How to Recover Android Phonebook

Have you replaced your Android smartphone with a newer model and are unable to retrieve the address book from the old phone? Have you accidentally deleted some contacts from the Android address book and would like a hand to recover them? Maybe I can help you. Give me five minutes of your time and I'll explain how to recover android phonebook in different ways.

First of all, we will see how to bring contacts from one Android smartphone to another using the online synchronization services offered by Gmail. Then we will see how to do the same operation "manually", exporting and importing a VCF file with the Android address book, and finally we will try to recover deleted contacts from Android using some solutions suitable for the purpose and Gmail which - perhaps not everyone knows - includes a reset function to restore the phonebook status to an earlier date (up to 1 month earlier than today).

If you have accidentally deleted some names from your smartphone's address book and you didn't have synchronization with Gmail (or another cloud service) enabled, I'm sorry but I don't think much can be done. If the incident happened recently you might have some hope using data recovery software that operates directly on the smartphone memory, but it is a truly desperate attempt. Then don't tell me I didn't warn you!

Retrieve Android Address Book Via Gmail

The fastest way to copy the address book from one Android smartphone to another is to activate Gmail synchronization on both devices.

If you still have your old smartphone handy, turn it on, go to the settings of Android (the gear icon located on the screen with the list of all the apps installed on the device) and select the item Account give the menu check if you press.

Then presses on the logo of Google, select yours Gmail indirizzo and check that the lever located next to the option Contacts is active. If not, activate it yourself by “tapping” on it and wait for the synchronization of the address book with Gmail to start.

If a Google account has never been set up on your old phone, you can easily solve the problem by going to the menu Settings> Accounts Android, by selecting the item Add account and pressing the Google logo on the screen that opens. Then log in with your Gmail account data and check that contact synchronization is active as explained above.

At this point, to transfer the contacts to your new smartphone, all you have to do is set the same Gmail account on the latter that you configured on the old mobile and activate the synchronization of the address book.

So go to the menu Settings> Accounts of Android and check that in your account settings Google the option relative to i Contacts. If you have not yet set up a Google account on your new smartphone (or you have set up a different one than the one used on the other phone), go to the menu Settings> Accounts Android, select the item Add account, presses on the logo of Google and log in with the Gmail account with which you synchronized your address book.

If everything goes right, within a few seconds you should find all the contacts you had on your previous smartphone on your new mobile phone.

Was your previous smartphone not an Android phone, but an iPhone? No problem, you can take advantage of Gmail synchronization even with iOS. I have explained to you in detail how to proceed in my guide on how to transfer contacts from iPhone to Android.

Recover Android Address Book from VCF File

If for one reason or another you don't want to use the synchronization services offered by Google, you can recover android phonebook by “manually” exporting contacts from your old mobile phone and importing them to the new one. To do this, all you have to do is open the app Contacts on the old smartphone, export the VCF file with the entire address book and import it to your new phone. If you need more precise directions, follow the steps outlined below.

  • Open the application Contacts on your old smartphone, press the button (...) collocato in alto a destra, selects the voice Import / Export from the menu that opens and "tap" on the option for export to .vcf file the whole section. Then choose the name and the folder in which to export the file and that's it;
  • If you use a Samsung smartphone, the procedure you need to follow is slightly different: after opening the application Contacts, you need to select the tab Contacts e pigiare sul pulsating (...) which is located at the top right. After that you have to select the item Settings from the menu that appears, go to Contacts, select the option Import / Export and choose whether to export the phonebook to the device's internal memory or to a microSD card;
  • Now you need to export the VCF file with the contacts to your new smartphone. To do this you can auto-send the file via email or save it on a cloud storage service (eg Dropbox). Then install a file manager like ES File Manager and use it to get into the folder Home smartphone or microSD root directory (depending on where you saved the VCF file). Next, keep your finger pressed on the phonebook file (eg. 00001.vcf), presses the button Other that appears at the bottom right and selects the item Share from the menu that appears. At this point, choose whether to auto-send the file by e-mail by selecting the name of an e-mail client (eg. gmail) or whether to save it on a cloud storage service (eg. dropbox) by selecting its icon;
  • Once sent, take your new smartphone and download the address book VCF file on it by opening the email you sent yourself or by accessing the cloud storage service on which you have saved it (eg Dropbox). Then open the application Contacts of Android, presses the button (...) che si trova in alto a destra e seleciona la voce Import / Export from the menu that opens. At this point, "tap" on the item Import file .vcf, choose the cloud account with which to synchronize the contacts (eg Gmail) and select the vcf file with the address book of your old smartphone;
  • If you have a Samsung phone you have to follow a slightly different procedure: you have to select the card first Contacts, then the button (...) which is at the top right and then you have to go up Settings> Contacts> Import / Export.

