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Migrating contacts from one smartphone to another is not as easy as moving videos, photos and music. You can move most data with a simple USB cable, but for contacts you need solutions that can restore them with all their elements intact. The good part is that many of the operating systems come with a built-in backup plan for it.

For an Android user moving to another Android or Windows Phone, there is Google Cloud. For an iOS user moving to another iOS device, there is iCloud and in case one is switching from an Android device to an iPhone, there is an Apple app to do the needful.

Here is how contact backup works between various mobile platforms.

Android to Android

Google provides backup for all Google apps, including contacts on cloud storage that is linked to your account. Go to contacts, tap on the menu button on the top and select accounts. It will open all the accounts on your phone. Select Google, scroll down on the next page that opens to contacts and slide the toggle button towards right. It will turn green which means Google Cloud has started backing up your contacts. The next time you switch to another Android Phone and the moment you login with the same Google account, your contacts will be restored automatically.

iOS to iOS

iOS offers a number of options for backing up contacts. The simplest one is the iCloud. Go to settings, select iCloud, select storage and backup. Scroll down to contacts and slide the toggle button towards right to activate it. This allows Apple Cloud to automatically backup all existing and new contacts on your new iPhone.

iOS to Android

In case you want to backup and transfer contacts from an iPhone to an Android device, you can use third-party apps like My Contacts Backup. Tap on the backup button when the app opens, wait for the backup and then tap on the email button. Type in the email address and the backup will be mailed to it in VCF format. Open the mail on an Android smartphone, tap on the VCF file and you will be able to see your contacts on the screen. Just select add contact and it will merge your previous contacts with the new ones. You can follow the same process to migrate contacts from an Android device to an iPhone.

Android to iOS

To move your contacts from Android to iOS, Apple has an app called Move to iOS. It is available on the Google Play Store for free. Open the app on your Android smartphone, select migrate and wait for your iPhone to create a private WiFi network. Once the iPhone is connected with your Android phone, the migration will begin and all your contacts will be directly moved to the iPhone’s contact book.

Android to Windows Phone

For Windows Phone users, the options are limited as most third-party apps on their app store don’t really work as smoothly as one would hope. To move your contact from an Android device to a Windows phone, go to settings in your Windows Phone, select email and account and login into your Google account with the same email ID that is running on the Android phone. Select sync contact and you can access all your Android contacts on the Windows Phone device. To move contacts from your Windows Phone to Android, select sync contacts with Google in your Windows Phone contact book and the contacts will show on the Android phone.

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