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How to transfer contacts from Android to iPhone

Making the switch to iOS? Here are three easy methods to move your contacts from Android to iPhone.
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Written by June Wan, Technology Editor on
Move to iOS app on an Android device.
June Wan/ZDNET

It's that time of the year. There's a new class of iPhones in town, which means many people will be making the switch to reap the latest that Apple has to offer. Or, you may be upgrading to an older model that just got a sweet new price drop. Whether it's rocking a physical SIM card or eSIM, getting your contacts onto an iPhone from Android remains the same -- and it's not as complicated as you may think. 

More: eSIM vs. SIM: What's the difference?

How to transfer contacts from Android to iPhone

Below I've listed three simple methods to transfer your contacts from Android to iOS, with the first one being my go-to if you're just starting to set up your iPhone. 

1. Transfer contacts via 'Move to iOS'

The first method is Apple's own 'Move to iOS' app. You can download the first-party service on Google's Play store for free and use it to transfer contacts, photos and videos, and more.

Note: In order for the service to work, you'll have to be in the iOS Setup Assistant, which is the start-up page when you first turn on your new iPhone. If you've already set up the device, look to the second method in this guide.

1. Once 'Move to iOS' is installed, accept the terms and conditions, and allow the application to access your Android phone's location. 

2. You will then be asked to Find Your Code. Tap Continue. From your iPhone, follow through the Setup Assistant until you see Move Data from Android

3. Enter the six or ten-digit code from the iPhone into the Android. A Transfer Data screen will appear, with a list of items you can copy over to your iPhone. If you're just moving your contacts, check off the respective bullet. If you want to move all of your files and data, check off everything.

4. Leave your Android and iPhone untouched while the transfer is processing. Depending on how much you're moving from phone to phone, it can take as long as 30 minutes. 

More: How to transfer your number to Apple's newest iPhone

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The new iPhone 14 series does away with the SIM card slot.

Jason Cipriani/ZDNET

2. Transfer contacts via SIM/eSIM

Whether your new iPhone uses a SIM card or eSIM to process mobile data, you can still import any saved contacts directly from the phone's settings.

1. Make sure all of the contacts on your Android device are backed up and exported to the SIM card. To do this, open up the Contacts app > tap on the menu (three stripes) icon > Manage contacts > Import or export contacts > and then Export.

2. Once that's completed, move your SIM card into the new iPhone -- or follow this guide if it takes eSIM. 

3. From your iPhone settings, scroll down to Contacts > Import SIM Contacts. The transfer process should take a few minutes.

More: iPhone 14 drops the SIM card slot: Here's what that means

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How to export contacts to your SIM card.

June Wan/ZDNET

3. Transfer contacts via Google account

Lastly, you can use your Gmail to transfer contacts via the cloud. This method does not require any SIM swapping but it does require a Google account and internet connection.

1. From your Android, go to the Settings app > look for the Google tab > tap Backup and make sure Contacts is toggled on for syncing. You can check by expanding Google Account data in the Backup details list. 

2. After the backup sync is completed, switch over to your iPhone. Open up the settings > Mail > Accounts > Add Account > and enter in your Gmail credentials. The contacts from your Google account should sync with the iPhone and automatically begin importing.

More: How to back up your Gmail: The ultimate guide

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