How to Switch Contact List From One Cell Phone to Another

By Kyle Fiechter

In most cases, you can transfer your contacts from one cell phone to another. The method for doing this varies on your phone type and service provider. The method you choose is also influenced by the amount of information you would like to transfer to your new phone; while in some cases you can transfer minimal information through your SIM card, large amounts of data transfer will require more robust methods. You can also transfer contacts through your computer in some cases and "over the air" in other cases.

Transfer Contacts via SIM Card

Step 1

Go to "Contacts" on your old phone, then select "Options" or display the menu.

Step 2

Select "Copy All to SIM" or "Copy to SIM Phone Book," or similar.

Step 3

Remove the SIM card from your phone and place it in your new phone.

Step 4

Transfer the contacts to your new phone. Go to "Contacts" in your new phone, then select "Options" or pull up the menu. Select "Copy from SIM," "Merge Contacts," or similar.

Transfer Contacts via Computer

Step 1

Open or install the software associated with your phone. This could be software that shipped with your phone, software available online specifically created for your phone or third-party software that allows you to sync many types of phones with your computer. For example, use BitPin to transfer your contacts from your CDMA-based phone (e.g., many LG, Motorola and Samsung phones) or use BlackBerry's Desktop Manager or Nokia's Ovi Suite to transfer contacts.

Step 2

Copy your contacts to your computer with the supplied USB cord, through Bluetooth or through a mini SD card.

Step 3

Transfer contacts from your phone to your computer. Transfer contacts through your phone's application into Microsoft Outlook or another application that can be used to transfer the addresses to your new phone's software or, if possible, export the contacts in the vCard format (.vcf), the standard format for many address managers.

Step 4

Transfer the contacts into your new phone's software, then plug your new phone into the computer. The phone may automatically sync with your computer or you may need to click a "Synchronize" button to begin the sync process.

Tips & Warnings

  • You can also use an "over-the-air" service to back up and sync your contacts if you have an Internet-enabled phone. Mobical and Google Sync are free online services that allow you to create a backup of your contacts and then transfer them to a new phone; Android phones can sync with Google Contacts to achieve the same purpose.