- You may need to know how to transfer contacts from one Android to another if you upgrade or change phones.
- Transferring contacts between Android devices is usually seamlessly done if both devices use the same sync-enabled Google Account.
- If both devices are not sync-enabled, you might want to transfer your contacts via Bluetooth as the most effective transfer method or use your SIM card in the absence of either option.
There are plenty of reasons one would want to know how to transfer contacts from Android to Android. Perhaps you’re switching phones, or you’re using more than one Android device—one for business, one for personal use. If you want your digital phonebook with you, you need to know how to transfer contacts between Android devices.
In this article, we’ll discuss different methods of transferring your contact list from one Android device to another. The methods we’re about to discuss are among the most effective solutions offered. So, without further ado, let’s dive right in.
#1: Transfer Your Contacts via Bluetooth
Using Bluetooth is probably the easiest way to transfer contacts from Android to Android. It requires very little user experience and eliminates the need for any third-party apps. Just do the following:
Step 1: Select Your Contacts
Before you select your contacts, make sure that the Bluetooth function is active on both devices. You can activate Bluetooth by unlocking your phone, swiping your finger downwards across the screen, and tapping the Bluetooth function.
Next, open the Contacts app on your source Android device. Then tap and hold any contact in your Contacts app to enter the select mode. Once the select mode is active, just tap All on the left-hand side of the screen. You can also just select individual contacts. Once you’ve selected the necessary contacts, tap Share in the bottom left corner of the screen.
Step 2: Transfer Your Contacts
A share pop-up will appear. Tap on Bluetooth to open the Select device screen with a list of nearby and paired Bluetooth devices. For our example, we’re using two older Samsung models, but the process is identical to newer devices. Tap the receiving device from the list, and your Android will immediately send the contacts to the selected device.
A pop-up will appear on the receiving device asking you to accept the incoming VCF file—tap Accept. Then, locate the received file in your My Files app or any other file management app installed on your phone. Tap the VCF file to import the contact to the receiving device, and you’re done. You have successfully transferred your contacts from Android to Android.
#2: Transfer Your Contacts Using a vCard File
This method expands upon the previous one, allowing you to make a separate VCF file for storage and/or sharing. It’s a very practical method for transferring contacts from Android to Android in the absence of Bluetooth functionality. You can still send the file using Bluetooth, but you can also choose different options, like Quick Share, MMS, chat apps, and an e-mail attachment. Here’s how you can do it:
Step 1: Select the Export Option
Open your Contacts apps on your Android device, and then tap on the Menu (three horizontal lines) at the left side of the screen. This will open a side pane with various SIM and Contact options. Scroll to and tap Manage contacts to open the Manage contacts screen.
In the Manage contacts screen, tap on Import or export contacts. From here, you can either choose to Import your contact from your SIM or vCard file or Export contacts to your SIM or vCard file. Tap Export.
Once you’ve selected Export, your Android device will offer you a list of possible export destinations. This includes Internal storage and your SIM cards, the latter of which will become relevant later. For now, choose Internal storage, and tap Export. Tap OK once the process is complete. The VCF file containing all your contacts is saved on your device’s storage.
Step 2: Transfer Contacts
Locate your newly created vCard file, usually named “Contacts.vcf” in your phone’s storage using the My Files app or any other file management app you have installed on your Android device. Once located, transfer the file to another Android device using any of the methods listed below:
- Via Bluetooth
- Via Quick Share
- Via MMS
- As an e-mail attachment
Step 3: Import Contact
Locate the vCard file you have just received (or downloaded) either through the Notifications panel or the My Files app on your device. Tap to open it and display the list of contacts you’re about to import to your other device.
Click Import at the bottom of the screen to import your contacts from the vCard file. Please note that older Android devices might import the contacts from the received VCF files upon reception. All your contacts are now transferred.
