Add Facebook Contacts to Your iPhone 5 in iOS 6

By Dan Hinckley

55 responses. »

One of the first things that new iPhone users do is add their contacts to their smart phone. In addition to their work and family contacts, new iPhone 5 owners want to import all their Facebook contacts, pictures, email addresses, and phone numbers. The guide below outlines how to do this for iOS 6 on the iPhone 4, iPhone 4S, and iPhone 5.

Before iOS 6, this process was complicated and difficult as Facebook wasn’t integrated into the operating system. It often required third party apps to import and sync Facebook contact information and photos on your iPhone. Thankfully, this has all changed with iOS 6.

I’ve spent about a month with iOS 6 and one of the first things I did was integrate my Facebook account with my iPhone. The process was quick and simple and pulled in Facebook contacts, emails, phone numbers (when available), profile pictures, birthdays and more.

Add Facebook Contacts to Your iPhone 5 with iOS 6

To add Facebook contacts to your iPhone with iOS 6:

  • Open the Settings App
  • Scroll down until you see the Facebook options and select it
  • Facebook-Settings-iOS-6.png
  • Next, if the Facebook app isn’t already installed on your iPhone, click Install.
  • Facebook-Settings-iOS6.png
  • After the app is installed you’ll need to enter your Facebook account information
  • Facebook-Account-iOS6.png
  • After adding your Facebook account information and connecting to Facbook, click “Update Contacts” to integrate your Facebook contacts on your iPhone
  • iOS-6-Facebook-update-Contacts.png

After this is finished all your Facebook contacts should be available in your Contacts app.

View Just Your Facebook Contacts

If you’d like to just view your Facebook contacts you can do so by:

  • Launching the Contacts app
  • Select the Groups button in the top left corner
  • Uncheck all the other contact lists but Facebook.
  • Click Done and view a list of just your Facebook Contacts

Apple has finally given so many iPhone owners what they’ve wanted for years, the ability to natively sync and pull in contacts from their primary social network. Once added, the contacts work like any other contacts added to the phone. It’s a great feature that will quickly be implemented by millions of iPhone owners when iOS 6 is made available to the public.

I hope that the next social network that receives iPhone integration is LinkedIn.

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:

55 Responses so far.

  1. YSR

    July 2, 2012 at 9:54 am

    Hi Dan,

    Nice writeup.
    Correct me if I'm wrong, this creates new contacts from Facebook and does not update the information for existing contacts which we might have in our addressbook already.

  2. Dan

    July 2, 2012 at 9:57 am

    From my experience that is correct. You can link accounts, or it will try and link them for you if the contact email is the same, but it does not over write information.

  3. Anne

    July 2, 2012 at 2:30 pm

    I've had FB installed and my FB contacts added for quite a while now, but I'd like to update them. When I go to "Settings" and click on FB…the options you have shown above are not listed. All I have is "Chat & Message Alerts" / Photo & Video / Push Notifications / Version and About. Any suggestions?

    • Dan

      July 2, 2012 at 2:43 pm

      Hey Anne,

      It sounds like you're using iOS5. The features described in this posts are included in iOS 6, which is currently only available to Developers. iOS 6 should be available sometime this fall to everyone.


      • Johnny

        July 24, 2012 at 4:14 pm

        i dont see the point of you explaining to us how to use the IOS 6 when it hasn't been released to the general public. You're confusing everyone.

        • Malcolm

          July 25, 2012 at 3:32 pm

          It's not Dan's fault other people are confused, and if they read the full article, they would know iOS 6 is not released. Moreover, since the info is likely to be correct during the final release, I, for one, am glad to find this tip before I start using the new OS.

  4. Hanad

    July 18, 2012 at 9:10 am

    Hey. It didn’t work.. I have just bought the IPhone.

    • Malcolm

      July 25, 2012 at 3:33 pm

      Your iPhone doesn't have iOS 6. Only developers have it now. iOS 6 will come to everyone in the fall.

  5. Molly

    July 19, 2012 at 6:45 pm


    Is there any way you could tell me how to do this on the iOS5??

