How to transfer contacts and data to your Samsung Galaxy

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If you need to copy the contacts from your old handset to your new Samsung Galaxy smartphone, we're here to help.

Whether you're moving from another Android phone or from an iPhone, Samsung's Smart Switch will help you keep your data safe and intact when you move it to your new phone.

1. Importing contacts from an Android Phone

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If you've switching from another Android phone, there are two ways you can move your contacts over to your new Samsung handset.

Samsung have created Smart Switch, which is an app that transfers contacts as well as calendars, messages, pictures and music. If you only have contacts to copy across, you might find it easier to use the Google account to do this.

 
 
 
 
Samsung Galaxy S8 Smart Switch 1
 
 
 
 
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1.

On your Samsung, swipe your finger down from the top of the screen to reveal the notification panel. From here, tap on the cog icon in the top-right corner of the screen to access your Settings menu.

2.

Scroll down and tap on Cloud and accounts. From here you can add things like a Google account, which is useful if your contacts are already backed up to Google. For this section of the guide,  tap on Smart Switch.

3.

Decide whether to use a USB cable or Wireless to transfer your data. To use a USB cable you must already have a USB-OTG cable, which has a micro-USB on one end and a regular USB on the other - like the image on the right. Both transfer types are very similar, but for this guide we will explain how to use Wi-Fi to transfer your data.

 
 
 
 
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4.

You might be asked to pick whether your Samsung is sending or receiving data. We want to receive data from your old phone, so tap on the receive option.

5.

Pick the operating system for your old phone. For this section we're moving from another Android phone, so tap on Android.

6.

The Smart Switch service will tell you to install Samsung Smart Switch on your original phone (the one that has all your data stored on it). Open the Google Play Store on your old phone, tap the magnifying glass and search for Samsung Smart Switch. Once you've found it in the store, tap Install.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
7.

Open the Smart Switch app on your previous phone, then press Start to begin the transfer wizard.

8.

You must agree to the terms of service before you can continue, so read through them and tap Agree at the bottom of the screen to move on.

9.

Just like earlier on your Samsung, you must decide whether to transfer data over USB or Wi-Fi. For this guide, choose Wireless.

10.

Now you're all ready to begin your data transfer. Tap on Connect on your previous Android phone and wait for your Samsung to recognise it. The two phones will connect to each other using an audio signal, so if this doesn't work straight away make sure to turn up the volume on both handsets.

 
 
 
 
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11.

On your previous phone, now's the time to pick the data you want to transfer. Tick the box next to each data type, like contacts, messages and images. If you select too many large files the transfer will take much longer than simply transferring basics like contacts and call logs.

12.

When you're ready to start transferring, press Send. You will need to make sure to press Receive on your Samsung Galaxy.

13.

If the two phones are talking to each other, you'll see a progress wheel to show how much of your data has been moved across so far.

14.

Your old phone will show you a summary screen which will tell you when the transfer has been completed. Press Close app to quit the Samsung Smart Switch.

 
 
 
 
Samsung Galaxy S8 Smart Switch 15
 
 
 
 
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Samsung Galaxy S8 Smart Switch 17
15.

On your Samsung Galaxy, you will see some very similar screens to the ones you saw on your previous Android phone.

16.

After the transfer completes, your Galaxy will show a summary of how much data was transferred, and under which categories. Make sure everything copied across successfully, then press Close app to quit the transfer wizard and start enjoying your new phone.

Importing contacts using a Google account

 

It's easy to keep your contacts when switching phones if you back them up to your Google account. If you haven't set up Google's backup feature on your old phone, the following steps will help you do this. This guide is generic, so the screenshots might not look like your phone but the instructions will be very similar.

To start moving your contacts into the Google account, open your contacts app from either the home screen or Apps menu.

 
 
 
 
Importing contacts using your Google accounts 1
 
 
 
 
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1.

