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I use Android 5.1 on my phone. My contacts include information in essentially all fields (e.g. including email, mailing addresses, notes and more obscure ones), many include photos, and many contain non-ASCII (and non-Latin) text. I would like to either directly export my contacts to a UTF-8 CSV (with or without the base-64 binary fields), or to an .ods or .xlsx file.

Despite trying several apps which supposedly do contact exporting, I have yet to find one which actually does it properly. Strange, but true.

Other requirements:

  • Gratis.
  • Maintains my privacy. So no on-line conversion/synchronization and certainly nothing depending on a Google account.

Other desirable features:

  • No ads.
  • Free software.
  • Small size
  • Customizable (e.g. choose which fields get exported, field order, with/without headers etc.)

PS - The Android contacts app itself exports a VCF which is itself rather difficult to find a converter for.

  • i would export the contacts to a vcf-file and then use a desktop-app to convert/export them to whatever you want... – DJCrashdummy Oct 9 '16 at 21:07
  • @DJCrashdummy: Can you be more specific? Note it would need to be a Linux rather than a Windows app and support all of those features. – einpoklum Oct 9 '16 at 22:51
  • "difficult to find a converter for": I have not tried any, but a Google search revealed some, like vcf2csv (command-line), vcf-to-csv (Python), and more. Does any of those fit? – Izzy Oct 10 '16 at 9:18
  • @Izzy: The first doesn't take kindly to VCFs with the features above. The second I missed, let me try it. – einpoklum Oct 10 '16 at 9:28
  • Just found another candidate worth trying: Easy Backup & Restore. From the description: Your Sms, Mms, Call log, Calendar, Bookmarks, Dictionary and Contact data are stored in CSV, eml and VCF file format Backs up to SD card. I'm just not sure if CSV is meant to be used for all types (or just for SMS/MMS and call logs). – Izzy Oct 10 '16 at 12:01
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first of all i have to say vCard (.vcf) is the standard for exchanging/storing contact-information and if somehow possible you should stay with it for data-consistency!


  • export your contacts from the phone to a vcf-file (if your vendor spent your rom a crippled contact-app use Export Contacts).
  • transfer the file to a computer and import it to your preferred pim-software or simple contact-manager. - since nearly all of them can import vcf-files, so i think crucial would be the features for exporting (or managing) them.
  • for example i'm using Thunderbird (free, "offline", foss, cross-platform and in nearly all *nix-repositories maybe as icedove), so i can tell you importing and exporting from/to vcf and csv works. - i would advice you to also install the add-on MoreFunctionsForAddressBook for support of several vcf-fields and more options/flexibility.
  • and then you can manipulate, export or print your contacts in every possible way...
  • Hmm. Exporting through Thunderbird. I guess I could try it. But can I do this in such a way that my phone contacts don't get mixed up with my Thunderbird contacts? Or would I have to backup and delete my abook.mab for that? – einpoklum Oct 10 '16 at 8:49
  • for sure you haven't to mess around with your profile-files: just create a additional addressbook – DJCrashdummy Oct 10 '16 at 8:58
  • @einpoklum apropos: if you want to completely separate the data from each other you can use a different profile via thunderbird -P. – DJCrashdummy Oct 17 '16 at 11:50
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If you have synchronization turned on you don't any app for that purpose because you can easily export your contacts in .csv from Gmail as described here for example:

Sign in to Gmail.
Click Gmail at the top-left corner of your Gmail page, then choose Contacts.
From the More actions drop-down menu, select Export....
Choose whether to export all contacts or only one group.
Select the format in which you'd like to export your contacts' information. Please note, some of these formats can lose some contact information.
To transfer contacts between Google accounts, use the Google CSV format. This is the recommended way to back up your Google Contacts.
To transfer contacts to Outlook, Yahoo! Mail, Hotmail, or various other apps, use the Outlook CSV format.
To transfer contacts to Apple Address Book, use the vCard format.
Click Export.
Choose Save to Disk then click OK.
Select a location to save your file, and click OK.

I just did it and I got a nice UTF-16 google.csv file that was successfully imported by gnumeric (open-source equivalent of Excel).

  • Synchronization? With what? I don't use Google (shudder). I guess I should make that clear, though. – einpoklum Oct 9 '16 at 20:17
  • You didn't say that in your question so why are you so surprised? – Arkadiusz Drabczyk Oct 9 '16 at 20:19
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    Well, because these days we know Google copies all of your information to the US government, or at least makes it accessible and searchable (Snowden revelations), so I'm surprised people would suggest using their services (especially when I mentioned FOSS as a desirable feature). – einpoklum Oct 9 '16 at 20:55
  • What kind of Android device you have which does not require Google account? – Arkadiusz Drabczyk Oct 9 '16 at 20:59
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    You really don't need a Google account to use Android phones. Any kind really. But this is getting off-topic; please remove the answer. – einpoklum Oct 9 '16 at 22:49

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