How to view contacts in iTunes: You need to access your iPhone address book but you don’t have your phone handy at the moment. So you thought about turning on your PC and of view contacts in iTunes. Unfortunately, the result was not what you expected, since iTunes, despite being the program with which the iPhone data is synchronized on the computer, does not allow direct access to the contacts in the address book.
Well yes! Contacts from iPhones and other Apple devices are saved in iTunes backups, but these are only accessible through third-party applications. They can also be synchronized online on iCloud and in applications that manage the address book on Windows and macOS (respectively, Microsoft Outlook and Apple Contacts). With iTunes, therefore, you can save your contacts on your computer as a backup but not view them directly.
If you want to solve the problem and access the address book of your “iPhone by” from the computer, you have to resort to alternative solutions, which I will be able to illustrate below: choose the one that seems most suitable for your needs and use it immediately following my instructions. I assure you that the result will not disappoint you.
How to view contacts in iTunes backups
If you want to take advantage of the iTunes backup to view the iPhone contacts on your computer, you have to rely (as already mentioned in the introduction of this post) to third-party applications. I personally recommend you iMazing: a software to browse the memory of iOS devices, exchange files between iOS and computer, create backups of Apple mobile devices and easily access iTunes backups.
iMazing is paid (has prices starting from 39.99 euros) but is available in a free trial version that allows you to easily view the contacts stored in iTunes backups and export up to 10 contacts to your computer. It is compatible with both Windows and macOS.
To get the free version of iMazing, connect to official site of the program and click on the button Free download. Once the download is complete, if you use a Windows PCopen the .exe file obtained and, in the window that opens, click the button first Yup and then on that Forward.
Then put the check mark next to the item I accept the terms of the license agreement and complete the setup by clicking in sequence on the buttons Forward (three consecutive times), Install And end. During the process, some files will be downloaded from the Internet, so be patient and wait for the completion bar to reach 100%.
If you use a MacInstead, open the package .dmg obtained, click on the button Agree and drag the icon of iMazing in the folder Applications macOS, in order to install the program on your computer.
Now you just have to start iMazing and access your iTunes backups. If you use Windows and the first time you start the software you are asked to download additional drivers, accepts, as they are essential components for the correct functioning of the program. If you are using a Mac instead, click on the button You open to bypass macOS restrictions on applications from non-certified developers.
To access the iTunes backups, click on the button Later of iMazing (in order to decline the invitation to purchase the paid version of the software), select the first item related to your iPhone from the menu with i previous backups located in the left sidebar (it should be the one concerning the most recent iTunes backup) and click on the icon Contactsaccessible from the central part of the iMazing window or always from the program sidebar.
You will then be given access to the complete list of contacts in the iTunes backup: to view the email address, telephone number and other details of a particular contact, all you have to do is click on his nominative. To export it, however, you have to click on its name and then on a button to choose from Export to vCard And Export to CSV (depending on which format you prefer to export to).
If you are unable to access an iTunes backup, check that it is not encrypted (it must have been made without putting the check mark next to the box IPhone backup encryption in iTunes). More info here.
If, on the other hand, you encounter problems using iMazing, you can contact iExplorea software very similar to iMazing, also available for Windows and macOS, which I told you about in detail in my tutorial on how to transfer files from PC to iPhone.
Alternative methods to view iPhone contacts
Does extracting contacts from iTunes backups seem a little too cumbersome to perform? I agree with you, that’s right, and that’s why now I want to suggest alternative methods, certainly more convenient, to access iPhone contacts from your computer.
By default, the iPhone syncs the phonebook contacts with the iCloud account configured on the device. To check if the synchronization of the address book with iCloud has been activated on your “iPhone by”, go to the menu Settings (L’gear icon present on the home screen) and check if, in the screen that opens, there is your name: in the event of a negative answer, tap the link to login on iPhone and log in with your Apple ID data. If you don’t have an Apple ID yet, create it by clicking on the appropriate item and following my guide dedicated to the topic.
