Add Facebook Contact Photos to your iPhone 4S

By Dan Hinckley

81 responses. »

NOTE: With the latest version of the Facebook App and iOS 6 you’ll need to follow these steps to Add Facebook Contacts and Photos to your iPhone 5.

One of the first things people do after getting a new iPhone is setup their contacts. They will pull in their contacts from their Mac Address Book, sync them with gmail, yahoo, or AOL, and will look to Facebook to pull down even more information about individuals they interact with most.

One of the best things about syncing your Facebook contacts with your iPhone 4S is that you’ll pull down pictures for each of your contacts. This helps bring your iPhone 4S to life as with each call from a friend your iPhone will display their Facebook photo. Syncing your Facebook contacts with your iPhone is quick and simple.

How to Sync Your Facebook Friends to your iPhone 4S Contacts

To pull down your contacts Facebook pages and keep them in sync you’ll need to follow the steps below:

  • Install the NEW iPhone Facebook App from the App Store. If you already have Facebook on your phone make sure its updated to the latest version.
  • The new Facebook App has a slightly different user interface and getting to the screen to sync your contacts and pull down their photos is different than before. Open the Facebook App on your iPhone and click the top left menu button to reveal your sidebar.
  • On your sidebar, select Friends
  • Next, on your friends list in the top right corner is a button that looks like the iPhone “Share” icon. Tap it to reveal the options to Find or Sync Contacts. Select Sync Contacts
  • Next, slide both syncing and replace photos to on and confirm any dialog messages that appear. The app will start downloading images to your iPhone 4S contact list.

After following the steps above your contacts will start to have their Facebook images applied to them. One thing that I’ve noticed is that this process only syncs photos to contacts that you have listed that match the name and email address associated with a Facebook account. If you don’t have that information in contacts, it will not pull down their images when you sync the contact info. It does however add a FB link to each contact.

Now that you’ve synced your contacts and pulled down your friends Facebook images you should be able to enjoy the iPhone “Calling” feature that shows their photo when they call.

About Dan Hinckley
Dan Hinckley is an experienced Mac user who converted to Apple products when they introduced them on Intel Processors. He loves helping others get more out of their devices! Subscribe to to get the latest from Dan and the Maciverse Team!! Find out more about Dan:

81 Responses so far.

  1. Chris B.

    October 21, 2011 at 7:37 am

    This only works while your logged into Facebook on the iPhone 4s, Once you log off Facebook the pictures for the contacts that were just added disappear.

    • Lori

      December 30, 2011 at 10:20 am

      YES that doesn't thrill me to have to stay logged on.

  2. Nick

    October 22, 2011 at 6:05 pm

    I hope this gets changed. When I had the Palm Pre it actually downloaded all Facebook friends into the contacts list, which was quite convenient.

    • Jon

      October 24, 2011 at 4:59 pm

      Exactly and I loves that feature about my Pixi. Wish all i had to do with my iPhone 4S was install the facebook app like I did with my pixi and have ALL of my Facebook friends pictures and contact info updated into my contacts

      • NoBe

        November 13, 2011 at 2:30 pm

        yeah, I really liked that about my Pre too

        • NAZ

          January 10, 2012 at 5:36 am


    • tricia

      May 23, 2012 at 6:12 pm

      Yes, same for me. I miss the palm pre for that reason.

  3. Frustrated

    October 22, 2011 at 6:44 pm

    Moved from Android to iPhone because "it is simpler and more intuitive" said the salesperson….HA, this contact list sucks. I can view my FB contact list and see their photos to the left of their names….sweet….now I want to use the stock iPhone contact list and I only get to see names, no photos….send a text message? Yup, you guessed it, only see names, no option to display the contacts photo (and yes, I did the full on snyc and slid the slider that says "replace photos"….that seems to do jack, even though it says "this will replace existing photos in your contacts!). Seriously, I just upgraded three phones in our family to iPhone and many things I like…..the contact list SUCKS!

    • Ergo

      October 28, 2011 at 10:55 am

      Same Here FFS! I´m ex android user and my last phone sync everything automatically and iphone 4s don,t. How can iphone be more simplier.

