How to Sync Contacts from iPhone to Mac without iCloud (2023)

Here's how to transfer contacts from an iPhone to a Mac without iCloud, so your contacts can sync between devices.

How do I export contacts from an iPhone to a Mac? You can use Wi-Fi or a USB or USB-C cable to sync your iPhone contacts to your Mac and make sure your Mac has the most recent, updated version of your contacts. Here's how!

Related: What Is iCloud & How Does It Work? Apple iCloud Basics

Want to keep your iPhone contacts updated and available on all your devices? Let's go over how to import contacts from an iPhone to a Mac without iCloud. You'll need an internet connection and an Apple ID, and can then use AirDrop or the Finder. AirDrop lets users share contacts from an iPhone to a Mac using Wi-Fi and Bluetooth. Finder lets users sync contacts through a USB or USB-C cable. For this article, we used an iPhone running iOS 15 and a Mac running macOS Catalina (macOS 10.15.7). Check out our free Tip of the Day for more great Mac tutorials.

How to Sync Contacts from iPhone to Mac with AirDrop

If you only have a few contacts to export, you can use AirDrop. You can share one contact at a time from your phone to your computer if you enable AirDrop.

How to Enable AirDrop on iPhone

  1. First, you need to make sure your Bluetooth is enabled. Open the Control Center and tap on the Bluetooth icon to enable it.

    bluetooth icon in iphone control center
  2. Open the Settings app.

    iphone settings app
  3. Tap General.

    how to enable airdrop on iphone
  4. Tap AirDrop.

    enable airdrop on iphone
  5. Check Contacts Only or Everyone so you can send contacts to your Mac.

    choose iphone airdrop settings

How to Enable AirDrop on Mac

You'll also need to make sure that AirDrop is enabled on your Mac; here's how.

  1. Click on the Bluetooth icon on the top menu to make sure it's on.

    enable airdrop on mac
  2. Click Turn Bluetooth On if it's not already.
  3. Click AirDrop in the Finder menu.
  4. Click the caret next to Allow me to be discovered by: and make yourself discoverable by Contacts Only or Everyone.

    enable airdrop on macbook

How to Share an iPhone Contact Using AirDrop

  1. Open the Contacts app on your iPhone.

    iphone contacts app
  2. Choose the contact you want to share, then tap Share Contact.

    tap share contact to sync contact from iphone to mac
  3. Tap AirDrop and choose your Mac's name, or tap your Mac's name directly if it appears in the row above.

    airdrop contacts to mac
  4. The contact should pop up on your Mac screen. Tap Open.

    click open to open the contact
  5. Click Add to add the imported contact to your Mac contacts.

    aurdrop contact to macbook

How to Transfer Contacts from iPhone to Mac Using Finder or iTunes

If you have already used iCloud to sync contacts from your iPhone to your Mac, your contacts will already be automatically synced. You can only sync iPhone contacts via Finder or iTunes if you don't have iCloud enabled for Contacts.

  1. Begin to sync your contacts from your iPhone to your Mac by connecting your iPhone to your Mac using a Lighting cable.
  2. Open Finder (Mac OS Catalina or later) or iTunes (Mac OS Mojave and earlier) and click your iPhone under Locations.

    open the finder and click your iphone
  3. Click Info.

    click info
  4. Choose Sync Contacts option and click Apply.

    sync contacts from iphone to mac with usb cable

If you enjoyed this tutorial, you may also want to learn how to let favorite contacts call you when Do Not Disturb is on, and the fastest way to share a contact from your iPhone.

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Author Details

Leanne Hays's picture

Author Details

Leanne Hays

Leanne Hays is a Feature Writer at iPhone Life, and has written hundreds of in-depth how-to and troubleshooting articles. She's a former Associate Editor for iPhone Life magazine, and has written for the Iowa Source, as well as web content for education marketing. Leanne has an associate's degree in education, with a focus on curriculum development, as well as a bachelor's degree in science. She has over nine years of experience with SEO, social media management, and web development and writing. Despite years of web work, Leanne is by no means an early adapter; she's only owned a smartphone for five years, which makes her highly sympathetic to the learning curve of new iPhone owners. She enjoys making reader's lives easier and putting her education experience to work by walking them through the most practical ways to use Apple devices, step-by-step.

In off-work hours, Leanne is a mother of two, homesteader, audiobook fanatic, musician, and learning enthusiast.