At this point, tap on Your name present in the iOS settings menu, then press on the item iCloud present in the screen that opens and check if the lever relating to Contacts is moved up ON: if not, move it yourself (so that it turns green). By doing so, the iPhone will automatically synchronize the contacts with iCloud, whose address book is accessible from the Web and automatically synchronizes with Outlook on Windows (after installing the iCloud client for the Microsoft home operating system) and with the application Contacts of macOS.
Now, to view your iPhone contacts via the web version of iCloud, open the browser you usually use to browse the Internet from your computer (eg. Safari or Chrome), connected to the iCloud website and log in to the service using your Apple ID data (the same you used to associate your “iPhone by” with iCloud). Next, click on the icon Contacts and you will be shown the list of all contacts synced from the iPhone.
If you want, you can also add new contacts to the address book by clicking on the button + located at the bottom right, and export the selected contacts as a vCard file, by clicking on thegear located at the bottom left and selecting the item VCard export from the menu that appears.
Google Contacts (Web)
If you have decided to sync your iPhone’s address book with Gmail instead of with iCloud (more details on this procedure are available in my tutorial on how to synchronize iPhone contacts with Gmail), you can access the latter by visiting the site Google contacts and logging in with the data of your Gmail account (the same configured on the “iPhone by”).
You will be offered a list of all the contacts saved in your online account and, if necessary, you can also create new ones by clicking on the button Create contact located at the top of the left sidebar, or download them to your computer by selecting the items More> Export from the side menu. More details on how to export contacts from Gmail are available in my guide dedicated to the topic.
Microsoft Outlook (Windows)
If you’ve turned on iPhone contact sync to iCloud and use a Windows PCyou can make sure that the address book of your “iPhone by” is automatically synchronized with Microsoft Outlook.
To achieve this, you need to get hold of the iCloud client for Windows, which allows you to synchronize documents, photos, bookmarks and contacts between iCloud and the Microsoft operating system. Connected, therefore, to this page of the Apple website and click on the button Download.
When the download is complete, open the .exe file obtained, put the check mark next to the item I accept the terms of the license agreement and complete the setup by clicking on first Install and then on Yup And end. Wait, therefore, for Windows to restart and log in to your Apple ID within the iCloud client (which should open automatically). Once this is done, put the check mark next to the item Mail, contacts, calendars and tasks and the iCloud address book will be automatically synchronized with Outlook.
If any steps are not clear to you and / or you want more information on how to use iCloud, please refer to my tutorial dedicated to the topic.
If you use a Macthe default application iCloud syncs iPhone contacts with is Contacts: you can find it on the first page of Launchpadlooking for it in Spotlight or calling it by voice in Siri.
For iCloud contacts to be automatically synchronized with the application Contacts of macOS, the appropriate function must be enabled in the System Preferences. Log in, therefore, to System Preferences (the gear icon on the Dock bar), click on the item iCloud in the window that opens and first check that your Mac is associated with the same Apple ID as the iPhone: if this is not the case, fix it immediately.
At this point, check if there is a check mark next to the item Contacts and, in case of a negative answer, you put it: in this way, your Mac will begin to synchronize contacts with iCloud. Easier than that?
My Contacts Backup (iOS)
If you don’t want to sync your iPhone’s address book online, you can install the application My Contacts Backup for iOS, which allows you to export all the contacts on the device in the form of a CSV or VCF file for free (up to 500 contacts, after which you have to purchase the full version of the app for € 2.29).
The files exported from the app can then be sent via email or imported into other applications, in order to be copied to the computer and used in the most diverse programs and Web Mail services: I told you in more detail about the entire procedure in my tutorial on how to save iPhone phonebook.
Note: even if in the tutorial I spoke exclusively of the iPhone, all the procedures illustrated are also feasible to access the iPad address book.