Up until now, I was always storing my new contact phone numbers on my SIM card because that way, when I buy a new phone, I have all my numbers transfered automatically.

However, it really is nice to be able to store pictures and more information next to a phone number.

I am thinking therefore, on beginning to store new contacts on my phone.

How can I backup and restore all contacts on a new phone without rooting my current phone ( which is a Samsung Galaxy S, by the way ) ?

  • What OS is your phone running? And what provider are you on? (My Galaxy S is Sprint, so I don't even have a SIM.)
    – Amanda
    Jun 5, 2011 at 14:26

5 Answers 5


Did you try it over the build-in Android <-> Google Account synchronization? That keeps your contacts always synched up and moreover you have them available also online within Gmail. From there you can even export them in different kind of formats as an additional backup if you like.

More details, perhaps...: In contacts->menu->more->contacts storage (translated from my non-english-speaking phone...), you can select Google. That will store any new contacts you add there, but as far as I know does not handle pre-existing contacts on your phone. What I did to sync up these old contacts was contacts->menu->import/export, and exported the contacts to a file on the SD card. I then used the gmail app on the phone to send this .vcf file to myself as an attachment (menu in the gmail application to attach a file) and used gmail from my PC to import the contact list from that message, merge any duplicates etc. etc.

  • Syncing up to GMail also has the advantage that the moment you get a new Android phone and sign into with your Google account, all your contacts will be on the new phone in seconds, without you having to do anything. If you're ultra-worried about backups, you can export from Gmail into a .CSV file that almost any contacts program can read.
    – GAThrawn
    May 31, 2011 at 9:44
  • @Juri: I must be missing something obvious here. I have a bunch of contacts already on my phone/sim. Can I sync these with Google ? Or do I have to re-create contacts on my Google account ?
    – Edelcom
    Jun 3, 2011 at 3:58
  • @Edelcom: No you don't have to create them in Google. What I'd suggest you to do is to first copy all of your SIM contacts to your phone (directly in Android). Then go to Settings > Accounts & sync. There should be your Gmail account as well. Click on it and then you should see a list of possible sync options which also includes "Sync Contacts". You should first maybe backup your Gmail contacts by exporting them to some format (directly from within Gmail). This site may help u as well: google.com/sync/android.html
    – Juri
    Jun 3, 2011 at 9:27
  • @Juri: I'm sorry, but this does not work. I already have done this. But the contacts on my phone (without a Google icon next to them) or NOT synchronized with Gmail - nor would I expect them to be synchronized (or I am looking at a wrong place, of course). The few contacts which have a Google icon next to them are synchronized without problems.
    – Edelcom
    Jun 3, 2011 at 10:08
  • strange, but are they on your SIM or phone storage?? Guess you have to copy them first to your phone and then they should sync properly. Never experienced such issues..
    – Juri
    Jun 3, 2011 at 11:08

I also have a Samsung Galaxy S. If I open contacts and hit the "menu" button, one of the options I have is "Import from SD card" (also, "Export to SD card") -- that should backup your contacts.

I installed Funambol Sync to sync my contacts to my laptop -- that's another good option if you don't like Google having your data.

If you turn on USB debugging (Settings > Applications > Development) you can connect your phone to your computer with a USB cable and copy the export file to your computer so you know you've got it backed up.

  • I don't have this option, just export/import to and from SIM.
    – Edelcom
    Jun 3, 2011 at 3:56
  • What OS version/build is running on your Samsung Galaxy S?
    – Amanda
    Jun 3, 2011 at 20:34
  • @Edelcom, do you have an SD Card?
    – Amanda
    Jun 5, 2011 at 14:27
  • Yes, I have a SD caard, and I am running Froyo 2.2.1.
    – Edelcom
    Jun 5, 2011 at 15:00

There is an application(Backup and Restore) that comes with android phones to back up all your contacts, messages, call logs,etc. Use that and backup all your contacts. Its going to place the file in SDCard. You can even store that in your Computer. So later you can use the same file to import the contacts.

I don't know why Root come into Picture..

  • probably because titanium backup requires root
    – jiggunjer
    Nov 18, 2015 at 1:31

The Samsung Galaxy S comes with SIM Toolkit which allows you to move contacts from the SIM to your Google Account. Once done then your contacts are automatically backed up.

  • Where do you find this ? Looked for it in my applications, but nothing.
    – Edelcom
    Jun 3, 2011 at 3:57

For a quick backup of your contacts to your SD card, you can use the Export functionality of the contacts app. This is on a HTC Desire S (running 2.3) - I'd imagine that this is common functionality though:

  1. Open the People application
  2. Press the menu button
  3. Select Import/Export
  4. Choose Export to SD card
  5. Choose which account you want to export - in this case you're probably wanting the Phone contacts, but you could choose SIM instead.
  6. Copy the created backup folder to your computer, the internet, etc.
  • 3
    The People application is HTC (Sense?) specific. May 31, 2011 at 12:48

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