Sync Your Facebook Friends With iPhone Contacts

By Dan Hinckley

86 responses. »

Update: With iOS 6 Facebook Contacts can easily be synced and added to your iPhone. Check out our guide to sync your Facebook Contacts with your iPhone in iOS 6.

The Facebook App for the iPhone has continually seen improvements over the past year that have allowed us to keep up with the latest happenings with our friends and family as they post their information out to the world.

Just recently Facebook updated their app again, making it even easier for us to keep in contact with our friends. The latest iPhone Facebook App updates include the ability to sync our contacts in our iPhone Address Book with phone, website, and other information our Friends provide to Facebook. To import your Facebook Friend’s email you’ll need to Import them with this process to Address Book and then sync them to your iPhone. In the past we described a way to add your Facebook friends to Address Book and we wanted to now bring you the latest and greatest way to keep Facebook and your iPhone Contacts in sync.

To sync your Facebook Friends with your iPhone Contacts:

  • Be sure to download the latest version of the iPhone App from the Apps Store, without it you will not be able to sync your Facebook Contacts
  • After your app is updated, Open Facebook on your iPhone. For me, the App appeared and asked right away if I wanted to sync my Facebook contacts with my iPhone contacts, but in case you skipped this message we’ll provide you with the rest of the steps
  • From the Facebook Landing page click the Friends button
  • Facebook1.jpg
  • Next, Click the Sync button in the top right corner
  • Facebook2.jpg
  • On the next screen slide to Yes the Syncing option, and if you’d like to pull in the profile pictures from Facebook, slide to Yes the Replace Photos option
  • Facebook3.jpg
  • Accept the agreement screen that displays to allow Facebook to start syncing up your Facebook Friends with your iPhone Contacts
  • facebook4.jpg
  • Your Facebook Friends information should start downloading from the Facebook server and syncing up with Address Book on your iPhone to keep the contact information of your friends up to date.
  • Facebook5.jpg

Now that you’ve pulled down the latest contact information from Facebook to your iPhone you can open up Address Book and see the changes to your contacts. Many of your Friends Contact information will include their latest profile picture on Facebook as well as a “website” link to their Facebook Profile.

Note: Some have reported troubles with syncing the iPhone with the latest version of Facebook. I’ve tested and found a third party app available in the iTunes App Store that is great at syncing Facebook Contact’s Photos, Birthdays, Information, etc with your iPhone contacts. Check out SmartSync to start syncing your Facbook information with your iPhone Contacts.

UPDATE: The process for syncing contacts has changed with the latest version of the Facebook App. Check out how to sync your Facebook Contacts Photos with your iPhone 4S for steps that will sync your contacts.

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:

86 Responses so far.

  1. st

    January 14, 2010 at 3:00 am

    what if you're currently syncing your contacts with gmail contacts…will it change your gmail contact info to match what's on your phone? will these conflict with eachother?

    • asdasd

      June 14, 2011 at 3:50 pm


  2. dan

    January 15, 2010 at 9:47 am

    I haven’t tried to sync with gmail contacts also so I’m not sure if it will conflict, but ideally, it should just find the entries that are the same and overwrite the conflicting information. FB didn’t prompt me with any sync conformation messages so try at your own risk.

  3. devin

    January 18, 2010 at 11:04 am

    It worked but the FB pics only show on my iPhone but not in Address Book on my Mac. All the info sync'ed on both devices but the pics only on the phone. What happened??

    • Matthughdav

      March 14, 2012 at 9:58 am

      In order to conserve the FB photos, even if you are logged out from the FB app, what I did is first imported all my FB contacts to my Y! account (currently only Yahoo – not Gmail is able to import your FB contacts).

      Next, I sync iPhone contacts with my Yahoo account. This brought in all the required contacts along with their data to my iPhone 4S.

  4. Dan

    January 18, 2010 at 11:13 am

    Make sure your sync is setup to merge data from iPhone to Address Book in the iTunes sync settings. It worked for me when I merged the data.

    • Marissa

      March 3, 2012 at 3:16 pm

      it says it downloaded them but they are not showing up?

  5. vin

    August 18, 2010 at 1:42 am

    will the names of your contacts be modified to that of facebook's?

  6. amz

    August 24, 2010 at 12:07 pm

    this didnt do anything for me? my contacts remain as they were…?

    • taylor

      December 25, 2010 at 3:06 pm

      me too. not sure what went wrong.

