Not excited about BlackBerry 10 and finally decided to make the switch from BlackBerry to iPhone. The biggest part of the transition is likely going from a physical keyboard to the on-screen touch keyboard, but we promise you’ll be banging out emails and texts in no time. To help get you moved, here’s how to transfer your contacts from BlackBerry to iPhone. Stay tuned for other switch guides as part of our continuing efforts to help users make the switch to iPhone and iOS.

Transfer contacts BlackBerry iPhone

The first thing you will need is to install BlackBerry Desktop, which is available as a free download for both PC and Mac. Connect your BlackBerry device to your computer using the provided USB cable and launch the newly installed BlackBerry Desktop software.

Blackberry Desktop mac

You should see your device listed and there is a column of information on the side left which you can set up for syncing. These include:

  • Calendar
  • Contacts
  • Notes
  • Tasks
  • Music

Syncing between BlackBerry and a Mac
By default, the software will sync your contacts to Address Book and your calendars and tasks to iCal. If you are syncing notes, they will sync to Apple’s default Mail app. IMPORTANT: Before you start the sync process, I highly recommend that you use the Back Up feature. If you should have any issues during the sync, you’ll be able to restore from your backup. Also, makes sure that the default configuration is not set to replace information on your BlackBerry with your Mac contacts. This could result in losing your contacts.You want a bi-directional sync between your BlackBerry and the Contacts app. 

Tip: If you use Microsoft Entourage, then you should set the Sync Services in preferences within Entourage.

So far, so good and relatively painless.

Switching from BlackBerry to iPhone
If all goes well, all of the data from your BlackBerry should sync to your Mac or PC.

Tip: If you are either selling or donating your old BlackBerry, you’ll want to do a factory reset to remove all of your personal data (It’s recommended that you review apps on your computer to be sure all of your data safely transferred).

From the home screen, select Options > Security > Security Wipe. You’ll be prompted to check the boxes to remove all of your data. Type ‘blackberry’ and select ‘Wipe Data’.

Now it’s time to sync your contacts from your BlackBerry to your new iPhone. You’ll want to be sure you have the latest version of iTunes.

Connect your iPhone and iTunes will launch. A small row of tabs will appear just below the main playback information window. Select ‘Info’. From here, you’ll make sure the boxes are checked next to ‘Sync Contacts’ and ‘Sync Calendars’.

Sync contacts

Tip: Once you’ve successfully moved your PIM data to your iPhone, you might want to consider setting up iCloud. If you switch to iCloud syncing, then you’ll want to uncheck these boxes as they could create duplicates.

The Computer-Free Method to Transferring Your BlackBerry Contacts to iPhone

In this method, we’ll use a mix of BlackBerry, Google and a dash of Microsoft to get the job accomplished.

You’ll need a Gmail account. If you don’t currently have one, you can sign up for free. Don’t worry about the mail portion, as we’re only using this account as a conduit to transfer your data. On your BlackBerry device, visit m.google.com/sync. You’ll be prompted to download the Google Sync app, which will appear on your desktop.

Google Sync BlackBerry

Launch the app and enter your username and password. Calendars and contacts should now be set up to sync. At the bottom of the welcome screen, select ‘Sync Now’. Depending upon the number of contacts, it’ll take some time for these to copy over to your Gmail account. Check periodically and confirm that your contacts, calendars have successfully transferred.

Using the same method used to transfer contacts from Android to iPhone, we’re going to utilize a Microsoft Exchange account within Gmail. Again, no need to get hung up this being an email account, since we’ve created it solely for the process of getting contacts moved over to your new iPhone.

Exchange gmail setup iPhone

  • On your iPhone, select Settings > Mail, Contacts, Calendars
  • Select Add Account
  • Select Microsoft Exchange
  • Enter your full Gmail address where it asks for email and again where it asks for username. Leave the domain field blank. Enter your password and select ‘Next’.
  • In the ‘Server’ field, type m.google.com.
  • Set ‘Sync’ to Yes under ‘Contacts’ and ‘Calendars’.

Your personal data will now transfer to your new iPhone. Sync this with your Mac or PC and then you can safely remove this Exchange account.

Having all your information is the first step towards a great experience away from the BlackBerry. Have questions about your move to iOS from Blackberry? Join the world’s first and best iPhone forums and talk iPhone. Not only are they completely ad-free for members, but you can also enter contests and take advantage of the free everythingiCafe app, available in the App Store.