How can I copy contacts from my iPad to my iPhone?

Marto Airns September 5, 2012
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I would like to copy a number of contacts from my iPad to my iPhone. I do not want to transfer the whole bunch of contacts but only some 20 or so (my current list of colleagues at my working place).

As the rest of the contacts on my iPad are personal friends and I use my iPhone only for business, I would not need those to be hanging in there. I have currently enabled iCloud on my iPad. Should I also enable it for my iPhone for the transfer to take place? Wouldn’t that transfer the whole bunch of my iPad contacts to my iPhone?

  1. Dennis Sebenick
    November 26, 2012 at 9:49 am

    Use Syncios Transfer, you can free to transfer Contacts, Notes, video, audio, image, etc. from iPad to your iPhone and sync iPhone to iTunes.

  2. Katie Conway
    October 8, 2012 at 8:57 pm

    Just pull them over from iCloud

  3. Rajaa Chowdhury
    September 7, 2012 at 9:32 am

    You can do it via iTunes or iCloud.

  4. Georgina
    September 6, 2012 at 1:02 pm

    If you enable iCloud contact sync on your iPhone with the same iCloud account you use on your iPad, this will transfer sync all of your contacts.

    You can try exporting the set of contacts from your iPad to your computer via this instead:

    You can then use the same to import your iPad contacts from your computer to your iPhone.

    You can also try transferring the 20 contacts from your iPad over to your iPhone by sending them to your email and then recuperating them on your iPhone. There should be an app in the AppStore for that.

    • Marto Airns
      September 10, 2012 at 9:59 am

      Thanks for your answer. I found the copytran program as a better way to transfer my ipad to my iphone.

  5. Tim Brookes
    September 6, 2012 at 2:17 am


    Unfortunately it is not possible to create contact groups on the iPhone, which is a bit of an oversight by Apple. You are correct in thinking linking your iPhone to iCloud will indeed begin the process of copying your contacts over to the device - all of them.

    There is a method of doing this, but it involves syncing with iTunes and creating groups outside of the phone. There's is a tutorial on how to accomplish this here:

    Another way of potentially doing this would be to first iCloud your iPhone so all contacts copy across and then add your 20 or so important numbers to favourites. As far as I can tell the favourites list is device-specific (I just logged in on and can't see a cross-platform favourites list) so you should be able to use this list as your main phone book.

    The upshot of this is you have one very relevant list but also access to your friends and family should you need them. I would try it out if I had two iOS devices but I don't, so it's just a theory.

    Good luck!

    • Gerhard Tinned
      September 6, 2012 at 4:26 pm

      I think the easyest way is to go via iTunes.

      1.) Sync ALL iPad contacts via iTunes.
      2.) Create a group for you 20 contacts.
      3.) Connect you iPhone to iTunes and go to the "Info"-tab and select "Sync Contacts" and "Selected groups".
      4.) Select the group with the 20 contacts.

      Now Sync and you will have only the 20 contacts on the iPhone!

    • Leo
      March 9, 2013 at 6:41 pm

      Use bump to copy the selected contacts

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