      • anybody9

        March 10, 2011 at 6:58 pm

        same – has anyone figured it out?

        • Flint Meisman

          March 17, 2011 at 10:23 am

          this option of this app is total crap, it only syncs your friends wall pics with your address book, basically this means if the person is not in your address book with the same exact name as your facebook it doesnt sync anything

          • gina jones

            March 22, 2011 at 11:41 am

            ok this helps alot, you are so right. that does suck bc i have nick names for everyone

          • jess

            July 22, 2011 at 7:18 am

            u cant possibly expect an app to recognize nicknames or what not that u put into ur phone…only you know who is who in that case….if u think it's crap, try to do better but i think that though this option has its limits, its pretty darn good

          • Kyle K

            October 14, 2011 at 5:19 pm

            The blackberry does nicknames perfectly based off phone numbers.


            November 23, 2011 at 5:02 pm

            The android does it based on email and works perfectly. Seems like apple needs to work on this

          • Dan

            November 23, 2011 at 9:53 pm

            This isn't an issue with Apple, it's an issue with Facebook's app. They're not pushing they sync or leveraging the iOS features fully.

            Facebook needs to correct this, not Apple.

    • jillian

      November 10, 2011 at 11:45 am

      Yeah, this did nothing. The syncing worked SEAMLESSLY on my DROID2 (that just broke a few days ago) because it looked up phone number. And there was an option to link two contacts together in case the person did not list their phone number. But there are no new contacts on my iphone after syncing.

  7. cybernet

    December 22, 2010 at 11:37 pm

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  8. Elle

    January 4, 2011 at 4:18 am

    I have downloaded the Facebook app and it does not display like it is shown above. What is showing on my iphone looks like a more close up version of the webpage. Can anyone help? I don't know why this isn't working properly

  9. frustrated

    January 19, 2011 at 2:48 pm

    I do that, and it goes through the process but it doesnt download anything.

  10. Iain

    January 20, 2011 at 1:14 pm

    Hmm, I think that all it does is update your *existing* Address Book contacts with Facebook information – ie, it won't add them to your Address Book. Which is fairly useless really – just like the AddressBookSync app.

    Does anybody yet know a reliable way to simply ADD Facebook contacts to the OS X Address Book?!

  11. maruffieyo

    March 14, 2011 at 11:45 pm

    i did the following things but then i go to my contacts and its still the same as always
    didnt change at all

  12. Jason

    June 1, 2011 at 3:28 am

    Wow, nth seems t happen for me

  13. Super frustrared

    June 1, 2011 at 3:44 am


  14. Ex blackberry

    June 11, 2011 at 7:33 pm

    it only sync contact with the same nick name in phonebook and facebook. so frustrated as blackberry, users can manually sync…

  15. Brad

    July 27, 2011 at 4:53 am

    Thanks for the help, although I find it didn’t sync automatically I had to turn it off and on when adding/ editing contacts. But cheers on the info!

  16. Scott

    August 5, 2011 at 6:18 am

    What if I've got a contact on my iphone that has MORE information than what the friend provides in Facebook. Will it over right my iphone contact info and replace it with NOTHING? Example. John smith's address in my iphone is 123 Main St. City, Sate, ZIP. But John doesn't provide this info on Facebook. Will it remove that from my iphone contacts because John didn't have it on FB?

    • Mike

      August 16, 2011 at 12:47 pm


  17. android dev

    September 9, 2011 at 1:46 am

    is this possible with Android ? or by using the FB SDK for android ?

    • Yasmin

      October 20, 2011 at 8:19 am

      Android is much easier and works perfectly.

      • Dan

        October 20, 2011 at 8:21 am

        Good thing this is about doing it on the iPhone.. not the android. Doesn't help me much if it works on Android.. if I have an iPhone does it..

  18. danny

    September 11, 2011 at 8:44 pm

    with blackberry you have the option to actually sync individual contacts from facebook to your iphone contacts, even if you have them with nicknames. you can choose which contact to sync . this fb app doesnt do that, it only syncs if they have the same name as their fb name.

    • ryan

      October 15, 2011 at 7:26 am

      Only problem with Blackberry is that you can't send or receive email for days at a time. Other than that, they're solid.