If you want, you can also export a VCF file from the contacts you have saved in the Gmail address book. To do this, connect to the Google Contacts service. Then click on the item More located in the left sidebar and select the item Export which appears below.

At this point, metti il ​​segno di spunta accanto alle voci Contacts e vCard (for iOS contacts) and click on Export but I will complete the operation.

Recover Android Phonebook from Previous Backups

If you have the very good habit of backing up your smartphone on your PC or on an external microSD, you can recover the contacts from the address book simply by restoring one of the backups you created earlier.

For example, if you have a Samsung terminal, you can restore the address book by relying on the Smart Switch application or its desktop counterpart (which is compatible with Windows and macOS). If you have smartphones from other brands you can use the appropriate PC synchronization utilities, while if you have used backup applications such as Easy Backup & Restore you can rely on the latter to restore the phone book.

To learn more see my tutorials on how to connect smartphone to PC and how to make a backup on Android where I told you about all the apps and all the PC software that could help you restore phone book backups.

Recover Deleted Contacts from Android

If you want to recover contacts on a phone that was not connected to Gmail and does not have a backup of the address book, the only solution you can try to contact are those software that operate directly on the smartphone memory. The chances that you will be able to recover the contacts deleted in this way are quite small, but at this point, it doesn't hurt to try!

EaseUS MobiSaver for Android

Among the best software that allows you to recover deleted files from Android smartphones is EaseUS MobiSaver for Android which is compatible with all the most popular versions of the green robot operating system. To work it requires i root permissions, so if you haven't done so yet find out how to root Android by following my tutorial on the subject.

To download EaseUS MobiSaver for Android on your PC, connect to the program's website and click on the button free Download. When the download is complete, double click on it to open the file you have just downloaded to your PC (emsa_free.exe) and first click on Yes and then OK.

Then accept the conditions of use of the program, putting the check mark next to the item I accept the agreement, and complete the setup by clicking on first Next for four consecutive times and then on installFinish. If you are asked to install drivers, accept by clicking on Install.

Now connect your smartphone to your computer using the supplied USB cable, launch EaseUS MobiSaver for Android (if it hasn't already started by itself), wait for the device to be detected and click the button Start located in the center of the program window.

Now, if required, activate the USB debugging on Android. If you don't know how to do it, go to the menu Settings> Developer options of your smartphone and put the check mark next to the item related to Debug USB. If you don't see "Developer options" in the Android settings, enable it by going to Info on the phone and pressing on the wording Buid number seven consecutive times.

Once you have enabled USB debugging on your computer, put the check mark next to the item Always allow this computer and rispondi OK the notice that appears on the smartphone in order to allow access by EaseUS MobiSaver for Android. Then grant the application root permissions (by pressing the button Conceded) and wait for EaseUS MobiSaver to find all the files that can be recovered from your device.

When the scan is complete, select the item Contacts from the sidebar of EaseUS MobiSaver for Android, put the check mark next to the contacts to be recovered and click on the button Recover to save them on your PC. To view only the deleted contacts, move to ON the levetta Only display deleted items which is located at the top left.

Once recovered, you can copy the contacts back to your smartphone by sending them to you via email, copying them to a microSD card or saving them on a cloud storage service (eg Dropbox or Google Drive). The process of importing contacts into Android is what we have seen together before.

ATTENTION: the free version of EaseUS MobiSaver for Android allows you to recover only one file, and therefore only one contact, at a time. To recover multiple files at the same time you need to purchase a license for the program for 36,95 euros. More info here.


As mentioned at the beginning of the post, Gmail includes a function that allows you to return the address book to a previous state and therefore to recover deleted contacts. If you have deleted important contacts from a smartphone associated with Gmail, you can therefore use this function to recover the deleted names and synchronize them again with the phone.

The procedure to follow is extremely simple. If you want recover android phonebook recovering deleted contacts from Gmail. To do this, connect to the Google Contacts service. Then click on the item More located in the left sidebar and select the item Cancel changes which appears below.

Choose, then. whether to report the status of the address book 10 mins ago, 1 hours ago, yesterday, 1 week ago or a date personalized (knowing that you can go back up to 30 days) and click on Confirmation to apply the changes.

Once you have restored the Gmail address book, activate the synchronization of contacts on Android as we have seen previously (if you have not already done so) and the names deleted by mistake should return to their place.

Alternatively, you can also "manually" export the VCF file from the Gmail address book and import it to your smartphone. We have already seen this procedure together before.