    • AlsoFrustrated

      December 5, 2011 at 9:05 am

      I also just went from a Droid to a iPhone 4S and am having the same problem syncing my Facebook contacts. Not only that but a lot of my contacts are duplicates in my contact list and their names don't come up in text conversations unless I add a "+1" to their number…if it weren't for the vastly superior battery, I'd be very disappointed in my iPhone.

      • Dan

        December 5, 2011 at 9:14 am

        You have to realize this isn't an iPhone issue, but a Facebook App issue. They're not pushing the phone numbers correctly.

        Also, you can just type their names, no need to use phone numbers… Or.. remove the +1 from their address book phone numbers.. I'm guessing Google stores them with +1

        Your issues with the iPhone are how 3rd parties poorly handle app creation and syncing, not the iPhone itself. If Google and Facebook used the APIs from the SDK correctly then there would be no problem. Thousands of other apps do this correctly all the time.

        • oi oi oi

          December 29, 2011 at 9:48 am

          then how come it works fine with an android? i just recently switched from droid to iphone and i am disappointed as well. the droid basically wiped my arsh for me and the iphone makes me wanna scream and chuck it across the room. when my friend messaged me in facebook in my inbox with her number, i couldnt even click on it to save it. an android would have… im under the impression that with an iphone they make you work a little harder, but all in all i dont see whats so special about the iphone.

          • Dan

            December 29, 2011 at 9:52 am

            All of your complaints about the iPhone app developed by FACEBOOK. If you want these features on the iPhone complain to Facebook not Apple. It's not he iPhone's fault that Facebook didn't build the iPhone version of their app to include the functionality you like on the Android.

          • Scott

            December 30, 2011 at 8:51 pm

            If a friend messages you (text) on an iphone – just scroll all the way up to the top of the message screen (opened on their message) and you will see Contact on the top right. Click on that and you can add the contact. I was really frustrated at first too – but have found out that the iPhone is pretty amazing for work/personal use. I'm still frustrated about the facebook deal, though. Can't get that to work and I'm not about to alter 300 contacts just to match Facebook…

        • BEA

          August 15, 2012 at 9:30 pm

          It is an iphone issue, if the iphone contacts has it's own settings to were you can sync
          your facebook contacts straight to your phone's contacts like and android does, then we would have to count on the facebook app to do it.

    • Norma

      January 15, 2012 at 1:36 am

      Exactly… What is all the hype about. Droid did everything for you when you activated and it didnt cost extra. Everyone keeps telling me "there's an app for that" Well it was standard, free and easy to use with the Droid OS. This blows and i just passed my return window!!!

  4. srungemta

    October 24, 2011 at 9:11 am

    Any idea on how to have contact photos appear when taking calls and text messages, as possible before?

  5. Dusty

    October 24, 2011 at 10:32 am

    Doesnt work. Im pissed

  6. Dan

    October 24, 2011 at 11:24 am

    Are you sure your contacts have the right email address that matches your friends Facebook email? If so it will pull down their photo..

    Works for me!

  7. Jon

    October 24, 2011 at 5:01 pm

    This only works is ALL of your Facebook friends are in your Contacts app on your Mac

  8. Dan

    October 24, 2011 at 5:15 pm

    You have to remember, this isn't Apple's fault.. This is Facebook not building an app that utilizes the contact app correctly. Google and other companies sync properly with the Contact App on the iPhone.

    • pissed guy

      November 26, 2012 at 7:23 pm

      Yeah it is… I had an android motorola cliq like 4 years ago that came out with "motoblur" that synced my contacts in facebook to my contact list on my phone. Addresses, numbers, profile pic, even email. Apple is in the past and I have to import everything individually. Jesus christ

  9. Heidi

    October 25, 2011 at 9:44 am

    awesome, thank you!!

  10. tyler

    October 26, 2011 at 2:16 pm

    So there's no way to get your Facebook friends' phone numbers automatically into your address book?

  11. Reagan

    October 28, 2011 at 1:53 pm

    thank you!!

