We use cookies to ensure that you get the best experience on our website. Click here to learn more. Got it

8 Quick Ways to Fix Contacts Didn't Transfer to New iPhone

"I can’t transfer contacts to my new iPhone 12, why?" --- Adam from Tomsguide Forums

We always attempt to transfer everything via iCloud transfer service when we get the new released iPhone 12 or iPhone 12 Pro. However, it doesn't seem to go smoothly for some users.

It is not rare to see these users' complaints that the contacts didn't transfer to new iPhone. We do understand how discomfort it is when we have problems transferring contacts to new iPhone. Take things easy, we have summarized plenty of methods to transfer contacts to your new iPhone with simple steps.

Part 1. What Could Be the Reasons for Contacts Not Transferring to New iPhone?

You're probably wondering why contacts didn't transfer to new iPhone before getting to know the solutions for this issue. Here's why:

  • Contacts syncing feature may be disabled on the new iPhone. The contacts saved in iCloud will not be updated on the new iPhone if this is the case.
  • To sync contacts between 2 different iPhones, the iCloud account on the 2 devices should be the same, otherwise the contacts will not be transferred to the new iPhone.
  • Unstable network connection: Stable network connection is the most necessary to sync contacts between 2 iOS devices, or the transferring process will be halted.

Part 2. How to Fix Contacts Didn't Transferring to New iPhone Problem

Here are all the possible solutions for you if your contacts are not transferring to the new iPhone.

1. Enable Contacts in iCloud

As we have stated previously, the contacts will not be able to be transferred if iCloud Contacts is toggled off. So you should turn it on if it is turned off. If this option has already been turned on, then you can try to turn it off and turn it back on again.

  1. Open Settings app on your new iPhone, click on your name and select iCloud.

  2. If the button of Contacts is not green, then toggle it on.

  3. Then hit on "Keep on My iPhone" and "Merge" to sync the iCloud contacts to your new iPhone.

enable contacts in icloud

2. Confirm That the 2 iPhones Have the Same iCloud Account

You first need to sign into iCloud with your old iCloud account or create a new iCloud account when you got a new iPhone to use Apple Store, FaceTime or other apps that require an iCloud account. To transfer contacts from one iPhone to another via iCloud, you should ensure that the 2 iCloud accounts used on the 2 devices are the same. Look at the simple steps below:

  1. On your new iPhone, go the Settings and check the iCloud information by hitting on the iCloud account.

  2. Check the Apple ID and ensure that this account is also the one you used on the old iPhone.

  3. If you don't log in with your iCloud account, then sign in with the iCloud account that you use to save the contacts.

change icloud account

3. Change Default Account to iCloud

You may have problems related to contacts not transferring to iPhone if you sync the contacts to other 3rd-party accounts (such as Yahoo, Google) instead of iCloud. If this is the case, you should deselect these accounts and select to sync contacts with iCloud, or all the contacts will be transferred to the app rather than your iPhone. The process for deselecting these accounts to resolve the contacts didn't transfer to new iPhone issue is listed below.

  1. On the main interface of the Contacts app on your iPhone, click on "Groups" in the upper left corner.

  2. All the 3rd-party apps that you can sync your contacts with will be displayed. If Yahoo or Gmail is selected, then deselect it and select iCloud as the default account.

  3. Click on "Done" and the contacts will be transferred to our iPhone via iCloud account.

change default account to icloud

4. Check iCloud Storage Before Transferring Contacts

An additional element that you may neglect is the iCloud storage. The free iCloud storage that Apple supplies is only 5GB. If the file size of the data stored in iCloud is larger than 5GB, the data will not be synced with iCloud anymore, let alone transferring contacts to new iPhone using iCloud account. So, you will have to check the available iCloud storage on your iPhone.

  1. Get into the Settings, hit on Your name and iCloud on iPhone.

  2. For iOS 11 or later, click on Manage Storage > Backups to check iCloud storage. For iOS 10.3, click on iCloud Storage > Manage Storage to view available iCloud storage.

change icloud storage plan

5. Check Your New iPhone Network Connection

This could also be the sign of network connection problem resulting in contacts not transferring to new iPhone. Our suggestion is to reset network settings on the new iPhone.

