Kim Barloso

Restore and back up Google Contacts


Contents :

  1. Search for hidden contacts
  2. Restore on your new phone
  3. Restore from VCF file
  4. Restore old Google Contacts

What is Google Contacts

Google Contacts is a service that allows you to save your contact information in the convenient Google Cloud storage. You can add all the information you need to your address book - such as your email address, phone number, contact photo, additional information (that only you will see) and more. Since your data is stored on Google's servers, you can access it from anywhere in the world where the Internet is available.

In common with other Google services (Drive, Calendar, Mail, etc.), Contacts has the following features:

  • backup address book,
  • import and export (restore) contact data,
  • synchronization with your smartphone.

Android smartphone owners can automatically upload created contacts to the device address book and also transfer new entries to the cloud storage. Google Suite, preinstalled in almost all Android smartphones, includes Google Contacts as standard, so you don't need to go any further to find and install the corresponding application.

How to recover contacts from Google Contacts

A detailed video guide (7 ways to recover contacts):

After another smartphone update or after an application (that has access to your address book), contacts saved in Google Contacts may simply disappear from your phone. Fortunately, this is fixable.

Make sure the contacts are definitely deleted and not hidden

The first thing to check is whether the settings of the app responsible for the address book have changed:

  1. Open the app used to manage the contacts. Find its menu (usually three vertical dots) or its settings. You can also do this using the Finder by typing "Contacts"

  2. Check if there is an option "Contacts to display" or something similar.
  3. If so, make sure that the application displays all possible contacts (not only from Whatsapp or Skype).
  4. If nothing similar is found in the settings, proceed to restore via Google services (next chapter).

Restoring Google Contacts entries from Recycle Bin

Since Google Contacts is a cloud storage, it has a feature to restore previously deleted data. However, there is a limit - in Trash you can store contacts that were deleted from the address book up to 30 days ago.

In case of accidental deletion (e.g. the program that did it or the wrong synchronization settings were selected), this period is sufficient.

Follow the steps to restore your contacts:

  1. Go to your Gmail mailbox.

  2. In the top right corner, click on "Google Applications" (the dotted icon next to your avatar).

  1. Select "Contacts". This will open in a new tab.

  1. In the right menu, find the item "Undo changes". By default this may be hidden, so click on "More" to display a list with options to import, export, print and restore.

  1. Click "Undo Changes" and select for how many days or hours you wish to rollback your address book. If you do not like any of the offered alternatives, simply select "Your choice" and indicate the number of days you would like to undo the changes (not more than 30).

  1. Confirm the changes and check if your contacts are restored.

For your information: Restoring Gmail contacts

Resuming the lost contacts in your Gmail mail service is possible the same way because all Google services are interrelated, the Google Contacts will also affect your email.

Restoring on a new phone

If you purchased a new Android smartphone or if your address book on your device gets accidentally corrupted, restoring your Google Contacts contacts will be much easier:

  1. Open your smartphone settings and look there for "Account" or "Accounts and archiving" (depends on the Android version).

  2. Select the Google Account you have attached or add it if it is a new phone.

  3. Go to the section "Synchronize account".

  4. Select whether you would like to synchronize your data from all available services or just your contacts.

  5. Click the three vertical dots in the upper right corner of the screen and select "Synchronize".

  6. Then the phone will start updating; as a result all Google Contacts stored in the cloud will appear in the address book.

Recover contacts from the VCF file

The second file restore method is the backup. If you know beforehand that your address book will be purged you can create a file with all the necessary information:

  1. Launch the "Contacts" application on your device.

  2. In the pop-up menu navigate to "Manage contacts" - then to "Import/export contacts".

  3. In the pop-up menu you will find the "Export" section you need.

  4. See "Memory card". Save the backup locally by clicking "Export to VCF file".

Hint: to make things easier, you can enable the automatic mode to save the address book backups to Google Drive. To do so:

  1. Go to the Smartphone settings,
  2. Find the "System",
  3. Select "Backup",
  4. Activate the "Upload to Google Drive" radio button.

Now your backups will be automatically saved to the cloud storage without your intervention.

Video Tutorial :

Resume contacts from a saved VCF file as follows:

  1. Go to "Contacts" and select the menu item "Manage contacts".

  2. Go to "Import/Export contacts" - "Import". Specify from where to import the file containing the contacts: the memory card or the device memory.

  3. You should now select the file you wish to copy your contacts from.

  4. Run the process by tapping "Import" and wait for a confirmation message.

Search for your old contacts in Google Contacts

If you have successfully completed the restore operation but the desired contact does not appear in the list,

  1. Go to Google Contacts

  2. Select "Other contacts" in the left menu.

  1. The system automatically saves in this section the data of the people you have ever interacted with within Google services. These contacts are not visible in the main list in Android.

  2. <7

“Hello. My name is Kim. I discovered that technology, when used with a purpose, can be pretty amazing. To share the wonder of tech, I’ve written for blogs like and With over three years of freelance writing experience in the technology and entertainment niche, I can write a storm about a software app, a cool browser extension, a new mobile device and other geek-centric stuf... “

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Kim Barloso