Sunday, November 18, 2012

How to transfer phonebook contacts from old phone to Android?

There is a time when we buy an Android phone and suddenly find ourselves searching ways to copy old phonebook contacts to new phone. Some manufacturers provide with PC suits which can assist in doing it however several others don’t. So for all those who don’t have PC suits and are using Android in its original form here are some ways to transfer contacts.

I am illustrating with example of Nokia to Android. These procedures may also work in similar way for other platforms as well.

Additionally, if you are opting to Sync using CSV/Outlook, you need to have your phone connected to Internet using either Wifi or 3G or EDGE. It will be needed on the last step of syncing contacts from Gmail to Phone. I would advise you to use WiFi for it. Other options like 3G/EDGE will involve operator costs that will be charged to your SIM based on your plan.

Android Ice Cream Sandwich (ICS) & Gingerbread

Copy old contacts on SIM card and transfer on new Android.

Copy contacts on sim card from old phone by using appropriate options mentioned in its manual. For example, on Nokia Symbian v5.0 (Nokia 5800) it can be done as show below.

1)     Goto Contacts and select Options.
2)     Select Mark/Unmark option and then select Mark All.
3)     Again select Options and then select Copy.
4)     A dialog will appear asking if you want to copy the contacts to SIM, Select OK and wait for them to be copied over to SIM.

Nokia 5800 contacts screen

After successful copy, switch off the old phone and take out the SIM from old phone and insert it in new Android.

Switch on the Android phone and:

  1. Open contacts from home page.
  2. Goto Settings by pressing settings button on bottom left corner either on device or on screen as shown.
  3. Goto Import/Export->Scroll down and select appropriate SIM.
  4. Follow on-screen instructions to complete the process
  5. See below images for visual hints.

On GingerBread
  1. Open contacts from home page.
  2. Goto Settings by pressing settings button on bottom left corner either on device or on screen as shown.
  3. Goto Import/Export->Import from SIM card to Phone.
  4. Follow on screen instructions.
  5. See below images for hints.

Sync contacts with Outlook and upload to Gmail account.

By reading the title it’s obvious that you would need Outlook/Windows Contacts, Gmail accounts and old phone PC suite set up.

If you haven't yet linked your Google (Gmail) account with your Android phone click here to do so.

I will be illustrating it using Nokia PC suite (v3.2.100) and Outlook 2010 but it will hold true for other platforms as well.

The process involves three steps.

  • Using PC suite to transfer contacts to Outlook/Windows 
  • Using Outlook/Windows Contacts to export to .CSV
  •  Exporting .CSV to your Gmail contacts.

Using PC suite to transfer contacts to Outlook/Windows Contacts
1)     Connect the old phone to PC using USB/Bluetooth.
2)     Find the option to sync the phone contacts to PC. Nokia PC suit automatically does that.
3)     Find the option to export the contacts to .CSV. If that is supported out of box you won’t need Outlook and directly skip to Exporting CSV to Gmail. Nokia PC suit doesn’t allow exporting contacts to .CSV.
4)     Find an option to sync your contacts from PC suit to Outlook/Windows contact. Nokia PC Suit helps doing it using Sync->Sync Option and then Sync Now options. See screen shots below.

Using Outlook/Windows Contacts to export to .CSV
1)     After above steps the contacts will automatically appear in Outlook. See Contacts tab of Outlook.
2)     Export the contacts from Outlook to CSV format. Outlook 2010 allows doing that as follows.
·        Goto File->Options to bring up options screen.
·        Click on Advanced tabs on left hand side tab strip.
·        Click on Export button to bring up the Export dialog box.
·        Click on Export to File option.
·        Select Comma Separated Values (CSV)
·        Follow on screen instructions to save the file which will later be uploaded to Gmail contacts.

Exporting .CSV to your Gmail contacts
1.      Sign in to Gmail.
2.      Click Gmail at the top-left corner of your Gmail page, then choose Contacts.
3.      From the More actions dropdown menu, select Import....
4.      Click the Choose File button.
5.      Select the file you'd like to upload and click the Import button.

Click here to see the Google support page for more information 

After this wait for Gmail to sync your contacts to your phone. It may be faster on WiFi and 3G networks and slowest on EDGE.


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