Lose Your Contacts No More!!!

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Its barely a month into 2017 and I still get to console the broken hearted smartphone user who lost all his contacts just because…
Well, I don’t think any reason is justifiable, especially if you use a smartphone. Some years ago, I faced the same situation but I found a solution, it even seems better, more efficient solutions have emerged across different platforms to solve this problem of loss of contacts due to theft, damage or malfunction of mobile devices.

I will start with the most traditional means of doing this. This was what I used some years ago.
Your e-mail. Yes, your email can do much more than handle mails and calendars. For those who did not know, its the best way to keep your contacts. In summary, this is what you should do(Android users);

1.Head over to your settings and locate ‘Accounts’ option.
2. Set up your email on your mobile device.
3. Synchronize your contacts from settings. This will make already existing contacts synced with your email to show up in your contacts.

4. Go to your contacts app an export all phone contacts(which were not previously synced) to your email.
5. Save all new contacts to your email.

Both Gmail and Yahoo mail allow you to synchronize contacts. You can also manage your contacts through your browser if you are using gmail.
Just head to www.google.com/contacts and sign in. You can then view, merge duplicates, add new, import and export your contacts.

Steps for exporting contacts on Android devices;
You could manage your contacts by making use of back up files which will be in the .csv(comma separated values) formats. This format is ubiquitous to contact apps across all platforms and most recently, feature phones(phones that are not smart)
1. Head to your contacts app
2. Look for settings or ‘more’ button, select it and locate the import/export option.
3. Choose to export(if you want to back up all contacts to a single .csv file)

4. Select where the contacts are located(phone, sim, email etc)

5. Select the contacts
6. Select where to export to(sdcard or phone memory)

7. Then head to your file explorer to get the .csv file(will be found where you saved it to).

From step 3 above, you could have chosen to import contacts if you wanted to restore contacts from some backup you had. The remaining steps should remain the same depending on your device.

There are third party apps that can help you manage this process, for the android users. The one I would prescribe is Smart Contact Manager and can be found on the Playstore .
 Just enter your email and phone number, log in, create your back up(or restore a backup)and set a pin to protect the app.

Whenever/wherever you install the app and log in with the same details, your backup history goes with you.

For those using Apple devices(iPads & iPhones);
1. You can choose to work with iCloud and have your contacts automatically backed up at all times.
Just head over to settings, locate the iCloud option and make sure the contacts option is turned on.

2. You can link any other service that manages your contacts to your apple device(Microsoft, Yahoo, Google etc). Get to settings, the select the ‘Mail, Contacts, Calendars option’ and add the account that manages your contacts.

For those using Windows Phone OS(Lumia devices and the like);

There is an app called “Contacts+Messages” which helps you back up your messages and contacts. You may need to download the app from the Phone’s store to be able to use it. After downloading the app, head to settings, the app will not appear on your list of installed apps.

Your backup will be stored in the ‘backup+restore’ folder in your SD card and once you find the app settings in your phone’s settings, you will be able to create a backup and restore when you want to.

The backup file can then be uploaded to your google contacts on the web and from there, you can manage your contacts as you will

For the blackberry users(those of you who are remaining);
Use Gmail to synchronize and back up your contacts on the device.

Go through settings to set up your Gmail, and your contacts will show up in the Contacts app. For a more detailed guide, please click here for the older blackberry operating systems and here or here for bb10.

Finally, when getting a feature phone(that small phone that should just handle calls and sms for you), consider going for those that have import and export options in the contact app. From my experience, most iTel feature phones have it. You however have to keep the contacts between 200 and 300. What I did was to select 250 most important contacts on my android phone, export as a csv file, transfer it to the feature phone, head to contacts and hit the settings option, then import my contacts from the csv file.

You can also export all contacts to a single csv file as u save more, then import that file to your Google contacts through your browser and merge duplicates to keep everything up to date.

This post may not be as detailed as I would have loved it to, for the sake of those who would want a step by step hold-me-by-the-hand guidance. This is a guide, even if you don’t find things exactly as Ihave written, take a seat, relax and look deeper. I hope this helps.

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