Import Contacts from a Computer to Your Android Phone - dummies

Import Contacts from a Computer to Your Android Phone

By Dan Gookin

Your computer’s email program is doubtless a useful repository of contacts you’ve built up over the years. You can export these valuable contacts into your Android phone. It’s not the easiest thing to do, but it’s possible.

The key is to save or export your computer email program’s address book in the vCard (.vcf) file format. The vCard files can be read by the phone’s address book app. The method for exporting contacts varies, depending on the email program:

  • For Microsoft Outlook, you don’t need to do a thing. Outlook contacts are automatically synchronized when you add your Exchange Server account to the phone.
  • In the Windows Live Mail program, choose Go→Contacts, and then choose File → Export→Business Card (.VCF) to export the contacts.
  • In Windows Mail, choose File→Export→ Windows Contacts, and then choose vCards (Folder of .VCF Files) from the Export Windows Contacts dialog box. Click the Export button.
  • On the Mac, open the Contacts program and select the contacts you want to export. Choose File→Export → Export vCard to save the vCards as a single file.

After the vCard files are created, transfer them to your phone. Copy the vCard files to the phone’s Downloads folder.

With the vCard files stored on the phone, follow these steps in the Contacts app to complete the process:

  1. Tap the Action Overflow icon or the MORE button.
  2. Choose Import/Export.
    If you don’t see this action, first choose Settings and then Import/Export Contacts.
  3. Choose Import from .vcf File.
    This command may be titled differently, but the word import is in there somewhere.
  4. If prompted, allow the Contacts app to access the phone’s files.
  5. If prompted, direct the phone to use the Downloads folder as the source.
    On some phones, you tap the IMPORT button and the vCard files are discovered automatically.
  6. Choose to save the contacts to your Google account.
  7. If prompted, choose the option Import All vCard Files.
    The imported contacts are synchronized to your Google account, or to whichever account you choose (Step 6), which instantly creates a backup copy.

The importing process may create some duplicates. That’s okay: You can join two entries for the same person in your phone’s address book.