It appears that the problem with accessing the Contacts app on Android is an ongoing issue. And if you’re reading this article, chances are you have the same problem. Luckily, the problem usually doesn’t lie in the Contacts app itself. It’s usually other apps or services that are blocking Contacts from opening. So, if you can’t open contacts on Android, make sure to check the steps below.
Table of contents:
- Free up some memory
- Delete old voicemails
- Check the app permissions
- Log out and log back into your Google Account
- Sync your contacts with Google Account
- Import contacts
- Reset the Phone and Contacts app
Why can’t I open my contacts on Android?
If you can’t open contacts on Android, make sure to set the Phone app as the default one in Settings > Apps > Default apps. Uninstall or disable other dialer and contacts apps.
If that doesn’t help, free up some memory, check the app permissions, or log out and log in again with your Google Account.
1. Free up some memory
Believe it or not, contacts occupy memory, too. Unless you keep them in your Google account. So, if your contacts are stored locally, and your phone memory is low, there can be some interferences.
Before you do anything else, make sure you have enough free memory on your phone. If your phone’s memory is low, delete some unnecessary apps, or clear the cache, and you should be good.
On the other hand, if you have enough memory, but the contacts are still ‘broken’, move on to another solution.
2. Delete old voicemails
Another thing that can cause problems with contacts is your voicemail service. Numerous users say that deleting old voicemails actually solves this problem. So, if previous solutions didn’t work for you, go and delete your old voicemail messages. Maybe you’ll solve the problem.
This one’s actually a bit tricky. Because it depends on your carrier. Although we know old voicemails can actually cause the problem, nobody ever confirmed which carriers’ voicemail services cause the contacts issue. And I can’t tell you if your carrier is on ‘the list’.
3. Check the app permissions
The Contacts app should have permission to access your contacts by default. And that’s how it is most of the time. But the Contacts app may lose that permission for any reason. Maybe it’s a faulty update, or you just disabled the permission by accident.
Either way, you should go and check if such permission is granted. Here’s how to do that:
- Go to Settings.
- Navigate to Apps & notifications, and tap Permissions > Contacts.
- Make sure the Contacts app has permission to use contacts by toggling it on.
That’s about it. At least one of these solutions should help you access the Contacts app on your Android phone again. But if you actually can access the app, but the concepts are just not there, don’t worry, we’ve got you covered, as well.
If you can one the Contacts app, the contacts are just not there, congratulations on your new phone! There are just two scenarios that come to my mind when it comes to vanished contacts. You either just got a new phone and have yet to set it up, or you simply logged out of your Google account.
Let’s break it down.
4. Log out and log back into your Google Account
The next step to try is to log out and log into your Google account again. What you’ll need to do is to remove your Google account from the device and add it again. Just to be safe, make sure to back up all your data before doing so.
Here’s how to remove and re-add your Google Account:
- Open Settings.
- Select Accounts.
- Select Google.
- Remove the account.
- Restart your device.
- Sign in with your account again.
5. Sync your contacts with Google Account
If you’ve ever used your Google Account on an Android phone before, your contacts should sync automatically. However, there’s a chance you still cannot see your contacts, in which case you’ll have to sync them manually.
To do that, you’ll have to log in with your Google Account to your old phone and copy the contacts by yourself. Here’s how to do that:
- Go to Settings > Users & accounts.
- Find your Google Account (email).
- Tap Account Sync.
- Make sure Contacts are toggled.
- Wait a couple of minutes for Google to sync contacts.
Now, just log back into your new phone, and synced contacts should be there.
6. Import contacts
And finally, if you don’t keep your contacts in your Google Account, but prefer SIM or microSD card, you’ll have to import your contacts first, before being able to access them.
Here’s how to do that:
- Open the Contacts app.
- Tap the three-tabbed button and go to Settings.
- Tap Import and choose the source of your contacts.
- Wait a couple of minutes for contacts to sync.
7. Reset the Contacts and Phone apps
Finally, you can reset the Contacts and Phone apps, respectively, by uninstalling all updates. By doing so, the app should re-sync the contacts list and, hopefully, the issue at hand will be resolved.
Here’s how to reset the Contacts app on Android:
- Open Settings.
- Choose Apps.
- Expand all apps.
- Open Contacts.
- Tap on the 3-dot menu and select Uninstall updates.
- Do the same for the Phone app.
- Reboot your device and update the app once prompted.
That’s about it. I hope that at least one of these solutions helped you resolve the problem and that you can access and see all your contacts once again.
Editor’s note: This article was originally published in February 2018. We made sure to revamp it for freshness and accuracy.