How to Synch Contacts From an iPhone to a Computer

by Spanner Spencer
Version 5.0 or higher of the iOS operating system is required for Wi-Fi and iCloud synching.

Version 5.0 or higher of the iOS operating system is required for Wi-Fi and iCloud synching.

It's important to keep your address book updated at all times so you can always get in touch with your contacts. The iPhone offers multiple options to sync your Contacts app with a computer. The iTunes multimedia management software acts as a conduit for various synchronization duties, and you can also use Apple's free iCloud service to backup and share your address book wirelessly. One or all of these options can be active for a single iPhone contacts list.

iTunes USB Sync

Connect your iPhone to your computer using its USB cable -- iTunes detects the iPhone automatically and adds it to the "Devices" list.

Select your iPhone from the "Devices" list and open the "Info" tab in the main iTunes window.

Check the "Sync Contacts With" box and select an application or online service from the drop-down menu.

Click the "Configure" button if you are syncing with an online service such as Google Contacts or Yahoo. Enter the username and password for your online service and click the "OK" button. This grants iTunes access to your online account.

Click the "Sync" button in the lower right corner of the iTunes window; this will synch your iPhone's Contacts app with your computer.

iTunes Wi-Fi Sync

Follow the steps detailed in Section 1 to perform an iTunes USB synchronization between your iPhone and your computer. Leave the iPhone connected once it has finished syncing.

Open the "Summary" tab in the main iTunes window.

Check the "Sync With This iPhone Over Wi-Fi" box in the "Options" section.

Click the "Apply" button.

iCloud Sync

Launch the Settings app on your iPhone and tap the "iCloud" button.

Enter your Apple ID and password in the relevant boxes and tap the "Sign In" button.

Slide the "Contacts" switch to "On." Your iPhone's contacts are synced to your iCloud account, where they can be accessed on your computer via its Web browser.

Tips

  • An iTunes USB sync must be performed initially to set up Wi-Fi syncing.
  • When using the iTunes Wi-Fi sync option, your iPhone's content and settings -- including its contacts list -- are automatically synced to your computer whenever iTunes is running on your computer, your iPhone and computer are connected to the same Wi-Fi network, and your iPhone is on charge.
  • Launch your computer's Web browser, navigate to the iCloud homepage and log in using the same Apple ID and password used on your iPhone. The contacts synced from your iPhone are displayed. Entries can be edited, added or removed, and the changes are automatically synced to your iPhone.
  • Download and install the iCloud Control Panel for Windows if you want to access your iCloud account using a desktop application from a specific computer. However, this option only allows you to sync your iCloud contacts with Microsoft Outlook.
  • Accessing iCloud via its Web browser interface allows you to log in to your account from any computer securely. Open the Apple menu, select "System Preferences" and click the "iCloud" button if iCloud is not already activated on your Mac computer. Enter your Apple ID and password and check the "Contacts" box to activate iCloud synchronization between your Mac's and iPhone's Contacts apps.

Items you will need

  • iPhone USB cable

About the Author

Spanner Spencer has been writing since 2005 for a variety of print and online publications. Focusing on entertainment, gaming and technology, his work has been published by Eurogamer.net, "The Escapist," "GamesTM," "Retro Gamer," "Empire," "Total PC Gaming" "The Guardian," among others. Spencer is a qualified medical electronics engineer with a Business and Technology Education Council certificate in technical writing from Huddersfield Technical College.

Photo Credits

  • Comstock Images/Comstock/Getty Images