Whether you are switching from one Android phone to another, or from Android to iOS or vice versa, there is no reason why you should be losing your contacts when you switch phones. This is the 21st century and technology solved this problem years ago.
Modern smartphones have full Gmail or Outlook support and can synchronise your Contacts. Once you setup your Gmail or Outlook to synchronise your cell phone contacts, every time you switch to a new phone, all you have to do is setup your Gmail/Outlook on the new phone and all your Contacts are wirelessly copied to the new device. Easy. Also, any changes you make to your contacts in Gmail desktop are synchronised to your device, and vice versa.
How to stop losing your contacts when you switch to a new phone
Here are the steps to take to make sure your Contacts synchronise across devices:
1. You need a Gmail or Outlook account
Every Gmail or Outlook account has the Contacts service attached to it, so if you have one, you’re good to go. If you don’t have one, create one. You can create one on your phone by going to Gmail.com or Outlook.com. If you already have one, you don’t need to create another. You can use your existing account.
2. Setup On Mobile
On the phone where you have your Contacts right now, launch the Gmail or Outlook app and setup your Gmail account on that phone for email. Then go to the Settings menu and check any options to enable synchronisation of Contacts and Calendar. If you had your account setup before now, you are good to go.
3. Import Your SIM/Phone Contacts
If you have your contacts on your SIM or phone contacts, open your Contacts app -> Menu -> Import/Export -> Select to export from SIM/Phone and import to your Gmail/Outlook account.
Once done, you are good to go. All your contacts on your SIM or phone have been added to your Gmail/Outlook Contacts. From now on, to add your cell phone contacts to any new device, just setup your Gmail or Outlook account on the device in question and watch the magic happen.
When adding new contacts to your device, always select the option to “Save as Google/Outlook contact”. Some devices will insert your email address in place of Google or Outlook account.
The above steps apply to all modern smartphones, whether it is an Apple iPhone or an Android smartphone. The exact terminologies and menus may differ slightly, depending on how each manufacturer has implemented their software, but the process is the same.
So you remember, here are the steps again: create a Google/Gmail or Outlook account, login to it on your phone, export your phone or SIM contacts and save them under the new Google/Outlook account. And lastly, any time you have to save a new Contact, be sure to save it under your Google or Outlook account. Do not save to SIM or phone.
Now, you do not have to lose your contacts any more when you lose your phone or buy a new smartphone or tablet. Your contacts are stored in the cloud and can be synced to any mobile device just by logging into your Gmail or Outlook account. Bliss.
Did I miss out anything in this tutorial? Do chip in with a comment below, so I can keep refining the guide for you. Got more questions about this? You’re welcome to ask, and I will try my best to answer them.
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Founder of MobilityArena. Yomi’s journey in mobile started in 2001. Besides obsessing over mobile phones, he also started creating WAP sites (early mobile-friendly websites created with WML). He began writing about phones in 2004 and has been at it since then. He has owned over 200 devices, from Symbian, Palm, PocketPC/Windows Mobile, BlackBerry/BB10, webOS, Windows Phone, Firefox, Ubuntu Touch, to Android, iOS, and KaiOS operating systems.