Recovery & Repair
Data Transfer

How to Sync iPhone Contacts to Mac

author Emily Watson
date Monday, August 19, 2019

Having iPhone contacts synced on Mac can be very convenient. You can receive and make a FaceTime call on Mac more easily, and share contacts with other people or devices with more convenience. Before you can enjoy the convenience, you should first sync iPhone contacts to Mac. Here are all the things you need to know about how to sync iPhone contacts to Mac.

There are three effective solutions to help you to sync iPhone 7/8/X contacts to Mac:

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How to Sync iPhone Contacts to Mac without iCloud

You may use to sync data from iPhone to Mac with iCloud, the native way offered by Apple. However, sometimes you fail to use iCloud due to iCloud syncing problems or lack of storage space as iCloud only provides 5GB free space for you.

To batch and selectively transfer iPhone contacts to Mac, you need a third-party iPhone contacts transfer tool.

FonePaw iOS Transfer (opens new window) is one of the good iPhone contacts transfer tools. It can not only help you easily transfer your selected files, such as contacts, music, videos, messages, from iPhone to Mac but also enable you to manage your contacts. The following instruction will lead you to sync your iPhone contacts to Mac with FonePaw iOS Transfer.

Step 1: Download the Mac version of FonePaw iOS Transfer by clicking the download button with the Apple icon.

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Step 2: Launch FonePaw iOS Transfer on your Mac and connect the computer to iPhone with a USB cable. The program will automatically detect your iPhone.

Connect iOS Device to Mac

Step 3: Choose Contacts to preview contacts information: name, phone number, address, title, etc. You can also merge duplicate contacts by clicking De-duplicate.

Merge Duplicate Contacts

Step 4: Export the selected contacts or enable the option for Export All Contacts, then choose the format you would like to save the contacts. To save contacts on Mac, CSV file and vCard file are more recommendable.

Export Contacts to Mac

Step 5: Open Contacts app on your Mac, click File in the menu and select Import. Choose your imported contacts from iPhone, click Open, then click Import to sync the iPhone contacts to your Mac

Add iPhone Contacts To Mac

Import iPhone Contacts To Mac

Sync iPhone contacts to Mac via iCloud

You can also try to sync iPhone contacts to Mac with iCloud. Note that your contacts backup will take up space on your iCloud and the exported .vcf files can only be viewed on your iPhone. To know how to transfer iPhone contacts to Mac via iCloud, following the below steps.

Step 1: Turn on iCloud contacts syncing on iPhone

Open your iPhone, go to Settings>iCloud, sign in iCloud with your Apple ID, find Contacts option, and turn it on.

Turn On iCloud Contacts

Step 2: Sync iPhone contacts to Mac

Transfer iPhone contacts on Mac Address book: You should set up iCloud on the computer first. Go to System Preferences> iCloud on Mac, sign in with the same Apple ID as that on your iPhone, and enable Contacts option by ticking it. After iCloud has been set up on Mac, you can find iPhone contacts on your Mac Address book.

Set iCloud on Mac

Import iPhone contacts to Mac hard drive: Open your Mac, sign in with the same Apple ID as that of your iPhone. Find Contacts, choose Settings at the bottom left and select Export vCard. You can then export the iPhone contacts to Mac.

iPhone Contacts in iCloud

When using iCloud to sync contacts between iPhone and Mac, some users find that iMessage on Mac is not showing the names of their contacts. Only the number of the person is showing in the message. If you are having the same problem, try the following tips.

  • Make sure your Mac has logged in to the same iCloud account as your iPhone.
  • Go to System Preferences > Language & Region and check the number format on Mac. Make sure that it matches the telephone number format on your iPhone.
  • Open Contacts on your Mac, there are two tabs: "All Contacts" and "On My Mac". Highlight the contacts under "All Contacts" and drag and drop them into "On My Mac".

iCloud is one way to sync iPhone contacts to Mac, but certainly not the best way. Using the same iCloud account on both iPhone and Mac gets some users worried about privacy safety. FonePaw iOS Transfer (opens new window)allows you to sync iPhone contacts to Mac in simpler steps and with more safety. Besides syncing contacts from iPhone to Mac, you can also sync contacts from iPhone to iPhone (opens new window) or iPhone to iPad.

Sync iPhone contacts to Mac via iCloud

iTunes is another native way that Apple provides for you to sync data from iPhone to Mac. It can back up almost everything on your iPhone to Mac. If you don’t like iCloud, you can use iTunes to sync your iPhone contacts to Mac.

Step 1: Connect iPhone to your Mac with a USB cable, click Trust This Computer to continue when a message pops up on your iPhone.

Step 2: Open iTunes on your Mac and select your device when it is connected to iTunes.

Step 3: Click the Info button and choose Sync Contacts.

Step 4: Click Apply and then iTunes will start to sync your iPhone contacts to Mac.

Sync Contacts to Mac with iTunes

Note: When using iTunes to sync iPhone contacts to Mac, some of your iPhone contacts might be deleted after syncing. And if your Mac is in macOS Catalina, you will not find iTunes on your computer because Apple has removed it from Catalina. But you can sync iPhone contacts by using Finder on Mac (opens new window).