Fix: Unable to open Contacts on Android

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:

  1. Free up some memory
  2. Delete old voicemails
  3. Check the app permissions
  4. Log out and log back into your Google Account
  5. Sync your contacts with Google Account
  6. Import contacts
  7. 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:

  1. Go to Settings.
  2. Navigate to Apps & notifications, and tap Permissions > Contacts.
  3. 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:

  1. Open Settings.
  2. Select Accounts.
  3. Select Google.
  4. Remove the account.
  5. Restart your device.
  6. 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:

  1. Go to Settings > Users & accounts.
  2. Find your Google Account (email).
  3. Tap Account Sync.
  4. Make sure Contacts are toggled.
  5. 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:

  1. Open the Contacts app.
  2. Tap the three-tabbed button and go to Settings.
  3. Tap Import and choose the source of your contacts.
  4. 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:

  1. Open Settings.
  2. Choose Apps.
  3. Expand all apps.
  4. Open Contacts.
  5. Tap on the 3-dot menu and select Uninstall updates.
  6. Do the same for the Phone app.
  7. 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.

If you have any comments, suggestions, or additional questions, just let us know in the comments down below. Also, check our  Twitter or Facebook pages for more informative content.

Editor’s note: This article was originally published in February 2018. We made sure to revamp it for freshness and accuracy.

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May 1, 2020 4:39 pm

Still not working it just wont open it will just close the app

July 1, 2020 1:42 pm

My contacts,dialer and messaging are not opening, what is the solution for this problem

June 12, 2020 10:44 am

I just got a new contacts app doesn’t says contacts have stopped.if I run my fone in safe mode the app opens .how do you solve this problem

November 4, 2018 5:55 pm

Still failing to access it after I followed thiz steps

July 1, 2020 1:41 pm

My contacts, dialer and messaging are opening, what is the solution for this problem

January 10, 2021 6:15 am

unable to open the phone app in my android phone, due to the instructions, i cleared unwanted app and restart the phone, my problem soloved, now i can access the contact list. thanks for your informations

September 30, 2020 9:32 pm

The Google Android Contacts App will not open your Google contact for editing, if the notes you saved online to your contact using your PC have to many characters (too long). Use your PC to edit your Google contact online and reduce the number of notes you have in the notes field. Once reduced, you will be able to edit your contact using your Google Contact Android App on your cellular device.

jhon perker
jhon perker
June 26, 2018 12:49 am

If you did not open contact of your android phone then it might some lag in your device. So better you can once swich off and open your set , this might helps you lot.Or you can contact Gmail Support USA