  1. When you are getting into Settings app on your iPhone, click on General.

  2. Select Reset and click on Reset Network Settings.

  3. After the reset, the wifi network, cellular data settings and passwords will be erased completely.

reset network settings

Enter the wifi password or set cellular data to re-connect to network and try to transfer contacts to new iPhone again. This could bring a good result.

Part 3. Alternative Method to Transfer Contacts to New iPhone

You may appeal to 3rd-party software, AirDrop and iTunes if you are still unlucky to transfer contacts to new iPhone.

1. 3rd-Party Software - FoneGeek Backup & Restore (iOS)

FoneGeek Backup & Restore (iOS) is that piece of software for you. It is a great application with broad capabilities. With this backup and restore tool, you can selectively transfer contacts from iPhone/iTunes/iCloud backup to new iPhone without overwriting the existing data. You can check more outstanding features of this software below:

  • Selectively or fully back up contacts and other data on iPhone for FREE.
  • Restore only contacts or any other files you want to iPhone/Android, such as messages, call logs, WhatsApp messages, notes, photos, etc. It all depends on you.
  • Preview all data from the backups or from your iPhone before restoring. This service is also free.
  • It is pretty easy to use for users with all ages.


Download FoneGeek iOS Backup & Restore on your computer and get started.

Step 1: Launch FoneGeek and connect your iPhone to the computer, then select "Backup & Restore" tab from the top menu.

backup restore

Step 2: FoneGeek will list all the data you are able to back up. Tick the option of "Contacts" so that this program will only back up contacts instead of all the data. Then click on "Backup" to initial the process.


Step 3: The backup process take a few minutes depends on the data size. Once completed, you can click on "View Backup Data" to view the backed up contacts.

backup completed

Step 4: Now disconnect the old iPhone and connect the new device you want to to transfer contacts to. Click on "Backup & Restore" tab and choose "To view or restore previous backup files".


Step 5: Select a backup file to proceed. All the data in the backup will be displayed. Just choose the contacts you want to restore and click on "Restore to Device". The selected contacts will be restored to new iPhone.

preview backup

2. Sync Contacts via AirDrop

AirDrop is a powerful transfer tool that achieves wireless data transfer between 2 iOS devices. You can use AirDrop to transfer contacts to new iPhone by referring to the steps below:

Step 1. Open Setting on your old and new iPhone. Go to General > AirDrop to enable Contacts Only.

Step 2. Go to Contacts app on the old iPhone to choose the contacts to be transferred. Click on Share > AirDrop to transfer the selected contact to the new iPhone.

share contacts via airdrop

3. Transfer Contacts via iTunes

You can also transfer contacts to new iPhone by creating an iTunes backup of the old iPhone data and restoring the data to new iPhone. This will not only bring contacts but also other unnecessary data to the new device.

Step 1. Launch iTunes and connect the old iPhone to computer. Tap on the device icon, hit on Summary and "Back Up Now".

backup via itunes

Step 2. After backing up the old iPhone, contact the new iPhone to computer and click on Summary and "Restore Backup".

restore via itunes

In Conclusion

As what you see in this article, it can be really easy to tackle the problem of contacts didn't transfer to new iPhone particularly when you have plenty of methods to choose from. Hopefully, the contacts will be successfully transferred to new iPhone with one of the methods above.

Joan J. Mims
Tuesday on Oct 22, 2019, 10:48:42 GMT / Post By Joan J. Mims to Backup & Restore

Joan J. Mims is interested in researching all tips about iPhone, iPad and Android. He loves to share useful ideas with all users.

homeHome>Backup & Restore>8 Quick Ways to Fix Contacts Didn't Transfer to New iPhone
Appoword by

Copyright © 2021 FoneGeek Software Co., Ltd. All Rights Reserved