Transferring Contacts

(paulc) #1

Unfortunately, due to some circumstances, there are limited ways I can accomplish this… so please understand first… I am trying to help someone else, this is not for me (gotta spell out clearly exact steps to do)! The person has an iPhone 5 and just got a 6. Lost (forgot, she has been having a very rough time the past 5 years, part of which involved brain surgery) the password to her gmail account and her Apple account. Having all sorts if difficulties getting these back, so I am telling her start from scratch on the 6. No there is no iCloud she ever set up… and without that password, she can’t do anything now. I am advising her to start a brand new apple account for the new phone. The major issue is all the contacts she has in the Contacts app. I know she can use the vcf format to go from one phone to the other (probably through iMessage and sending to me so I can send to the new phone). The problem is being able to select all the contacts at once. THIS seems a major stumbling block. Spent an hour googling stuff, everyone that “promised” a way to transfer the data without iCloud ALL said to access it first! D/oh!

Does anyone have any clever trick to accomplish this? Someone wrote about an app called WeSync, but far as I can tell it ain’t in the AppStore (tried looking on my iPad). One app I came across was a paid app, but the free trial won’t allow ANY transferring… if I can get a select all, I think I can make it work.




G’day Paul

If your friend has never synced her iPhone 5 with iTunes on any computer, the following may do the trick. DO NOT TRY this if there is any doubt whether she has ever synced/backed up through iTunes. Note the following warning from Apple:

You can only sync your iOS device with one iTunes library at a time. If you see a message that your iOS device is synced with another iTunes library, your iOS device was previously connected to another computer. If you click “Erase and Sync” in that message, all content of the selected type on your iOS device will be erased and replaced with content from this computer.

  1. Set up a New User on your Mac.
  2. Back up your friend’s iPhone 5 to the Mac through iTunes, remember to turn on sync Contacts and Calendars.
  3. Check the New User’s Contacts and Calendars apps on the Mac have been populated.
  4. Connect the iPhone 6 to the Mac and tell it to sync contacts and calendars.
  5. Disconnect and set up the rest of the iPhone 6 as your friend wants.
  6. Delete the New User on the Mac.

Cheers, Gobit


(paulc) #3

Good try (quite clever), the problem is she is over 1,000 miles away from me… and can’t spend that much time without having a phone.


(Doug Miller) #4

It looks like this app can backup all contacts and email them as a .vcf file.

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(paulc) #5

OUTSTANDING, can’t thank you enough… it sure sounds like exactly what I’m looking for. Trying to see what differences there are between the free and paid version… not so easy yet! Some developer name though!! Am also kinda chagrined in that if I had only searched “contacts” on my tablet, I may have found this (I forgot that I can not see ANYTHING for ios on my desktop app store app AND if there is ONLY an iphone version, I will not find it using my tablet, even though it may run on my tablet, grrrr).


(paulc) #6

Reminder, don’t ever get old… the brain starts rotting. Lost sight of the original issue, she does not remember her apple id password so won’t be able to d/l this from the app store… wonder if there are any side-load possibilities?


(Doug Miller) #7

You said that she is creating a new Apple ID - she can sign in to that in the App Store and download apps with the new account. I don’t have iOS 11 anymore, but I believe it’s the same - tap the icon top right when you open the app store, tap sign out, then sign in to the new account.


(paulc) #8

That’s the easy part… the problem is hundreds of contacts on the old phone with no apple password… so the need is to d/l said contacts to move to the new phone (IT will have a new apple id/account). IF the Contacts app HAD a select all, piece of cake, but it deliberately does not. Right now I tink side loading the mentioned is the only real option…


(Doug Miller) #9

You misunderstand. In the OLD iPhone she can sign out of the current Apple ID within the App Store app and sign in to the new Apple ID and then download that app on the old iPhone 5. She can also add the new Apple ID as an email address on the old iPhone so she can email the contacts backup off of the phone.


(paulc) #10

Of course you ARE correct… but the only question is if she signs out then in with a new ID, will all the contacts still be there? Of course they SHOULD be, but this is apple’s world and not everything that “should be” always “is,” and I se a LOT of digital ink of the “should be but isn’t” variety! Indeed a lot of things would be much easier if she was sitting next to me, but 1,000 miles away with no real trusted support services where she lives… so lacking some decent backup, I’d be concerned about trying that.

