How to Save Your Contacts on Your SIM Card to Put Into a New iPhone

by Avery Martin
Justin Sullivan/Getty Images News/Getty Images

The iPhone saves SIM card data using the device's hard drive. However, you can use the SIM card from another cell phone to transfer your contacts to your new iPhone. The process only works when you transfer from a non-iPhone device that uses the same type of SIM card. Make sure that the old and new SIM cards use the same physical form to prevent the card from getting stuck in your iPhone. Once you import your contacts, you may need to manually edit some of the contacts if you notice duplicate numbers.

Step 1

Insert the tip of the SIM card removal tool into the hole on the side of your iPhone. Gently push in to access the SIM card tray. You can also use the end of a small paperclip to open the tray.

Step 2

Remove the new SIM card from your iPhone and replace it with the old SIM card. Push the tray back in place. Don't force the tray; it should slide in easily.

Step 3

Connect your iPhone to iTunes if you see a notice telling you to do so or if an activation notice is displayed.

Step 4

Tap the "Settings" app, select "Mail, Contacts, Calendars" and choose "Import SIM Contacts."

Remove the old SIM card and reinstall the new SIM card.


  • Information in this article applies to iOS 7. It may vary slightly or significantly with other versions or products.


  • You don't need to use a SIM card to transfer your contacts when you use a SIM card from another iPhone. Instead, you can simply set up iCloud or connect your device to iTunes to sync your contacts.


Photo Credits

  • Justin Sullivan/Getty Images News/Getty Images

About the Author

Avery Martin holds a Bachelor of Music in opera performance and a Bachelor of Arts in East Asian studies. As a professional writer, she has written for, Samsung and IBM. Martin contributed English translations for a collection of Japanese poems by Misuzu Kaneko. She has worked as an educator in Japan, and she runs a private voice studio out of her home. She writes about education, music and travel.

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