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How to Transfer Contacts from your Computer to your iPhone

written by: Sandy Samra•edited by: Simon Hill•updated: 9/28/2010

Step by step instructions on how to transfer iPhone contacts to computer and computer contacts to an iPhone. Read on.

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    iPhone Contacts

    transfer-iphone-contacts-computer Contacts are important information on your iPhone. Many users face problems while transferring iPhone contacts to and from the computer. It is not an easy process. Please read the given instructions carefully before attempting to transfer iPhone contacts to computer and from the computer to an iPhone.

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    Transfer Contacts from Computer to iPhone


    • Download iTunes on your computer as you will need it to activate your iPhone. Remember that iTunes is required for most iPhone syncing functions. It is the iPhone’s best friend.
    • PC users need to follow these steps to enable the ‘iTunes sync add-in’ in Outlook. Skip the following steps if you are a Mac user.
    1. Outlook 2003: Choose Tools > Options> Other>Advanced Options>COM>iTunes sync>Ok >Apply
    2. Outlook 2007: Choose Tools>Trust Center>Add-Ins>Inactive Application Add-ins>locate iTunes add-in>from manage box click COM>Go>COM Add Ins>select iTunes sync>Ok.
    • Connect iPhone to your computer using a USB cable. iTunes will automatically detect the iPhone and open up.
    • From the iTunes source pane, choose iPhone.iphone from source pane 
    • Click on the Info tab in iTunes; Mac users select “Sync address book contacts” and PC users select “Sync contacts from Outlook” (you can even choose to export contacts from Yahoo address book, Windows Live address book, Google address book etc., to your iPhone).Info tab 
    • Now select the contact you want to transfer and click sync.Sync contacts 
    • Once the transfer is complete, eject your iPhone by clicking on the "Eject" button next to the iPhone's symbol. Do not remove your iPhone without ejecting it, as it can lead to data loss.
    • Now verify the contacts on your iPhone. The new contacts should be there.
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    Transfer iPhone Contacts to Computer


    • First and foremost, backup your computer contacts.
    • Connect your iPhone with your computer via a USB cable and launch iTunes. iTunes will automatically backup your contacts.
    • Uncheck the "Automatically sync when this iPhone is connected" option, once your phone is backed up.
    • Select the contacts that you would like to transfer from under the “Info" tab and click on the sync button.
    • Once you press the sync button, iTunes will present you with options like replace the data on the computer, replace the data on the phone, or merge all data.
    1. Replace the data on the Computer: This option will delete everything you have on your computer and display what you have on your iPhone.
    2. Replace the data on the phone: This option will delete everything from your iPhone and display what you have on your computer.
    3. Merge all data: This option will allow merging data from the iPhone and computer but will create duplicate contacts.
    • Select an appropriate action.
    • Once you have transferred iPhone contact to your computer, select the "Automatically sync when this iPhone is connected" option. This will allow your iPhone to stay synced with your computer.