How to migrate all of your Android contacts to Google

Jack Wallen walks you through the process of migrating your contacts from your phone's local storage to your Google account.

Migrate Android contacts

If you have multiple Android devices or you're planning on purchasing a new smartphone in the near future, you know that all of your Google contacts will be viewable by any Android device you associate with your Google account. But what about those contacts isolated to your phone's local storage? Since those aren't stored in your Google cloud, they won't be available to other devices. So, how do you solve that conundrum?

Easy... you migrate you contacts from the local storage to your Google account. I'll show you how to do that in two easy steps.

Note: This pro tip assumes that you have a device associated with a Google account and it contains a number of contacts on the local storage.

Step 1: Export

Follow these steps to export your contacts:

  1. Open the Contacts app (on some devices, such as the Moto X, it may be labeled People)
  2. Tap the app's menu button (this will either be the device menu button, such as with the Samsung Galaxy S4, or the overflow menu, which is denoted by three vertical dots)
  3. Tap Import/Export
  4. Tap Export to SD card (if an SD card does not exist, tap Export to USB storage — Figure A)

Figure A

Figure A

Exporting contacts from a Verizon-branded Samsung Galaxy S4.

Step 2: Import

The next step is to import the newly created vCard from the SD card (or USB storage) into your Google account. Here's how:

  1. Open the Contacts app
  2. Tap the app's menu button
  3. Tap Import/Export
  4. Tap Import
  5. Tap Google
  6. Select Import vCard file, and tap OK
  7. If you have multiple vCard files in the location selected, you'll have to select which vCard file to import — Figure B)
  8. Tap OK
  9. Allow the import to complete

Figure B

Figure B

Select the correct vCard for importing.

You should now have all of your contacts stored on your Google account. Every device associated with that account will have access to those contacts.

Have you found a better solution for syncing contacts across multiple devices? What about syncing between iOS and Android devices? Share your solution(s) in the discussion thread below.


Jack Wallen is an award-winning writer for TechRepublic and He’s an avid promoter of open source and the voice of The Android Expert. For more news about Jack Wallen, visit his website

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