Mobile

Where are my contacts stored on Android?

Have I told you lately that Android is a pretty amazing operating system? Well, it is, having a couple of awesome features, able to save you in some nasty situations. But sometimes, it can also stop working, all of a sudden, leaving you with a bricked phone. And this is something nobody likes, especially due to the data it’s stored on it, like contacts, photos and so on.

We already talked about how you can recover lost photos, so today we’re focusing a bit on contacts. To be more specific, we’re going to find out where are contacts stored on Android, how you can recover them, and how to backup everything, in order to avoid an unpleasant situation.

Where can I find the contacts on my Android phone?

Technically speaking, there is no exact locations for the contacts database, as it depends on the phone’s manufacturer. In an ideal world, in which every Android phone would have a stock interface, you can find them by going to /data/data/com.android.providers.contacts/databases/contacts.db

Here, you shouldn’t have any problems in finding the Contacts database, in a SQLite 3 format.

This database can be then copied and browsed through on your PC, using tools like SQLiteman or DB Browser for SQLite, the latter being available for various platforms. You will then see all your contacts and eventually re-use them on another or the same phone.

But I did say that this happens in an ideal world, right?

Well, in our world, there are two main aspects which don’t allow you to rely on this method…

Not all phones have stock Android. Actually, the majority of smartphones are running a custom interface, so the path mentioned above can be slightly different, depending on your phone’s brand.

Secondly, in order to access the database, you need to have a rooted phone. And again, not all users did this to their devices.

A bit complicated, isn’t it? Not really, but there’s an easier way too.

How can I backup my Android contacts?

If you want to save them, you know, just in case, but you can’t find where are your contacts stored on Android, there are a few ways of backing them up, using some pretty cool apps.

One of my favorites is Wondershare MobileGo Android Desktop Manager, a complete utility, perfect for transferring all kinds of stuff from your phone to a PC. And it’s dead simple to use since you just need to make a few clicks and you’re all done.

Here are the steps you need to follow in order to back up your contacts:

Step 1: Install Android Desktop Manager

Pretty obvious, isn’t it? Using the download link above, get the installation kit and follow the wizard.

Step 2: Connect your phone to your PC

Using a USB cable, connect the two devices. Shortly after this, your phone will be recognized by the software, so tap ‘Yes’ on the screen, in order to turn on USB debugging. Once you’ve done this, the tool will start analyzing everything that is stored on the phone.

Step 3: Export your contacts

Now it’s time to copy contacts from Android to PC. Go to Contacts from the menu on the left, then click on the Export option from the top menu. Here you will see two options: Export selected contacts to computer and Export all contacts to computer, each of them giving you the possibility to save them in different places.

Choose all contacts, as well as your destination of choice. This shouldn’t take more than a few minutes, depending on the phone and Android version.

How can I recover lost Android contacts?

If you were unlucky enough to end up with a bricked phone, for various reasons, you can still get your contacts back.

Remember the Android Data Recovery Tool we talked about when trying to find a way to recover photos? Well, since it’s absolutely awesome, it can also help you find contacts, hidden somewhere in the phone’s internal storage.

The process is very similar to the one through which you recover photos. After your phone is scanned, you will see a screen showing you the types of data available on your phone. Pick Contacts, hit Next and wait until the tool does the trick. Then, you can choose which contact you can recover.

Wrap-up

Doesn’t seem that hard get track of those numbers, isn’t it? Hopefully, you will now be able to find contacts stored on Android with ease, no matter if you lost them or just want to be precautious and store them in a safe place.

How did our methods work for you? Let us know, by dropping a few lines in the comments section below!

65 Comments

  • I reset my phone and lost contacts which were not backed up to any account also. Can I recover them?

  • Hello,
    my galaxy s7 has broken screen (all black), touch screen doesn’t work.
    I ordered new one but how do I retract contact from old one?
    Please help. Thank you very much.
    MK

  • It’s very simple to save your Contacts to your google account. And if it happen to change your phone or lose it just sign in with your google account and contacts have appeared.

