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?

EDIT: I'm using the Samsung Vibrant, T-Mobile's variant of the Galaxy S, running Android 2.1. The edit menu for contacts shows options for Edit, Delete, Link contact, Mark as default, Send namecard via and Copy to SIM.

  • What phone are you on? Sounds like you could be using HTC's Contacts app, as I'm pretty sure the stock Android Contacts app always syncs everything in the phone's store to GMail, and only gives you the option to save to SIM or Phone?
    – GAThrawn
    Jul 21 '10 at 16:39
  • @GAThrawn: it's a Samsung Galaxy S, Android 2.1. Edited my question to include this information too.
    – Niall C.
    Jul 21 '10 at 17:20
  • @Niall, sorry never used a Samsung Android, will have to bow out and hope someone else knows.
    – GAThrawn
    Jul 21 '10 at 19:11
  • use SUPER BACKUP --> Backup --> Restore --> Done - play.google.com/store/apps/… Aug 19 '15 at 22:38

10 Answers 10


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.
    Jul 27 '10 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
    Jul 28 '10 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
    Jul 28 '10 at 19:37
  • does it would work for Export to SIM card too ?
    – URL87
    Jan 30 '14 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.
    Jan 30 '14 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
    Jun 20 '15 at 14:55
  • (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
    Apr 16 '19 at 7:29

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

  • Go to the contact list.
  • Press the menu button [=] in the bottom left corner of the phone.
  • Choose Import/Export.
  • Choose Export to SD Card (remember the name&place of the vcf file).
  • Go to "My files".
  • Find the file xxxx.vcf file.
  • Long push on it.
  • Choose Share.
  • Choose Google Mail.
  • Send it to your own email address.
  • On your PC open your email in Gmail.
  • Find the attachment and choose "import to contacts"
  • Google will now guide you trough the merging process.
  • You may want to delete the vcf file from the phone's SD card afterwards.

Afterwards I hid all contacts but Google contacts

  • Go into contacts
  • Press the menu button [=] in the bottom left corner of the phone.
  • Choose More.
  • Choose Display Options.
  • 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
    Aug 18 '15 at 7:25
  • A million times, yes! In Lollipop the menu item is called "Move device contacts to." Nov 27 '15 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.
    Jul 27 '10 at 16:19

Try Contact Remover Plus. It moves contacts between accounts (incl. Facebook etc.) as well as finding/merging duplicates.

  • This is not a free application ...
    – BiLaL
    Mar 29 '16 at 7:02

Another way to do it is by merging it with your Google account. Here is how to do it:

  1. Open contacts, hit menu, then select Merge Accounts
  2. Now choose Merge with Google option.

If you have Sync enabled, then all those contacts will start getting uploaded to your gmail account one by one. If not, open Accounts and Sync and hit Sync now.

For screenshots and other details, see http://gadgetizor.com/upload-copy-move-android-contacts-gmail/13360/


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

  • Filter contacts by device only
  • Select all contacts
  • Share contacts to email or however you feel is necessary, i emailed to myself
  • on the new phone, download the contacts from email
  • i got the option on import to save contacts to google, which i will be adding new contact to from now on

Samsung Galaxy S3, main contacts screen hit menu and merge with google.

  • If you take a look at the question: It's not about the S3, but the first-generation S. Are you sure this applies there as well?
    – Izzy
    Dec 22 '13 at 10:50

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
    May 10 '15 at 0:08

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