  19. Alex

    September 13, 2011 at 4:08 pm

    Facebook is Cool

  20. Jeff

    October 13, 2011 at 12:16 am

    I tried to sync to my iPhone 4g to Facebook and it synced their profile pictures but not the actual links to their profile pages? I’m on the 4.0.2 version of fb and 5.0 for the iPhone. Any help would be great,

  21. Jami

    October 18, 2011 at 7:47 am

    I have a new iphone4s and I can't figure out how to sync it with my Facebook to where my contacts have pics with them in my contacts….and I am not sure how to delete some apps that I don't want anymore. I would like to learn how to use this phone better but it doesn't seem that many people know much about it

    • Emily

      October 18, 2011 at 12:52 pm

      I know that to delete the app you press on the app and it will start to wiggle. Then you will see a black circle with a white "X" appear on the top left of the app. When you click on that, it will ask you if you want to delete it. There is an app for syncing your facebook with iPhone called "SmarySync – Facebook" and it costs 99 cents. It is suppose to sync them for you. I have not done it yet though :)

      • Jessica

        October 18, 2011 at 4:50 pm

        I did mine through facebook for free. Just follow the instructions above and it will work.

        • harper

          October 18, 2011 at 5:12 pm

          just got the newest iphone and tried the free sync through facebook app and it went through the whole process like it worked but then when i look at me contacts there is no picture for them….the names in my address book are the same as on facebook….any suggestions??

    • Tom

      October 19, 2011 at 7:11 am

      on the iphone 4s go onto facebook, the friends and in the top right hand corner there is a little square box with a arrow, click that then you have the option to "find friends" or "sync contacts" that should work.

  22. danika

    October 19, 2011 at 1:33 pm

    i tried the above comment and that didn't work either. i just got the i phone 4s and it still shows no pictures.

  23. Yasdmin

    October 20, 2011 at 8:26 am

    Ok I've tried all these intrucctions and nothing. It's showing that it goes thru the whole process but at the end nothing changes in my address book. I want to give it a try to this phone but I think I might go back to Android. Not only for this but many other situations and the more I read the more confuse I get. :s

  24. srungemta

    October 20, 2011 at 12:00 pm

    The only FB pics showing for my contacts on my new iPhone 4S are the ones that were there before I changed phones (I updated from a 3GS). The new iPhone isn't recognizing when friends' FB pics change. And some friends don't have pics from FB at all. This all worked flawlessly with my old phone.

    Also, when I synched with FB on the 3GS, people's pics would appear when they called or texted. This no longer happens. Thoughts?

    • Dan

      October 20, 2011 at 12:10 pm

      Hey, you'll need to use the latest version of the Facebook App to do this. It's a bit different process so I'll create a new post describing how to do it.

      • Frustrated

        October 22, 2011 at 6:54 pm

        "so I'll create a new post describing how to do it." link is here:

        but hate to burst your bubble….does not address the issue of photos for contacts in the stock iPhone contact list.

  25. Molly

    October 23, 2011 at 8:20 am

    Thank you for the help didn’t have a clue how to do this haha

  26. rob

    January 5, 2012 at 8:09 pm

    How do I get it so when I go to my contacts I can add my friends fb page to it as well. I add there name on there facebook where is says user name when you go to profile and then facebook but I get a url error screen?

  27. angie

    February 3, 2012 at 12:21 pm

    the facebook landing screen doesnt even show up on mine, it goes stratight to my feed

  28. carole

    February 3, 2012 at 3:22 pm

    I cannot get any info into my contacts teh new 4s phone at the moment no info in contacts I have tried teh syne from facebook to add who I have in there but nothing works it goes through the whole process but when you go to contacts nothing there any advice…..adn I do have thelatest version of FB just got it on teh new phone today

  29. Mary washington

    April 19, 2012 at 9:40 pm

    I can’t get my friends list to add to my iPhone can some one please help me

  30. Iraqi Dinar

    June 8, 2012 at 4:18 pm

    Next, Click the Sync button in the top right corner

  31. Erwin

    June 10, 2012 at 8:27 pm

    Using SmartSync. Thanks for the tip.

    • DaveM

      August 3, 2012 at 5:02 am

      SmartSync created duplicates. Ugh

  32. iphone keyboard

    July 18, 2012 at 6:57 pm

    Is there anyway I can sync Facebook without having my contacts added to my iPhone contacts. Previously I sync my Facebook account to my iPhone and then it automatically added all contacts to my address books, after looking my contact addresses, I have seen that most of it are Facebook email contacts and it is so annoying because I couldn't easily find my phone number contacts whenever I send messages or call friends. How can I sync Facebook just only to receive updates and not to sync the contacts?

    • herb breiding

      September 24, 2012 at 1:50 pm

      I'm trying to undo the sync. Any help?

