When a client of mine purchased the new iPhone, she exported all of her contacts from her Blackberry to her iPhone. When she did that, the contacts were added directly to her iPhone but they did not automatically connect to her iCloud account. It took us a while to figure out what was going on. At the end, we had to do a little work around to move the contacts that were listed as “On My iPhone” to her iCloud account.

Here are the steps:

1. First, determine whether or not you have contacts on your iPhone that are not syncing with your iCloud account.

iCloud
To do this, first go to icloud.com and type in your username/password combo. Go to Contacts and then search for some contacts you know are on your phone. Are they in your iCloud account? If not, then proceed with the steps below.

2. Second, search contacts on your iPhone.

iPhone Contacts GroupsOpen up contacts on your iPhone and click on Groups in the upper left-hand corner. Do you see an item listed as “All on My iPhone?” If so, uncheck “All on My iPhone” and then search your contacts for the same people you looked for in step 1. Are they there? If not, those contacts are in your All on My iPhone category and they are not syncing with your iPhone.

All on My iPhone

3. Third, set iCloud as your default contacts account.

We need to set iCloud as the default account for contacts so that going forward, any new contact is added directly to your iCloud account. To do this, go to Settings > Mail, Contacts, Calendars on your iPhone. Scroll down until you see contacts and then make sure the Default Account is set to iCloud.

Default iPhone Contacts Account

4. Fourth, export all of your contacts from your iPhone.

My Contacts BackupThe best way to export all of your contacts is to use a free app called My Contacts Backup (there is a paid version, but for our purposes, the free version is fine). Install this app on your iPhone and then follow the instructions to back up your contacts. You can have them sent to you by email. Back up all of your contacts. Don’t try to only backup the contacts in “All on My iPhone.” Once we back them up and connect them to your iCloud account, we can then merge the contacts to that any identical contacts are merged into one.

5. Fifth, import the file that My Contacts Backup created into your iCloud account.

Go back to iCloud.com and go to Contacts. In the bottom right corner, click on the settings wheel. Choose “Import vCard” and import the file created by My Contacts Backup. This will add all of your contacts from your iPhone. Once you do this, you can go back to Contacts on your iPhone, click on Groups, and then permanently uncheck “All on My iPhone.”

6. Sixth, merge Your Contacts

Once you have added all of your contacts, you’ll see an option to merge all of your contacts so that any duplicates will be combined. Do this and you’ll have a clean view of all of your contacts. Go back to iCloud.com to make sure you now see all of your contacts listed there.

Erik Rostad

Author Erik Rostad

Erik Rostad started EPR Creations in May 2008. He works with universities, international organizations, and executives on their online presence.

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