Importing and Exporting contacts | Android Central

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Import and export your contactsSIM contacts manager

This tip comes in courtesy of Mark, who was kind enough to help out  fellow Android addict and Android Central Podcast listener Steve get his contact syncing issues sorted out.

While it's easiest to just use gmail to sync contacts and calendar, it's certainly not required.  Here's how you can back up your contact list for easy retrieval anytime you need them.

  • Open your contacts application
  • Make sure All contacts are visible, unless you only want to back up certain groups.
  • Hit the menu button
  • Hit the Import/Export button

We can verify that this works on HTC Sense phones, as well as the new Galaxy S series phones.  If you're using something a bit more vanilla, you will have an option to do the same thing but using your SIM card (through SIM Manager in the contacts menu) instead of the microSD card.  Lastly, if you're using the latest CM6, you have the option to do both!

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Reader comments

Importing and Exporting contacts


I've spent hours trying to back up my contacts from my Samsung Galaxy Captivate. I tried to export my contacts using Samsung Kies... spent hours downloading that & troubleshooting the connection... it just won't recognize my phone no matter what I do.

Then I tried changing all my phone settings in an effort to sync my contacts with gmail - it says it's working on the phone, but when I go into my gmail account, they're not there.

Then I tried exporting my contacts to my SIM card, but the import/export function doesn't show up - only "send name card via".

The only possibility remaining is that Rogers has somehow disabled this function in my phone, so they can sell me a "mobile backup" plan for $5/month. No thanks.

I had been saving all my contacts' addresses etc. in my phone, but until there's a solution that actually works, I'm going back to my paper-based address book, and a pen. Enough. Rant over. :-)

I want to backup my contact list (that I understand) but is there an easy way to strip out contacts that I've inherited from Facebook and other sources? I can't delete many contacts from my phone. The only option I'm given it to send a vCard. Thanks

Is there a way to export all of the contact information that the phone is pulling from facebook into gmail?

I don't see the "Delete Contacts"
I really would like to delete the contacts on the SIM card.

I am using Samsung Captivate. I've ride placing the SIM back in to the Blackberry Curve, but it doesn't have a delete all function either.

To sync your contacts all you have to do is Login to your Gmail Account, then Choose Contacts (Top Left).
Choose Settings (Top Right) then Accounts & Import (Yellow area at top)
Choose Import Mail and Contacts and follow the bouncing ball.
Next time your phone syncs, it will bring in the Contacts. You can force it by ging to Sync in Settings, click your Gmail Account, and hit Menu on the phone. Then Sync Now.

Note: I only check in here ocassionally, if you ask a followup q, I might not see it, I'm not ignoring you :)

There's more info under Help in the Gmail area. Good luck!

First off let me say thanks. I am fairly new to the Android world (first and broken incredible, now a working moto x) but thanks to this site I am the goto guy for my friends who join the lightside. Does anyone know how to import my contacts into the phone? I. Would like to use the contact feature from keypad but it looks for contacts in the phone... and there aren't any. I am totally stumped... help please.

well if you had Verizon before, which I am assuming you did because you had an incredible, you should be able to get all your old contacts from Verizon's Backup Assistant. In my case, as soon as I booted it the first time it automatically synced them from my old phone.

Thanks. I have used the backup, and synced but the when I go to my dialer and choose the contact tab, it flashes for a moment with no listings and then shuts down...What could this be?

Wow this is awesome! I had no idea this feature existed within Android! I just tried it on my Droid and it worked great. Exported to SD card for backup. Now my contacts are backed up in 2 places thanks to Google. 1) My google account, and 2) SD Card. That's great to know, makes getting a new android phone simple to get your contacts on your new phone.

I don't have the option "Export to SIM card" on my HTC Hero running 2.1 too.. =(
I have "Import from SIM card" and "Import/Export to SD card" only..

Is there any way to backup all my phone contacts to my gmail address book? I use the incredible and I have been searching for a solution to no avail.

You can backup all your contacts to your Gmail account. Have you tried that? In fact as long as your Gmail sync is working, they should be synced to your Gmail account periodically. Go into your Gmail, then click contacts and you should see the same list as your phone has.

So my question is that if I do this will this save my contact pics as well or is it backed up via gmail? I'm going from the Droid to the Droid X and I might need this.

If you have your phone synced with a Gmail account, anything you do on either the web interface or the phone is synced. Yes, this includes your contact photos.

I've had four different Android phones and my Gmail contacts automagically appear on the phone once logging into Gmail.

I wish there were an option to back up as a comma separated file, so I could import to my windows live mail contacts.

I want that "Delete SIM Contacts" option (I have a Samsung Vibrant and there is no such choice.) How can I delete my SIM contacts? They've been there since my Motorolla RAZR and I want to delete all of them. Thanks in advance.

great ^_^ should also bring up, if someone is switching from one platform to android [WIN!] to maybe give google sync a shot [] prior to deactivating whatever they had before stepping into the world of having a real smart phone ^_^

Thank's guys! That's just what I did after the initial podcast where you read my mail. Sharing like this with everyone else is what makes you Masters of the Android Universe!

Steve in CT

Yeah I don't see it on my DX either. I was less than happy with the way contacts came down from gmail. I didn't know if "All Contacts" which looks every single email address I ever responded to came into my phone. I never got my groups in my gmail contact to come down either. A real mess. Any suggestions people?

I'm on a Verizon Droid X System Version 1.13.604.MB810.Verizon.US

Thanks! Kevin..

On the web interface, learn the difference between "All Contacts" and "My Contacts."

On the phone, set it to only display "My Contacts."

There are many tools you can use to manage your Android computer, such as iPubsoft, iStonsoft, Vibosoft, and so on!