  12. Felix GV

    October 30, 2011 at 10:19 am

    It doesn’t work for me either :(

    I put both sliders to ON and I accepted the agreement but none of my facebook friends got added to my iPhone contacts…

    Anyone has a clue on how to make this work??


  13. Chase

    October 30, 2011 at 5:58 pm

    I would have to agree with most of the comments that it does suck that Facebook doesn’t have the iPhone 4s app the same as android because I talk to some ppl daily and always used there number off Facebook and now that all my friends and their numbers don’t sync with the rest of my contacts it sure does make it harder…. Hopefully it’s not long before Facebook get this problem fixed

  14. lexi

    November 13, 2011 at 1:48 pm

    i did this and the contacts aren't coming up in my contact book. is it because i have the 3gs?

  15. Kbrop

    November 26, 2011 at 7:27 pm

    I wish it would take my FB friends birthdays and put it in my calendar automatically, like my BB used to do. That was nice not having to check FB everyday and see if it is someone’s birthday…

  16. Crystal

    November 29, 2011 at 12:02 am

    Yeah this really sucks it doesnt work. I just switched from an android evo to a 4s and so far…I’m really missing my evo.

  17. Ceddie Ced

    December 3, 2011 at 10:59 am

    It sucks to the 3rd degree..never had this problem with the BB….I’m still lookin for my photos!!!!!

  18. Jupiter Abacoa Homes

    December 6, 2011 at 11:22 am

    I followed the instructions and did this but it really doesn't work that great. There were contacts in my address book that had the same FB email address and phone number but it didn't update because the name is different in my phone.

    I loved how the Droid 2 did this.

  19. rrutland78

    December 11, 2011 at 10:08 am

    the sync with my existing contacts partially worked. it doesn't appear though there is a manual way to connect those facebook contacts that aren't connected to my address book. i had a blackberry and there was an option to manually connect to a contact and it was extremely easy to do. score one for the facebook/blackberry combo. any work arounds for this with the iphone app?

  20. Kaittt

    December 20, 2011 at 12:14 am

    Doesn’t work -__- I deffinately miss my droid. Android is soooooooo much better!!!!!!

  21. Andy

    December 25, 2011 at 9:47 am

    So it’s working great, but it doesn’t sync birthdays or links, only pics! Help me out please :D

  22. Sinead

    January 1, 2012 at 3:08 am

    I synced my contacts and now my friends list in Facebook is empty!! How do I get them back???

    • Aaslun

      January 13, 2012 at 8:30 am

      I have the same problem! Please help!

  23. Truth&Reason

    January 13, 2012 at 9:51 pm

    You guys are a bunch of babies. It didn't work for me either, but the iPhone is still awesome. I switched from a Droid that sucked. It linked with Facebook and pulled in all these numbers from people I didn't want. And then it never updated their photos. I'm sure Facebook will fix the app. In the meantime you guys can buy some tissues and dial numbers without photos for a little while longer

    • Eddie

      March 8, 2012 at 6:51 am

      The droid you had must have been a shit 1 cus ive just come from droid to the iphone 4s and its not as good as the android know way m8

  24. Tim Nesdale

    January 30, 2012 at 7:49 pm

    Wow I had no idea the iPhone was so terrible at this. Surely Contacts integration with Facebook/Twitter/LinkedIn/WindowsLive should be pretty obvious right? If I go to a contact on my phone it should show me all the phone numbers / email addresses that are not the same as each other listed against that contact. I shouldnt have to manually add phone numbers and email addresses, these should be handled by the actual people when they update their details within those applications so that I always have the latest contact information about that person at my fingertips. Android and Windows phone do this seamless integration easily. I can't believe the best iPhone has tried to mange is syncing their Facebook photos and they can't even do that right. Actual contact information is much more important. Wow….

  25. Angie

    February 1, 2012 at 1:53 pm

    I have a 4S and manually associated a photo with my contacts. I do not want my FB contacts pictures. Does anyone know how to have a persons picture show up when they call or text that is already associated with a contact? Thanks!