    • Malcolm

      July 25, 2012 at 3:38 pm

      I don't think you can import directly. The facebook app on iOS 5 allows you to call/text some friends (who have activated facebook mobile), which you can find by searching their name and clicking the phone icon. From that, you could then save the number to a new/existing contact. That's about it.

  6. Aplicativos pra deixar seu iPhone mais útil – parte 2 |

    August 15, 2012 at 6:07 pm

    [...] SmartSync – Eu já tinha feito um post só sobre este app, ele atualiza sua agenda com as informações do Facebook, incluindo fotos, cargo, email… Indispensável (pelo menos por enquanto, pois parece que o iOS 6 vai fazer isso de forma nativa, veja aqui) [...]

  7. MiamiRaceBiker

    August 17, 2012 at 2:08 am

    Good in theory, but still needs work (ha, which it better hurry up if the rumors of the iPhone … aka ios 6 are really going to be released Sept 12.. lol).

    Correct me if I'm wrong.. BUT…. if I save someone as say "dad" on my iPhone but his facebook name is his real name (and if he doesn't actually post his number to the public in facebook profile), then your contact list saves them as 2 separate contacts. They finally added an option to "link" contacts in ios 6, but the annoying part is iCloud doesn't seem to save that info. So…. if you also have an iPad (or iTouch), you have to go through all your contacts again and relink them on every device. iCloud for some reason doesn't save your changes. Furthermore, the same also holds true if you also have a mac computer running on Mountain Lion – the contact list from the iCloud there is also not "linked" (unless the phone numbers match up). That one though, doesn't even give you the option to link them yet. You could see, it's time consuming as it is linking all the facebook contacts into one unified contact (I tend to save people as nick names a lot.. lol), but becomes super annoying have to change them on every device (which isn't that what iCloud is for?) and not even given the option to link them in Mountain Lion

    The other annoying thing is it takes every freaken facebook contact and places them in your birthday calendar. Of course you can uncheck them in your iPhone or iPad (with ios 6 installed), but if you have any alerts associated with calendar, you get an alert (ha, or several) every day at 9 am (or the time you set) for birthdays. Even if you uncheck the facebook birthdays and turn off the option for facebook to have access to your calendar, I'm still getting alerts. Also, your computer on Mountain Lion ONLY gives the option to check or uncheck "birthdays", not just facebook's birthdays (and of course, I'm getting all facebook contacts birthday alerts there too). I only want to see the important birthdays I set in Calendar (os x mountain lion again, it's all or nothing) and I sure as hell don't want to get alerts for every freaken birthday – but I don't want to turn off calendar alerts and miss an important meeting or event.

    Great in theory, but hopefully they change those 2 things. If anyone running IOS 6 and Mountain Lion Developer Preview 10.8.1 knows how, PLEASE let me know…. =)

    • Seth

      September 19, 2012 at 3:23 pm

      Very well said on both points. Especially unhappy about point #1

  8. Brandon

    August 20, 2012 at 11:11 am

    Hey I found this out also when I updated to IOS6 but I found one problem. Well It seems now that i have 1,400 contacts in the Facebook group in contact but only some of them have phone numbers. Is there a way to only get the ones with phone numbers like on a Droid. Also i cant find a way to delete them off my phone, i know i can uncheck them but is there a way to delete all of the Facebook contacts?

  9. Monty

    September 7, 2012 at 12:15 am

    I am all for pulling my FB contacts to merge with my iphone contacts, but why does ios need to send all my contacts to facebook ?

  10. Amy Cooley

    September 12, 2012 at 5:49 pm

    none of this has worked for me. i have the iphone 5.1 (4s) and will not let me sync this way

  11. Jnfr

    September 19, 2012 at 4:35 pm

    When u add a fb contact to your ios contacts a quick link to their fb page appears, like the existing twitter one from ios 5, however none of these links work. Instead my Internet banking app opens for everyone I click on!!

  12. Phil

    September 19, 2012 at 5:35 pm

    Hi, now tht io6 is out you'll probably get lots of hits on this! But you're looking at things backwards. I want to NOT UNDER ANY CIRCUMSTANCES import all my facebook contacts!!! Like most people, my facebook 'friends' are a mix of real friends and friends of friends and remote contacts who I simply DO NOT WANT junking up my contact list.

