since there’s hardly any difference between the two.

Transfer iPhone Contacts to Mac with iCloud

If you’ve heard of iTunes, then surely you’ve heard of iTunes as well.

Basically, iCloud is built-in on Mac and iOS devices, just like iTunes and Finder. However, it is not a completely separate app. In fact, it is a function that operates on most devices. It gives the app the ability to access the iCloud, allowing it to store and extract files from it.

Setup iPhone Contacts

Before you can use iCloud to transfer iPhone contacts to Mac, you will need to enable the iCloud function on your iPhone first.

Below are the steps on how you can do this:

  1. On your iPhone, go to Settings.
  2. Tap on your Apple ID (your name).
  3. Now tap on iCloud.
  4. On the iCloud Settings screen, there will be multiple options, one of them being Contacts. Make sure the slider for Contacts is green which means enabled.
  5. If asked, select Merge to combine the existing contacts with the new ones.

All of the information that was considered as contacts will be uploaded into the iCloud.

Extract from iCloud.com

Before you can extract the contacts and completely transfer iPhone contacts to Mac, you have to access the iCloud first. There are several ways to access iCloud. However, in your Mac, the most ideal way to access it is by using the iCloud.com website.

Below are the steps you need to follow:

  1. On your Mac, open your browser.
  2. Go to the icloud.com website.
  3. Log in to the Apple ID that you were using on your iPhone.
  4. Now on the iCloud page, click on the Contacts
  5. On the iCloud Contacts page, there will be a selection of contacts. Select the ones that you want to transfer.
  6. Click on the gear icon at the bottom-left corner of the page.
  7. Select Import vCard…

Transfer iPhone Contacts to Mac with iCloud

This will import the contacts into your Mac. So technically, you now have learned how to transfer iPhone contacts to Mac with iCloud.

Transfer iPhone Contacts to Mac with AirDrop

If you think you’ve used all the functions that Apple has to offer, think again because we have yet to discuss a very convenient function called AirDrop.

AirDrop is a function available on Apple devices that allows you to send and receive, or basically share files with other devices nearby. This is done through a local network. That means you don’t need to have internet for this.

Before that, here are some things you need to take note of:

  • Your iPhone is capable of turning on a hotspot.
  • Your Mac and iPhone have set their AirDrop to receive from Everyone.

Once that’s settled, follow these steps to transfer iPhone contacts to Mac:

  1. Turn on AirDrop on your devices.
    • You can turn on iPhone AirDrop by going to the control center, tapping on the wireless network icon, and tapping again on the AirDrop icon.
    • You can turn on Mac AirDrop by going to Finder. From the menu bar, click on Go > AirDrop. This will open the AirDrop window. You may be asked to turn on either Bluetooth or WiFi, which you should do.

On your iPhone, go to the Contacts app.

  1. Select the contact that you want to send, and then click on Share Contact.
  2. Select AirDrop from the resulting options.
  3. Now when asked to choose a device, simply select your Mac computer.
  4. On your Mac, you may be asked if you want to receive a file. Simply select Allow.

Airdrop iPhone Contacts to Your Mac


This is how you can transfer iPhone contacts to Mac using AirDrop. The main upside of this is that it doesn’t require internet. However, it can only send one contact at a time. So if you plan on sending hundreds, I suggest using another method.

Transfer iPhone Contacts to Mac from Google

We’ve been talking about Apple functions and apps up until now, that we haven’t used anything outside of that. That’s why this time, we will be using Google.

Google is, as you know, a popular search engine. However, over time it became much more and increased its functions. One of those functions happens to be Google Contacts.

You can use Google Contacts to back up and sync to your iPhone. By doing so, you will be able to transfer iPhone contacts to Mac by opening the Google Contacts account on your Mac.

Below are the steps that you need to follow:

  1. On your iPhone, go to Settings > Google > Account services > Contacts sync.
  2. Now tap on Back up & sync device contacts.
  3. Turn on the slider to Automatically back up & sync device contacts.
  4. Now select the account that you’d like to use. You may also add the account if it isn’t registered yet.
  5. Now on your Mac, go to Google Contacts.
  6. Check the boxes of the contacts that you want to transfer.
  7. Click on the three dots which should be More actions.
  8. Select Export.
  9. Select vCard.

Transfer iPhone Contacts from Google

This will export all the contacts that you have selected. So as you can see, you can still transfer iPhone contacts to Mac without the built-in functions of Apple.

Alternative Method to Transfer iPhone Contacts

Apple products are evolving. That is why even if you know how to transfer iPhone contacts to Mac with an iPhone 5s, you may not know how to do it on an iPhone 6s since there may have been changes, which is why I recommend using FoneDog Phone Transfer.

FoneDog Phone Transfer is a file transfer tool that caters up to the latest version of iOS. It can transfer videos, music, and most importantly, contacts. Unfortunately, it can’t be run on Mac.

So if you ever find the need to transfer files, you can use FoneDog Phone Transfer, as long as you have a Windows PC, at least.

Transfer iPhone Contacts by FoneDog Phone Transfer

Conclusion

By now, you should have four methods to transfer iPhone contacts to Mac and one alternative for when you want to transfer other files. You should no longer be worried about struggling with migrating or creating copies of your contacts.

Unfortunately, this will not solve all your problems. As such, you should still make sure to take care of your contacts so that next time you want to transfer them, they won’t cause any issue.

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Vernon Roderick

Technical Expertise for PC / YouTube Scriptwriting /Website Optimization

One of my passion is to develop software of my own

I write articles to share knowledge about IT technology and some experience in developing my own software, and developing my own software is one of my passions for work.

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