I'm using the Samsung Vibrant, T-Mobile's variant of the Galaxy S, running Android 2.1. When I create a contact on my Android phone, I can choose to store it to the SIM, the phone, or to Google. If I choose phone, is there an easy way that I can move or copy that contact to Google (so it shows up in Gmail, for example) at some later time?

The edit menu for contacts shows options for Edit, Delete, Link contact, Mark as default, Send namecard via and Copy to SIM.


9 Answers 9


vCardIO works on any Android device and can import-export any vCard 2.1 format, even those with multiple contacts.

  • Thanks. It seems this functionality is built into my phone's Contacts app (so I didn't need to use vCardIO), but it set me on the right track. I'm accepting your answer because it seems that not all phones have this feature and I hope it will be useful for people using them.
    – Niall C.
    Commented Jul 27, 2010 at 16:15
  • Mine didn't (GeeksPhone) in fact until I found it I was facing the possibility o inputting all my contacts by hand, which is a painful process since i don't have 10 contacts precisely
    – rmontagud
    Commented Jul 28, 2010 at 0:37

This is the simplest way that I found to do it with my Samsung Galaxy S:

  1. From the main Contacts screen, hit Menu, then More, then Import/Export, then Export to SD card.
  2. Connect the phone to the PC and mount the phone's SD card as a removable drive.
  3. Open browser to GMail, select Contacts then Import. Select the file on the phone's SD card, then Import.

Voila! On the next sync, they're back as my phone as Google contacts.

  • i just did this on my phone and it worked great!
    – longneck
    Commented Jul 28, 2010 at 19:37
  • does it would work for Export to SIM card too ?
    – URL87
    Commented Jan 30, 2014 at 13:04
  • @URL87 I don't believe there's a way to mount the SIM card as a removable disk on the PC, so I don't think it would. IIRC, the phone's user interface had a way to convert SIM contacts to phone contacts, and then you could use this method to move them to Google.
    – Niall C.
    Commented Jan 30, 2014 at 15:46
  • I've just found a way how to do all this without a PC (at least for Android 2.6.35). You export the contacts to sdcard and then use the same dialog to import. If you have your Google account set up, it'll ask you where do you want to store the contacts, so you select the Google account and there you go. Optionally force contacts sync in the account settings to get it to the cloud.
    – tlwhitec
    Commented Jun 20, 2015 at 14:55
  • 1
    (latest April 2019) the easiest way to do this, is to install Google's new contacts app. They have an option to migrate all SIM/Phone contacts directly to google. That's a one-click operation. No import/export required.
    – tinker
    Commented Apr 16, 2019 at 7:29

This is how I did it (I have a Samsung GT-S6102 with Android 2.3.6)

  1. Go to the contact list.
  2. Press the menu button [=] in the bottom left corner of the phone.
  3. Choose Import/Export.
  4. Choose Export to SD Card (remember the name & place of the VCF file).
  5. Go to "My files".
  6. Find the file xxxx.vcf file.
  7. Long push on it.
  8. Choose Share.
  9. Choose Gmail.
  10. Send it to your own email address.
  11. On your PC, open your email in Gmail.
  12. Find the attachment and choose "import to contacts"
  13. Google will now guide you through the merging process.
  14. You may want to delete the VCF file from the phone's SD card afterward.

Afterwards, I hid all contacts but Google contacts

  1. Go into contacts
  2. Press the menu button [=] in the bottom left corner of the phone.
  3. Choose More.
  4. Choose Display Options.
  5. Use the settings under "Select contacts to display".

Simple on Galaxy devices (and prob more)

  1. Goto your Contacts main list.
  2. Press the Menu soft key.
  3. Select Merge Accounts.
  4. Select Merge with Google.
  5. All Device contacts will be merged with Google Account.
  • This actually appears to be the simplest of all the methods.
    – yosh m
    Commented Aug 18, 2015 at 7:25
  • A million times, yes! In Lollipop the menu item is called "Move device contacts to." Commented Nov 27, 2015 at 22:30

This works on a HTC Hero 2.1: Open the standard "Contacts" app, in the first screen where all contacts are shown press the menu button, choose "Import/Export" and the option "Import from SIM card".

  • Thanks. My phone doesn't have the menu options you describe, though my eventual solution was similar.
    – Niall C.
    Commented Jul 27, 2010 at 16:19

A way I just did it as most of these options weren't available (transferring phone to phone)

  1. Filter contacts by device only
  2. Select all contacts
  3. Share contacts to email or however you feel is necessary, I emailed to myself
  4. On the new phone, download the contacts from the email
  5. I got the option on import to save contacts to Google, which I will be adding a new contact to from now on

I recommend Contacts Optimizer (it's free) and you can remove duplicates, move contacts between accounts, mass remove contacts.

  • 1
    Moving contacts is not in free plan!
    – cebirci
    Commented May 10, 2015 at 0:08

To make these sort of changes I use MyPhoneExplorer

You install an app on the phone and one on Windows. From Windows you can suck in contacts, files, messages etc (for backup). But you can also edit the contacts. See screenshot, you can just change the account. And then sync the changes back.

enter image description here


The easiest solution might be to use the "back up & sync device contacts" option as described in Back up & sync device contacts, this appears to work even if you don't have the latest Google Contacts app installed:

  1. Open your device settings
  2. Tap "Google" > "Settings for Google apps" > "Google Contacts sync"
    This shows you how many Google contacts have already been synchronized, and how many phone contacts there are
  3. Tap "Also sync device contacts" > "Automatically back up & sync device contacts"
  4. Turn on "Automatically back up & sync device contacts"

After a short moment, you can open your Contacts app and should see that the contacts appear under your Google account.

If you are using the Google Contacts app, you can alternatively also move individual contacts from the phone to your Google Account as described in Add, move, or import contacts.

Another option is to export all contacts, for example as a vCard file (*.vcf), and then re-import them again to your Google account.

See How to migrate all of your Android contacts to Google | TechRepublic. Though I am not sure how reliable that is and if all information of your contacts can be properly preserved this way.

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