With your contact list open, tap the Menu or More button/icon. This can look like three dots in the top-right corner of the screen, if you can't see a More button anywhere.

2.

For some Android phones, you may need to tap Settings to continue.

3.

Tap the option to Move or copy device contacts to Google. If you can't see this option, you may need to press the Import/Export menu to do this.

4.

If asked, confirm the Google email address you want to copy your contacts to.

When you sign into your new Samsung Galaxy with your Google email address, all your contacts will begin to show up in your phonebook!

2. Importing contacts from an iPhone

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If you've taken the plunge and are moving from an iPhone to a Samsung handset, there are a couple of ways to migrate your contacts across. The Samsung Smart Switch app can import your contacts, calendars, pictures and media from an iCloud backup, or you can use your computer to get your iCloud data and import it into your Samsung's Google account. 

Import contacts and other data from an iCloud backup using Smart Switch

 

If you're migrating from an iPhone or want to import your personal information from an iPad, read our guide below for help moving contacts, photos and other personal information to your new Samsung phone.

 
 
 
 
Importing contacts from iCloud 1
1.

Firstly, we need to make sure your iPhone or iPad is signed into iCloud. Pick up your iOS device, find and press on the Settings icon then scroll down to the iCloud entry. Press it to continue.

Now that an iCloud backup of your iPhone has been made, it's time to switch over to your new Samsung Galaxy to import your data. Follow the steps below to get started!

 
 
 
 
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1.

On your new Samsung, open your Settings menu and scroll down to Cloud & Accounts. Tap on it to continue.

2.

Press Smart Switch to start the transfer wizard.

3.

The app will open to the End User Licence Agreement. In order to proceed, you must tap Agree.

4.

Choose wether you're transferring over USB or Wireless. As we're importing your data from iCloud, you should choose Wireless.

 
 
 
 
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5.

Smart Switch will ask if you want your Galaxy to send or receive data. Tap on Receive to make sure your S8 accepts your contacts and other information from iCloud.

6.

To restore from your iCloud backup, choose iOS as your old device.

7.

You will be asked to sign in to iCloud with your Apple ID and password. Enter the information, then tap Sign in.

8.

Once you've signed in successfully, you can pick one of your iCloud backups to restore from. In most cases, this will be your most recent backup. Check the dates below the backup name to know which one is the newest, then tap on it to start the restoration process.

 
 
 
 
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9.

Next you'll be asked to pick which pieces of information you'd like to import. Tick the items you want to move to your new Samsung phone, then tap Import at the bottom of the page.

10.

Your data will copy over across to your Samsung, and has a progress checker to tell you what's transferred already and how far through the process you are.

11.

After the transfer has finished, tap Done to quit the app. Your contacts and other data will now be on your Samsung Galaxy handset, ready to use!

Import contacts from the iCloud account using your computer

 

Copying your contacts from iCloud on your computer requires an internet connection, a PC or a Mac and both your iPhone and your new Samsung Galaxy.

We'll take you through exporting the contacts from your iPhone's iCloud service and importing them into Google.

1.

On your iPhone, find and press on the Settings icon.

2.

Scroll down the settings list and tap on iCloud.

3.

If you aren’t already signed in with your Apple ID, sign in now.

4.

Press the small switch next to Contacts to turn on contacts sync.

5.

Press the Merge button to import your contacts into iCloud. This may take a few minutes, depending on how many contacts you have.

6.

Go to your computer. From an internet browser like Google Chrome, Firefox or Internet Explorer, visit the iCloud website and sign in using your Apple ID and password.

7.

Click on the Contacts button to see your iCloud address book, and hopefully the contacts you’ve just synchronised.

8.

Click the Settings button (which looks like a cog or gear) in the bottom-left corner of the iCloud address book and choose Select All.

9.

Click the Settings button again and choose Export vCard.

10.