#3: Transfer your Contacts Using a Google Account
Google acquired Android OS in 2005. Since then, the tech giant has integrated its numerous services into the Android OS. Among said services is the ability to sync the contacts on your phone with your Google account. This also allows you to sync your contacts with all devices that use said Google account. Here’s how you can do it:
Step 1: Add a Google Account
Chances are that you have already added your Google account to the device you’re using. To transfer contacts, we have to add the same account on the receiving device. To do that, open the Settings app on the receiving device, go to Accounts and backup and tap on Manage accounts. The Manage account submenu contains all the accounts used by various apps you have installed on your phone.
To add a Google account, scroll down and tap Add account, and then select Google. Your Android device might ask you to confirm this action by having you enter your passcode, a pattern, or by scanning your finger. After that, a login menu will appear, prompting you to enter your Google credentials.
Step 2: Sync the Contacts
Follow the directions described in the previous step to reach the Manage accounts screen on the receiving device. Tap the account you just added, then go to Sync account and toggle on the Contacts option.
Next, tap the Options menu (the vertically aligned dots), and choose Sync now. The contacts will be synced between all devices using the same Google account. Please note that this might take some time.
An important note: Use this method with devices that you personally own and use. Using your credentials on a device you don’t own or trust can compromise your personal information.
Check out this helpful video guide on seamlessly transferring your contacts from one Android device to another. Say goodbye to manual entries and hello to a smooth transition in just a few easy steps!
#4: Transfer Your Contacts Using a SIM Card
If your Android device has a removable SIM card, you can use it to transfer your contacts to a new device. The process includes exporting your contacts to your SIM, inserting the SIM into the other device, and importing the stored contacts. Here’s how you can do it:
Step 1: Choose a SIM
Open your Contacts apps on your Android device, and then tap on the Menu (three horizontal lines) on the left side of the screen. This will open a side pane with various SIM and Contact options. Scroll to and tap Manage contacts to open the Manage contacts screen.
In the Manage contacts screen, tap on Import and export contacts to explore further options. From here, you can either choose to Import your contact from your SIM or vCard file or Export contacts to your SIM or vCard file. Tap Export.
Once you’ve selected Export, your Android device will offer you a list of possible export destinations. These include Internal storage and your SIM cards. The device in our example is a Dual-SIM device, and for this guide, we’ll select SIM 1. You can choose whichever you prefer.
Step 2: Select Your Contacts
Once you’ve selected a SIM, you need to select the contacts you want to export. Since you’re transferring all contacts, tap the All check circle in the screen’s upper-left corner. This will select all contacts that aren’t already on the SIM. If you want to transfer select contacts only, you’ll have to find them individually and check them for export. When done, tap Done.
This will return you to the Export contacts screen, where you can review the options you’ve selected. Tap the Export button at the bottom of the screen to export your contacts to the selected SIM. A pop-up will appear, asking you to confirm the action. Tap Export. Once completed, tap OK.
An important note: SIM cards usually contain up to 256kB (kilobytes) of user-writable data. This means that they’re only good at saving your contacts’ names and phone numbers.
Other contact information, such as e-mails, may not copy to the SIM during export. Additionally, your contacts’ names may be cut off if they’re too long or contain special characters.
Step 3: Import Contact From SIM
Transfer your SIM from one Android device to another, and follow the instructions provided in Step 1 until you reach the Import and export contacts screen. However, this time, instead of exporting contacts to a SIM, you need to Import them. When you tap Import, your device will ask you for the destination from which you’re importing your contacts.
Select your SIM card (our example uses SIM 1) to open the list of contacts you want to transfer. As previously described, select All and tap Done. The following screen will ask you for a contacts import location, offering several options. Select Phone, and tap Import. This will import all contacts from your SIM to your Android phone.
Transferring contacts between Android devices is usually seamlessly done if both devices use the same sync-enabled Google Account. Otherwise, you might want to transfer your contacts via Bluetooth as the most effective transfer method, or use your SIM card in the absence of either option.
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The image featured at the top of this post is ©Photo by Denny Müller on Unsplash.