  26. Jo B

    February 5, 2012 at 11:41 pm

    i want WebOS on my iPhone! the iPhone needs Synergy. why was HP so lame and dumped the best OS out there?!!!! disappointed with how iPhone keeps multiple names for a contact, so when they call is says the name, then says OR,, OR and lists all their names. duh! let me pick which name and merge them together like on the Pre! please, some developer – please fix this! the iPhone is awesome for many many apps, but come on with the contacts!

    • Brad

      April 18, 2012 at 9:24 pm

      You can do this by clicking on the contact. Then click on edit. Scroll all the way to the bottom choice and click on Link Contact. Next choose the other contact you have to merge with this one and you are done. All numbers, info, emails, etc are merged into one contact.

  27. IHate

    March 2, 2012 at 5:13 pm

    WorSt decision of my life Switching to iPhone. Should have stayed with my blackberry. Bb’s might not have the coolest apps but it was a solid phone and texts/emails were 10X easier than this virtual keyboard crap…. P.s I miss BBM!

  28. Ted

    April 8, 2012 at 11:21 pm

    doesn't work on my iPod touch 4G running 5.0.1 any help?

  29. Yes

    April 11, 2012 at 2:16 pm

    Use uptact instead. It syncs betwen droid and iPhone. And updated the adress book automatically.

  30. Nick

    April 21, 2012 at 5:54 pm

    Can anyone tell me… I want to sync the photos so that ONLY the contacts in my iphone address book have their photos added. I don't want the sync to add all my Facebook friends' info into my iphone address book. Is this possible?

  31. dave grande

    April 28, 2012 at 5:25 am

    syncing doesn’t work.tell facebook about this? or maybe tell apple? syncing with android is as easy as 1 2 3

  32. Girly girl

    May 1, 2012 at 8:07 am

    This was very frustrating for me as well coming from blackberry. Try the MyPhone+ app for Facebook by Ultimake Ltd, not free but worth it, syncs contacts, allows u to manually link those that it did not automatically sync, pulls birthdays and sets a reminder. Great app ESP for those accustomed to these features.

  33. Devin

    June 8, 2012 at 8:14 pm

    How do you get ##s? my friend has a galaxy and his imports numbers. Iphone cant do that.

  34. Meagan

    July 11, 2012 at 11:28 am

    So helpful. Thank you this was perfect!

  35. Eduardo Ortiz

    July 20, 2012 at 8:51 pm

    Thank you! Been looking for a long time now!

  36. Patricia

    July 26, 2012 at 7:13 am

    There is an EXTREMELY easy way to sync all your FB contacts with your iPhone, WITHOUT having to sync all your iPhone contacts into FB's database; which by the way sucks because I'm sure you have contacts in your iPhone that would not want their information sent and stored on FB's database. And FB requires you to do this in order to sync.
    Just download the FREE App called Smartsync (No, I do not work for them). I just googled this right now and found this app, downloaded it and it really works! I didn't have to send FB any of my info or anything. I did however, have to "Allow" the app permission to access my FB account, but I didn't mind. Now a days, many apps require access to your FB in order to work (ex: Spotify, iLoader, etc)
    It also allows you to manually add and link those contacts that didn't match up on your FB with your iPhone contacts. It seems pretty great and it was FREE!

  37. Karen

    August 8, 2012 at 6:10 am

    I can never even get the views shown in the instructions above. I just deleted and reinstalled the facebook app and I still only get a list of groups of friends on my sidebar. Can't get a list with thumbnail profile pictures. I have an up to date 4S and there's no reason I shouldn't be able to at least see a list of all my friends, let alone sync with contacts. I'm going to try that third party sync and then I'll probably just drop it. Facebook, your stock will continue to drop if you continue to frustrate users, you know. You're supposed to be a social network, not an antisocial network!

  38. Carloz

    August 25, 2012 at 12:54 pm

    How do u move their phone numbers? I could do it on my android but on my iphone i cant

  39. Madison

    August 26, 2012 at 7:13 pm

    doesnt work for the new facebook app, it doesnt have that option :(

    • Nathan Heintz

      August 29, 2012 at 4:48 pm

      Yeah thats what I'm getting as well….

