How to back up contacts to Gmail – Tap-by-Tap Guide

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If you use Gmail for private use or Workspace for your business needs—you are also using the Google Contacts app, even if you don’t know you are. This contact management app is tightly integrated into your Gmail suite of apps and is responsible for creating, merging, organizing, and grouping your contacts. 

The popularity of this contact manager is impressive: on Google Play alone the Google Contacts app has garnered over 1 million reviews and over 1 billion downloads.

Most importantly, you can enjoy the benefits of this cloud-based app to keep your phone contacts safe from everything that may go wrong with your device: being stolen, smashed into nanoparticles by a jealous girlfriend, or being lost for good.

This step-by-step guide answers every question on the topic of “How to back up Contacts to Gmail”.

Why Is It Important to Back up Your Phone Contacts?

Samsung is the most popular smartphone in the world, followed by Apple and Huawei. This means that Android phones are a majority out there. 

Fun fact: Most Apple mobile devices out there heavily rely on parts produced by competing giants, like Samsung. For example, every iPhone X produced has benefited Samsung for over $100 in revenue in parts in 2017, according to WSJ.

A more recently released list of Apple suppliers still features 3 Samsung companies.

But let’s leave the Android vs iOS dilemma and be back to the serious—or at least not-always-as-fun—reality. While iOS users have all saved contacts tied to their cloud-residing Apple IDs, Android contacts may have a higher chance of being lost for good if something unplanned happens to a smartphone. 

This is why the matter of Gmail contacts backup is so critical for the majority of smartphone users the world over.

Not only can you backup your device contacts to your Gmail or Workspace, but you can also sync these entities—so that every time you add a new person’s details to your phone, they automatically become part of the Google Contacts.

In case your handheld device gets lost, stolen, or destroyed, you can always get access to the valuable personal details of your friends, family, and colleagues by accessing the cloud-residing Gmail account.

How to Back up Your Contacts to Gmail on Different Devices

These are the most popular ways how to backup contacts to Google, these are tap-by-tap guides for the most popular cases:

Synch Phone Contacts to Google Contacts via Settings

  1. Open the Settings app on your Android device
  2. Choose Google
  3. Tap Settings for Google apps at the bottom
  4. Tap Google Contacts sync
  5. Tap Also sync device contacts
  6. Turn on Automatically back up & sync device contacts
  7. Select the Gmail account to sync your device contacts to by tapping it

NB: Even if you have a few Gmail accounts added to your Android device, you can only back up your phone contacts to one Gmail account.

Backup Device Contacts to Gmail via Phone App

  1. Open the Phone application on your Android device
  2. Select the Contacts tab in the bottom right corner [when selected, it becomes underlined and bold]
  3. Bring up a dropdown menu for the Contacts tab by tapping three dashes icon on the right in the center of the screen
  4. Tap the Manage Contacts option
  5. Tap Sync Contacts and make sure the right Gmail account is on.

Sync Contacts to Gmail via Phone Contacts App

  1. On an Android device welcome dashboard, choose the native Android Contacts app
  2. Bring up a dropdown menu by tapping the three dashes icon on the left in the center of the screen
  3. Tap Manage contacts
  4. Tap Sync Contacts
  5. Turn on the toggle to an active state for the Gmail account of choice

If you are looking to sync all of your iPhone contacts to Gmail, here’s your tap-by-tap algorithm:

How to Import SIM contacts from an IOS Device to Gmail

  1. On your iPhone device go to Settings
  2. Tap Contacts
  3. Tap Import SIM contacts at the bottom of the screen
  4. You will have your synced Gmail account as one of the options at the bottom of the screen in a drop-down menu. Tap Gmail

How to Import Contacts From a VCF File

All Android device contacts saved into a VCF file can be imported to your Google Account.

When on your Android phone:

  1. Open the Contacts app 
  2. Tap Fix & manage at the bottom
  3. Select Import from the file
  4. Pick the Gmail account to save the contacts to.
  5. Select the VCF file with previously saved contacts to import

Congrats, mission complete. 

Restoring Google Contacts from Backups on Android

To start with, to be able to restore exported contacts from one Android the backup needs to be stored on an operating system of the same or lower version than the recipient’s OS.

  1. Open the Settings app on your Android device
  2. Tap Google
  3. Tap Set up & restore
  4. Select Restore contacts
  5. Choose the Google account by tapping on From account and tapping the phone with the contacts you need to be restored.
  6. Adjust settings SIM card or Device storage on or off according to your backup needs.
  7. Tap Restore
  8. Contacts restored notification signals successful completion of the mission.

Now all new entries will be added to all of the synched devices with your Google account.


The answers to the question “How can I backup my contacts to Gmail?” are a bit technical, but the hassle is worth the time spent doing it.

Proverbial wisdom “Better safe than sorry” is so true for all things related to the security of your personal data and the precious contacts you have been collecting all your life.

If you have not yet backed up your phone contacts to your Gmail, it’s high time you dropped everything and did it. 

The great news is once it’s all synced, you don’t even have to revisit this issue, as the automatic sync will ensure all of your newly added device contacts are stored in Google Contacts automatically.


How Long Does It Take to Backup Google Contacts?

Depending on the number of contacts you have, the model of your electronic devices, the OS, the backup method chosen, and the speed of the Internet, it takes 3-10 minutes to back up Google Contacts.

How Often Do You Need to Backup Google Contacts?

Once you have completed the contact backup to a G Suite, the automatic sync will take place every 5 minutes and your data will be safely stored in a Google cloud.

How to Back up my Contacts to Gmail

Users can perform Gmail backup contacts by downloading all of the phone contact entries to a VCF file from a device-native contact app to later upload them to a Gmail or Workspace account of choice.

1 Comment. Leave new

  • Phone contacts backup and synching is an exercise the entire family should do once and forget about it. This is just security and peace of mind for all – in case the worst happens to your favorite gadget, your data is safe.


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