Importing Old SIM Card Contacts & Photos to iPhone

By Mircea Gabriel Suciu

Updated September 19, 2017

Transfer your data from an old phone to an iPhone using iTunes.
i Getty

When upgrading to an iPhone, you can import your address book from an old SIM card, as well as transfer the photos stored on your old phone to your new device. You can copy your contacts using the Import SIM Contacts feature in iOS, but because photos are stored on a phone's memory or SD card rather than its SIM card, you need to transfer them to your iPhone using a computer with iTunes installed.

Importing SIM Contacts

Remove your SIM card from the old phone and insert it into the new iPhone. Enter the PIN code, if prompted to do so, to unlock the card.

Tap "Settings" from the home screen of the iPhone, and then select "Mail, Contacts, Calendars" to open the contacts settings.

Press "Import SIM contacts" to import your contact list into the iOS device.

Remove the old SIM card, and then reinstall the new iPhone's original SIM card.

Transferring Photos With iTunes

Connect your old phone to the computer using a USB cable, and then copy the photos on the phone to your hard drive using your operating system's file manager.

Connect your new iPhone to your computer, launch iTunes if it doesn't launch automatically, and then click the "Device" button to open your device's settings.

Select the "Photos" tab, place a check mark in the "Sync photos from" box, click on the name of the default folder, and then select "Choose folder."

Navigate to the folder where you stored the files copied from your old phone. Press "OK," and then click "Sync" to copy the photos to your iPhone's memory.


If your old phone is also an iPhone, you can back up your contacts, photos and other important information to iCloud and then restore all of those files to your new iPhone by signing into iCloud again.


The steps presented here are applicable to iOS 5 and newer and iTunes 11 or later versions. They may vary slightly or significantly with other software versions.