  40. Alex parrott

    August 28, 2012 at 4:29 pm

    I just sync my contacts with my facebook contacts and I accidently set a contact icon and it has that icon for all my contacts how do i change it back to my facebook contact icon things

  41. Nathan Heintz

    August 29, 2012 at 4:47 pm

    Read most of the above complaints and can say that I am also frustrated… but my problem is that when I tap on the 'Options' Link, I only uncover 'find friends' and 'cancel'…. I can't even get to the point where I am frustrated like the rest of you!

    • Darrell

      August 30, 2012 at 12:26 pm

      same here

    • Just me

      August 31, 2012 at 9:14 am

      ME too

  42. Marcie

    August 31, 2012 at 2:40 pm

    ME TOO!!!!!!! Once the fb app updated I haven’t been able to sync my friends. I can only “find” or “cancel”

    • Fred

      September 1, 2012 at 11:10 am

      __Same with me just find or cancel I even erased and reloaded facebook on my phone and that diddnt help :(

  43. Fred

    September 1, 2012 at 11:09 am

    Same with me just find or cancel I even erased and reloaded facebook on my phone and that diddnt help :(

  44. Trisha

    September 2, 2012 at 12:28 pm

    I don’t have a sync friends choice and I just updated my Facebook? Can I fix that and how?. And it isn’t his fault. You guys are all blaming him. He was just trying to help. If it doesn’t work figure it out yourself!

    • abc

      February 11, 2013 at 3:11 pm

      Go to Settings – Facebook and then Update contacts

  45. joseph

    September 2, 2012 at 6:24 pm

    am running 5.1.1 on iphone 4s, after updating the facebook app, i have only the "Find Friends" option nothing else :( any ideas ?

  46. Eddie

    September 4, 2012 at 8:18 am

    wtf! There's no "Sync contacts" button for me! Why!??!?!

  47. Eugene

    September 4, 2012 at 8:27 am

    I think the new version of the app is to make way for the new iOS 6. Details here:

  48. Opie

    September 5, 2012 at 11:37 am

    Tried the find friends but it always tells me an error occured

  49. Liane

    September 6, 2012 at 6:45 pm

    There is no longer this option after I downloaded the newest Facebook version. Is there any other way to do it now?

  50. Quart k.

    September 11, 2012 at 11:19 am

    Ugh! FB changed and the sync option no longer exists. Now, how do I sync my contacts?

    • Ruaan

      September 12, 2012 at 1:03 am

      You will be able to sync again when iOS6 is launched.

  51. Biggzy

    September 14, 2012 at 5:07 pm

    Can you update this, the friends tab doesn't exist anymore?

  52. Poop

    September 27, 2012 at 6:53 am

    It is under the settings app now. Check the settings for Facebook.

  53. jellen

    October 1, 2012 at 7:10 pm

    Took a while but I kept my contacts list on my iPhone open for about 2 minutes, and it finally synced up…. this is after downloading iOS6 and then deleting and reinstalling Facebook. What a PITA!

  54. Amber

    October 7, 2012 at 11:38 am

    Okay, so when I tried this, the only options were “find friends” or ” cancel”. I just got my iPhone, so everything should be up to date.

    • Thersa

      October 17, 2012 at 12:31 pm

      Same Here!

  55. Krt

    October 27, 2012 at 12:02 am

    Same thing than Amber above.
    No more Sync Contacts option, only Find Friends.
    Any solution?

  56. AAA

    December 11, 2012 at 5:57 am

    Hi, I really hope someone can help me as this is driving me crazy !!
    I tried to follow the steps as shown above in this page, but when i click on the top right corner button that looks like the iPhone “Share” icon to reveal the options to Find or Sync Contacts, I DONT GET THE "Sync Contacts" option, it only shows me 2 options "Find Friends" & "Cancel".

    I dont want to download my FB contacts to my iPhone, this is easy and can be done from Sitting>facebook> switch ON the contats and calender.
    I only want my contacts on the phone to sync with FB through the names, mobile number and email address, to update the photos of my contact list on phone, so when someone calls me i see his/her photo.

  57. How to Transfer Pictures from Android to iPhone

    March 13, 2013 at 3:04 am

    Heya this is kinda of off topic but I was wondering if blogs use WYSIWYG editors or
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