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How to back up Android contacts

Losing your contacts can be a messy situation, so save yourself some trouble!
June 4, 2021
Back up Android contacts

Looking for a way to back up Android contacts? The days of asking Facebook friends to send their digits are long gone. It’s also no longer really necessary to transfer your contacts one by one. There are a plethora of ways to back up your Android contacts. Some are convenient, and some aren’t, but there’s no reason why you should lose all your contacts anymore. We’re here to help you find the best method, so let’s get started.

More: These are the best Android backup apps

Editor’s note: Device manufacturers will often organize and name settings differently. Some of the step-by-step instructions in this post may be different from those on your smartphone.

Back up Android contacts to your Google account

Google Search stock photo 1
Edgar Cervantes / Android Authority

This is the easiest and most convenient way to make sure your contacts are always backed up. Because Google owns Android, its services are very well integrated with the popular mobile operating system. One of the many benefits you can enjoy is saving your contacts to Google’s servers.

Google will constantly sync your contacts. This includes all current contacts, as well as ones you add or delete at any point. Whether your phone suddenly gets destroyed, stops working, or you need to switch devices, those who back up Android contacts to their Google account will always have their numbers in the cloud and ready for download.

  1. From your Android device, go to the Settings app.
  2. Select the Accounts option.
  3. Look for your Gmail or Google account. Select it.
  4. Go into Account sync.
  5. Make sure Contacts is checked on.
  6. Open the Contacts app.
  7. Tap on the 3-line menu button.
  8. Select Settings.
  9. Hit Google Contacts sync settings.
  10. Under Also sync device contacts, select Manage Settings.
  11. Toggle on Automatically backup & sync device contacts.

Back up Android contacts using an SD card or USB storage

MicroSD card slot stock photo 3 - back up Android contacts
Edgar Cervantes / Android Authority

Some people like things the old-fashioned way or don’t trust the cloud. This is why using external storage to back up Android contacts is another main way to keep your numbers safe and sound. You can do this with an SD card or any USB storage device.

  1. Open your Contacts app.
  2. Hit the 3-line menu button and go into Settings.
  3. Select Export.
  4. Select where you want your contact files stored. In this case, it would be somewhere in your SD card or USB storage unit.
  5. Follow instructions and keep your storage device in a safe place. You can also store it in your cloud service and pull it whenever needed.

Also: These are the best SD cards you can buy

Back up Android contacts to your SIM card

SIM card - back up Android contacts

The latest Android devices make it more complicated to store contacts in your SIM card. Google’s official Contacts app now only allows contact imports from the SIM card, but not exports. Likewise, you can no longer individually add contacts to your SIM card from said app. This may be because this process is considered unnecessary, as we have more convenient alternatives now.

Some of you might be using manufacturer-made Contacts apps, which may still allow you to transfer contacts to your SIM card. Such is the case with Samsung’s Contacts app. If you’re using Samsung’s app, all you have to do is hit the 3-line menu button, go to Manage contacts, hit Import/export contacts, select Export, choose SIM card, and tap on Export.

The process may be similar with other non-Google contacts apps.

More: These are the best travel SIM cards and local options

Using a 3rd party app

Google Play Store on smartphone stock photo 2 - back up Android contacts
Edgar Cervantes / Android Authority

A plethora of 3rd party apps make it simple to back up Android contacts. There’s Titanium Backup, Easy Backup, and many more. Check them out!

Next: How to backup your Android phone