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Techie_Ben, Software Engineer
Category: Mac
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Experience:  10+ years in hardware/software experience
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Hi Ben, Can I update my contact list in iPhone5 from my contact

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Hi Ben,
Can I update my contact list in iPhone5 from my contact list in my MacBookPro?
Do I have to go thru iTunes to do that?
Hello. Thank you for the question.

No, you do not need to go through iTunes to sync your contacts from your Macbook Pro. All you have to do is enable iCloud on your Macbook and iPhone. To do this,

From your iPhone:
1) Go to Settings -> iCloud. Make sure you are signed in to iCloud with your Apple ID and that Contacts is set to "ON"

From your Macbook:

1) Click the Apple icon on the top left corner of your screen
2) Click "System Preferences"
3) Click "iCloud". If you are not signed in with your Apple ID, do so now. Once signed in, click "Account Details" on the iCloud screen and make sure it has the same Apple ID as the one you're using on your iPhone
4) In the iCloud settings, make sure Contacts is set to "ON"

Check your contacts on your iPhone. They should be synced with the ones on your Macbook. Try adding a contact from your Macbook and then check your iPhone to make sure it appears there after 30 seconds or so. You can also log in to with your Apple ID to make sure all your contacts are there (and can even add contacts there which will then appear on both your Macbook and your iPhone).
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Hi Ben,

Thank you for your answer. I don't think I can do things in iCloud w my MacBook Pro b/c I have OS 10.6.8. It's not Lion.

So, I can't work thru iCloud w my laptop, can I? That's why I thought I needed to go thru iTunes.

I also have another question which I'll pay you for separately (I have unlt'd subscription) so when we setle this one, I'll move on.- I like you- you're knowledgeable and you explain things well- in English :)


Thank you for the response. I have to apologize, I should have asked what version of OSX you were using, because you're right. If you're using 10.6.8, you can't use iCloud on your machine since you need to be at 10.7.4 (Lion) or higher.

But what you can do is export your contacts to a vCard, and import them in to Once you do that and enable iCloud on your iPhone, all your contacts will be synced. Here's how you can do it:

1) Open Contacts on your Macbook
2) Click inside your contacts and hold down the command key, while holding command, press A. This will perform the "Select All" function and you'll notice all your contacts become highlighted.
3) Once they are all highlighted, at the top of your screen, click File -> Export -> Export vCard
4) It will ask you to save the file somewhere. Save the file to a location you will remember (ie - your desktop)
5) Log in to from your browser on your Macbook
6) Click "Contacts"
7) At the bottom left side of the page, there is a button that looks like a gear. This is the "Settings" menu. Click on that.
8) A menu pops up with some options. Select "Import vCard" and browse to the file you saved earlier from step 4

The contacts will be imported to iCloud, and if your iPhone is set up with iCloud (Settings -> iCloud -> Contacts = ON, you'll notice all those contacts will appear on your iPhone.

Please let me know if you have any questions, I'll be happy to help however I can!
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Hi Ben,

Well, that's pretty amazing! Thank you so much for the great directions. Except, I'm not sure it's working. The contact list opened up fine after "import vcard." However, at the bottom of the contact list, the icon that looks like a little circle w rays is spinning and it says "importing..."

However, it has been importing for five minutes now. That can't be right. iCloud is on for contacts in my phone.

Something must be stuck?


Yes, it seems stuck somewhere (unless you have a whole lot of contacts). If you close the web page and go back to, are there any contacts there? If not, let's try doing a dozen contacts as a test. Just highlight your first Contact on your Macbook, hold down the shift key, and click one of the contacts 10 - 12 down. When you click on it, it should highlight everything in between. You can export a vCard from your selection and try to import to iCloud to make sure 1) they get imported, and 2) you see them on your iPhone. Then you can try a larger set until they're imported. Let me know if you have any questions. Thanks again
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