If you are a new to the iPhone or simply learning your way, the experience will only improve as you start to personalize your iPhone. Apps are a big part of the iPhone, with increasingly more starting to rely on information you have setup for your contacts. At some point, all of us transitioned from either a smartphone or regular cellphone to the iPhone. Often that leaves your contacts in disarray or worse yet, empty save for the default Apple, Inc contact. There are a few ways to add contacts to iPhone and iPad,  with even more ways to organize and manage them. Read on for full guide and in no time, your iPhone contacts will be in tip, top shape.

How to add contacts to iPhone and iPad 

Basics: How to add a contact

If you are looking to add a contact to your iPhone from your iPhone, the first thing you’ll want to do is open up the Contacts app. This app is now filed in the Utilities folder.

Add a new contact

  1. Tap on the  blue ‘+’ at the top right.
  2. Type the contacts first and last name. If they represent a company, enter the company name.
  3. When you tap on ‘add phone’, it will default to a home number. Tap on ‘home’ to select a different label. If you are an iPhone user, you can select iPhone. You can choose from any of the familiar labels like home, work, pager or scroll to the bottom and select ‘custom’ to create your own.
  4. As you add numbers, the iPhone will automatically create a new phone field. If you need to enter a number with extensions, here’s how. You can use these fields. If you run out of numbers, don’t worry about blank fields. When you are done, press Done.
  5. To add their address, scroll to the bottom and select the plus sign next to ‘add new address’. There is also an option to add a custom ringtone for your new contact.

Add address

Add a photo to contact
To finish up your contact, tap on the Add Photo box at the top left. If your new contact is with you, you can select ‘Take Photo’ which will launch the camera app to snap a photo. The other option is to ‘Choose Photo’. This will launch the Photos app, where you can select a picture from your albums, Photo stream or Camera Roll.

Add photo

When you select the image, you’ll notice a circular bounding box. Resize the image so that it fits properly within the box. Your contacts will look best when the image is large, centered and within the round box. When you are happy, press ‘Choose’. It will save the photo and animate it back into the newly created contact card.

add contact photo

While the above directions are helpful for adding contacts on the go, there are easier and more efficient ways to bring your contacts to your iPhone.

If you own a Mac
If you own a Mac, it’s far easier to do the manual data entry for your contacts on a full sized Mac desktop or laptop. All Macs come with the free Contacts app that works similarly to the app on your iPhone.

New contact Yosemite

  1. Open Contacts app
  2. From the File menu, select ‘New Card’
  3. Enter first name, last name, phone number and any other pertinent information.
  4. Press Done at the bottom left

You’ll need to rinse and repeat this process for your contacts.

If you own a PC
PC users can use Outlook, Address Book or Windows Contacts. Each app has a different, albeit similar method of entering new contacts.

Regardless of whether you are a Mac or PC user, the process for transferring contacts to your iPhone takes place in iTunes. While iCloud is a very good option moving forward, for the purpose of this tutorial, I’d recommend old school hard wired connection between your iPhone and your Mac/PC.

  1. Connect your iPhone to your computer using the USB cable which came with your phone.
  2. iTunes should launch, but if not, please go ahead and open the app.
  3. Click on your iPhone in the left hand column.
  4. Select the ‘Info’ tab.
  5. Check the box next to Sync Contacts
  6. At the bottom, click the Sync button

Sync contacts


Once this process completes, your iPhone should have all of the new contacts you created. From there you can set up Favorites, create custom ringtones for certain callers and so much more. This might also be a good time to setup iCloud. Doing so will ensure that all of your Contacts are backed up and iCloud will sync them across all of your devices.

Managing and organizing contacts is vital to so much you’ll do on the iPhone. Email, phone, Facetime calls, all rely on having updated contacts. I hope you have used one or more of the methods outlined above to successfully add contacts to your iPhone. The initial task may take 30 minutes or so, depending upon the number of contacts, but it will result in a far more rewarding experience with your iPhone.