How to Transfer Contacts from Android to Android Phone (11 Ways)

transfer contacts

You will need to transfer contacts to another phone in the event of a new phone purchase, if the phone is lost/stolen, or if the phone breaks. It may seem difficult at first glance, but it is a quick and safe process for Android phones. Let’s go ahead and take a look at all the different ways to export contacts from Android to Android.

This detailed guide is common and can be applied to all types of models and brands including: Alcatel, Asus, Lenovo, Meizu, Philips, Nokia, Oppo, Phillips, Prestigio, Sony Xperia, HTC, Samsung, Xiaomi (Redme), ZTE, BQ, Vertex, Micromax, Umidigi, Oukitel, Texet, Leagoo, Dexp, Doogie, Huawei (Honor), HomTom, etc. However, there might be minor differences depending on the Android version being used.

Methods

Here are 11 ways to export your contacts to another phone:

Google Drive (drive.google.com)
1
SD card or memory stick
1
Google account
1
Through messengers (WhatsApp, Viber, Telegram, etc)
1
Using external software
1
Sync with PC
0
Manually
0
Via email
0
Import to Mi account
0
Bluetooth
0
SIM card
0

Google Drive

Exporting contacts from Android to Android is made possible by using your Google account (uploading to the «cloud»). This service presents a great opportunity through Google Drive, which has recently become a standalone application.

The only difference is that a standalone application is more convenient for smartphone users.

First, you should:

Google Drive
Google Drive
Developer: Google LLC
Price: Free+
  1. Open the app or web site on both devices,
  2. Sign in to the same account which is activated on the first device (without this it won’t work),
  3. Press the 3 points in the bottom-left corner and Additional settings will pop up,
  4. Choose «Settings» and Moving from phone to phone,
  5. Get the pin code on the first smartphone and enter it on the second,
  6. Click Start moving,
  7. Wait for the process to be completed.

Memory card

This way of contact exporting is akin to the above mentioned. The difference is that  the SD card is used instead of a SIM card. This way compensates for all SIM card disadvantages as well as widens the range of functions. It makes it possible to export contacts to a tablet without a SIM card tray.

The procedure is as follows:

  1. Open the main menu, go to «Contacts», and choose «Import/Export» contacts in  the Settings,
  2. Choose «Export to storage» or «Export to MicroSD» (depends on translation),
  3. Verify the process and memorize the file save path; as a rule it is the MicroSD root folder,
  4. Reinsert the SD card into the other device,
  5. Open your File Manager, find the file with a .vcf extension and transfer it to  the smartphone’s internal storage,
  6. Open this file. In the pop-up screen click the homonym point. The contacts will be transferred automatically.

If there is no file manager on the smartphone, or the menu has not been updated yet, you will have to export data manually. In this case, importing from external media will be the stopping point.

Reminder: Data is saved in a particular file format called vCard (.vcf) which is commonly accepted and supported by all Android devices.

Google account

Every Android device is supposed to have a Google account – with Gmail registration- which can be used for synchronizing contacts between devices.

To launch synchronization:

  1. Open «Settings» and go to «Accounts»,
  2. Choose your account in the Google menu,
  3. In the pop-up screen of synchronization settings, slide the «Contacts» from «Off» to «On» mode (Note: on the latest Android versions it is automatically set to «On» by default),
  4. Sign in to your account on the other smartphone,
  5. In «Options», click «Sync» to make the connection between your account and the phone.

It will take around 3-10 minutes to complete and your phone book will be filled with contacts from the previous Android.

NOTE: This method may only be used to transfer contacts within the internal storage of your phone.

Sync with PC

Android software developers have created a variety of apps for PC synchronization. The most applicative one is MOBILedit PC suite and it is free to access. This software is compatible with almost all known Android models.

How to use the software:

  1. Install the app to your PC and connect your smartphone via USB,
  2. Wait for the notification and press Data cable connection if the device is connected via cable. Click Wi-Fi/Bluetooth connection if the device is already connected to these networks,
  3. Next, the Navigation window will appear which contains all your data. Choose Phone book,
  4. Choose save path and press «Export»,
  5. On your smartphone there will be a .vcf file which updates all contacts upon opening.

