Import contacts to iPhone

How to import your contacts to iPhone

Import CSV file to iPhone: User Instructions

It is recommended to make backup of your existing contacts (if you have on iPhone) before importing to avoid unnessesary result if your CSV file is incorrect, or you did incorrect mapping.

1. Download app “Contacts In : Import CSV Contacts” from AppStore.

2. Send CSV file to the app either as e-mail attachment or via iTunes.

a) sending CSV file as e-mail attachment: your iPhone must be set up to receive your e-mails. File extension must be “.csv”. Attach CSV file to e-mail and send it to yourself. Then open this e-mail on iPhone, find the attachment. Touch file name with your finger and hold (for a second or so). The menu will pop up with option “Open in “Contacts In”. Select it and app will start automatically.

b) sending file via iTunes: plug your iPhone to PC with USB cable. Click on your device. Select “Apps”. In the list of applications at the bottom find “Contacts In : Import CSV Contacts”. On the right side you will see table with files for this app. Press “Add” button and locate your CSV file.

   1.This is starting screen after you start the app (or it is automatically started if you opened file from email attachment).
   2. Here you should see list if the files that you have sent to the app. Select the one that you want to import.If you do not see any files here, it means that you have not yet sent any file to the app. See here how to send file to the app.
   3. The content of the file will be displayed as text (not as table). Here you should check that you file is displayed correctly. Depending on the language of the file you might need to change the encoding. To change encoding click on the button. When file is displayed correctly tap “Next” button.
   4. The text file will be processed and the app will try to recognize the file as table (using comma as separator by default). If tables is not recognized you might need to select another separator (for example, select semicolon if you exported file from Nokia PC Suite). To select another separator tap the button with separator name (see next screen for selection of separator). If tables is recognized correctly it will shown on the screen. Four most used columns will be displayed. To display more information for the line – tap on it. Also you can delete unnessesary lines by swiping on the row. Press “Next” to go to next step.
   5. Selection of separator. Choose separator and press “Done”. If your separator is not Comma, Semicolon or Tab, select “Other” and the imput field will appear below. Here you can type any other separator. Press “Done” for finish selection.
   6. Here you select which file column to use for each piece of contact data. Tap on the “First Name” line to select from which file column column to take “First name”. Repeat for all the data.Assigning phone numbers:When you select column for phone numbers you will see only those columns which are recognized as column number (which contain only symbols 0123456789-()[]/ . It should not contain other symbols (like *, or letters ABCD… and so on). Therefore if you dont see column with phone numbers then it means it contain such symbols.Assigning phone number Types:You can also choose which phone type to assign to phone numbers on iPhone. You have two options:1.) Assign whole column to one phone type, for example, if you have column “Mobile phone number” then assign it to “Phone 1: Number”. Then tap of the “Phone 1: type” and select “mobile” from “Assign to fixed iPhone type” section. This way you will tell the app to create all phone numbers from column “Mobile phone number” as “mobile” numbers.2.) Take from column. For example, you have column “Phone number 1”. And this this column there are mobile phones, work phone, faxes etc. The type is indicated in column “Phone 1 type”. This is how at least Samsung and LG export their data. Samsung will have something like “Landline.Business”, “Mobile.Private” in column “Phone 1 type”. To import phone type for Phone 1 correctly, you should tap “Phone 1: Type” line and in the next screen select “Phone 1 type” from the “Take from file column” section (scroll screen down). You can also doe the same for Phone 2, Phone 3 and Phone 4. Later you will asked to map phone types.

Press “Next”. The pop-up alert will inform you if any unassigned columns from file are left. You can see what column from file are left unassigned by patting any of the line (for example First Name).

7. This is how the screen for column selection looks like. On the top you see the name data type for which you are assigning file column. In this example it is “First Name”. In the table you see columns of the file. In blue you see the name of the column (how it is writted in the first line of the file). In grey color you can see example of the data that this column contains (this value is just example to give you idea what is in this column). Columns which are already assigned to some data type are indicated with  image on the left. Therefore you can see which columns are assigned and which are not. \Please note that if you do not assign columns from the file to iPhone data type – it will not be imported!
   8. If you selected to take phone type from file column, then you will be asked to indicate what phone type from your file will become on iPhone. For example, “Landline.Private” will become “home” on iPhone, “Mobile.Private” – “mobile” and so on. Sometimes phone types in the file are not so self-speaking (like on Samsung). On LG, for example, it will be 1,2,3,4,5. To assign, tap on the ” <assign iPhone label>“. The spinner with iPhone phone number types will pop-up. Select the right one for this phone type and tap “Done” button below. Repeat for all phone type of the file. Usually there are 3-5 phone types in the file. If you see too many values, please check that you selected correct column for phone type (go back to previous screen).Press “Next” when you finish.
8. Here you will see simulated contacts. Navigate to details to see details.It will also check if the contact already exists in your iPhone contacts (it searches by First Name, Last Name and also by phone numbers). If the contact is new, it will be marked as “NEW”, if it already exists – it will be marked “already exists” and it will not be imported. You can navigate to details of each simulated contact to see how it will look like after import. Also you can swipe to delete contacts that are not required.
If everything is done correctly the last step is to save the contacts into your iPhone. Tap button “Save” and confirm. The last screen will show you the number of created contacts.
That’s it! You can now see your contacts in your address book.

3 responses to “Import CSV file to iPhone: User Instructions

  1. csvcontacts January 7, 2013 at 2:10 pm

    the phone types (labels) in the file can be stored in two ways:
    1. The whole column has the same type. For example, one column with phone numbers has name “Home phone number”, second column has name “Mobile phone number” and so on. In this case you select “Hone phone number” column as source for “Phone 1: Number” and in “Phone 1: Type” you select fixed (for all numbers in that column) iPhone type “home”. Then for “Phone 2: Number” you select “Mobile phone number” as source, and for “Phone 2: Type” you select fixed iPhone type “mobile”. And so on. It does not matter if you assign “Mobile phone number” to “Phone 1: Number” or “Phone 2: Number”.
    2. One column with phone numbers can contain different phone types. Usually the names of such columns are: “Phone number 1”. And the phone type is indicated is separate column, for example, “Phone type 1”. File also usually contains also “Phone number 2” and “Phone type 2, “Phone number 3” and “Phone type 3” and so on. In this case You do the following: assign column “Phone number 1” to “Phone 1: Number”, and column “Phone type 1” to “Phone 1: Type”. Do the same for other columns with phone numbers and their types (labels). Most likely you did not assigned columns for “Phone 2: Type”, “Phone 3: Type” and “Phone 4: Type”. By default they are imported with “other” labels.

  2. cov March 23, 2013 at 5:26 am

    I messed up and now have a couple of groups I’m trying to get off my iphone. Any idea on how best to remove 2ea groups of 140 a piece?

    • csvcontacts March 23, 2013 at 2:53 pm


      to delete group just swipe on the group name on the screen “Groups” and confirm “Delete” (

      The group will be deleted but contacts will not. So they will appear in”not assigned to group”.
      Probably you would like to mass assign all contacts from group you want to delete to another group before deleting the group, so that you don’t need to assign each of 140 contacts manually again.

      Best regards,


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