    • Hello. Can you give us more information about your problem and we will try to find a better solution.

    • Hello. Thank you for your positive comment. We try to explain in the easiest and most efficient way that everyone understands and solves the problem they have.

    • Hello.
      You will find the steps explained in the article. At the sections “How can I backup my Android contacts?” you will find all what you need.
      Tell us if you solved the problem.
      Have a nice day.

  • Hi guys. Very nice article and very useful, but i have a question…will be i able to import that contacts again to my phone after exporting them to pc????

    • Hello
      I advise you to use cloud based always in android so your contacts are not missing anywhere.

    • On an android phone you just have to sign in and your contact will automaticaly be synchronized.

  • I just wanted to backup my contacts and I did not find any solution to work. I came across your blog and I followed the steps carefully and to my surprise it worked. Thank you, you do a good job.

    • Thank you very much for your positive feedback. This is our job, to help people this kind of problems.
      Have a nice day.

    • Have always kept my contacts in Google.
      That way whenever I get a new phone and add my Google account, contacts sync right up.

  • Is this solution safe??contact backup?? I do not want to have the surprise of having no contacts after the backup.

  • My contacts currently are just a shitshow of different accounts and duplicates; what is the best way I could manage them?? Hope to answer me.

    • Hello.
      You can send us a message with more information about your problem so we can find a solution that works.
      Thank you.

    • Hello !
      If you’re using Android device the contacts should be synced.
      When you connect your Google Account into your new phone the contacts will show up!

    • Yes. If you follow the steps from the article it’s not so hard.
      I’m glad that it worked for you.

    • Yes. It’s possible using Google Contacts to save your contacts to cloud so that you can synchronize your contacts from any phone using your Gmail Account.
      Gmail account provides 15 GB of storage, so that should be enough.

  • Little bit of help..I lost my phone cuz I’m a stupid person :)) and I want to know how can I get my contacts from my old Android phone?

    • You do not have to worry.
      Just check your Google Account. Are big chances of your contacts being backup to your Google Account.
      You can check that by using this steps:
      Open your mobile settings
      Open Google settings
      Click restore contacts options
      After that all your contacts gets into your phone if you already syncronized earlier.
      It’s not so hard.
      I hope I was useful.

    • Yes.
      You can find them by going to /data/data/com.android.providers.contacts/databases/contacts.db.

  • Hi. I just have a question and I need some help. Where should i save my contacts? Device, SIM Card, Google, Samsung account??

    • HI
      I’d say that Google account it can be the best place to save your contacts because it’s cloud storage and isn’t limited to Samsung devices; it can be used to store and load contacts from any Android or iOS phone.

  • So the screen on my galaxy s8 stopped working and alson I inserted my SIMCard into an old Galaxy s3 but my contacts aren’t showing up.
    I thought the contacts must be somewhere stored on the phone’s memory but I searched for them and I can’t find them. I looked on the SD card but isn’t nothing there.
    If anyone knows why my contacts aren’t showing up on the other phone, where they might be or how to extract them, please let me know. I will be very grateful.

    • Contacts are probably stored on your internal storage, not the SD card.
      Can you connect it to a computer via USB? I know you might need to unlock the phone for that, but you should be able to do that blind with a few tries.
      Another option, assuming the touch-screen input still works, is to get a HDMI adaptor. They cost few dolars and you can then plug your phone into a computer monitor or TV to see what’s on the screen.
      In the future, make sure you enable automatic synchronisation for your contacts so you can view them online if your phone is lost or destroyed.
      I hope I could help you.

  • I had lost my contacts because I had a lot of problems with the phone, but I was lucky to find your article and I was able to recover contacts. I used Android Data Recovery Too and it worked perfectly. Thank you

  • Almos a year ago i have deleted a contact. Is it a chance to recover it. It’s an important one. HELP

    • Hi.
      There are small chances to be able to recover it. But if you backed up your contacts Offline in the past, it may be a chance.
      All the best.

    • Hi.
      To do this, the contact must be saved in the phone memory. And after that when you create a contact you can select a picture from the gallery to be pictured for that person.

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