Is there any way to move a contact in Contacts on my iPhone into a group? I can create a new contact in any group, but I don't see a way to move an existing contact between groups.

Seems like an oversight that I would have to go back to my Mac, or delete a contact and manually recreate their card in a different group, in order to do this.

9 Answers 9


This cannot be done on the phone. You can sync your contacts to a Mac and do the changes from Address Book on the Mac.

You can also do this via iCloud.com.

  • 1
    the phrasing here 'do the changes' is too ambiguous, and after ~5 minutes of attempts I cannot get either Address Book ("Contacts" now) nor iCloud.com to work. So I reject this idea, Nivas can you update or clarify please :)?
    – J-Dizzle
    Commented Apr 5, 2016 at 13:42
  • @J-Dizzle Can you post the specific issue that you are facing?
    – Nivas
    Commented Apr 5, 2016 at 18:57
  • thanks for the contact and the offer! I would like to move "Contact A" from "iCloud Group A" to "Gmail Group B". My only current solution is to #1 manually delete, #2 change 'Settings->Mail, Contacts->Default Account', then #3 manually re-add the contact. Is there an easier way? I've looked at several Apps, contacted tech support and even paid for a few apps, with no luck!
    – J-Dizzle
    Commented Apr 5, 2016 at 19:04
  • 2
    You cannot move across groups between accounts in icloud.com. If both groups were in the same account then you could drag and drop the contact from group 1 to other group 2 in the side bar. I am not sure if you can move in the Contacts app, I will check when I am home and have access to a mac.
    – Nivas
    Commented Apr 5, 2016 at 20:22
  • @J-Dizzle Checked on my mac - you can just drag and drop contacts between groups. Make sure groups are visible (View Menu -> Show Groups) and drag and drop contacts across.
    – Nivas
    Commented Apr 6, 2016 at 2:48
  1. Go to "groups" in "Contacts" and uncheck all the groups except the one the contact you want to move is in.

  2. Search for the contact you want to move and "Share" the contact to your own email address or phone # via text.

  3. Click "edit" on the contact you just sent and delete it.

  4. Go back to Groups and uncheck the group the contact was sent from.

  5. Leave only the Group you want the contact in checked.

  6. Go to your email/text and import the new contact. It will automatically be added to the only active group which you selected.

  7. Go back to Contact Groups and select all the groups you want showing on your phone.


  • 1
    This worked for me, not being able to solve it on a laptop. It's a repetitive process but with discipline i managed to finish fast and keeping all my contacts. Commented Jul 18, 2018 at 20:08
  • This sort of worked for me, but slightly different route. I use Outlook desktop and wanted to move contacts from the iPhone list to my Outlook contacts. After emailing the contact to myself, I opened the email on desktop, and dragged the vcf attachment into the Contacts window in Outlook.
    – Bryan B
    Commented Oct 12, 2020 at 17:25

Use Orbi Tools. Can be downloaded from App Store.

  • 2
    Can you explain more
    – mmmmmm
    Commented Oct 13, 2013 at 8:11
  • 1
    Go to the App Store, search for Orbi Tools, should be the first program on the search result. Once installed, it will ask you to allow access to your contact list. Confirm, and then close and start the app. Select copy (or move "cut") to move contacts between different groups. If you have an Outlook account, then the group name will be Exchange, Contacts. If you have more than one Outlook account, then you have to click on the Exchange, Contacts group and note the number of contacts and cross check the number with your Contact app to know which group you have accessed.
    – Guest007
    Commented Oct 13, 2013 at 13:58
  • Wow---Thanks---Orbi Tools was well worth the 99 cents . very easy to use.
    – user72959
    Commented Mar 13, 2014 at 21:06
  • 1
    This App accesses my CardDAV and Exchange accounts, but nothing else :(. Specifically it does not access my Gmail contacts, which was my primary need :(
    – J-Dizzle
    Commented Apr 5, 2016 at 13:48
  • 4
    And now it doesn't exist anymore. Commented Jul 22, 2016 at 7:03

For the specific case of moving contacts to Gmail/Google, you can move them on the web using iCloud.com and google.com/contacts.

The basic flow is: select the contacts you want to move in iCloud, export them as a VCF file, then import that VCF file in Google Contacts. Then, if you would like your device to stick with Google Contacts, in your iOS device turnoff Contacts sync for iCloud so that future contacts don't end up there (and end up in Google Contacts instead).

Details are in this article Get all your iCloud contacts into Gmail, easily.


Moving contacts between groups cannot be done via iPhone. You will have to sync your iPhone via iTunes and ensure that contact sync in enabled. The following process can also be used with your GMail account instead of Exchange.

To move the existing contacts, follow these steps:

  1. Connect your iPhone to your Mac.
  2. Open iTunes and look for your iPhone under devices in the left navigation section.
  3. Click on your iPhone to view iPhone sync settings.
  4. Click on the Info tab at the top of the sync section.
  5. On the Info tab, select the checkbox next to 'Sync address book contacts'
  6. Click Sync on the bottom right corner of the sync section.

The above instructions will sync your iPhone contacts to your Address Book on Mac.

  1. Open Address Book.
  2. Add your exchange account, if you have not done it already.
  3. After that you can move your iPhone contacts to your exchange account by dragging-and-dropping.

You should also configure the iPhone settings so that newly created contacts are created in the correct place, so you don't need to repeat this process,

  1. Go to Settings -> Mail, Contacts, Calendars
  2. Scroll to 'Contacts' section
  3. Tap on the 'Default Account' tab and select your exchange account.

You should be set now!

  • 2
    Actually, I just discovered that you can move contacts between groups on iCloud.com. Still not ideal, and still ridiculous that you can't do this on the phone itself, but still better than having to sync over USB.
    – daGUY
    Commented Aug 13, 2012 at 14:57
  • There is no need to use iTunes to change group-contact relationships. It can be done on Mac (assuming iCloud sync) or iCloud's web UI. Changes will sync to iPhone via iCloud. Commented Dec 17, 2017 at 23:35

i think i have a 👌perfect solution for this.

Let me explain the issue, I have an iphone 6 which is now 5 years old and in all this time i have changed multiple jobs, i had a company exchange account and at some point all my contacts were being saved into that account. i moved on, they deleted my account so i could not login and my most of the contacts lived in that group. It complained about the password to that exchange account which i ignored and it still worked. But comes 2020. i move on to a new iphone, i realise my icloud can not help, itunes is out of game no more even supported on catalina ios. I came across this app on apple store for iphone MCbackup it works wonder, no setup, no fee, no subscription, no activation nothing I simply gave access to contacts, it copied everything from all the groups and gave me option to send a csv or vcard which i then sent to my email. Afterwards i now use only gmail for contacts and then easily imported this csv into it.

Now all historical contacts are working for me. :) i hope this helps you all.


Ten years after this question was asked iOS contacts now support editing "list" / Contact relationships within the Contacts app on iPhone. On iPhone they call "Groups" "Lists".

(I can't find an official Apple reference about this but it's a nice implementation. I wonder if they are slightly embarrassed about adding it so late.)


Eleven years later ... this became a part of iOS Contacts sometime in the past 3-4 years. Switch to Edit Contact, scroll down, and see "INCLUDED IN LISTS".

Lists is the iOS name for Contact Groups.


As noted above changes can be made via Mac or iCloud web GUI. I use Contaqs.app on my iPhone to make Group/Contact edits. Within a Contact I can remove Group relationships, in a Group I can add Contacts, or with a Contact selected I can drag/drop to a group to add it.

There are other 3rd party solutions, this is just one I've used that continues to be maintained and is useful in other ways.

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