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How to Migrate Contacts from iOS to Android and Android to iOS

apple to android vcf

vCard graphic by Everaldo Coelho and YellowIcon; [LGPL], via Wikimedia Commons

With the steady cycle of one-upmanship, smartphone users are more likely than ever to jump ship from iOS and try an Android phone for a year or two (or vice versa). Historically, Apple has made it particularly difficult to defect from the iPhone environment without leaving your data behind. But getting contact information off of an iPhone is surprisingly easy. In this tutorial, we’ll show you how to export your iOS contacts and migrate them to an Android phone. And for those who change their mind again and want to go back to iOS, we’ll show you how to migrate contacts from an Android device to an iOS device, too.

Three Ways to Export Contacts from iOS

The first step to getting your contacts out of iOs and into your Android phone is to export them as a .vcf file.  This is known as a vCard, and it’s a cross-platform internet standard for sharing contact information. You can have more than one contact in a single .vcf file. There are three ways to export .vcf contact information from iOS, all of which require access to a desktop computer (can be Linux, Windows, or macOS).

Method 1: Export vCard from iCloud (Any Platform Web Browser)

  1. Launch Settings on your iPhone, open iCloud then toggle on Contacts, which will sync your contacts to iCloud.

    migrate iphone contacts to android

  2. On your computer, sign into iCloud, then open the Contacts web app, select a contact then press Control + A or Command + A on your keyboard to select all contacts. Click the cog menu, then click Export vCard.

  3. Save the vCard file to your hard disk.

Method 2: Export Contacts from iTunes (Windows)

If you have iTunes installed on a Windows computer, you can skip the iCloud step by pulling your contacts directly off your phone. (Note: If you are already syncing your iPhone contacts with iCloud, you will need to toggle this off in Settings > iCloud.)

  1. Connect your iPhone to your computer and launch iTunes. Open the device page, then choose to sync your contacts with the Windows Contacts.sync iphone contacts to windows contacts using itunes
  2. In iTunes, click Apply then Sync.
  3. Open your personal folder. A quick way to do this is to press Windows key + R, type: %userprofile% then hit Enter.
  4. Open the Contacts folder, click Export on the command bar, select vCards then click Export.export vcard from itunes

Method 3: Export iOS Contacts from Desktop macOS Contacts (macOS)

If you are running macOS, your contacts are already synced to your desktop, and you don’t have to go to iCloud.com on the web.

  1. Open the Contacts app, then click File > Export > Export vCard.

Import vCard Contacts from iOS into Gmail

The Android OS will automatically sync with your Google account. So, when you upload your contacts to Gmail, they’ll transfer over to your Android device. Do these steps on a computer.

  1. Log into your Gmail account, click the Gmail menu then click Contacts.

  2. Click the Import menu; this will launch the Import contacts from other accounts wizard. Click the CSV or vCard file option.

  3. Because the new Google Contacts service does not support importing vCard files directly, Google will direct you to use the old Contacts service. Click Go to Old Contacts.

  4. In the old Contacts service, click the Import Contacts link, browse to where you stored the vCard file, then click Import.

Your contacts are now in Gmail, which will automatically sync with the Android operating system.

Migrate Contacts from Android to iOS

For users migrating from Android to iOS, the process is just as easy. To do this, you’ll export the .vcf file from Gmail and then import it into iCloud.

  1. Log into Gmail, open Contacts, and select all contacts (click the check mark button in the top-right). Click the More menu then click Export.

  2. Choose vCard, click Export then save to your hard disk.

  3. Sign into iCloud, open Contacts web app, click the Cog menu and click Import vCard. Select the vCard file then Click Open.

     

Conclusion

As you can see, it’s fairly simple to export contacts from your iPhone and import them to your Android phone (and vice versa). The vCard format allows all your contact details to be quickly and easily transferred across platforms.

Tell us what you think! Is this something you often do? What is your mobile setup like, are you exclusively Android or iOS or do you bounce between both now and then?

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One Response to How to Migrate Contacts from iOS to Android and Android to iOS

  1. kg Goh January 4, 2017 at 6:32 am #

    how to migrate windows outlook contacts from pc to andriod phone without affecting the contents of pc outlook contacts!

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