As I could not see SIM card contacts in my contacts app, I just imported all contacts (well over a hundred items) from my SIM card to Google account.

On my SIM, my contacts were stored as Last- First-name (for sorting). And all this was imported, but Google assumes it's in First- Lastname format.

I need some way to fix this, as this issue messes sorting contacts - some are by first, some by last name. I don't want to go and fix all of those by hand, as it is well over a hundred contacts.

I am using Cyanogen based on Lollipop 5.1 (OnePlus One)

  • I have never found a way to overcome this, and all my manual changes are generally undone by Google sometime forward, anyway. Google must find my sensible format of LastName.Firstname concatenation to be an abomination, and undoes the changes to terrorize me.
    – wbogacz
    Sep 16, 2015 at 12:48

2 Answers 2


Open Outlook CSV file. Cut the Title Column (column D), and paste before the First Name Column (column A). Save as CSV.

This should result in contacts importing to Google correctly.


Note: Please take a backup of all your Google contacts using the old Google contacts website either as a Google .csv file or .vcf format before trying this and use an app like Super Backup : SMS & Contacts for exporting your phone contacts just in case.

As I've already mentioned in my comments you can try this,

First take a backup of all your google contacts(Export as ->Google .csv). Then download the Outlook .csv export and replace the First name column with the Last name fields and vice versa using Microsoft Excel. Import the .csv again to your Google account and check if the sorting is they way you wanted. (Last-First-name).

Alternatively you can also try this google forum post (if the above doesn't work),

  1. Go to contacts
  2. Select All
  3. Export to a Google csv format file
  4. BACKUP that file !!!!!! <- This is the most important step of the process!
  5. Open the csv file you have just created using Excel (maybe there are other tools - that's what I used)
  6. Create a new sheet (call it temp)
  7. Copy the first column from sheet "Contacts" to sheet "temp" (Column Name: "Name")
  8. In the "temp" sheet, select the only column (name) and go to Data->Text to Colums->Delimited->Next->space->next->finish
  9. At this point the names and family names should appear in different columns
  10. Check that there are no people w/ more than 2 names. If so, you will need to decide where to put the 3rd string so you stay w/ 2 columns only.
  11. In Cell C1, write down "Name"
  12. In Cell C2, write down the following: =CONCATENATE(B2," ", A2)
  13. Copy this field to all cells in Column C Now Column C should be filled with all names in the form of "Family Given".
  14. Copy column C in sheet "temp" and paste it with Edit->Paste Special->Paste->Values to Column A in sheet "contacts".
  15. Delete "temp" sheet
  16. Save the file w/ a new name (newContacts)
  17. Back to Gmail, delete all the contacts (not before you are sure you've saved that first file!!!!!)
  18. Import the new CSV file.

The OP of the above message said it worked for him very well.

  • 1
    Haha Lucky, this was exactly my thought. Good old CSV can fix this!
    – DankyNanky
    Sep 17, 2015 at 10:47

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .