iPhones and iPads work independently these days, not requiring a PC or iTunes to perform tasks like OS updates (remember those days?) and content management. They can automatically back themselves up to iCloud and you can buy apps, games, music, movies, books and more on the iDevice itself.
However, if you need to copy all your contacts from your iPhone to your PC, there are several options available. We’ll explain the simplest of the bunch, which doesn’t involve installing any software and won’t cost any money: iCloud.
In fact, it's a similar process to transferring photos from your iPhone to a PC.
Of course, you can use iTunes, or any number of third-party apps which can copy stuff from your iPhone to your PC.
How do I turn on iCloud?
First, you’ll need to enable iCloud on your iPhone, or just double-check that contacts are already being synced with iCloud.
To do this, open the Settings app and tap on your name right at the top. If you’re running an older version of iOS, you’ll have to scroll down or search settings for iCloud.
Assuming you have a recent version of iOS, after tapping your name you’ll see iCloud about halfway down the screen. Tap it, then in the ‘Apps using iCloud’ section, check that the toggle next to Contacts is enabled.
It's worth pointing out that you do not need iCloud backup to be enabled for contacts to be synced.
How do I get iPhone contacts on PC?
Next, open a web browser on your PC. Go to iCloud.com and log in with your Apple ID. You might be prompted to enter a verification code (which you’ll get from your iPhone) if two-factor authentication is enabled on your account.
If so, tap Allow on the prompt on your iPhone, then enter the code displayed and choose to ‘Trust this browser’.
You’ll see all the available iCloud apps, with contacts second from the left. Click on it and you should see all the contacts stored on your iPhone.
This may be all you need, but if you want to copy those contacts to another application or service, you’ll need to export them.
To export iCloud contacts, first click on a contact in the list. Then press Ctrl-A to select all contacts (it will look like the screen above).
Now click on the cog icon at the bottom-left corner and choose Export vCard…
This brings up a window where you can choose an application with which to open the file (such as Outlook) or you can save the file on your hard drive.
If you wanted to import the contacts to Outlook, choose that first option. If it’s another service or an application that isn’t listed the choose to save the file.
How to import iPhone contacts to Gmail
Go to the app or webmail (such as Gmail) where you want to copy the contacts and look for an import option.
If Gmail, contacts are somewhat hard to find on the web version. You need to click the nine dots icon in the top-right to show Google Apps, then click on Contacts. The site opens in a new tab, and you’ll then need to expand the ‘More’ section to find the Import option.
Now choose the CSV or Vcard file option, browse to the file you just downloaded from iCloud and your contacts will be added to Gmail.
You might also like our guide on how to get videos off your iPhone to your PC.