Your contacts will now download to your computer as a vCard file. This is usually called Contacts.vcf and normally will end up in your downloads folder, but this can vary depending on your internet browser.

11.

Still on your computer, open the Google contacts page.

12.

Log in with the same Google email address and password that you use on your Samsung.

13.

You will now see your Google address book. Find and click on the More button at the top of the contacts list, then choose Import from the drop-down menu.

14.

A new window will open, so click the Choose File button and find the .vcf file you downloaded in step 10.

15.

After finding your contacts file, click Import to start adding them to your Google contacts list.

Google will sync these to your Samsung in just a few minutes.

3. Importing contacts from Blackberry devices

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All you need to transfer contacts from your BlackBerry is BlackBerry Desktop Software installed on your computer, your BlackBerry and your new Samsung. You’ll also need a USB cable to get the phones connected to your computer.

Once you’ve installed the BlackBerry Desktop Software, follow the instructions below to continue!

1.

Connect your BlackBerry to your PC or Mac using the microUSB cable, open the BlackBerry Desktop Software and wait for it to recognise your phone.

Find and click on Organizer in the left-hand panel, then tick the Contacts box.

3.

When asked to choose the sync direction, choose one way to your computer only.

4.

Under the Contacts account heading, make sure that Windows contacts is highlighted. Press OK to continue.

 
 
 
 
Syncing contacts on Blackberry devices

5.

Click on the Sync Organizer option in the bottom right-hand corner of the BlackBerry software to copy your contacts in to your Windows address book.

6.

Now that your contacts are stored inside your Windows address book you'll need to export them into something called a CSV or Comma Separated Value file.

7.

Open your Start menu and find Contacts. Open it to view your Windows address book.

8.

Select all your contacts at once by holding down the Ctrl button on your keyboard and tapping A. This is a standard shortcut for “Select All” and can be used in many places on your computer!

9.

Find and click on Export from the menu bar above the contacts list.

10.

Choose CSV as the file type and click Export.

11.

Click the Browse button and choose where to save the file. We recommend saving to your Desktop or to your Downloads folder. Give your file a name like Contacts, then click Save.

12.

On your computer, open the Google contacts page.

 
 
 
 
 Syncing contacts on Blackberry devices 2
13.

Sign in with the same Google email address and password that you use on your new Samsung.

Once these contacts have imported, Google will sync them through to your new phone.

4. Importing contacts from a Windows Phone

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The latest version of Samsung Smart Switch supports transferring data from Windows Phone, which will let you keep all your Windows Phone contacts and put them on your Samsung Galaxy.

Follow the steps below to copy your data between phones.

 
 
 
 
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1.

On your Samsung, open your Settings menu and tap on Cloud and accounts.

2.

In the next page, press Smart Switch to start the setup wizard.

3.

You'll be asked to pick how to transfer your data. For this guide, we're going to use Wireless. If you pick the USB cable option, you'll need to have a USB-OTG cable to connect both your phones together - see the image on the right for an idea of what the USB-OTG cable looks like. Tap on Wireless to start the transfer process!

4.

Now you must tell your phone whether it's to send or receive data. As this is your new phone, you should press Receive to continue.

 
 
 
 
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5.

Now you must tell your phone whether it's to send or receive data. As this is your new phone, you should press Receive to continue.

6.

Your Samsung will tell you to install Smart Switch on your Windows Phone, so grab your previous handset for the next few steps.

7.

On your Windows Phone, open the Windows Store and search for Smart Switch, or click this link. Download it, then open it to continue.

8.

Once the Smart Switch app is open on your Windows Phone, tap the arrow at the bottom of the screen to start the transfer wizard.

9.

Your Windows Phone and Samsung will communicate over Wi-Fi, and your S8 will already be broadcasting a wireless network for your Windows Phone to connect to.

Check the Smart Switch app on your S8 to find the name of the wireless network you need to connect to, then go back to your Windows Phone and tap on the network name to continue.

