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How to share contacts on an iPhone

How to share contacts on an iPhone

min read

There are more than 120 million iPhone users in the US alone. Luckily, learning how to share contacts on an iPhone is a straightforward skill to master. 

In this short blog, we'll take a look at all of the methods you can choose from for sharing contacts from your iPhone, whether you need to pass along information for a single person or for multiple contacts. 

But first, why would you share a contact?

Your reason for sharing someone's contact information typically depends on the context and relationship dynamics involved. 

Why would you share your own contact entry? 

Your own contact card can function as a virtual business card. Complete it to the fullest extent, and in moments, you can share your:

  • Full name
  • Email addresses
  • Phone numbers
  • Contact image
  • Website
  • Social media links
  • Address

You can even include personal information like your birthday (which automatically populates the receiver’s calendar), anniversary, or other important dates, plus information about additional contacts such as a partner, parent, or child. 

Because there’s likely a difference in the personal and professional information you'd want to share with someone, you may choose to create two contact entries for yourself: one for work-related purposes and one to use in your personal life. 

Why would you share someone else’s contact information?

You might share someone else’s contact as a referral for a recommended vendor or service. You can also share contact information to make an introduction or connection between two people, whether for networking or social purposes. In most situations, it’s polite to check with someone before you share their personal contact information to maintain their privacy and respect their boundaries.

How to share contacts on an iPhone (both individual contacts and lists)

There are two ways to access your contacts as an iPhone user. You can open your Contacts app, or open the Phone app and tap the contacts option at the bottom. Regardless of which one you choose, both will get you to your list of contacts.

Now, let's get into how to share contacts on your iPhone.

1. Share iPhone contacts via NameDrop

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You can use NameDrop on iOS 17.1 or later to transfer contacts to a nearby iPhone or Apple Watch. 

  1. To share a contact from your iPhone to another iPhone or Apple Watch, hold your phone a few inches from the top of the other iPhone or Apple Watch. Or, to share from your Apple Watch to another Apple Watch, open the Contacts app. Tap your picture in the top-right corner. Tap Share. Hold your watch near the other watch. You should see a glow from both devices.
  1. Keep your devices near each other until NameDrop shows on both screens. 
  2. Choose whether you want to share your contact information and receive the other person’s, or only receive the other person’s information. 
  3. If you want to share your contact card, tap >, choose what information you want to include, and tap Save.  Note: Your phone will default to this selection the next time.
  4. To cancel the exchange, move the devices away from each other, or lock your iPhone before the transfer is complete. 

NameDrop allows you to send new contact information, but it doesn’t work to update an existing contact. If you don’t want your phone to allow NameDrop, go to Settings > General > AirDrop > and then toggle off Bring Devices Together

2. Share iPhone contacts from your Contacts app

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This is the most commonly used method to share contact information with others. 

  1. Open your Contacts app.
  2. Scroll or search for the contact you want to share.
  3. Tap on their name so their individual contact page opens up.
  4. Scroll down to the bottom and select Share Contact. 
  5. Select how you want to share the contact (AirDrop, Messages, email, or other).
  6. Send the contact.

When you share a contact directly from your Contacts list, all of the contact info you have saved for that individual is shared. For personal contacts, this might include emojis or a photo you attached to their contact. 

If there is any information you don’t want attached to the contact you share (like an embarrassing photo of the two of you) you can change your settings. After tapping Share Contact, select Manage Shared Info > under the contact card saved on your iPhone. You’ll be able to deselect any information you don’t want to send, such as a photo or nickname you have saved for the individual. 

Share groups of iPhone contacts


In some instances, you may want to share more than one contact. Instead of going entry by entry, you can export an entire group of contacts from your iPhone.

  1. Open your Contacts app.
  2. In the top left corner, select Lists.
  3. In the top right corner, select Add List. Choose which account you want to use if multiple emails are synced to your iPhone. 
  4. After creating the new list, tap its name.
  5. Select Add Contacts.
  6. Scroll through your contact list and select all of the entries you want to include in the list.
  7. Return to Lists.
  8. Hold your finger over the list you want to share and tap Export
  9. Select how you want to share the contact (AirDrop, Messages, email, or other).
  10. Send the contact list.

Pro Tip: If you text someone a contact list, at first glance, it may look like the action didn’t work because only the first name on the list shows in the message. However, once the recipient taps on the contact name in the message, the entire list will appear. They’ll be able to select Add All X Contacts, or hand-pick which contacts to add.

Manage and share contacts in Streak

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If you need a way to share your business contacts and all of the information that goes along with them, Streak can help. 

Streak is a CRM that integrates directly with Gmail. Using it, you can track your contacts and share them with others on your team. 

Every contact in Streak is actually automatically created based on who you interact with in your Gmail account, and their contact page includes:

  • Basic details, like name, email address, and phone number
  • Auto-enriched information pulled from publicly available data
  • A timeline of your entire organization's email history with that contact
  • Action buttons to call them, email them, or send over a quick calendar invite
  • Related contacts (people and companies who share a domain)

Try Streak free for 14 days — it takes about 30 seconds to install.

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