How to Import and Export Contacts on an Android Device

One of the great features I like about Android is its ability to let you import and export contacts on your device. So if you change a ROM on your device, or you just buy a brand new smartphone, it will only take a couple of minutes for you to have your contacts restored on your new device. The best thing about this is that you do not need to install any app from the Google Play store to do that, as your Android device comes preloaded with a utility that lets you do that.

If you are switching to a new phone or are going to flash a ROM on your device, you must make sure you have backed up your contacts. Here’s how you can export contacts on your Android device.

Exporting Contacts on an Android Device

You can export your contacts to multiple destinations, such as USB Storage, SD card and so on. Here’s how:

1. Open App Drawer on your device and tap on Contacts. It is the built-in app that handles all of your contacts on your device.


2. When the app launches, press the Menu button. You should be presented with a number of options to choose from. Since we are going to export our contacts, tap on “Import/Export.”


3. On the screen that follows, you will see multiple locations you can send your contacts to. Simply tap on the one that you find convenient for yourself, SIM card, for example.


4. On the next screen, you can select which contacts you want to export from your device. Select the contacts you wish to be exported, or if you want to export them all, tap on “Select all.” When the selection is done, tap on the “Done” button given in the top-right corner on your screen.


5. It should begin exporting the contacts to the selected destination. It will let you know when it is done.

And there you go. All of your selected contacts are now exported and they are in a safe place (I assume!).

Here’s how to import the contacts to your brand new device.

Importing Contacts on an Android Device

1. Open App Drawer and tap on the Contacts app.

2. Press the Menu button and tap on”Import/Export.” It will let you import contacts to your device.


3. Tap on the option you would like your contacts to be imported from, SIM card, for example.


4. It will then ask you where you want to save the imported contacts. You have the option to select your Phone or your email accounts, Google, for example. Tap on any.


5. On the screen that follows, you should be able to select which contacts you want to import. Select all that you want to be imported and tap on “Done.” It will begin importing contacts on your device.


6. You are done.

Awesome! The selected contacts are now imported to your device, and you should be able to see them in your contacts app.

Alternative to Import/Export

If you find the import/export process troublesome, an alternative is to sync your contacts with Google server. On another Android device, you just have to sign in with your Google account and your contacts will be automatically synced to your phone. The disadvantage of syncing with Google server is that some of the custom contact fields (such as custom ringtone, events, etc.) might not be synced as they are not supported by Google Contacts.


Importing and Exporting contacts is useful for our flashaholic friends who often flash ROMs or change their device. It really saves them from the hassle of manually entering contact details, which is both time consuming and a headache. Even if you are just a casual user, it is also a good idea to export and backup your contacts. You never know when you will lose your phone (or when Google server is down).

Mahesh Makvana Mahesh Makvana

Mahesh Makvana is a freelance tech writer who's written thousands of posts about various tech topics on various sites. He specializes in writing about Windows, Mac, iOS, and Android tech posts. He's been into the field for last eight years and hasn't spent a single day without tinkering around his devices.


  1. Very complicated way, with Send Anywhere you export your contacts in 10 seconds, just 3 clicks or so.

  2. The way as mentioned above is rather complicated, with fileshare app Send Anywhere you can export contacts extremely east, a matter of seconds rather then minutes.

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