How to recover deleted Google contacts on Android

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2021-06-02
Jide Mbaka

How to recover deleted Google contacts on Android

It is commonplace to save contacts on your Google accounts these days so that whether your device gets stolen or missing, you can easily recover it without having to pay any local backup fee. In the course of using this feature and making changes to your contacts, you may need to recover deleted Google contacts on your android phone.

Since the deleted contact is not available on your local device or memory, it gets a little confusing how one can recover deleted Google contacts. Read till the end to learn how to recover deleted phone contacts from google account as far as a month ago.

Typically, contacts saved to your Google Account will sync with Google Contacts and all the Android devices you are signed in. Your Google contacts got deleted, what do you do? For you to effectively modify and recover deleted google contacts on Android, you need to download the Google contacts application on your phone.

How to download the Google contacts Application

On your android phone, open your Gmail application where you are signed in to your account.

Tap on the three horizontal lines left of the search bar > Navigate to Contacts (under Google apps) and tap on it. This will take you to the google play store to download the application.

Once you have successfully downloaded the app, there are two ways to recover the deleted Google contacts from your Google drive.

Recover Deleted contacts from Google account - First method

This method is very effective if you want to recover just one or two specific contacts out of all the Google contacts you may have deleted in the last thirty days.

  • Open the Google contacts app
  • It will display all the contacts saved in the Google drive of the account you downloaded it from.
  • Tap on the three horizontal lines at the left end of the search bar > Tap on Trash to open the trash folder
  • This folder will show you all the contacts you have deleted in the last thirty days. Search for the exact contact you want to recover and tap on it for details.
  • Two options will pop up – Delete forever and Recover. > Tap on Recover
  • Repeat the action for any other contact you want to recover.
  • You can also select more than one contact at a time to recover multiple. Be careful not to mistakenly tap delete forever.

Once this is done, the Google contacts will sync automatically and the contact will reappear in your Google contacts list and your default phone contacts application.

Recover deleted contacts from Google account - Second method

The second method is more encompassing and it will undo any change you have made in a period of time. This means that if you set it to 2 weeks, it will undo any contact you saved to your google drive in the last two weeks, and also retrieve contacts you deleted within the period.

This means that this method is best applied if you are sure that you have not saved any new contact to your Google drive within the period.

  • Open the Google contacts app
  • It will display all the contacts saved in the Google drive of the account you downloaded it from.
  • Tap on the three horizontal lines at the left end of the search bar > Tap on Settings > Navigate down to Undo changes
  • A dialogue box will appear where you have to choose the period you want to undo changes. You can choose 10 minutes ago if you deleted the contact within the last 10 minutes. Other options available are 1 hour ago, Yesterday (the last 24 hours) and 1 week ago (last 7 days).
  • If you deleted the google contacts more than a week ago, then select custom to manually choose the time frame. The maximum period allowed is 30 days so you can set it manually to any period within the last 30 days.
  • Tap on Confirm. It takes a while to reflect completely so give it about 5 minutes.

Your Google contacts list will be restored to the way it was before the selected time. All contacts saved during this period will be lost, and all contacts deleted during this period will be recovered.

Can I restore Google contacts from a year ago?

Unfortunately, this feature is not available on Google account at the moment. When you delete a contact, it goes to the trash folder in your Google contact and stays there for 30 days before it is deleted forever.

Once it exceeds 30 days since you deleted the contact, you can no longer recover the deleted contact.

Is it possible to recover deleted phone contacts from the google account?

This is also not possible. The only contacts you can restore or recover from your Google drive are those contacts that were saved to the Google account. If you saved the phone contacts on your Android phone or on your mobile sim memory, your chances of recovering those contacts will depend on your phone having trash where deleted contacts go to.

To make this possible, you can export all the contacts on your mobile number and phone memory to the Google account so that in the event of a lost or stolen phone, you can recover the contacts from Google drive when you get a new phone.

How to export contacts to a Google account

  • On your Android phone or tablet, open the default Contacts app (not the Google contacts app)
  • Tap Menu (the three horizontal lines on the top left) > Manage contacts > Import or export contacts
  • Choose the sim or device to copy from > chose the account to copy to
  • Finish.

For some Android phones

  • Tap Menu (the three horizontal lines on the top left) > Settings > Export
  • Choose the device to copy from > choose the account to copy to
  • This should take a while but once it is done, you will find that all the contacts on your device will now be stored in your Google drive too.

How to restore contacts from Google drive

If your device got missing and was stolen, you will need to restore the contacts saved to your Google account when you get a new phone.

Once you get a new Android phone, set it up and sign in to your Google account (the same account where you saved the contacts).

Once you sign in and download the Google contacts app, it will sync automatically and your contacts will be restored to your phone from Google drive. If it does not sync automatically, you can do this;

  • Open your phone's Settings app > Tap Google > Tap Set up & restore > Tap Restore contacts.
  • If you have multiple Google Accounts, to choose which account's contacts to restore, tap From account.
  • Tap the phone with the contacts to copy > Tap Restore, then wait until you see "Contacts restored."

Your phone avoids duplicates by only restoring contacts you do not already have on your device.