  33. Marco

    August 3, 2012 at 11:41 pm

    My contacts stayed the same, nothing changed

  34. independence day sms

    August 10, 2012 at 1:09 am

    I have in there but nothing works it goes through the whole process but when you go to contacts nothing there any advice.

  35. Gab

    September 1, 2012 at 10:51 am

    Looks like these feature has gone out on Facebook 5.0 on iPad

  36. carolz

    September 4, 2012 at 6:00 am

    And its gone on iphone too.

    • Emma

      September 4, 2012 at 3:53 pm

      I found that too! Updated my facebook APP and it's no longer syncing the photos and I can't find how to do it anywhere!

  37. molly

    September 7, 2012 at 12:10 pm

    that dosnt come up 4 me

  38. erica

    September 17, 2012 at 6:50 am

    I have the Facbook app downloaded on my iphone, but when I go to friends there is no sync option?!

    • ross

      October 23, 2012 at 8:23 am

      Go into contacts and then click on groups, then untick all facebook.

      • Kristin

        December 7, 2012 at 6:26 pm

        Thanks a million. All of my numerous Facebook contacts suddenly appeared and hid my original contact list. Arrgh. I wasn't clear however that I was just to uncheck Facebook and leave iCloud.

  39. Mike

    September 20, 2012 at 9:36 pm

    Does this work on the ipad3? Or on MacBook Pro? Trying to keep everything in order.

  40. MILLER

    September 22, 2012 at 1:04 am

    this is a very old app! please update?

  41. herb breiding

    September 24, 2012 at 1:49 pm

    how can I undo the sync? Please help!

  42. ches_nut222

    September 25, 2012 at 7:44 pm

    Is there any way to undo the sync?


    September 30, 2012 at 7:16 pm

    How do i remove the facebook contacts from my contact list on iphone 4

  44. shay

    October 2, 2012 at 11:02 am

    I want to remove my facebook friends from the iphone contacts. how? just to many people in my contacts now!

    • ross

      October 23, 2012 at 8:24 am

      Go into contacts and then click on groups, then untick all facebook.

  45. Sally

    October 3, 2012 at 3:03 am

    Hi. My Facebook friends have taken over my contacts. I don’t want most Facebook friends in my iPhone contacts how do I get rid of most of them?

  46. Media Back Drops

    October 4, 2012 at 12:16 am

    WOW! Nice informative post i have not any idea about this app.

  47. Ty

    October 4, 2012 at 3:04 pm

    To sync or unsync you go into your phone settings a click the Facebook app. Then you can update your contacts or turn the feature off.

  48. Danni

    October 9, 2012 at 3:28 pm

    If a friend leaves FB, do I lose all their contact information on my Iphone? Most importatly their phone number?

  49. Pat Williamson

    October 31, 2012 at 11:02 am

    If I post a message from my iphone to someones facebook e-mail address, will all their friends see the message?

  50. Bailey

    November 2, 2012 at 9:34 am

    Is there anyway to set up Facebook on your iPhone WITHOUT syncing all your contacts? I don't want all my FB friends on my iPhone.

    • Hank

      March 29, 2013 at 5:14 pm

      Same question. how do I delete Facebook contacts from my Iphone?

  51. Josh

    November 17, 2012 at 7:18 am

    My Facebook landing page is not like that so how do I doit

  52. holms

    November 20, 2012 at 2:18 am

    I just can't use this bullshit… after syncing all contacts, i can't even manually delete them, I have fucking 800 people on facebook, of which maybe 600 i'm contacting in real life. if you choose to delete contact from your phone book, it's just stays there!!! i mean wtf design is this? is there's any app which can just assign current contact to fb profile??

  53. Dhruv

    November 25, 2012 at 6:42 am

    there is no sync button after clicking on “find friends” option. What to do now? Is there any alternate way?

  54. Reverend Flash

    January 11, 2013 at 4:23 am

    It's funny how this Dan Hinckley guy writes this completely useless article, confusing everyone who's read it, and now we're stuck with a forum full of people who either can't get their Facebook contacts INTO their phone or can't get them OUT of their phone.
    Way to go, Maciverse!

  55. ب

    January 25, 2013 at 5:21 am


  56. Alaine

    February 22, 2013 at 2:59 pm

    I really need to reverse the sync because I have too many Facebook contacts with old information now I have multiple numbers and addresses for people and I don’t know which is correct?????? Please help!

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