How do I back up my iPhone contacts to iTunes over USB?

I followed the standard procedure and my contacts were wiped out on my iPhone so I am scared about backing them up.

  • What standard procedure did you follow? – user151019 Mar 17 '13 at 11:34

10 Answers 10


Connect your iPhone to your computer. Open iTunes and select your iPhone in the sidebar on the left. Select the Info tab and choose from one of the available options based on your operating system.


I sync mine with my google id


  • I actually do both this and iTunes sync. – cregox Jan 27 '11 at 15:03

iTunes can create backups of your contacts, photos, videos, text messages, notes, etc. of your iOS device when you: * Sync with iTunes (disabled if you have iCloud backup turned on) * Right-click (or Control-click) the iOS device in iTunes under Devices and choose Back Up

Use these steps to manually back up your iOS device using iTunes:

  1. Connect your iOS device to a computer with the latest version of iTunes installed
  2. Select your iOS device in iTunes under Devices
  3. Right-click (or Control-click) the device and select Back Up

Resource: How to back up and restore from a backup http://support.apple.com/kb/HT1766


In recent firmwares, you can use every Exchange-Provider (including Gmail) for over-the-air-sync of contacts, mails etc.

I use this feature to sync my contacts with my Gmail account, but you can use that as a backup too.


What procedure did you follow exactly? Note that the normal process for contacts is to sync the iPhone with the "Address Book" application. During the Sync iTunes also makes a backup, which can be used if you accidentally wipe the phone.

You can also tell iTunes to replace the information on the phone with what is on your Mac, which defaults to the Address Book's contacts. If you did a replace and there weren't any contacts in Address Book, then you could get what you saw.

Does any of that make sense?


When you connect to iTunes with USB cable, iTunes backups your contacts. Also you may chose gmail or win address book to backup or sync in itunes.


Sync your phone with iTunes. Done.

  • 5
    It's almost that simple, you need to make sure that the "sync contacts" checkbox is ticked when you plug your iphone in. – Jay_Booney Jan 26 '11 at 18:27

Personally I use MobileMe (now iCloud), but iTunes works just fine.


Alternatively (or as an extra precaution on top of the iTunes backup), you can sync with MobileMe. If you don't have it, sign-up for the trial. Then your data is safely in the cloud and on your computer.


You can also use iSync (find it with your Spotlight bar) which can do much more than just syncing contacts.

Apple's syncing method: http://support.apple.com/kb/ht1386

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