 
 
 
 
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10.

Enter the Wi-Fi password for the S8's wireless network. You can find this password on the screen of your S8! Press Done when you're ready to move on.

11.

Your phone will tell you if you're successfully connected to the S8 network. Press the back button to go back to the Smart Switch app.

12.

Now you can pick which bits of content you want to transfer to your new Galaxy. Tick the box next to each data type, then press the arrow at the bottom of the screen to continue.

13.

Your Windows Phone will now show you a progress bar, letting you know how far through the transfer you are. Wait for this to reach the end. You will see a Congratulations screen when you're done!

 
 
 
 
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14.

Back on your Samsung, you'll see the same kind of progress bar to show your Windows Phone is moving your information across.

After this transfer process ends you'll see a summary screen of what data was copied and how much space that takes up. To start using your S8 again, press Close app to quit Smart Switch!

Import contacts using a Microsoft account

 

 
 
 
 
Importing contacts from a Microsoft 1
1.

You should already have a Microsoft account (a Windows Live or Hotmail account) set up on your Windows Phone.

These contacts will be saved to the Outlook.com People page automatically, so click the link and sign in with your Microsoft account email address and password when prompted.

 
 
 
 
Importing contacts from a Microsoft 2
5.

Click on the More button, then choose Import from the drop-down menu.

Transferring contacts using a SIM or memory card

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You can use a memory card or SIM to transfer contacts from one phone to another. We would always recommend using the memory card as the better option, because a SIM card can only store a limited amount of information.

Export contacts to a SIM or memory card

In order to transfer your contacts from your old phone using a memory or SIM card, you'll need to export them from your handset. The following steps are typical of those needed, but be aware that they may vary from device to device.

 
 
 
 
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2.

Tap the Menu or More icon.

3.

Tap Settings.

4.

Tap Import/Export.

 
 
 
 
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5.

To move your contacts, tap Export.

6.

To move your contacts, tap Export.

7.

You may need to choose which contacts to export, and you may also have to confirm the action before proceeding.

 

8.

Your handset will advise when your contacts are being moved.

Now that you've got them moved onto your memory or SIM card, put that card into your new phone and follow the steps below to import them.

You can move them back onto the phone, but to ensure your contacts are backed up and to make life easier when changing devices in the future, we'd always recommend importing them to your Google account!

 

Import contacts from a SIM or memory card

You may have contacts on your SIM card, if you used it to transfer them from your old phone. To import these:

 
 
 
 
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1.

From the home screen, tap the Contacts icon.

2.

Tap the Menu or More icon.

3.

If necessary, tap Settings.

4.

Tap Import/Export contacts.

 
 
 
 
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5.

Tap Import.

6.

Choose where to Import contacts from by tapping on their location.

7.

Select where to Save contacts to (we'd always recommend the Google account to ensure they're backed up) by tapping on it.

8.

If requested, choose which contacts you would like to import and when you've made your selection, tap OK.

9.

When the contacts import is complete, you will see a notice on the screen advising you of the fact.

If you're using the Google account to manage your contacts, then you can also edit and manage them through the Google contacts page.

Manually adding a contact

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We've covered how to import your contacts from your previous handset, but here's how to add a new one. 

 
 
 
 
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1.

From the home screen, tap the Contacts icon.

2.

To add a new contact, tap New Contact at the bottom.

3.

At the top you can choose where to save your new contact to. We'd always recommend the Google account, to ensure it is backed up. Tap the drop-down box to select your desired location.

4.

Complete the contact form with all the relevant details, and when you're happy with the information you've entered, tap Save at the top.

5.

If you need to update a contact's details at any time, tap their name in the contact list to open their card, then tap Edit to make your changes. Don't forget to save your changes afterwards!

So there you have it - a simple, step-by-step guide to transferring all your contacts to your Samsung handset.

If you have any questions, you can always get in touch with an expert from Team Knowhow here.

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