How to back up Contacts on iPhone

Need to back up your contacts but not sure how? We’ve got you covered.

How to back up Contacts on iPhone
How to back up Contacts on iPhone
Backing Up Data Device Tips

If you’ve ever misplaced your phone for any length of time, you’ll know the frustration of thinking that your contacts’ phone numbers are lost forever. Backing up your iPhone is an easy way to mitigate this risk and achieve peace of mind. There are three main methods of backing up your iPhone:

  • via iCloud
  • iTunes
  • or a third-party provider like Enigma Recovery

Here we’ll walk through each of these three options.

Back up iPhone contacts with iCloud

An iCloud backup is a super-convenient backup and storage solution for lots of iPhone users: your data is stored in the cloud rather than on a local device.

  1. Go to the Home screen and tap Settings.
  2. Tap your Apple ID at the top.
  3. If prompted, sign in using your Apple ID.
  4. Tap iCloud.
  5. Tap Contacts to switch the slider on.
  6. If prompted, select to merge Contacts with iCloud.

Simple, right? But on the flipside, iCloud backups can be notoriously slow. And, infuriatingly, when you sync your device with iCloud it’s not possible to manage individual data files.

Back up iPhone contacts with iTunes

An iTunes backup is usually faster than an iCloud backup.

  1. Install iTunes on your computer and open the app.
  2. Connect your iPhone to your computer/laptop. iTunes should automatically recongise your device.
  3. Click on the device on the left-hand menu and select ‘Info’.
  4. Make sure ‘Sync contacts’ is toggled on.
  5. Right-click on the device’s name from the left-side menu – you’ll be able to see the ‘Back Up’ button.

Bear in mind however that you won’t be able to access your contacts unless you restore them back to your device. This means that all of the existing files on your phone will be replaced by those found in the backup file – annoyingly, you can’t selectively back up individual files.

Back up iPhone contacts with Enigma Recovery

Enigma Recovery is an all-in-one data storage and recovery solution. Our Incremental Backup feature gives you much greater control over your data backup and retrieval than standard iCloud and iTunes backups.

When you sync your device with iTunes or iCloud, it’s not possible to manage individual data items or files. This means that if you ever lose or delete your data, you will usually have to carry out a full device restore to retrieve your data.

With Enigma Recovery, you can view your previous scans and recover and restore individual data items, including contacts.

  1. Download and install Enigma Recovery to your Mac or Windows computer.
  2. Connect your iPhone with your USB cable. If you’re connecting for the first time, you’ll need to tap ‘trust’.
  3. Choose Contacts – and any other datatypes you’d like to back up – for your incremental backup* and then click ‘Start scan’.
  4. Wait while Enigma Recovery scans your device. While the scan is processing, the software will create a secure, incremental backup of your device on your computer.
  5. Incremental backup complete! Once the scan is finished, you can view your iPhone contacts and any other files – then, if you choose to, restore or export your retrieved data.

*Your very first backup will be a full backup, which will take longer than all subsequent incremental backups.

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So, there you have it! Three simple ways to protect your iPhone contacts. Which one is right for you?

Visit Enigma Recovery to find out more about Incremental Backup and how we can look after your data.


Matthew has 9 years experience marketing software products across Europe to customers and businesses. As Chief Marketing Officer he concentrates on how we can meet users' needs; identifying new features and products and communicating how we can help you protect your data.

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