How to transfer iPhone contacts to a new iPhone using iCloud syncing
If you have both your old iPhone and your new phone in hand and both are working, then it’s easy to load the contacts onto the new phone. Just make sure you are somewhere with a secure, trusted Wi-Fi network when you do so.
1. Connect both phones to the Wi-Fi network and log into your Apple ID account on both.
2. On the old phone, open the Settings app, then tap on your Apple ID profile (your name and picture at the top of the Settings page).
3. Tap the iCloud tab.
4. Tap Contacts, and when the pop-up reading “What would you like to do with existing local contacts on your iPhone?” appears, select “Merge.”
5. Now open the contacts window on the new phone and drag down to have it refresh; the contacts should appear quickly.
How to transfer iPhone contacts to a new iPhone using an iCloud backup
If iCloud syncing didn’t work, or if you don’t have your old phone anymore (or it’s not working properly), you can use the contacts backed up to your iCloud storage to load contact information onto a new iPhone.
For the record, this method also works fine if the old phone is operable and is right there with you.
1. Turn on the new phone and follow the steps to join a Wi-Fi network.
2. Log into your Apple ID using the same email and password you used with your old phone.
3. When the “Apps and Data” screen loads, tap “Restore from iCloud Backup.”
4. Choose the most recent backup, and your contacts – along with everything else on the backup – will automatically be loaded onto your new phone. Note that if you have already set up the newer phone, or if it is not a brand new iPhone, you can erase all data on the phone and then back it up from iCloud, but of course this step should be taken with caution, because there is no undoing it.