Syncing contacts across devices


Oct 11, 2009
Ok, so I have an iPhone 5S, iPad mini, and MacBook Pro. I want to sync my contacts across all three devices so that all contact info, nicknames, address, etc is the same. The info on my phone is what I want to sync my other devices to.

What's the best way to accomplish this?


Jun 21, 2010
This is a copy / paste from an Apple discussion forum:

I just spent a solid hour trying to figure out how to sync contacts over icloud. I had a set of contacts on my computer, and an entirely different set of contacts on my phone. This is how I finally got it to work:
FYI: you have to delete the contacts on your computer for this to work. So either make a copy of the vcard or manually add them into your phone. I only had a few things on my computer, so I manually transferred them to my phone.

1. On your phone: go to Settings and then iCloud. Turn OFF the Contacts option. It will then ask you what you want to do with your "previously synced iCloud contacts on your phone". IT'S IMPORTANT TO SELECT THE "Keep on my iPhone" OPTION. Otherwise you'll delete all your contacts.
2. On your computer: go to System Preferences and iCloud. UNSELECT the Contacts option.
-It's going to ask you what to do with your current contacts on your computer. You MUST choose the "delete them" option.
3. Go back to your phone and then proceed to turn ON the Contacts option under iCloud. I think it then gives you an option, and you want to select "Merge".
4. Go back to your computer and proceed to turn ON the Contacts option under iCloud.

And Voila. They'll now show up in your "Contacts" app on your computer.


Senior Moderator
Dec 12, 2008
If you are logged into iCloud on your iPhone with contacts toggled on, all you have to do is log into iCloud on your MBP and iPad mini. Contacts will automatically be toggled on and sync to your other devices.

If you are not logged into iCloud on your iPhone, turn OFF contact syncing for the email account that is syncing contacts. Select "keep contacts" and then log into iCloud on the phone and make sure contact syncing is on. Next you will need to login on the iPad and MBP.