It’s easy for the amount of contacts stored on your iPhone to reach into the hundreds or even thousands, so it’s worth taking a little time to make sure they’re backed up in multiple places. Let’s take a look at how to back up your iPhone contacts with some third-party options as well as within iOS and macOS.
Trying to replace your contacts in the event of data loss can be an overwhelming task. Fortunately, it’s quick and easy to create multiple backups of your contacts.
First, we’ll look at how to save your contacts with iCloud and iTunes, then cover how to create backups of your contacts with macOS and some third-party apps.
How to back up iPhone contacts with iCloud
- Tap on the Settings app
- Tap on your name at the top (if you’re not running iOS 10.3 or later, swipe down and tap iCloud)
- Tap iCloud
- Tap the toggle next to Contacts if it’s not already green
How to back up iPhone contacts with iTunes
Backing up your iPhone to iTunes with your Mac or PC will save all of your information, including contacts.
- Plug in your iPhone to your Mac or PC
- Launch iTunes if it doesn’t open automatically
- Click the small iPhone icon in the top left corner if the device Summary isn’t showing
- Click Backup Now
Check out how to back up iPhone and iPad with or without iCloud for a more detailed walkthrough with images.
How to export your contacts to a vCard file on macOS
Exporting your contacts to a vCard file is a quick and easy way to create a backup that can be saved on your Mac, PC, external hard drive, or thumb drive.
- Open Contacts on your Mac
- Select the contacts you’d like to export/save (use the keyboard shortcut Command-A to select all)
- Click File → Export → Export vCard
- Name the vCard file and click Save
How to back up contacts with SanDisk’s iXpand Flash Drive
SanDisk’s iXpand Flash Drive is a super convenient external drive that can plug into an iPhone or iPad directly as well as any computer. This option works through SanDisk’s iXpand Drive app and can be set to automatically backup your information when you plug the drive in.
- In the iXpand Drive app tap BACK UP AND RESTORE
- Tap BACKUP & RESTORE CONTACTS/CALENDAR
- Tap Back Up or choose Automatically back up contacts
- If you chose to not automatically back up, select the contacts you’d like to save (or tap Select All in the top right corner)
- Tap ARCHIVE CONTACTS
How to back up your contacts with free third-party apps
There are a slew of free apps (some with in-app purchases available, but not usually necessary) that will help you back up your contacts. I’ve tried several different ones, but I like the simplicity and ease that My Contacts Backup provides.
It’s free and you don’t have to create an account or log in with any service. There are ads at the top of the app, but that doesn’t bother me at all, especially with how little time I need to stay in the app.
The app creates a vCard formatted backup file of your contacts and allows you to email it to yourself or someone else.