Have you ever wanted to back up your iPhone contacts outside of iTunes?  Popular belief was once you adopted iOS as your platform, your data was forever locked away in the Apple ecosystem.

Since GSM replaced AMPS, and SIM cards were introduced, I have always saved my contacts to the SIM rather than the phone. Even when the likes of Nokia and Sony Ericsson handsets had the phone as the default, I always used the SIM card as the primary location. That was until I got my first iPhone. iTunes became the new SIM card. However, I wish I had a dollar for every time I was asked: “How do I back up my contacts outside of iTunes”.

Full credit to the folk at Apple. iTunes now gives you the option to save your contacts to other places (as well as iTunes of course!)

Following is my simple guide on how to move your contacts from your iPhone, save them to your Google account.

What you need:

  • The current version of iTunes
  • A Google account (I use Google Contacts for the transfer)
  • An empty Google Contacts list (I suggest you create a new Google account if you already have contacts in your Gmail account)


  1. Connect your iPhone to your Mac. iTunes will start and you will see your iPhone on the list.
  2. Select your iPhone
  4. Click on the Info tab in iTunes
  5. Sync Address Book Contacts appears – select All Contacts and select Sync Google Contacts
  6. Click Configure – you will be asked to enter your Google / Gmail user name and password.

data-transfer-mobiles-blog-contentYour iPhone contacts are now in your Google Contacts .

If you’re moving to an Android device you can also use this process to transfer your contacts.

How to move your contacts onto an Android phone.

  1. On your Android phone, select Menu / Settings/Accounts and Sync
  2. Select Add Account
  3. Select Google, then enter your Gmail account details
  4. This will sync your Gmail account with your Android phone.
  5. Your phone will display a range of options for you to sync.
  6. Select Google Contacts and your phone will sync with your Gmail Contacts (previously loaded from iTunes)

Once your contacts are in Gmail, you can add and delete via your computer, and next time you sync your phone, the contacts on the Android handset will reflect these changes.

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