I have one iCloud account, and my wife has another. I have an iPhone, and so does she. It's easy to share calendars in iOS 8, and I'd like to do something similar with our contacts. How can we keep our contacts synchronized between the two accounts/devices?

3 Answers 3


Found this on a forum today. Suppose a husband and wife want to share contacts. In Settings > iCloud, the husband adds his account. In it, he must sync contacts; he can also sync whatever else he wants.

In Settings > iCloud, the wife adds her account. In it, she cannot sync contacts, but she can sync whatever else she wants. In Settings > Mail, Contacts, Calendars, she adds her husband's account. In it, the only thing she syncs is contacts.

That's it.


The solution I found is to create a dedicated "shared" or "family" iCloud account, and the basics are as follows:

  1. Create a new iCloud account whose sole purpose is to host all your shared contacts, e.g., [email protected]

See Apple's Create and start using an Apple ID if you need help on how to create an iCloud account.

  1. Store all your shared contacts in the shared iCloud account, but exclude your and your wife's contact cards (and any other participating family member).

  2. Store only your and your wife's contact card in your personal iCloud accounts, e.g., I'd keep only two cards, mine and my wife's, and designate my own card as "my" card.

On iOS that means going to Settings > Contacts > My Info and tapping on my card and/or Settings > Siri > My Info and tapping on my card.

On Mac that means going to Contacts, locating your card, and navigating in the menu to Card > Make This My Card.


This works for as many family members you wish to include in the arrangement, the most important being to keep your details about the participating members in your individual personal Contacts, and everything else in the shared Contacts.

I recommend checking Lena Shore's page Create A Shared Family Address Book With Contacts And iCloud that advises doing the same thing: I'd taught my friends the basics of using a dedicated shared iCloud account, but I still learned lots from Lena.

Why this approach

I found the accepted answer's approach is problematic. The main headache: devices forget who you are. This is because while you can mark your own contact card as your "Me" card, your wife can mark theirs as "Me" and having two it confuses both your devices.

  • Graham (btw thanks for the edits) and/or mods, I'm relatively new to stackexchange / stackoverflow, and I was wondering if it were possible to move this to a new question that is not restricted to iOS 8, because it's not? I can ask the question then answer it myself, but that approach doesn't seem so elegant or the proper way to do it. Thank you.
    – Michael A
    Commented Feb 14, 2018 at 7:03

We have found the best way to share contacts and keep them synced in real time is to both use the same icloud account.

  • Hello Richard, welcome to Stack Exchange. As it stands, your answer is pretty hard to follow; could you edit it to add some line breaks and remove information that is irrelevant to the question?
    – Tuesday
    Commented Nov 21, 2016 at 16:35

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