How to Transfer Contacts Between Androids

by Danielle Fernandez
Transferring contacts is often your first concern after you've purchased a new smartphone.

Transferring contacts is often your first concern after you've purchased a new smartphone.

When you first initialize your Android device, you are prompted to enter valid Gmail logins to synchronize all associated information -- including your contacts, apps and calendar data. This feature enables a seamless transition to a new Android phone -- and it provides an effective way to share business contacts with Android-owning colleagues. In the event you do not wish to share your Google logins with another device, however, you can manually export your Gmail contacts and import them into the Gmail account programmed into the other device.

Automatic Google Synchronization

1

Navigate to the Home screen of the device storing the contacts you wish to transfer. It is important to ensure a fresh sync -- especially if you do not have automatic synchronization set up on the device.

2

Press the "Menu" button and tap "Settings."

3

Tap "Accounts & Sync" and then tap the Google account used for the original initialization of the smartphone device.

4

Tap "Sync Contacts" to synchronize all contacts stored on the Android device. Alternately, you can tap "Sync Now" at the bottom to synchronize all of the device's digital information -- including Gmail, app and calendar data.

5

Navigate to the Home screen of the second Android device. Press the "Menu" button and tap "Settings."

6

Tap "Accounts & Sync" from the Settings menu and select "Add Account" from the bottom of the screen.

7

Tap "Google" from the list of available account types. Tap "Next" to confirm the addition of another Google account on the next screen.

8

Tap "Sign In" and enter the username and password for the Google account storing the contacts you wish to import. Allow the device to communicate and verify with Google.

9

Tap "Sync Contacts" to synchronize the information. Alternately, you can tap "Sync Now" to synchronize all data -- including apps, Gmail and calendar information. Tap "Finish Setup" when the process is complete.

Export and Import Google Contacts Manually

1

Launch your Gmail inbox using a computer browser and log in with your username and password.

2

Select "Gmail" at the upper left corner and then choose "Contacts."

3

Select the "More" drop-down menu and choose "Export...."

4

Choose to export all contacts or only specific groups, and then select "Google CSV" from the available export formats.

5

Select "Export" and choose "Save to Disk."

6

Click "OK" and then select a location to save your file. Click "OK" again.

7

Log out of the original Gmail account and log in to the second Gmail account. Again, click "Gmail" at the upper left and select "Contacts."

8

Click the "More" drop-down menu at the top of your screen and select "Import..."

9

Select "Browse" and locate the exported contact file on your computer.

10

Launch the Home screen on the second Android device and press the "Menu" button.

11

Tap "Settings" and then tap "Accounts & Sync."

12

Tap the Google account associated with the Android device -- in other words, the one originally used to initialize the phone -- and then tap "Sync Contacts."

Tip

  • check Removing a synchronized Google account also removes all data associated with it, including contacts. If you are sharing your contacts with another Android owner, it is imperative that he perform a second synchronization -- with his own Google account -- before deleting yours from his device. Once the additional sync is complete, access the "Accounts & Sync" menu, tap the Google account and select "Remove Account" from the bottom.

About the Author

Based in Tampa, Fla., Danielle Fernandez been writing, editing and illustrating all things technology, lifestyle and education since 1999. Her work has appeared in the Tampa Tribune, Working Mother magazine, and a variety of technical publications, including BICSI's "Telecommunications Distribution Methods Manual." Fernandez holds a bachelor's degree in English from the University of South Florida.

Photo Credits

  • photo_camera Spencer Platt/Getty Images News/Getty Images