Would you like to copy all the contacts from your Android smartphone to transfer them to your PC but you don’t know how to do it? Have you just changed your smartphone and need a hand to copy the address book from your old mobile to the new one? Don’t worry, I’m here to help you out.
With today’s guide I will help you find out how to save Android phonebook in order to copy all contacts from one smartphone to another, from a smartphone to a PC or even from a smartphone to a tablet. I assure you it is much easier than you imagine. We will also see how to synchronize Android contacts with Gmail in order to have an automatic backup of the address book always online and how to transfer your favorite contacts to a SIM card, all for free and using third-party applications only when strictly necessary.
I would like to underline the importance of using standard features when dealing with extremely “sensitive” information: for names, email addresses, telephone numbers, etc. it is always better to avoid the use of applications that could somehow store the information processed or, worse still, transfer them in an insecure way on remote servers (by the way, be careful when you go to the Play Store and look for apps to save or the transfer of contacts). Having made this necessary clarification, let’s roll up our sleeves and get to work immediately!
How to save Android address book with Gmail
The first method that I recommend you to use to save the Android address book and copy it to other devices is to activate the synchronization function of contacts with Gmail .
If, in the initial configuration phase, you have already associated your Android smartphone to a Google account , you can activate the synchronization of contacts and have the address book automatically copied to the other devices associated with the same account: other Android smartphones, iPhones, PC, tablet etc.
To activate the synchronization of contacts with Gmail, open the Android Settings app (the gear icon located on the home screen or in the drawer), select the Users and Accounts item from the screen that opens and first presses on the logo to Google and then to your Gmail address .
Now, if the synchronization function of contacts with your Gmail account is already enabled, you will find the Synchronize Contacts item activated. Otherwise, move the appropriate lever next to it to ON , so as to allow your device to automatically save all the phone contacts in the Google cloud.
Haven’t set up a Google account on your smartphone yet? No problem, go to the Settings menu > Android users and accounts and select the Add account> Google items from the screen that opens.
At this point, type the Gmail address of the account you want to associate with the phone using the appropriate text field and press the Next button . Then type in your password and press the Yes, I accept and then Accept buttons .
If you want to know more about how to connect a Google account to your Android smartphone, I suggest you read my guide dedicated to the subject.
If you do not yet have a Gmail account or want to create one to be used specifically for synchronizing the address book, go back to the Settings menu > Android Users and Accounts , select the Add account item , choose the Google logo from the screen that opens and presses on the Create an account button . Do you want to deepen this topic? Read my guide on how to create a Gmail account.
When the operation is completed, make sure that the synchronization of the address book is active (as explained above) and all your contacts will be saved constantly on Gmail and synchronized on all devices connected to the same e-mail account.
If you need help transferring contacts from Samsung to iPhone or want to know how to synchronize Gmail contacts with all your devices, read the tutorials in which I have dealt with these topics. In general, you can also learn more by consulting my guide on how to transfer the Android phone book.
Note: after enabling the synchronization of the Android address book with Gmail, you can also connect to this web page from your computer and export your contacts to your PC by clicking on the Export tab in the sidebar. Of course, you need to log into Gmail using the same Google account configured on your smartphone.
How to save Android phonebook to VCF file
If you want to save your contacts and transfer them to another device, I highly recommend that you use the export function present in the Android address book. To do this, you can use the Google Contacts app or the one that is already installed on your phone.
By doing so, you will get a .VCF file compatible not only with other Android smartphones, but also with iPhones, with Webmail services and with all the main e-mail clients available on computers: Outlook, Thunderbird, Apple Mail etc.
If you use the Contacts app , to export your contacts to a .VCF file , open the latter using its icon on the home screen or in the drawer (the one with the little man on a blue background ). Once this is done, press the ☰ button located at the top left and select the Settings item from the menu that appears.
In the screen you see, tap on the Export option , choose the folder to export the contacts from the address book (I recommend the download one ) and press the Save button . The export process will take a few seconds.
If, on the other hand, you use the default app for managing contacts, you need to see if this export functionality is present. For example, if you own a Huawei smartphone , you should be able to use it by starting the Contacts app , tapping on the ⋮ icon and pressing the Settings> Import / Export items .
At this point, choose the Export to archive item and then confirm the entire procedure by pressing the Export button . The file will be automatically saved in the path that was shown to you in the box located below.
