How to Sync Android Contacts to Gmail?

 How to Sync Android Contacts to Gmail?


Whenever you have a new phone, one of the first things to do would be to transfer your contacts. I did it when I switched from Nokia to Samsung and now I’m doing it for android to android. This can be done easily via Gmail. You only need to do the export steps once and after that, you can simply sync your contacts on any android phone as long as your Google account is there.

So let us start the guide.

Exporting your Android Contact List

  1. On your phone : Go to Contacts > Menu > Import / Export > Export to SD Card
  2. Confirm export (Say yes and a .vcf file will be create on your SD card)

Importing your contact list to Google (Gmail)

Prereq: You have already exported your contacts into a .vcf file.

  1. Connect your phone to your computer OR;
    If you have a card reader, use it to read your phone’s SD Card.
  2. Sync Android Contacts to Gmail - Gmail Contacts

    Go to Gmail and on the top, click on Contacts to change your view to contacts.

  3. Sync Android Contacts to Gmail - Gmail Contacts Import

    Click on more > Import.
    Here you will import the VCF file that you just exported a few steps earlier. It will upload your contacts into Gmail.
    PS: After you do this step, there will be a new label under My Contacts called “Imported


  4. Under the same menu, click on Merge Contacts and it will try to merge your contacts (emails vs phone numbers with the same name). Think of it as an initial clean-up.


So now let us review what have we done so far.

  1. Exported our contacts into a file
  2. Uploaded our contact to Gmail

The next steps would be to utilize Google Sync to sync your contacts to your other Android Phone.

Sync Gmail Contacts to Android Phone

Prerequisite: You have already added your Google Account to your android phone. 

  1. Go to Settings > Accounts and Sync
  2. Tick Background Data and Auto Sync
  3. Under Manage Accounts, tap on your email address.
  4. You will see there Sync Contacts. Untick the check box and tick it again to force sync.

Optional: View only Gmail Contacts

In the past, we have two ways to store our contacts which was either through your sim card or through your phone. Now that we have sync our contacts into gmail, we won’t need to use either option anymore. We can set our phone to show only the Gmail Contacts.

  1. Go to Contacts > Menu > Display Options
  2. Tick “Only contacts with Phone Numbers”
  3. Under Select contacts to display > untick Phone and Sim and tick all Google

Now before we end, do this last tip: This will ensure that all new contacts that you create will be saved in your Google Account and once Google Sync starts, it will upload those contacts to your Gmail and then propagate the changes to all accounts.

  • Under contacts > Menu > Settings > Save new contacts to > Google Account.


Till next time,


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