Manually

It is possible to turn to an older, safer method by copying your whole phone book manually. However, there is an easy way of exporting contacts using this method as well. You can copy all contacts into a Microsoft Excel spreadsheet or an OpenOffice spreadsheet and save it as a .csv file – which is the analogue of the .vcf extension supported by Android 2.2 and similar updated versions.

Follow these steps while making the table on your spreadsheet:

  1. Create a new document,
  2. Divide the columns into: names, surnames, phone number, e-mail address, etc,
  3. Complete the table. It is not necessary to complete all columns. Some cells may be empty. The point is to not delete the names of columns,
  4. Choose the path and save it as a .csv file.

After this, download the file into your phone storage using whichever convenient way suits you and open it via your File manager. This process is similar to the one with the .vcf files.

Email

This method is very similar to all the above listed. The difference is you will be using your email to transfer the .vcf file.

  1. Using file manager (Total Commander), choose the .vcf file and click «Share»,
  2. In the pop-up screen choose the email app,
  3. Under the launched app, choose an email address where the file is to be sent and press «Send». If the Internet connection is lost it will be sent when reconnected,
  4. Sign in to the chosen email account and download the file,
  5. Download the .vcf file.
Total Commander - Dateimanager
Total Commander - Dateimanager

Through messengers

There are two ways to import contacts through social networking apps. Almost every messenger has the capability of showing the entire list of contacts from Friends/Following. This function works in reverse as well: you may find «friends» ID’s based on  the phone book:

  1. Open Android settings,
  2. Find «Accounts and synchronization»,
  3. Choose an accessible account from the list (WhatsApp, Viber, Telegram, VKontakte, etc),
  4. Click «Sync».

It is possible to import contacts to a new device by downloading the messenger app and signing in. However, there is a shortcoming – contact exchange goes in both directions; that is, alongside needed data, the rest of it is copied as well. This may pose a problem. Fortunately, there is an easier way:

  1. Open the dialog screen of the messenger (Viber, WhatsApp, Telegram, VK),
  2. Attach the generated .vcf file and send it,
  3. Sign in to the app on another phone,
  4. Download the .vcf file and import the data.

Import to Mi account

This way is similar to the others and is applicable to Xiaomi users:

  1. Find your Mi account in the phone settings,
  2. Go to synchronization in Mi Cloud and activate it,
  3. Choose data for synchronization,
  4. Then, point out the source. This software allows syncing between Google accounts, internal storage, SD cards, and SIM cards,
  5. Press «Import».

Bluetooth

It is possible to transfer contacts on your Android through a wireless channel:

  1. First, activate Bluetooth on both of your smartphones,
  2. Open «Wireless and Networks» and activate Bluetooth visibility,
  3. In your phone book settings click «Share contacts», and choose the list of contacts you would like to transfer,
  4. Press «Share» and click the Bluetooth icon,
  5. The phone will begin searching for devices. In the pop-down menu choose the device which data will be shared with,
  6. Verify data sharing on your other smartphone,
  7. After the notification process is completed, click the notification and click the accepted .vcf file,
  8. Press «Import to the phone».

The advantage of this method is its quickness and there are no excessive operations like removing the SIM card or SD card. As in most cases, the system generates and transfers your vCard. If the file is already in storage, the process will be the same, but it starts from the file manager.

NOTE: This method does not function with contacts stored on an external SD card.

External software

In Play Store there are a variety of applications which make the process a lot easier. Here are the latest apps:

Contact Backup

It is necessary to download and launch the app on both devices in order to transfer data. Afterwards, you should:

  1. Open the main menu and press «Backup»,
  2. Choose the format and send the .vcf file to the pointed device,
  3. The app will open the file automatically and update the phone book.
Contact Backup
Contact Backup
Price: Free+

Contact Backup & Restore

This app- unlike the previous one- exercises only one function: transferring contacts.

  1. Press «Backup» on the main page,
  2. Choose the second device, then open the file upon completion.
Kontakte sichern
Kontakte sichern
Developer: Ultimate Tools IL
Price: Free

Copy My Data

This software may transfer not only phone book contacts but media data as well: profile pictures of users, MMS, etc. As in all similar apps, it is enough to choose the path and press «Backup». The transfer is made via Wi-Fi.