    I can't find any way to NOT import them when I link to my facebook account!



    • nicholas

      September 20, 2012 at 7:04 am


      I had the same issue, but what you do is in the contacts app and the phone app, top left corner declick facebook in the groups tab. This just hides all the facebook imports and you will have your normal contacts list back, thankfully!



      • Laura

        December 19, 2012 at 2:20 pm

        Thanks for that reply, Nicholas. Just what I needed to get my contact list back to a group of people I actually know pretty well and call regularly.

  13. Lily

    September 20, 2012 at 9:49 am

    How do you take this off if you don’t want them to sync anymore?

  14. steve

    September 20, 2012 at 10:25 am

    Hey, so I have io6 and everything and I don't care much for the whole sync feature. But what is bothering me is that facebook doesn't have an option any more to just sync my contact photos on my iphone. It will sync all my facebook friends into my contacts but won't update my current contacts pictures on there contact card. remember in the old facebook how you could sync and replace existing photos? Any help would be greatly appreciated. Cheers

    - Steve

  15. stacey smith

    September 20, 2012 at 2:00 pm

    i have updated to the ios 6 and updated the facebook app however i cannot change my profile picture through my facebook app… Any adivice anyone?

  16. Carrie

    September 20, 2012 at 8:51 pm

    Add me to the list with issues in 6. In settings under FB, it imports ZERO. I have no contacts in my phone and want to pull from FB…. No luck:(

    • dan

      October 3, 2012 at 5:45 am

      same problem here, does anyone know how to do a one way download from facebook friends to contacts app?

  17. lorenzo

    September 21, 2012 at 12:10 am

    since i added my facebook account on my iphone, despite i disabled calendar from the app that can access facebook, and in the calendar list "facebook" is unchecked, i have the facebook birthday in my notification area, considering that i have around 4000 contacts, that is very annoying!
    birthday shows only in notification, not in calendar itself

  18. Bruno

    September 21, 2012 at 8:49 am

    Hi Dan,

    We have iOS 6 now.
    So I’ve successfully linked my FB contacts with my iPhone contacts. The problem is that i would like to delete some of these FB contacts from my iPhone. Is that possible?

  19. Emanuel

    September 21, 2012 at 9:18 pm

    Thank you ^^ very useful on my iphone 5!

  20. Julie

    October 1, 2012 at 6:53 am

    I don’t have my birthday year set up on Facebook profile so why is it that when I look in my iPhone for my contact now it shows the birthday year. That’s bizarre and annoying

  21. Renee

    October 2, 2012 at 3:33 am

    Hi there

    I have the Facebook contacts in my phone but I don’t want them there it’s sort of annoying how do I get rid of them? (Can I?) thanks

  22. Lyn

    October 5, 2012 at 3:14 am

    I have Facebook contacts in my phone contacts which I don't want can I can rid of them at all so I just have my normal contacts?

    • Stephen Kendall

      October 7, 2012 at 4:51 pm

      Go to Settings –> Facebook and turn off the Contacts option (it will deny Contacts access to Facebook and remove your Facebook contacts). Hope it helps!

  23. Stephen

    October 7, 2012 at 4:47 pm

    I've really been enjoying this Facebook integration, but it doesn't sync the Facebook data with my Gmail contacts, which I have linked to Contacts on my iPod. Do you know of any ways to do this? I tried Google, but I didn't find anything relevant. Any help is greatly appreciated!

  24. Kristin

    October 19, 2012 at 7:07 am

    With the old systems you used to be able to sync the information and pictures of ONLY your friends who were already in your phone through the actual app. It appears that is no longer an option. Am I right? The only way is to now add all of your facebook friends to your address book? Hopefully that changes soon! I don't need everyone on facebook in my phone, but I would love the pictures for the people who I do text/call.

