Import contacts from your SIM card

Learn about the SIM card in your iPhone and how to use it to import contacts from your old phone.

Like most cellular phones, the iPhone uses a SIM card to determine the phone number, carrier, and features that are available for the account. Unlike some phones, the iPhone doesn't store contacts and phone numbers on the SIM card.

This article applies to all iPhone models except for the iPhone 4 (CDMA model), which doesn't have a SIM card.

Import contacts stored on a SIM card

You can copy your contacts from a SIM card to your iPhone. If your old phone isn't an iPhone, you can use its SIM card to transfer the main phone number for each of your contacts from the SIM card. Other numbers might not import, or might import as more than one contact.

Make sure that the old SIM card you're going to put in the new iPhone is the same type of SIM card. If you don't, the SIM card might get stuck in your new iPhone. Follow these steps to import the contacts from the SIM card:

  1. Remove the SIM card from your iPhone and replace it with the SIM card from your old phone.
  2. Your phone might need to reactivate. If so, connect to iTunes.
  3. Tap Settings > Mail, Contacts, Calendars > Import SIM Contacts.
  4. Remove your old SIM card from your new iPhone and put back the SIM card that came with it.

Learn more

When helping with any phone-related issues, make sure that the SIM card in the device is from a supported carrier.

Find more information about swapping the SIM card.

Last Modified:
Helpful?

Additional Product Support Information

Start a Discussion

in Apple Support Communities
See all questions on this article See all questions I have asked
United States (English)