Copy My Data
Copy My Data
Developer: Media Mushroom
Price: Free

SIM card

The first method is applicable via Android versions 8, 9, and 10. The second method is simple and quick, and the main advantage is there is no need for an Internet connection.

Guidelines:

  1. Open the «Recents» menu and go to «Contacts» (the icon with two persons),
  2. Choose «Options» and then «Settings»,
  3. Click «Import/Export» contacts,
  4. Click «Export» and choose the correct SIM,
  5. Remove SIM card and insert it into the new phone.

Now we are ready to import contacts into the new Android:

Follow the previous guidelines up to the third point. The only difference is that you will need to click «Import» instead of «Export». All contacts will be transferred to the new smartphone.

This way has two significant disadvantages:

  • SIM card can store only 100-150 contacts.
  • Frequent changes in SIM standards may be incompatible with the phone.

Frequently asked questions (FAQs)

Though quite rare, problems with transferring data to a new phone may arise.

Why do not synchronize
Such malfunctions as a rule are impermanent. However it is a problem when they become constant.

The most common reasons:

  • Different time zones and different times set on both device,

  • Incorrect paths in time data.


Synchronization often reactivates when such problems are solved. Otherwise, you have to copy the .vcf file manually.
Why subscribers disappear
Basically, it happens due to the inaccurate removal of subscribers when cleaning software. It is necessary to add contacts to the exclusion list of a cleaner. It may also happen if the system marks some contact as a duplicate.
Why contacts multiply
Contacts may duplicate for a number of reasons:

  • Backup failure,

  • Repeated synchronization when messenger is installed,

  • Adjacent copying when two SIM cards are inserted, etc.


To solve the problem you need to:

  1. Open the menu in Contacts,

  2. Go to Merge duplicate contacts and click «Merge».


The system scans all variants and suggests merging duplicates manually.
How to save contacts from a broken or drowned device
External damages will not compromise internal data of the phone. You can try to:

  1. Use MyPhoneExplorer software. Connect the smartphone to a computer and copy the data. It is important that USB debugging is activated on your smartphone,

  2. Connect the device to the computer monitor via HDMI cable and copy the data manually. You will need a mouse,

  3. Copy data from the cloud store if it is synchronized.

Conclusion

Despite the variety of ways to export contacts from Android to Android, you may use the one that is most convenient for you:

Google Drive (drive.google.com)
1
SD card or memory stick
1
Google account
1
Through messengers (WhatsApp, Viber, Telegram, etc)
1
Using external software
1
Sync with PC
0
Manually
0
Via email
0
Import to Mi account
0
Bluetooth
0
SIM card
0

The result is one and the same – practically all methods are based on copying your VCard file to a new device; therefore, every way is equally safe.

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Why do not synchronize
Such malfunctions as a rule are impermanent. However it is a problem when they become constant.

The most common reasons:

  • Different time zones and different times set on both device,

  • Incorrect paths in time data.


Synchronization often reactivates when such problems are solved. Otherwise, you have to copy the .vcf file manually.
Why subscribers disappear
Basically, it happens due to the inaccurate removal of subscribers when cleaning software. It is necessary to add contacts to the exclusion list of a cleaner. It may also happen if the system marks some contact as a duplicate.
Why contacts multiply
Contacts may duplicate for a number of reasons:

  • Backup failure,

  • Repeated synchronization when messenger is installed,

  • Adjacent copying when two SIM cards are inserted, etc.


To solve the problem you need to:

  1. Open the menu in Contacts,

  2. Go to Merge duplicate contacts and click «Merge».


The system scans all variants and suggests merging duplicates manually.
How to save contacts from a broken or drowned device
External damages will not compromise internal data of the phone. You can try to:

  1. Use MyPhoneExplorer software. Connect the smartphone to a computer and copy the data. It is important that USB debugging is activated on your smartphone,

  2. Connect the device to the computer monitor via HDMI cable and copy the data manually. You will need a mouse,

  3. Copy data from the cloud store if it is synchronized.

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