Google recently redesigned and changed the Google Contacts app on Android. The app has a new menu where users have tools to manage their contacts, allowing them to import and export as well as merge and restore Google contacts. These tools were available to some extent before, but were out of sight and out of mind. So how do you use them? This guide will break it down.
Before the arrival of the new revamp Google contacts, the service had an abundant number of tools that were not only useful for those who used Android, but also for other ecosystems. Personally, my iPhone contacts were backed up and updated by my main contact list in Google Contacts. Because of the sync tools it provided, Google Contacts was a great way to keep all of my personal data secure and up to date.
Now many of these previously available tools hidden in the app and on the web are available under the Repair and Manage tongue. This new tab is located on the bottom bar. The design itself is a bit odd, but it puts those tools in front of you. Here are some of the tools available in this new section:
- Merge and Fix
- Import from SIM card
- Restore Contacts
- Import from file
- Export to file
There’s also a Settings button, accessible from your profile picture in the app.
If you are unfamiliar with these tools, we really suggest changing this. Although your contacts remain in the background intact, knowing how to use some of them will save you a lot of headaches in the future if you need to move, delete, search or edit contacts. Here’s how they work.
Merge and Fix
From top to bottom, Merge and Fix is a quality of life tool. It allows users to merge multiple contact files into one if they have the same name or are suspected to be duplicates. Duplicates can occur for many reasons. You can have an email, phone number, and address entry all separate from each other in your contact list. The merge tool will look for this and suggest you combine them all into one uniform file. This is by far my favorite feature.
On the other hand, the to fix allows you to make further adjustments based on what your Google Account notices about your activity. It may sound scary, but it ends up being useful. If you have message chains with people and you haven’t added them as contacts yet, you’ll see a suggestion to fix that and add them as contacts. You don’t have to, but it’s useful to browse through the list and catch up on missed opportunities to add contacts.
To use either of these functions, simply tap Merge & Fix and tap any suggestion the tool has for you.
Import from SIM, Import from file and Export to file
These tools all generally do the same thing. They take a file and paste it somewhere else, depending on your preference. Google contacts Import from SIM card will allow you to take the contacts on your SIM card and add them to your contacts. To use it, tap Import from SIM card and select the account you want to import to. Next, scroll down the list and select the contacts you want to import.
Utilize Import from fileonly press it and select the account you want to import to. After choosing an account, you will be redirected to your recent downloads on your device. Find and tap the contact file you want to import. After typing, the process should begin.
To do the opposite, you’ll want to type Export to file. This tool will take your contacts, merge them into a file and download it to your device. Simply press it and choose an account whose contacts you want to extract. After selecting, tap Export to .vcf file. You will be taken to your downloads page, where you can name the file if you wish and click Save.
Restore Contacts is useful for importing a backup that occurred previously. It can be compiled from backups of your current device or other devices that use your account. To use this tool, you need to know which backup you want to restore and from which device, so it’s not a tool that will be used very often.
To restore a backup, tap Restore Backups and select the account you want to restore from in the drop-down menu. Browse available backups and choose the one you want to use. After typing it, enter your old screen lock.
Now that these tools are in plain view, it’s a little easier to access and use them when needed. Being able to import, export and merge your Google contacts is fantastic, as are these tools. That being said, you probably won’t need to use them every day.
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