How to backup iPhone contacts using iTunes and iCloud

This brief tutorials shows how to backup your iPhone and its contacts using iTunes or iCloud.

If you have ever moved files from one phone to another you know that in most cases you lose some of you contacts. Even if you do a backup for your contacts and then move them to your new phone there is always some errors in the process and you lose some contacts without even noticing it. Some phones have a specific contact format and transferring them to a different phone is close to impossible. iPhone has one of these specific contacts that can’t be easily transferred to another phone.

Even I had to spend some time trying to figure out some way to transfer my contacts to another phone. The first thing to do before you transfer our contacts to another phone is backup them, and today I will show you how to backup iPhone contacts using iTunes and iCloud. This will work on both iOS 6 and iOS 5 versions.

Method 1: Backup iPhone contacts using iTunes

The simplest way to backup your contacts involves iTunes but to use this option you need computer.  Let’s get started since it shouldn’t be a big deal.

  • Open iTunes on your computer (Mac or PC)
  • Connect your iPhone to computer via USB connector that come with it
  • Wait until iTunes recognizes your iPhone
  • Now you will see your iPhone under the “Devices” section in the left side of iTunes

Backup iPhone contacts using iTunes

  • Right-click on your iPhone name and select “Backup” option (see above)

iPhone backup

  • Now you will notice that iTunes “Backing up your iPhone”

It shouldn’t take more than few seconds up to few minutes depending on how much information is on your iPhone. Now you can use this backup when restoring your iPhone or when you want to setup a new iPhone using information from the old one.

Method 2: backup your iPhone contacts using iCloud

Another option to backup your iPhone’s contacts involves iCloud, it is Apple’s effort in cloud computing that was introduced in the fall of 2011. iCloud is a cloud based backup and sync service which works with iOS 5 and later versions. To use this option it doesn’t require a computer but you must have an access to Wi-Fi.

  • First you must enable iCloud. Open settings, then go to iCloud and enable the service if it is not enabled already.
  • Once iCloud is enable or opened go to “Storage & Backup”

Backup iPhone Contacts using iCloud

  • Make sure that iCloud Backup is turned on (see screenshot)

iPhone iCloud backup

  • iPhone will automatically backup your data to iCloud each time you connect your iPhone to a power source and it has Wi-Fi access.

This method will backup only selected data and not the entire phone, so it is recommended to use iTunes backup feature one in a while. iCloud is great for backing up and syncing your contacts with your other iDevices.

If you recently bought a new iPhone I recommend using the iTunes backup method if you want to transfer all your files, contacts and settings to your new phone but if you want to restore only contacts, notes and other important things then use iCloud because this method takes less effort.

Print screens captured on iPad using method as described on this post

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