BUT thanks for caring enough to continue here…


(Fearghas McKay) #11

The suggestion is to only sign out of the App Store, not iCloud. So the iCloud account will still be logged in.

I have separate accounts for my iCloud login and my App store login with no issues, it is offered as an option when you install new machines.

So log out of the App Store and back in with the new account, download the app and run it and you should be all good to go.


(paulc) #12

I thought in the current iOS, it was sign into an apple account period, that kept you signed into all their services. When I went to d/l that app on my tablet, it asked me to type in my apple pw… and I KNOW I had touch id already set up for the store (I HAVE used touch to d/l an app from it previously). Kinda hard to take ANYTHING for granted…

So I look at Settings in iTunes & App Store and nowhere do I see any “Sign out” option. Yes, if I click my badge, I CAN sign out of my Apple ID… which sure LOOKS like it signs me out of any of their services that need said Apple ID.

NONE of this would be an issue if I was close, but I am reluctant to tell her to take any step that ends in disaster. Not easy when one does NOT have any desktop or access to any Mac desktop.


(Doug Miller) #13

Open the actual App Store app, not the Settings app. There should be an icon in the top right - that is your Apple ID account information for the App Store. Tap it, and at the bottom is a “sign out” control. Then you can sign in to another Apple ID for the App Store. I am 100% sure it was the same on iOS 11. I can’t recall about iOS 10, but I think it was the same, if she is on iOS 10.

I’m not suggesting that she should sign out of her Apple ID totally on the iPhone 5, but, IIRC, if you do sign out, it asks if you want to delete or keep contacts and calendar information.


(paulc) #14

Can’t thank you enough Doug for hanging in there with me… it LOOKS like this may very well work… I need to think about how I want that account set up because while they seem to provide a way to NOT enter any payment method, they DO require address/phone number (and I’m not doing anything all that dodgy)… the pisser is that all of this is because there is no “select all” in iOS contacts while there is in the desktop one.

I’ll be back!


(Doug Miller) #15

Right, that’s interesting. Or even an “export contacts” option in the Settings app for Contacts. I suspect that Apple now expects everyone will sync contacts and calendars with a service like iCloud, Google, Exchange, etc.



G’day Paul

Assuming your friend has a Mac and is open to paid apps, have a look at

Cost is USD 29.95. There is a “Try for Free” available which you could download to your Mac to make sure it does what you want it to and to help you talk your friend through step by step.

Cheers, Gobit


(paulc) #17

Thanks mate, but the situation seems to have taken a brand new twist (given the cringeworthy traumatic events that happened to this poor girl in her childhood on top of after effects from more recent brain surgery, it’s not easy getting essential information to be ABLE to help her). All along I was thought that it was hundreds of contacts that was worrying her, but apparently it’s gigabytes of music she has collected over many years. I think she thinks that if she loses her current apple account, it all may vanish.

Yeah, she has tried, but she is at a loss as to how to answer the security questions. I have 100% been in situations where I was asked to answer a “security” question I not only never set up, but which I would never in a million years CHOOSE as a security question!

I need to try and get more information from her, but for now, my assumption is this music actually does reside on her current phone. Same might apply to her contacts. I seriously doubt she has ever actually set up an icloud account. What I know for sure is some icloud stuff happens even if you do not specifically set it up.

Seems logical in THIS situation we essentially get the old phone into a new apple account. THEN hook it to icloud so her stuff gets copied up there. THEN we can bring the new phone online with all her “stuff” intact (well, I’d have to gift her the extended icloud storage plan as I think she has more than 5G of music).

I still need some “how does it work” information, but better to create a separate post…


(morwen) #18

Got a Mac? I use Phoneview to transfer everything off my iPhone.


(paulc) #19

Person I am helping is over 1,000 miles away and has no Mac, nor PC, and doesn’t know anyone who is so equipped! AND someone linked that software 2 posts above yours!


(mstrickland) #20

There is a free version of Team Viewer you can use to remote control her computer. If she can plug in the phone to the computer you can then do the work with one of the iPhone transfer tools mentioned here.

But … those tools cannot write back to the new phone directly.

Maybe a start to preserve the music and contacts.