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I have imported my contacts from my old phone into my google account which now shows up on my phone (this was the only way I could do it), but I would like to keep my contacts off 'the cloud' and so would like to move them to the 'phone' contacts section.

Is there anyway I can do this?

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This should be able via your contacts app. Hit the menu key (or tap the "hamburger icon"), go to "Import/Export", then chose to export to your SD card. This will result in a VCard file, which you also can read with other contact apps e.g. on your PC. Verify it's there, copy it to your computer for backup.

Now delete all contacts from the Google storage (e.g. via the web interface), resync, make sure they're gone. Check the settings of your contacts app again, make sure it has local storage set as its default. To be on the safe side, also go to your device's Settings › Accounts and disable contact sync.

That done, again go to the "Export/Import" menu in the contacts app, and re-import your contacts. They now should be in your local storage – and not sync'd to your Google account.


Update:

As pointed out by the OP in the comments, the original issue behind the case was Android's Contacts app (as well as several 3rd party apps) being unable to read the VCard export done on a previously used iOS device. As it often is the case, it seems some "proprietary additions" (or format mis-interpretations violating the standard) caused this. So above described procedure cured it: Android's Contacts app was perfectly capable of reading its own exports, as one should expect.

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  • That would, under normal situations, be the solution and I should have elaborated. My phone is not reading vCards (see android.stackexchange.com/questions/130435/…). Is there any way around this? Or can you answer that question? Dec 3, 2015 at 0:32
  • Have you tried with the export from the Android contacts app? In the linked question, the VCard file was created with iOS; maybe it used some special field/structure which Android's contacts app (and your 3rd party candidates) were unable to deal with? I'd simply try exporting a single contact, edit the name slightly in the .vcf file (so you can distinguish it), and then import that .vcf file again, just to find out whether it works.
    – Izzy
    Dec 3, 2015 at 9:43
  • Yep, it did understand vcards created by Android. Weird though, I tried third party apps to try to get round that exact issue. One weird thing was that it exported multiple versions of contacts which was a pain but oh well. Thanks. Dec 3, 2015 at 11:35
  • Anytime – glad we figured. Might be a good idea I integrate those format issues with the answer – not everyone reads comments :) So thanks for the feedback!
    – Izzy
    Dec 3, 2015 at 13:10

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