How to Transfer a Phone List

Updated November 21, 2016

You finally have a new phone. But your contacts list on your previous phone has hundreds of people on it. Perhaps you want to back up your contacts list on your computer in the event that you lose your cell phone. Transferring your numbers is a relatively easy process. Check your phone's manual for specific instructions on how to transfer contacts. Otherwise, there are three general options.

Take both cellphones into a mobile phone retailer. They will likely take your phone's SIM card---or Subscriber Identify Module---and run it through a reader. They will then load those numbers onto your new phone. This process takes only a matter of minutes. Most stores will do this for free, especially if you just purchased a new phone or program from them.

Transfer the media card. Depending on your brand of phone, you may be able to just take your media card---or SIM card---out of the old phone and put it directly into the new phone. Or, if you are transferring your phone numbers to a computer, you will need a data connectivity kit. It consists of special cables and software to upload your phone numbers to your computer. Not all cell phones are compatible with these kits. This option works best for those who have stored e-mail addresses and other details for their contacts.

Manually transfer each contact. This is the most tedious method and could take hours, depending on the number of contacts. Open your contacts list on your old phone and manually enter each name and number in your new phone one at a time.


You can also copy your phone's contacts "over the air." This only requires you phone to have Internet access. You don't need a computer. Programs such as Mobical or Google Sync that will enable you to transfer your contacts in this fashion.


If you choose to type each number manually, you may want to have someone read you the numbers so you do not accidentally mistype a number or name.

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About the Author

Karen Taylor is a visual journalist, page designer and horse-lover in central Indiana. She designs pages for an area newspaper including feature pages and page A1. She has had a passion for journalism her entire life and enjoys both the design and writing aspects of the industry. She earned a Bachelor of Science degree from Ball State University in visual journalism.