How to Sync Contacts Between iPhone and Mac

Syncing contacts between iPhone and Mac is a useful feature, which can quickly be done using iCloud, a USB connection, or AirDrop.

Your contacts will be synced between your Mac and iPhone if you use the same Apple ID and enable the appropriate settings in iCloud’s preferences.

Note: You can make and receive messages or phone calls on your Mac if you are connected to the same Wi-Fi network as your iPhone.

Sync your iPhone contacts to your Mac using iCloud

First, ensure that both devices are logged in to the same Apple ID. Then, follow these steps to sync your contacts using iCloud:

  1. Tap Settings.

    Settings App on the iPhone
    Tap Settings.
  2. Tap your Apple ID name at the top.

    User's iCloud Account in the iPhone Settings
    Tap your name.
  3. Tap iCloud.

    iCloud Settings Where Users Can Sync Data
    Tap iCloud.
  4. Enable Contacts in the list of apps that are using iCloud.

    Enable Contacts in iCloud
    Tap Contacts.
  5. If you’ve turned it on before, you’ll be asked to Merge your previously backed-up contacts. This will ensure that your contacts from the previous backup don’t get deleted. Tap Merge if you want to keep them.

    Merge Old Contacts with New Ones on the iPhone
    Tap Merge.
  6. On your Mac, click on System Preferences in the Dock.

    System Preferences on MacBook
    Click on the System Preferences icon.
  7. Click on Users & Groups.

    Users and Groups Settings on the MacBook
    Click on Users & Groups.
  8. Click Open next to “Contacts Card”.

    Option to View Synced Contacts on the MacBook
    Click Open.
  9. You’ll be able to view all your contacts here.
    Synced Contacts on the MacBook
    View your synced contacts on your Mac.

    Your iPhone and Mac will now always be up-to-date with the most recent contacts and their information. All you have to do is set it up once, and your contacts will stay synced!

Manually syncing iPhone contacts to Mac using Finder or iTunes

If you don’t want to use iCloud, you can sync your contacts using Finder or iTunes, but note that this is a manual process – they will only sync if you actively repeat these steps.

Before starting, make sure you have a charger cable (USB to lightning cable) to connect your iPhone to your Mac or PC.

If you’re not sure if you should use the Finder app or iTunes: iTunes is for users using MacBook with macOS Mojave and earlier. It can be downloaded from here. You can use the Finder app if you’re using macOS Catalina or above. For this guide, we’ll use Finder, but they both have the same interface, so you won’t have trouble following these steps.

  1. Connect your iPhone to the Mac using your charger cable (USB to lightning cable and open a Finder window by clicking on its icon in the Dock.

    Finder Icon in the Dock on MacBook
    Click the Finder icon in the Dock.
  2. Click on the Info button.

    Info Tab Where Information About Sync is Located
    Click Info.
  3. Check the Sync contacts button.

    The Chckbox for Contact Synchronization Between iPhone and Mac
    Check the button for contact synchronization.
  4. Click on Apply.

    Syncing Contacts Between Mac and iPhone
    Click on Apply to begin the synchronization process.
  5. A grey bar will appear at the bottom to show that your Mac or PC has started synchronizing contacts.

    The Sync Bar on Mac When Syncing Contacts
    Now, wait for your Mac to finish syncing!

AirDropping Contacts from Your Phone to Your Mac

If you want to sync a few specific contacts, you can AirDrop them to your Mac. These contacts will be transferred to your Mac as a “vCard” file (VCF). Here’s how to do it:

  1. Open the Contacts app on your iPhone.
Phone App That Contains All the Contacts on the iPhone
Tap Phone.
  1. Find the contact you want to AirDrop to your Mac and tap on the name.

    Contacts App on the iPhone
    Search for the contact you want to AirDrop.
  2. Scroll down and tap Share Contact.

    Option to Share Contact with Other Apple Devices
    Tap Share Contact.
  3. From the list of available AirDrop devices, select your Macbook.

    AirDrop Device Selection Tray on the iPhone
    Tap your Mac.
  4. The contact will be sent to your MacBook in a few seconds, and you’ll get a notification that you’ve received a file.

    Notification Showing User Has Received a File through AirDrop
    You’ll get a notification on your Mac that you’ve received a contact card.
  5. To import it to your Mac, double-click on the VCF file.

    VCF Contact File Imported to a Mac
    Click on the contact you just AirDropped.
  6. Click on Import to add the contact to your Mac.

    Importing a Contact to a Mac Using AirDrop
    Click on Import.

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