I have backups made using OAndBackupX from my android phone and would like to recover my contacts from there. From looking around, I see that I have a directory called com.android.contacts which has in it a Contacts.apk file and a data.tar.gz file (which has shared_prefs/com.android.contacts.xml, which does not appear to be that useful) inside it. Is it possible to get my contacts (name and phone number) from this apk list? If so, how?

The Contacts.apk file opens into a bunch of folders and files:

AndroidManifest.xml  classes.dex  META-INF/  resources.arsc
assets/              com/         res/       shared_prefs/

Which, if any, of these would have the data I am looking for?

  • 2
    The APK file is just the application, you won't find your contacts in it. Contacts are not stored with the contacts app but with the contacts provider – so you have to search your backup for that. Btw it might help if you'd edit your question and include what you used to make this backup (sounds a bit like Titanium Backup?).
    – Izzy
    Mar 8, 2022 at 8:06

1 Answer 1


After mucking around a bit, I have been able to get enough information to reconstruct my contacts information. Thank you to @Izzy for pointing it out to me.

I obtained my ContactsProvider.apk from my backup and also data.tar.gz and device_protected_files.tar.gz.

I then unzipped my ContactsProvider.apk using unzip ContactsProvide.apk and got:

databases/  files/  shared_prefs/

The databases

calllog.db          contacts2.db  profile.db
calllog.db-journal  profile.db-journal

It would perhaps make sense that contacts2.db would have this information, so I looked into this sqlite3 file (as it is what I found below):

$ file contacts2.db 
contacts2.db: SQLite 3.x database, user version 1400, last written using SQLite version 3022000

$ sqlite3 contacts2.db 
SQLite version 3.36.0 2021-06-18 18:36:39
Enter ".help" for usage hints.
sqlite> .tables
_sync_state               phone_lookup              view_data_usage         
_sync_state_metadata      photo_files               view_entities           
accounts                  pre_authorized_uris       view_groups             
agg_exceptions            presence                  view_metadata_sync      
agg_presence              properties                view_metadata_sync_state
android_metadata          raw_contacts              view_raw_contacts       
contacts                  search_index              view_raw_entities       
data                      search_index_content      view_stream_items       
data_usage_stat           search_index_docsize      view_v1_contact_methods 
default_directory         search_index_segdir       view_v1_extensions      
deleted_contacts          search_index_segments     view_v1_group_membership
directories               search_index_stat         view_v1_groups          
groups                    settings                  view_v1_organizations   
metadata_sync             status_updates            view_v1_people          
metadata_sync_state       stream_item_photos        view_v1_phones          
mimetypes                 stream_items              view_v1_photos          
name_lookup               v1_settings               visible_contacts        
nickname_lookup           view_contacts           
packages                  view_data               

Carrying on with the above, I did the following:

$sqlite contacts2.db
sqlite> .separator , # to get the information in a CSV file with comma separation
sqlite> .output raw_contacts.csv #Where to save the file
sqlite> select * from raw_contacts; # Get it from raw_contacts in in the table above
sqlite> .exit

Then the file raw_contacts.csv has the information I want. There are several tables that have this information, and I just think that this one is fine from the ones I tried. Perhaps there are others that are better.

  • Is this not provided above? By unzipping the ContactsProvider.apk? Mar 21 at 18:35

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