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In Android Oreo 8.1 (on a Motorola device), is it possible to create offline (aka "local" or "non-synced") contacts?

This was fairly easy on previous Android versions, but I'm not seeing a way to do it on Android Oreo 8.1.

On Oreo 8.1, everything seems to get synced to an account.

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On Android devices without an option to save contacts locally (either to the phone or the SIM), you can use FJ Software's MyLocalAccount (which you can choose to sync to your Google account or not as you wish).

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Edit: It seems that Motorola's Contact app has no support to add offline contacts. I tried installing the APK of Contacts from Motorola and it doesn't show SIM or Phone as an option to save contacts.

However, it does show (in search and normal listing) the contacts which are already stored on the phone or SIM.

So, what you can do is to use a 3rd party contacts app to add contacts on your phone. Then you can continue to use the stock contacts app to access them and dial.

Google contacts is a nice app which closely resembles Moto contacts, but does come with the ability to store contacts on the device.

Original answer and mostly irrelevant: Leaving just because there are comments related to it.

When creating a new contact, you will have the options to choose where to save the contact.

Simply choose Phone or SIM from the Saving to drop-down and you should be good to go. Here's how it looks on my Nokia 7. It is on Android 8.1 as well. I know the Motorola implementation will slightly vary, but it will be overall the same.

Add new contact screen - Android 8.1

  • Thanks. That's exactly what I expected to see, but there are no unsynced options present on the Motorola. Since you're using Android Oreo 8.1 as well, it seems to be a Motorola limitation, not an Android one, which is strange since Lenovo uses a fairly plain vanilla version of Android for the Motorola devices. Either it's a Motorola limitation, or it's a feature on your Nokia. Either way, your answer is helpful because it shows that it's possible on Oreo 8.1. Now how to get it to work on the Motorola? – RockPaperLizard Jul 22 '18 at 5:56
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    @RockPaperLizard I tried out a moto app and it seems that you are right. There is no support for offline contacts in there. I've updated my answer. – singhnsk Jul 22 '18 at 6:53
  • Thanks for the update. Do you know if the Google Contacts app will allow importing a VCF (or CSV) file into unsynced storage? – RockPaperLizard Jul 22 '18 at 7:32
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    Yes, the Settings > Import has options for .vcf file and to save it to device. Now, I do not know if it only accepts 1 contact per VCF or it can take many. Ideally it should :) – singhnsk Jul 22 '18 at 9:47
  • I was having this exact problem on Asus zenfone max pro m2. Their "pure android" experience removed their default contacts app and Google's stock contacts app is hellbent on forcing people to use their cloud/gmail google acct storage sync. I read @Someone and xda answer and they recommended adding a LocalAccount as an acct. Then you can pick this local acct as the default contact in which to save contacts I'll write my own answer to this soon. – Jon Grah Sep 11 at 9:15

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