How to Sync Facebook Contacts With Your iPhone

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Facebook users have the option of syncing all their friends’ contact information with their iPhones. Although many iPhone users have taken advantage of this functionality, it’s certainly not perfect.

There are still a lot of iPhone users who would rather play it safe and take a pass on this feature. We think there are ways around some of the more frustrating steps to sync your Facebook contacts with your iPhone.

This guide will walk you through some of the pain points iPhone users run into when syncing their Facebook connections. We’ll also review ways to sync Facebook contacts with your iPhone that you might not know about.

Sync Facebook Contacts With iPhone: The Basics

Once you have the Facebook app installed on your iPhone, the basic process of syncing your Facebook contacts is fairly simple. Start by selecting Settings > Facebook on your phone and signing in to your account.

Signing in to Facebook app on iPhone

Now you’ll have the option to update your existing contacts with information and photos from your account. Per Apple’s starter guide on using social media from your iPhone, go to Settings > Facebook > Update All Contacts. Your phone will take it from there – your contacts will be matched by their email addresses, and all of your contact cards will be updated with the contacts’ names and Facebook photos.

Facebook settings screen on iPhone

Things to Note When You Sync Facebook Contacts

These steps are easy, but here are some things to consider when syncing your Facebook contacts with your iPhone:

  • Your iPhone will not automatically update contact information as your Facebook friends make any changes, which means you’ll need to repeat this process regularly.
  • Since Facebook updates contacts’ names with their Facebook user names, some names you previously saved on your phone will be slightly different after you’ve completed your sync.
  • Some contact cards may “disappear.” (More on this in a minute.)

While these issues may seem like a nuisance, they shouldn’t make your iPhone experience much more difficult.

So, about those contacts that may have disappeared after you’ve synced your Facebook contacts with your iPhone. Don’t panic – this is actually a feature. Facebook will automatically remove any contacts whose only information includes their @facebook.com email address. This is really an extremely useful feature, making up for some of the inconvenience of having to manually re-sync your Facebook contacts.

However, there are additional drawbacks to syncing your Facebook contacts with your iPhone that you should be aware of. Let’s take a look.

Duplicate contacts killing your productivity? See how Scrubly can help in this 100-second video.

Facebook Contact Syncing: Other Drawbacks

In a world where Facebook users are adding connections at a breakneck pace, odds are that you don’t actually keep up with the majority of your “friends.” Unfortunately, Facebook doesn’t take this into account when you sync your contacts with your iPhone.

The result? Your iPhone is loaded with contact information that you will likely never need, making it quite unwieldy to look through and manage those contacts.

Notification on iPhone about signing into Facebook

In previous versions of iOS, many users found it difficult to undo a Facebook contact sync. Fortunately, you do have the option to undo this. There are a few ways to go about it.

Simply go to Settings > Facebook and toggle the option to sync your contacts to OFF. However, just as your initial sync pulled in 100% of your Facebook connections, undoing your contact sync will remove all of the synced contact information. As frustrating as it can be to find your Contacts app full of duplicates, it can be equally irritating to lose all the edits you’ve made.

Making Facebook Contact Sync With Your iPhone Easier

The good news is that a number of free apps can address the common pitfalls of syncing your Facebook contacts via your iPhone’s default settings. Here’s a quick rundown of two of the more popular options, as well as where they fall short.

  • Sync.ME is a popular app in the App Store for syncing contact information on your iPhone with Facebook and LinkedIn updates. While many users laud its ability to automatically update information as your contacts make changes, you may run into issues with duplicate contacts and contact cards you never intend to use again. Also, Sync.ME aims to become your primary address book, which only adds more clutter.
  • ContactsXL is another option available for iPhone users. However, users still encounter a common issue associated with syncing Facebook contacts via the iPhone’s default settings: All Facebook contacts still find their way into the app. Additionally, user reviews are lukewarm and sparse. In fact, at this point Apple has not obtained enough reviews to list an average rating for ContactsXL.

While it’s easy to see where some of these free options fall short, Scrubly users are in luck. As long as you’re using Mac Contacts, Microsoft Outlook or Gmail, Scrubly lets you pull in updates from your Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn accounts.

Unlike many other applications, Scrubly only updates previously existing contacts and gives you autonomy over which fields you’d like to update. As mentioned earlier, most of the available options don’t consider that you’re probably not communicating with most of your Facebook contacts, especially on your phone. This feature in Scrubly eliminates that frustration.

We hope this guide has put you on track to get the most out of your Facebook contacts on the iPhone. If you have any tips on better ways to sync Facebook contacts with your iPhone, leave them in the comments section below!

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