I have an iPhone 6 (with proper iTunes backup) where all of my contacts where, but I bought a new iPhone 7 and had to initialize it as new iPhone, due to several time-related constraints, so now I have a few but new contacts on my new phone, but none of the older ones, but would be the best practice oriented, for just recovering the old contacts from the iTunes backups?

PS: I still have the old iPhone 6, so it could be used as "temporary storage" if needed.

  • 1
    Are you using iCloud for syncing your Contacts? If not, are you open to doing that?
    – fsb
    May 5, 2017 at 19:06
  • Open to all possibilities! But since I had everything sync'ed with iCloud (photos and videos included) seems like I exhausted all storage May 5, 2017 at 20:01
  • The simplest thing to do is use iCloud to keep your Contacts, Calendar, Notes, Photos, etc. in sync across all your devices. Then you don't have to worry about your Contacts anymore. It's a very inexpensive solution to your problem.
    – fsb
    May 5, 2017 at 20:48

2 Answers 2

  • You could restore the old backup to your iPhone 6 and sync those contacts with iCloud, then sync contacts on your new iPhone 7 to get those. (As fsb noted above)

  • Some third party backup reading tools allow you to export contacts. I'm a developer for Decipher Backup Browser - you can use Decipher Backup Browser to export the contacts from the backup as a VCF file, and then email/text/dropbox/etc that to yourself on your new iPhone to import the contacts. (When you open the attachment on the iPhone 7, one of the built-in VCF actions is to import to contacts.)

  • You could setup a gmail or similar account to sync contacts temporarily -- basically the same idea as syncing contacts with iCloud, but not iCloud if you're opposed to that.

  • I would not recommend it, but you could restore the backup to the iPhone 6, and then go contact-by-contact pressing Share to send the contact to your new iPhone.

  • Do you have a Mac? You may be able to restore to the iPhone 6, sync contacts on the 6 with iTunes, and then share multiple contacts to your iPhone from the macOS address book app? https://www.tekrevue.com/tip/share-contacts-mac/ (disclaimer: I didn't try doing this to get the step-by-step. It's just an idea.)

  • Seems I'll to give it a try to some of your options, and yes: I do have a Mac May 5, 2017 at 20:02

Looking for answers to a similar problem I came across these three solutions. (it's now Feb 2018)

I've decided to trial 'AnyTrans' first because of this article: https://www.imobie.com/support/how-to-combine-two-iphone-backups.htm

Two other apps people have recommended that also seem worth checking out are:

PhoneView http://www.ecamm.com/mac/phoneview/

iExplorer https://macroplant.com/iexplorer

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