How does one export all contacts from iCloud in some sort of standard format? I would prefer to keep a backup in case my sync goes bad and I'm yet to find a way to export all my contacts. I would hate to lose hundreds of contact details if my sync from the iPhone goes bad.

  • Using the iCloud.com web app to download a vcard file is the best way to in general export the contacts. If someone has a question where they want to specify a specific version of iOS or hardware, that question can be asked and linked here if needed.
    – bmike
    Commented Apr 29, 2014 at 13:53

7 Answers 7


I just had a massive heart attack after attempting to switch Apple ID accounts...

I originally shared an itunes account with my brother so that we could share apps etc...

But after changing Apple ID's and reconnecting to the cloud, i lost all my contacts...

Luckily they were stored in the Cloud with the old iTunes ID. If you log into iCloud and select all your contacts on the settings button (bottom left) it says Export vCard. Click this and you can Export all your contact information as a .vcf file which you can then back up onto an external harddrive etc...

Hope this helps!!

  • 1
    Yes - the web interface makes it easy to export one card, several cards, a group or all cards. Select and export.
    – bmike
    Commented Aug 19, 2015 at 21:40
  • 1
    The website can be a little buggy and I had to try 4 times to make it work, clicking again and again. But finally worked like a charm
    – Thomas
    Commented Apr 28, 2016 at 20:19
  • I tried this and, whilst I was able to select all of my contacts and use the gear icon to choose Export vCard, when I clicked on that menu option nothing happened in my browser. I was expecting a file download to start. Does it "export" it to somewhere else? Or was this what you meant, @thomas, when you said it was a little buggy? I've tried several times now but each time I get a brief flash of "waiting for webcourrier.apple.com..." in the bottom left hand corner of my chrome browser window (PC) ... then nothing happens.
    – Squig
    Commented Jul 12, 2016 at 21:16
  • Ahh, OK. Found this: discussions.apple.com/thread/6779059?tstart=0 Looks like Chrome has issues with this site. Firefox, here I come!
    – Squig
    Commented Jul 12, 2016 at 21:19
  • I tried using OSX and Safari to run this export option. After 7 tries, I gave in and it worked great on Firefox on the first select all and export vCard. Then I saw the download of the vcard. You'd think it would work great with Safari / OSX / iCloud but no....
    – Nick N
    Commented Jan 11, 2022 at 2:34

There is an Apple Page, iCloud: How to back up iCloud data that describes the various approaches that you can take, depending on what platform you are on.

As far as I can see, they all depend on having access to a computer!


For Windows PCs, it says:

Outlook 2007 or Outlook 2010:

Contacts: Export your contact data via Outlook's Export Wizard. For more information, see this article.

The linked article is on the Microsoft website, and describes standard Outlook functionality for exporting contacts.

So basically, yes, you can save all your iCloud contacts on PCs, and the mechanism is documented, so long as you have Outlook.

  • I notice there's a way to do it via OS X, but not really from Windows. Am i wrong?
    – LordHits
    Commented Oct 25, 2011 at 0:55
  • It is doable on Windows, so long as you have Outlook. I've edited my answer... Commented Oct 26, 2011 at 21:21

The way that I did this was to use my contacts app, and simply use the file export function to export the contact list. At any point you can always reimport the file that is produced with this. (I did this AFTER connecting my contacts app with icloud)

  • Is this the contacts app from OS X? Or are you talking about the Contacts app on the iPhone?
    – LordHits
    Commented Oct 25, 2011 at 0:55
  • 1
    Yes, the Address Book in OS X. File Menu, Export, Address book Archive. This will give you a backup of the complete address book that you can import back into the OS X Address Book if somehow iCloud burps and messes things up. But, remember that you also have copies of this list on iCloud itself and on iOS devices and other Macs tied into this account so if you want just this exported list don't "Merge" the import with what's on iCloud and the other devices, delete the data everywhere and then import the saved and hopefully correct copy.
    – Richard
    Commented Oct 25, 2011 at 12:10
  • I don't believe there is a clean way to export contacts other than using Address Book from a Mac. Until there's an export feature on icloud.com, this shall be the answer.
    – LordHits
    Commented Oct 26, 2011 at 18:38
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    Seems it's now possible to export the contacts using icloud.com: open contacts, click gear, select all, Export vCard ... Max discovered it
    – iolsmit
    Commented Jan 2, 2012 at 20:01
  • I have made @Max Burnett's answer the "answer". Looks like icloud.com now supports vCard exports. yay!
    – LordHits
    Commented Jan 3, 2012 at 1:30

SmoothSync for Cloud Contacts. $3.74, and 30 seconds to get 358 contacts to my Android phone.

  • 1
    Nice - does this work to just export the contacts? Does one need an android device to then get the contacts to a computer in a file or will this export things directly?
    – bmike
    Commented Jun 22, 2012 at 4:33

All else fail method. None of the blogs for the problem of taking contacts from Icloud to Outlook have worked for me!!!! My solution, select all (CTRL+A) from contacts EXPORT VCARD to Windows CONTACTS -->It is found via Comp>Local Disk (C)>Users>Contacts for Windows 7/Vista/XP

Here is why... It will actually sync to your PC. From there you must SELECT ALL and find the command to export (Through Windows Live not Icloud) Mine came via the arrow on the 2nd to top ribbon.

My advice export to a CSV comma separated values excel sheet. Onward bound to Outlook> Import Export> Com Sep Values (Windows) [CSV like before] (Windows NOT DOS) You'll F up if you use DOS

If you love me in the one minute and fifteen seconds it takes you to defeat this task...show me some love ;)>


Yes you can copy contacts from iCloud to new mac and then to a new phone. All you have to do is open iCloud , go to setting copy all and export. thats it.


This is by far the most useful answer on this topic - and the only one that doesn't involve exporting individual contacts via your web browser and the iCloud web interface.

This is for PC users only.


  • This is ok if you want to export to Outlook, but not if Outlook is not your contact client. Max's answer is still correct as you don't need to export individual contacts via icloud.com. You select all and then export. It will download as one .vcf file.
    – LordHits
    Commented Feb 29, 2012 at 15:22
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    Answers on Ask Different need to be more than just a link. It's okay to include a link, but please summarize or excerpt it in the answer. The idea is to make the answer stand alone.
    – Daniel
    Commented Mar 1, 2012 at 5:08
  • This would be a better answer if the iCloud part that is wrong were removed. You can trivially export all contacts from iCloud. Select the group, Control-A and then export from the gear. viola - one vcf file with all the contacts exported.
    – bmike
    Commented Aug 19, 2015 at 21:40

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