We always use a smartphone to call people, and for that we need their number. Today, phone book contacts have been a game-changer so we don’t have to remember a person’s number, especially friends and family. The problem arises when you accidentally delete a contact, reset or lose your phone. Your contacts are lost forever, unless you have made a backup of the contacts or synced them in such situations. Here we will tell you how to backup contacts to Google Drive from Android and iPhone.
Before proceeding with the steps, it is essential to understand the difference between backup and sync. So we covered this first. Once you have an idea of what you are going to do, it will be easier to implement it.
Backup vs sync for contacts
When you create a backup of contacts, a file is usually created that can no longer be edited. You need to create a separate file or update the backup if you make any changes and save them. Basically, any changes you make to the data won’t be reflected on connected devices if you back up a file.
Sync, on the other hand, keeps updating any changes you make to contacts without any action on your part. So if you edit a contact on phone 1, the same will be reflected on phone 2 if both are synced with the same account.
You should make a backup copy of your contacts when you’re fiddling with contacts, about to format your phone, or having trust issues with the sync feature. We explained how to keep contacts from Android and iPhone syncing to Google Account after completing the post.
How to Backup Contacts from Android to Google Drive
You can do this in two ways.
Method 1: Manually backup contacts to Google Drive
One of the easiest and safest ways to backup contacts from any Android phone to Google Drive is to create a VCF (Virtual Contact File). The file stores all the contact information in an organized manner. The generated file should then be added to Google Drive. It all has to be done manually.
After exporting contacts, you can import (or restore) them to any phone. This must also be done manually. The steps are almost similar for all Android phones, but here we cover the Google Contacts app and the Samsung Contacts app for clarity.
Back up contacts to Drive from the Google Contacts app
Step 1: Open the Google Contacts app on your phone.
2nd step: Tap the three-bar icon to open the left sidebar. Tap on Settings.
Step 3: Tap on Export. A pop-up window will appear, asking you to select the accounts for which you want to back up your contacts. Select the contacts and click on the Export to VCF file.
Step 4: You will be asked to choose the location to download the VCF file. Tap Save in the appropriate place. Let’s say the Downloads folder.
Step 5: Open the Google Drive app. Tap the floating add icon (+) and select Download.
Step 6: Navigate to the folder on your phone where you placed the VCF file. Select it to upload it to your Google Drive account. That’s it. You have successfully backed up your contacts to Google Drive.
Note: In the future, if you want to restore contacts using VCF file, first download it from Google Drive on your phone. Then open the Contacts app and find the Import option in the settings. Select the VCF file.
Back up contacts to disk from Samsung Contacts app
Step 1: Launch the Samsung Contacts app.
2nd step: Open the left sidebar by swiping or tapping the three bar icon. Tap Manage contacts.
Step 3: Tap Import or Export contacts. Tap on Export.
Note: To restore contacts in the future, tap Import and use the same VCF file that you will generate at the end of the steps.
Step 4: Select Internal storage when your phone asks you where to store the contacts. Press the Export button.
Step 5: Wait for your phone to complete the export process. You will be informed that the contacts.vcf file has been exported successfully. You will find it in the Downloads folder on the phone.
Step 6: To add it to Google Drive, open the Drive app. Tap the add icon (+) and select Download. Choose the contacts.vcf file from the Downloads folder.
Method 2: Directly Backup Contacts to Google Drive
In the above method, you need to backup contacts manually. If you want your phone to automatically back up contacts and other data regularly like installed apps, call history etc. to make it easier to switch to new phone, you can use this method.
Open Settings and go to System. Tap on Backup. Activate the button next to Back up to Google Drive. On Samsung phones, go to Settings> Accounts & Backup> Backup & Restore. Tap Back up my data under the Google account. To restore contacts, go to Settings> Google> Configure & restore. Tap restore contacts.
Note: Even though this method will automatically backup contacts regularly, you cannot be sure whether it is done or not. The best way to backup and export contacts is to use the first method if you want to do it once.
How to Backup iPhone Contacts to Google Drive
On iPhone too, you will need to create a VCF file for your contacts. However, the problem is that Apple does not allow users to create a single VCF file for all contacts on the phone. So you will have to do it from a computer or use third-party applications. We’ve covered both.
Method 1: Backup Apple Contacts to Google Drive
Step 1: First of all, you need to turn on iCloud backup for your contacts so that you can view them from computer. To do this, go to the settings of your iPhone. Tap your name at the top. Tap iCloud. Turn on the toggle next to Contacts.
2nd step: Open iCloud.com from a computer. Sign in using the same Apple account you added to your iPhone. Click on Contacts.
Step 3: Click the Settings icon and choose Select All from the menu. All contacts will be selected.
Step 4: Once all contacts have been selected, click on the Settings icon (gear) again and select Export vCard from the menu. Save it on your PC.
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Method 2: Backup Apple Contacts to Google Drive Using Third-Party Apps
If you don’t have a computer handy, you can generate a VCF file for your contacts using a third-party app on your iPhone. Here are the steps:
Step 1: Download the Backup Share & Export app from the App Store on your iPhone.
2nd step: Launch the app and grant the necessary permission to access contacts. Select the contacts you want to include in a VCF file. Tap the Select All box at the top to select all contacts.
Step 3: Press the Export button and choose Share Locally from the menu. You will be asked how to save or share the file. Tap Save to Files to download it to your iPhone.
Step 4: Launch the Google Drive app on your iPhone. Tap the add icon (+) and choose Upload, then Browse. Choose the VCF file.
How to keep contacts synced using Google account on Android and iPhone
To sync your Android contacts with other devices using the Google account, open Settings on your phone. Access accounts. Tap your Google account, then tap Sync account. Turn on the toggle next to Contacts.
Pro tip: Google contacts not syncing on your phone? Find out different ways to solve this problem.
On iPhone, go to Settings> Contacts> Accounts. Tap Add Account to add your Google Account in case no Google Account is added. If it’s added, tap Gmail. Turn on the toggle next to Contacts.
Should you back up or sync your contacts
We suggest that you make a backup copy of your contacts occasionally, such as once every 6 months, and save it to Google Drive. Apart from that, you need to turn on the sync feature and keep your contacts saved in Google Contacts.
Do you want to move contacts from iPhone to your new Android phone? Find out how to do this without using a computer from the following link.
Last updated on Nov 4, 2020
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