Backup iPhone Contacts to PC

Whatever you attempt with your iPhone Contacts synchronization experiments, it's definitely a good idea to Backup iPhone Contacts to PC first

Indeed, every situation is different and even the most proven procedures can fail due to specific configurations

Accidental iPhone Contacts deletions are not uncommon, they are actually quite frequent, for example during synchronizations with Outlook or Gmail, and always regrettable and disastrous

Hereafter is the most standard procedure on How to Backup iPhone Contacts to Computer


Backup iPhone Contacts

  • Open iTunes and connect your iPhone
  • Go to Start -> Programs -> Accessories and open the Address Book
  • In iTunes, click your iPhone in the "Devices" section on the left, then click the "Info" tab
  • In "Contacts", check "Sync Contacts with" and select "Windows Address Book"
  • Select "All Contacts"
  • Finally, click "Sync" in iTunes lower-right corner
    You will be asked whether to Merge or Replace
    Make sure to select "MERGE", otherwise Contacts on your iPhone would be deleted

All your iPhone Contacts should now be safely backed up in your Windows Address Book

( Note that from then on, any contact added to your iPhone will automatically be added to your Windows Address Book and the other way around )

Pretty neat, huh !

At this point, you can also sync iPhone Contacts with Gmail or Yahoo!


For even more safety, you can Backup Windows Address Book Contacts to a .CSV file ( that doubles security, which is never a bad idea when it comes to protecting such precious information as your iPhone Contacts )

  • In Address Book, go to File -> Export and click Address Book ( WAB )
  • Locate and select the Windows Address Book file you wish to export to and hit the "Open" button

Save this .CSV file to a safe place such as a USB Flash drive and / or an external hard drive

You can even send it to yourself as an attachment to an email

Notes & possible issues

Once done with the above tutorial, you can proceed to

All your iPhone Contacts got deleted by an unwanted synchronization with Outlook or Gmail ?

They might not be lost forever

Let's try to Recover iPhone Contacts


Restore iPhone Deleted Contacts

  • In iTunes left panel, right-click on your iPhone in the "Devices" section and select "Restore from Backup"

It might allow you to Retrieve iPhone erased Contacts, if it doesn't, then we are out of hints

Good Luck !


Notes & possible issues

  • This solution works for both Mac and PC

iPhone Expert

Mike Johnson

Founder and Editor of has a sincere desire to provide readers with honest and useful solutions for their iPhone
More about him on Google+

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13 Responses to Backup iPhone Contacts
Restore iPhone Deleted Contacts

  1. Nelly Trapani says:

    looking at directions to backup contacts from iPhone to PC, and problem is when I go to Start, Program, Accessories on my PC there is no such thing called Address Book. Now what? Thx.

    • iPhone Expert says:

      Dear Nelly,

      On Windows Vista, click Start -> All Programs -> Windows Contacts
      On Windows 7, click Start and type Windows Live Mail in the search field

  2. Robin says:

    Hi . . . your instructions are very clear, thank you. But it’s not working for me. I’m following the steps, but my Windows Address Book remains empty. My iPhone contacts are not copying into WAB, even though iTunes appears to be going through all the syncing steps.

    I really need to back up my contacts because I need to set up my iPhone as a new phone to get rid of my giant yellow “Other” category–a whole other problem I won’t go into here.

    I don’t know what I’m doing wrong, and I can’t figure out why it’s not working.

  3. Racquel M says:

    I did the sync with my contacts and gmail through the exchange. My question is this, if I remove exchange will I lose my contacts? I ask because Exchange does not allow me to see my sent folder from gmail. Awaiting your response.

  4. Dor says:

    Why not All my contacts move to Windows Address ! I have some other which are still in iCloud or a see it on my iPhone, but not all them was transferred to my Computer, even I select “All Contacts” on iTunes???

    • iPhone Expert says:

      Dear Dor,

      Try this

      – Export all contacts in the Addressbook App as a VCard
      – Make sure you have another backup
      – Delete all contacts in your Addressbook app
      – Finally, drop the Vcard export (not the Addressbook archive, it wouldn’t work) onto the iCloud group in your Addressbook Windows on the left

      Everything should sync all fine now

  5. John says:

    Found that

    Edit iPhone Contacts


  6. jack says:

    Is there a way to sync my contacts from outlook using their “file as” heading rather than the first and last name of the contact?
    Thank you!

  7. Kathy says:

    I just want to take my calendar from my iPhone 4 and put it on my google/gmail calendar so I can sync it with my Google Nexus 7. Is there an easy way to do this? Thank you!

  8. Liz says:

    I followed all the steps.. but there’s zero contacts when I opened up my windows contact.

  9. monty says:

    hi, I have a problem. I had 2 seperate directory in my droid phone, one that was main directory that synced to my job server and another one that synced to my gmail account. I got iphone 5 now. I got all the contects back, but gmail directory won’t sync to icloud, other directory would. Can you help me? Thanks in advance.

  10. Kim says:

    How do I get my contacts to show up under the on my iphone tab in my contacts? It currently shows none, only under the group yahoo

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