We recently published a tutorial showing different ways to export Mac contacts. Admittedly, the process is much simpler on a Mac than it is on the iPhone, mainly because there is no way to export iPhone contacts directly from the device without the use of a third party application.
In this post we will learn a basic trick about how to share one contact card with someone. We’ll also go a little deeper and learn how to export iPhone contacts to a .vcf file, and we’ll also look into exporting your iPhone contacts to an Excel file (.csv).
How to share a contact with someone
Your iPhone has a feature that lets you share a contact card with someone either via SMS, email, or AirDrop. The downside is that you can only share one contact at a time.
1) On your iPhone, go to the Phone app and tap on the name of the contact you want to share with someone.
2) Scroll down to the bottom of the contact card and select the “Share Contact” option.
3) You will now have the option to share your contact via iMessage/SMS, email, AirDrop, and more. For the purpose of this tutorial, we will share the contact via email, so tap on the Mail icon.
4) Compose your email as you normally would. You may even email this contact to yourself if you want to use it as a backup, for example. Alternatively, you can email it to anyone. The recipient of the contact will be able to add it to his address book or email client such as Gmail.
How do I export iPhone contacts?
We’ve seen how to share a single contact directly from the iPhone, but what if you want to export all your contacts? Then you’ll need an application. There are many apps in the App Store that let you transfer contacts from your iPhone. I’ve been using a couple that work particularly well. I’ll use Backup Contacts + Share for this specific section. We’ll use another app to export contacts to an Excel file down below.
1) Download Backup Contacts + Share from the App Store.
2) Launch the application and select the Tools tab at the bottom of the screen, then select Share Contact Cards.
3) Select the contacts you want to export. If you want to export all of them, tap on Select All Contacts at the bottom. Finally, tap on the Share button in the upper right corner of the screen.
4) You will be able to transfer iPhone contacts via email, SMS, or more, depending on what apps you have installed on your device. We’ll use the email option for the purpose of this tutorial.
5) A new email will be created, and a .vcf file containing all your contacts will be attached to it. If you want to use this file as a backup, you’re obviously free to email it to yourself and save it for future use. If you want to transfer your iPhone contacts to Gmail for example, you could also import the file in Gmail without a problem.
How to export iPhone contacts to Excel
While you can’t directly export your iPhone contacts to Excel, you can however export your contacts in a file format that will easily be read by Excel, namely the .csv file format. In order to do that, we’ll need a different application from the one used above.
We’re going to use an app called My Contacts Backup Pro. I like this app because it allows you to export contacts from your iPhone in an Excel-friendly format, but the app design is quite outdated. Note that we could have used this app in the section above but I wanted to give you a different alternative. My Contacts Backup Pro is the most capable of the two apps, but it’s also the less elegant.
1) Download My Contacts Backup Pro from the App Store.
2) Launch the app and tap on the gear icon at the lower right corner.
3) Under “Export Type,” tap on “vCard,” then select “CSV (Excel).” Tap Done. Tap Done again to go back to the Home screen.
4) Tap on the green “Export” button. The app will then prepare all your contacts for transfer.
5) Tap the Email button.
6) A new email will be created for you containing a .csv file that you will be able to email to yourself and open in Excel.
As you can see, there are several ways to transfer iPhone contacts. Although very easy, the process does require the use of third party applications. As mentioned above, there are tons and tons of such apps in the App Store, but Backup Contacts + Share and My Contacts Backup Pro are two that I have personally used and I know they work really well. If you just want to export your iPhone contacts with any bells and whistles, then Backup Contacts + Share is your best option. If you also want to transfer your contacts to an Excel file, then you should go for My Contacts Backup Pro.