Are you using a Samsung smartphone ? Then the procedure to follow may be slightly different. The first step you have to take is to enter the Address Book application , then you have to press the More button located at the top right, you have to select the Settings item from the menu that opens and you have to call up the Import / Export contacts function .
Once you have finished exporting the address book, take the VCF file you just obtained and copy it to the device on which you intend to import the contacts. To do this, you can upload the file to a cloud storage service (eg Google Drive or Dropbox ), you can auto-send it by email or you can use an app for wireless data transfer (eg AirDroid ).
How can you do this? Open the pre-installed Android file manager app or contact a file manager such as Google Files . Once the file has been identified, hold down your finger on it, press the sharing icon and choose the application to use for transferring the address book.
At this point, all you have to do is download the VCF file on your smartphone or computer where you want to import your Android contacts and feed it to your favorite mail client or address book. For more information on this procedure, check out my tutorial on how to open VCF files, where I explained how to import VCF files in Windows, macOS, Android, iOS / iPadOS and various Webmail services.
If you want to transfer the Android phone book to the PC, you can also connect the smartphone to the computer and “manually” transfer the VCF file to the latter. If you need a hand to connect your Android device to the PC, consult the guide I have dedicated to the topic.
How to save Android phonebook in CSV file
It is also possible to export the Android phone book in the form of a .CSV file . CSV files (acronym for comma separated values ) are simple text files that contain lists of data generally divided by commas.
They can be used to view and organize information of various kinds (such as names, telephone numbers and addresses in an address book) in applications such as Microsoft Excel or to import contacts into e-mail clients, such as Microsoft Outlook .
To export your smartphone’s address book to a CSV file, contact Contact Master Kit , a free application for Android that supports exporting contacts in the form of CSV and VCF files.
To use it, close the advertisement that appears on its home screen and grant permissions to allow the app to access Android functionality.
Once this is done, press the Export button and decide whether to export all contacts ( All Contacts ) or only some specific ones ( Selected Contacts ). In the latter case, you will need to put a check mark on each contact to be exported and then confirm everything using the ✓ icon located at the top.
Then press the Next button , select CSV as the output format and press the Start button , to start the export of the address book. At the end of the procedure, press the OK button , select the E-mail item and choose an application with which to transfer the CSV file to the target device.
As I explained to you in the previous chapter for the file in VCF format, you can choose Gmail or another email client to auto-send you the file via email, or use Google Drive or Dropbox to store the file on a cloud storage service. .
If you need a hand to open the CSV file on your computer or other devices, refer to this guide that I dedicated to the topic.
How to save Android contacts to SIM
Would you like to export the Android phone book to the SIM you have installed on your smartphone? On some mobile phones this option is included “as standard”, just use the Contacts app as explained in the first chapter of this guide.
Alternatively, you can turn to free apps, such as Copy to SIM Card , which you can download from the Android Play Store , to achieve the same result.
The operation of this app is really intuitive. After downloading it to your smartphone, all you have to do is start it, select the Phone contacts tab and put the check mark next to all the contacts you want to copy to the SIM.
Then tap the ⋮ button located at the top right and select the Copy selected to SIM item to complete the operation.
If you want to transfer all the contacts from the Android phonebook to the SIM (bearing in mind that the 128k SIMs have a limit of 500 numbers), tap the ⋮ button located at the top right and select the Copy all phone contacts item in the SIM .
If the Phone Contacts tab is empty, solve the problem by doing this: press the ⋮ button located at the top right and select the Settings item from the menu that opens.
Then put the check mark next to all the items you find under the heading Choose contacts to display , press the OK button and return to the main Copy to SIM Card screen . The contacts in the phone book should now display correctly.
How to save Android phonebook to SD
Have you exported your contacts using the methods I indicated in the previous chapters and, now, would you like to transfer the VCF or CSV file to the SD card ? In this case, you have several options for doing this.
The first is the simplest one: using the app you used to export to file, indicate any folder on the SD card as the destination folder, if this is allowed.
If not, all you have to do is use the file management app pre-installed on your smartphone or Google Files , to manually move the location file from the device memory to the SD card.
In this regard, my advice is to consult what I have explained to you in detail in my guide on how to move files to SD card, in which you will find all the information you need to be able to achieve this your goal.