  25. Lina

    October 20, 2012 at 5:29 pm

    Please help…. Looked everywhere but cant find answer to question. I logged into my ipad (the second one that came out with the little camera in front of it). Went into settings, clicked on facebook and then plugged in my login info for facebook and posted a picture i had taken with ipad on fb. A day later i noticed that in the instant message chat i was having with my husband via my iPad to his iphone, my picture was coming up as that of my cousins profile pic on fb who has the same name as me. I looked into contacts and noticed that the two contact entries were linked. I must have pressed the update all contacts button when logging on facebook via ipad. When i unlinked it her picture disappeared from my instant messages section. Does this mean she was receiving the messages between me and my husband on her iphone or facebook account? or was this just an automatic update on the contact list and nothing more? Please advise.

  26. Vinod

    October 20, 2012 at 11:11 pm

    Dear Friend,

    Pls tell me the way to remove the facebook contacts from my iphone4s.

  27. Tanner

    October 24, 2012 at 1:29 pm

    This doesn’t sync there numbers for me though. How do I do that?

  28. Anubhav

    October 28, 2012 at 12:28 pm

    Doesnt import phone numbers, only email ids etc!
    Initially it did but seems some rollback by developers has removed this feature.

  29. Dingdongdell

    November 1, 2012 at 6:05 am

    Is there any way i can delete all of my facebook conatacts on my iPhone 4 as they have duplicated and just made a mess of my phone?

  30. sugavanesh

    November 3, 2012 at 9:09 pm

    Only email address and other information are getting imported but not their phone numbers (even though they have updated it ), Is tere a way to extract the phone numbers also for the facebook contact ?

  31. Austin

    November 6, 2012 at 7:47 pm

    i have the iphone 5 and i have ios6 but i do all these steps but still no contacts

  32. Connor

    November 7, 2012 at 9:19 am

    Seems like Dan has forgot about the most fatal part when syncing contacts to your iPhone… there number.

  33. Noon

    November 10, 2012 at 4:02 pm

    Victory o/

    Finally made my way through this crappy sync after 5 hours of fight. Well, sort of.

    1- Make sure you got all your contacts on your mac.
    2- Get Spring Clean on your iPhone and erase all your contacts on your iPhone
    3- Go in settings of the phone and remove your Facebook sync
    4- Turn on the Facebook sync on your mac.
    5- Display groups in the contact apps. You got contacts on your mac and contact on facebook
    6- Select all your Facebook contacts and drop them on your mac contacts
    7- Un-sync Facebook contacts
    8- Merge contacts that need to be merge using Cmd Shift *
    9- Sync your iPhone making sure you sync contacts AND you hit the "Replace the info on this iPhone" case.

    You finally got your contacts with Facebook informations added. Not sync, but working.

  34. Joe

    November 19, 2012 at 9:25 am

    I can't seem to get the phone numbers to sync, only the contact names! HELP PLEASE!!!!!


    • Joetwo

      December 7, 2012 at 5:48 am

      Same problem as Joe. Help!

      • Mike

        December 23, 2012 at 12:32 am

        I'm having the same problem, did anyone find a fix?

  35. Merging all your contacts in one place | Tapn'Keep

    December 6, 2012 at 9:55 am

    [...] iPhone users, you may import your Facebook contacts using native iOS6 functionality, or use a paid app like Syncy.  There are also apps like AllSync which allows you to sync contacts [...]

  36. Kevin brown

    December 17, 2012 at 4:03 pm

    Why is it that only some less than half of my fb contacts are on my phone

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  38. Tammy

    February 1, 2013 at 7:12 am

    I don’t like my fb contacts on my regular contact list. How do I remove them?

    • Stacie

      February 9, 2013 at 10:40 am

      Go into your Contacts, Groups and uncheck Facebook contacts.

  39. Stacie

    February 9, 2013 at 10:39 am

    Finally, someone with good instructions on how to do this…thank you!!

  40. Marvin belardo

    February 22, 2013 at 10:04 pm

    Wow very nice

  41. christian life live

    March 8, 2013 at 4:29 pm

    Hi! Someone in my Facebook group shared this site with us
    so I came to check it out. I’m definitely enjoying the information. I’m book-marking and will be tweeting this to my followers!

    Outstanding blog and superb design and style.

  42. mclovin

    March 20, 2013 at 5:54 pm

    does anyone know how to 'un-sync' the contacts? i accidentally sync-ed by facebook contacts on my friends phone and he is trying to revert back to HIS contacts

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