How to backup your Android phone's contacts to Google, and restore them from a backup

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  • You can backup your Android device’s contacts to a Google account in a few quick steps and ensure that nothing gets lost.
  • Once you do, you’ll be able to easily restore lost or deleted contacts from your Google backup later.
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How many phone numbers do you know by heart? How long does it take to learn new ones when those change? Relying on tech to remember such things can feel a bit precarious, but there are just too many details for our brains to store. So it makes sense to defer to our devices for the vast majority of the various contact details that float in and out of our lives.

The easiest way to get your contacts saved across your various devices is by saving them directly to the Google account that’s associated with those devices.

But you don’t have to do this manually every time you have a new number or email address to add to your collection of contacts. And for those with Android devices, getting it done can be quickly and easily accomplished.

How to backup your Android contacts to a Google account

1. Go to your Settings.

2. Tap “System” and then choose “Backup” (it may also be under “Backup and reset,” beneath the section for “User and backup”).

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3. Turn on “Backup to Google Drive.”

How to restore your contacts from a Google backup

After completing the above steps, you’ll have the option to restore any lost phone contacts by retrieving them from your backup later on. Here’s how to do that:

1. Open your Settings.

2. Tap “Google.”

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3. Under “Services” select “Restore contacts” (depending on your device, it may also be its own section; and those with multiple Google accounts will have to select the correct one by tapping “From account”).

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4. Choose the device with the contacts you want to copy.

5. Tap “Restore” — wait until you see a confirmation message before navigating away from the screen.

When using the above restoration method, keep in mind that your device will only save contacts you don’t already have saved. That way, you’ll be able to avoid creating duplicate contacts. You can also opt to merge your saved contacts with the ones already saved on your device, which will get rid of those redundancies. Your new contacts will sync to your Google account as well as any accounts you have connected to it.

While you’re restoring, you’ll also have the option to skip saving to your SIM card or device storage after selecting the contacts you want to copy. To do that, simply turn off the “SIM card” or “Device storage” options before hitting “Restore.”

Related coverage from How To Do Everything: Tech:

  • How to change your Google password, or recover it if you’ve forgotten it

  • How to change your default Google account

  • How to set up Google Assistant on your iPhone or Android phone

  • How to change your Google username’s display in Gmail

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