How to backup, restore and recover accidentally deleted or lost Android contacts

How to backup, restore and recover accidentally deleted or lost Android contacts

Loosing all your Android contacts could be such a drag, especially when you don’t have a backup. In our previous article on contacts management, we discussed how to backup, restore and recover accidentally deleted or lost Blackberry contacts (see )  . Today, we’ll be doing the same for Android. Recovery should be your last resort when it comes to contacts management, so try to invest more in the backup-restore process.

How do I backup Android contacts?

There are several methods you could utilize when it comes to backing up Android contacts but we’ll cover the two generic methods which are

recovery mode method


app method.


Recovery mode method of backing up Android contacts

: Backup methods like Clockworkmod, Nandroid, Stock and TWRP backups fall under this category because they all backup the Android phone in recovery mode. This method backs up the entire phone, not just contacts so it is more thorough (and I would say safer) than the app method. The recovery method of backing up comes in handy when your Android phone gets bricked (see ) and should be applied before upgrading your Android OS (see  ) . To do a recovery mode backup:

  • Boot the phone into recovery mode (google the exact procedure for your phone type)
  • Select Backup and Restore
  • Select Backup
  • Wait till the process is complete
  • The backup file / folder should now be saved to the SD card of the phone
  • Reboot the phone
  • The backup file / folder should either be located at the root level of the memory card (not inside any folder on the memory card) or in the clockworkmod > backup folder (in the case of a clockworkmod / Nandroid backup)
  • Note that certain types of recovery mode backups require root access (see )



 method of backing up Android contacts:

There are many contacts backup apps so feel free to use the one of your choice. In this guide, we’ll be using Super Backup : SMS & Contacts.

  • Download and install  Super Backup : SMS & Contacts on the Android phone
  • Launch the app
  • Click the Contacts tab at the top
  • Click Backup
  • You can use the default backup name or give it any name you want but leave the .xml extension intact then click OK
  • Wait for the backup process to be complete
  • You should get a Backup Completed Successfully message, click OK to close the wizard .

How do I restore Android contacts?

We’ll be considering the two Android contacts backup methods discussed above and also one settings method to explain the restore process.

1. Recovering Contacts hidden by Settings:

The contacts are sometimes missing / hidden as a result of some settings. To be sure this is not the case:

  • Ensure you’re logged into the correct Gmail account
  • Go to Contacts
  • Press the Menu button
  • Select Contacts to display
  • Tick All
  • Go back to your contacts and check if they are visible again

2. Recovery mode method of restoring Android contacts:

The exact procedure might vary with the recovery mode method you used but generally, you:

  •  Launch the app you backed up with (ROM manager, Online Nandroid etc) or boot into recovery mode
  • Click Backup and Restore
  • Click Restore
  • Select the backup you wish to restore
  • Click Yes or OK to confirm



 method of restoring Android contacts:

We’ll be using Super Backup : SMS & Contacts since that’s what we backed up with.

  •  Launch Super Backup : SMS & Contacts
  • Click the Contacts tab at the top
  • Select Restore
  • Tick the Backup you wish to restore then click OK
  • Wait for the restore process to be complete
  • You should get a Restore Completed Successfully message

How do I recover accidentally deleted or lost Android contacts?

To recover accidentally deleted or lost Android contacts,  Android Data Recovery is very handy tool.

  • Download Android Data Recovery
  • Install Android Data Recovery for Android on the PC.
  • Make sure that your Android is over 20% charged.
  • Connect the two by a USB cable and wait for your computer to recognize the device.
  • Wait for the Green Tick then click Next
  • Enable USB debugging on the phone ( For Android 2.3 or earlier: Go to Settings > Click Applications > Click Development > Check USB debugging . For Android 3.0 to 4.1: Go to Settings > Click Developer options > Check USB debugging. For Android 4.2 or newer: Go to Settings > Click About Phone > Tap Build number for several times until getting a note “You are under developer mode” > Back to Settings > Click Developer options > Check USB debugging.
  • Wait for the Green Tick then click Next
  • An interface will pop up for you to select what to recover. Since only contacts are to be retrieved,  tick Contacts in order to save time.
  • Select a mode that suits you most and tap Next.
  • Click Start to analyze your Android phone.
  • Wait a bit and a Superuser Request (Ensure you Android phone is rooted) will show up on your phone, allow it .
  • Sometimes the box may pop up more than once, click Allow until it does not.
  • Choose Start on your computer to begin scanning.
  • The result will be shown in a window .
  • You can highlight one of them to see the details of your missing contact or existing one. (The missing data are marked by red, while the existing data by black.)
  • Choose the ones that you want to get back and save on your computer
  • Click Recover.

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