How To Sync Contacts From an iPhone to a Mac or Vice Versa
One of the best things about Apple’s ecosystem is how easy it is to keep all your devices synced. This applies to all kinds of data, from your photos and calendars to your contacts.
You won’t have to painstakingly retype all your contact names and phone numbers to transfer them from your iPhone to your Mac or vice versa. Instead, you can sync your contacts to communicate with your friends and acquaintances on either device easily. Here’s how to do it in three ways.
How to Sync Your Contacts Between Your iPhone and Mac
There are several ways to get your contacts from one Apple device to another:
- Sync your contacts using iCloud
- Sync contacts with a USB connection
- Airdrop contacts individually
The most convenient way to sync your contacts from your iPhone to your Mac is by using Apple’s cloud service. Enabling this option will keep your contacts list constantly updated, so you won’t have to lift a finger again. Whenever you add or edit a contact on your iPhone or Mac, the other device will also get the memo.
To set up iCloud syncing, you’ll need to make sure you’re logged in to the same Apple account on both your iPhone and Mac.
Next, enable contact syncing on your iPhone:
- Open your iPhone’s “Settings” app.
- Tap your ID at the top, then “iCloud.”
- Find “Contacts” on the list of apps using iCloud and make sure the toggle is on.
- Tap “Merge” in the popup alert.
Now, head over to your Mac to turn on iCloud syncing there as well:
- Click the Apple icon in the corner and go to “System Preferences.”
- Press your Apple ID at the top.
- Pick “iCloud” from the sidebar.
- Check the box next to “Contacts” to sync your contacts with your iPhone.
The only downside to using iCloud is that your free storage space is limited. It’s best to be selective with what you store on your iCloud so that overflowing storage won’t interfere with your contacts syncing.
Sync Through USB
If you don’t use iCloud, you can connect your iPhone to your Mac to sync your contacts manually. Once you’ve set up this method, you won’t have to use your USB cable in the future. On macOS 10.15 and newer, you’ll use your Finder app to do this.
Follow these steps to sync your iPhone contacts to your Mac using a USB cable:
- Connect your iPhone to your Mac with its USB cable.
- Launch “Finder” and select your iPhone under “Locations” in the sidebar.
- Find the “Info” button in the menu bar.
- Check “Sync contacts onto…” and select “All groups” to sync all your contacts.
- Hit “Apply.”
Don’t close Finder or unplug your phone just yet. Enable connecting through Wi-Fi and turn on automatic syncing so that you don’t have to use a USB cable in the future. Follow these steps:
- Switch to the “General” tab in the menu bar.
- Check the boxes next to “Show this iPhone when on Wi-Fi” and “Automatically sync when this iPhone is connected.”
- Apply the changes, and you’re done.
You don’t have to sync your entire library if you just want to transfer a contact or two. In that case, a quick solution is simply airdropping the contacts.
- Make sure your Mac and iPhone are near each other.
- Go to your iPhone’s “Contacts” app and open the contact you want to transfer.
- Tap “Share Contact,” then select “AirDrop.”
If you experience issues syncing your contacts through iCloud, one of these reasons is usually to blame:
- You’re logged in with different accounts on the two devices.
- Your iCloud storage is full, preventing syncing.
- Contact syncing isn’t enabled on both ends.
If you’ve confirmed that none of these issues are at play, try the following fixes:
- Sign out of your account on both devices, then sign back in.
- Force sync your contacts by refreshing your contacts list on your iPhone. Go to your “Contacts” app and pull down the screen to refresh.
- Use a different method, like USB or Airdrop, to transfer your contacts.
Stay in Touch
Forget about unknown numbers and missing contact information. With iCloud, syncing your contacts is a one-time job. Enable this option in your settings, and each new contact you add will be synced automatically. If you don’t use iCloud, manually transferring contacts is also an option.
How do you keep your contacts synced between your Apple devices? Have you experienced syncing issues before? Let us know in the comments below.
Disclaimer: Some pages on this site may include an affiliate link. This does not effect our editorial in any way.