Do you need to copy your phone contacts from a memory card onto an Android smartphone? Look no further these step by step instructions will guide you through the process of importing those contacts from your SD card using a Samsung Galaxy S 4 phone as an example. These instructions can be used for common Android phones running on the “Jelly Bean” Android version 4.2 software and other similar versions of the Android operating system.
Before we begin
This article describes the process of how to import contacts that have already been saved as a vCard file onto a memory card. If you have not already saved your contacts to your SD card or if you need help saving your contacts to a memory card then How to save contacts from a Samsung Galaxy S 4 phone to its SD card is a great article to help you with this backup process.
How to copy contacts from an SD card onto an Android smartphone
Contacts > Menu key > Import/Export > Import from SD card > Device > Import vCard file > Select desired Contacts.vcf file > Ok
Detailed Instructions with Pictures:
Open your address book by pressing the Contacts icon on your phones home screen.
Note: you can also access your contacts by selecting the Phone icon and then the contacts tab in the upper right hand corner of the screen.
Tap on the phones Menu key.
It’s located on the bottom left side of the phone under the phones display, to the left of the Home key.
This will display a list of options to choose from.
Select the Import/Export option.
Tap on the Import from SD card option.
Select the account that you would like to save your contacts to.
I strongly recommend that you choose the Device option as it will save your contacts to the phone itself and it will allow you to have a hard copy of your contacts. You can choose to save it to your Gmail account but your Gmail account can backup the contacts saved to your phone anyways. After you import your contacts onto your phone you can always check to make sure that your contacts synced to your Gmail account as well.
Tap on Import vCard file and then tap OK.
Note: unless you’re saving contacts from multiple phones or devices you typically will not choose to import multiple or all vCard files. If you do import from multiple files then chances are your phone will display duplicate contacts and it could be a real chore to clean them all up. If you do have multiple vCard files saved then it’s typically a good idea to import them one at a time to help avoid duplicates.
If you have multiple backups then select the vCard file you want to copy onto your phone and then press OK.
Note: vCard files will have a time stamp showing when the backup was created. If you have multiple options and you are unsure of which vCard file to choose typically the most recent date shown is what you are going to want to select.
You might see a confirmation message letting you know that the Contacts.vcf will be imported.
But that’s all there is to importing your contacts from your memory card onto your Android smartphone. In this case the Samsung Galaxy S 4 running on the Android 4.2 operating system.
No vCard files found
If you get an error message that displays…
Unable to search SD card No vCard files found on the SD card.
This means that you do not have a copy of your contacts saved onto that memory card. You will need to export a copy of your contacts from the phone in which your contacts are stored and then move them onto the memory card in order to try and import them.
If you are trying to move contacts from one phone to another you will need to put the memory card into the phone in which you want to save contacts from, then export those contacts to the memory card, and then remove the memory card and put that SD card into the phone you want to move those contacts to, and then import the contacts onto that device.
No Import option available
If you access your phones contacts, tap on your Menu key, select Import/Export and don’t see an option to Import from SD card then your phone might not be reading your memory card properly. How to check a phones memory card can guide you through the process of checking your memory card to make sure that it’s mounted and communicating with your phone correctly.
No memory card available
If your memory card is not working properly or if you require a compatible SD card for your phone then How to find the best memory card for an Android smartphone might just be the article that you’re looking for.
Keep the original vCard file
This process copies the contacts from your memory card and puts a copy of those contacts onto your phone. Thus the vCard file is still saved on your memory card and I recommend you leave that copy there. Just in case your phone ever malfunctions or becomes damaged you will have that extra copy available should you need it.
Leaving this vCard file on your SD card will not create or cause duplicate contacts to be displayed.
Don’t forget to create backups periodically
It’s always a good idea to create backups of the important information saved on your phone. Since your phone will not save contacts to your memory card automatically, after adding a few contacts to your phone I recommend that you create a backup of your address book by saving your contacts to your SD card and creating another vCard file to import from if you need to later. vCard files are extremely small and take up very little space on your memory card.
Thank you for reading
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