I recently gave my old Galaxy S2 to a friend as I just got an S3 and before I did, I copied the "My Files" folder from my phone to this computer via USB debugging mode and then factory reset the phone.

I have since noticed that I had saved a few of my contacts on my old phone rather than to the sim since when I put the new sim in, there are some missing contacts. I was wondering how I might recover the contacts I had saved to my old phone from the copy of files I made on this computer.

I have the following files:


Is there anything I can do to get the old contacts?

  • Did you sync the contacts via Google? Or did you just save the contacts on the phone?
    – geffchang
    Commented Jun 26, 2013 at 3:27
  • I think they were just saved on the phone since I have synced my google accounts to my new phone as well (and still missing contacts).
    – alh
    Commented Jun 26, 2013 at 3:57

2 Answers 2


SIM contacts are not synced, neither are "phone" contacts. If you had used Google contact, they would have been synced with your Google/GMail account -- but then you wouldn't have noticed their loss, as they would have been synced back to your new device. Had you saved them as SIM contacts, they'd also be on your new device.

Which leaves us with the other non-synced variant: "phone contacts". Those are stored on device internal storage (to be more precise: in a database file located in /data/data/com.google.android.providers.contacts/databases), which is not directly accessible by normal users, so you could not have simply copied it.

Conclusion: as these data are not stored in "My Files", you have not copied them. And as you've factory-reset the original device, you cannot simply restore them from there. So apart from a quite expensive forensics recovery (done by a data recovery specialist) from your old device, there's no way to recover those contacts, sorry.


It is possible to recover your contacts from your old Galaxy S2 if the contacts are not overwritten by new files. A fact is that, the deleted files in your phone are still in your phone but hidden and inaccessible to you. That is why you cannot see them. To recover them, you need to use an Android Data Recovery to enter the file system to extract the contacts. In the market there are many such software, try them, your contact may be back.

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