How to Transfer Contacts From Android to iPhone

I recently purchased a new iPhone 4S after having used the original Nexus One for over two years. Now, like most of you who’ve changed phones more than once, I was prepared for the hard (and irritating) work of transferring my contacts from the Android to the iPhone.

In the good ‘ol days this meant either making a list of all the important contacts in one phone and then manually entering them into the second phone, or transferring contacts from the first phone to the SIM card’s internal memory and then transferring them back to the second phone. Both fairly inefficient and time consuming tasks, more so, because most of the time the SIM’s internal memory wasn’t enough to hold all the contacts one might have.

With the advent of cloud based services, though, this process has become quite easy. In this post, I’ll be teaching you how to transfer your contacts from an Android phone to an iPhone.

Android phones, by default, backup all the contacts to Gmail, so the first step to export your contacts out is to login to your Gmail account and display all the contacts stored in Gmail.

Now, select all the contacts that you want to transfer over to the iPhone. If you want to transfer all the contacts, mark the appropriate check box.

Just be wary of one possible bug, when I tried exporting my contacts list of over 300 contacts in one go, Gmail stopped responding for me. The only way I could manage to get all my contacts out of Gmail was by selecting max 60-70 in one go.

So, now the next step is to export all the contacts that you’ve selected in the vCard format since that is the format that the iPhone understands.

Click the More¬†drop down and select Export. In the window that pops up, select “vCard format” and hit Export.

Your browser will now open a file download dialogue for you to save the contacts on your desktop. The next step is to imp or the contacts to iCloud so that the iPhone can sync them from there.

Log into your iCloud account at, open the Contacts application and drag and drop the vCard formatted contacts that you just exported to the iCloud Contacts application.

That’s it. Your iPhone will now automatically sync all the contacts using iCloud as the backend.

3 thoughts on “How to Transfer Contacts From Android to iPhone

  1. I use gmail as my primary contacts store. From there I sync to Desktop, iPad, Windows Phone, Android and whatever else. When ever I create a new contact I choose to store it on the google account. By doing this it syncs automatically to all devices where my google account is connected.

    Some of the sync relationships I have set up today are:
    Gmail -> Android Phone (self explanatory)

    Gmail -> iPad (just added the google account and got all the contacts to come to the iPad as a local copy as well)

    Gmail -> Outlook -> Blackberry (BB handles sync with gmail badly, so I sync it to my office outlook which syncs beautifully with BB)

    And all these relationships are 2 way. So there.

    1. Why didn’t I notice the Gmail->iPhone sync before!!

      Cloud services have really made using different devices so easy. Syncing data used to be a big PITA just 3-4 years back.

      1. That is true. I remember when I had to move my contacts from Windows Mobile to gmail. I had to basically play around with an excel file with 400 contacts and manually clean it up and then upload to Gmail.

        But since then, its been a breeze.

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