A friend has a Samsung android phone with broken display and he wants to extract all contacts saved on the device.

I'm trying to help, but I have a Linux OS on my PC, not windows or mac. I also have my android Motorola Moto-G phone to try with.

  1. I have an USB cable to connect the phone.

  2. I also have a wifi router which my PC is connected to by a LAN eth cable and I usually connect also the phone to the router wireless network so that it can be routed to internet.

           |---- ethernet Modem ---> Internet
    Router |---- LAN eth ----------| PC
           -))) WiFi network  ((((( Android_Phone
  3. I think possible to connect my phone through a bluetooth dongle I used years ago with an old non-android cell. I've never tried it with my android phone.

My PC doesn't have any WiFi adapter so I can't create any "ad hoc" wireless connection between PC and phone.

Is there any way to extract my android Moto-G phonebook working from my Linux system?

  • Are your contacts synced with google?
    – Cyclic3
    Jan 16, 2017 at 16:33
  • Can you connect through adb? That has more of a chance of working than through the network. Unless you've set something up specifically on the phone, you can't access the phone from outside through the network. What exact phone model do you have? Although your question is on-topic here, you'd have a better chance at getting an answer on Android Enthusiasts, since this question mostly requires Android expertise, not Linux expertise. Jan 16, 2017 at 23:29
  • If I well understood what I read about ADB: the phone has to be configured with "USB debugging" enabled and my moto-g it is. My friend samsung phone is likely in a default status so usb debugging should be disabled...
    – Joe
    Jan 17, 2017 at 13:12
  • Anyway I read the device needs to be rooted for phone book extraction by adb. In that case neither my moto-g nor my friend's samsung is rooted... As regard Samsung specific model, unfortunately I haven't that phone now and I don't know exactly its model name.
    – Joe
    Jan 17, 2017 at 13:20

2 Answers 2


The best method for this is to collect all of your contacts into a vcf file, and then copy it between the phones

  1. Go to contacts
  2. Click on the triple dot in the top left hand corner
  3. Click on Import/Export
  4. Export to .vcf file
  5. Save it somewhere you can get at it from your linux computer
  6. Copy it across

To import them, you just follow the same steps, but you choose import instead.

I have a Moto-G, and this works for me!

  • My friend phone has a broken display, I have to work from the PC only. I can't "Go to contacts", nor "Click on the triple dot..." and so on, because I don't have any display to touch...
    – Joe
    Jan 16, 2017 at 15:45
  • My friend phone has a broken display, I have to work from the PC only. I can't "Go to contacts", nor "Click on the triple dot..." and so on, because I don't have any display to touch... An example: years ago I had an old Nokia cell (not a smartphone) and I broken its display, despite of that I found a numbers shortcut to activate bluetooth, so I extracted its
    – Joe
    Jan 16, 2017 at 15:52
  • phonebook by using Wammu
    – Joe
    Jan 16, 2017 at 16:05
  • The system, AFAIK, has been locked stop stop this sort of thing. Imagine if you could see all the contacts of a person, just by plugging in their phone when they are not looking!
    – Cyclic3
    Jan 16, 2017 at 16:07
  • One could accomplish all you said just by following your six points... Anyway, there are several softwares to do it from windows.
    – Joe
    Jan 16, 2017 at 16:40

On other Android phones -- like Verizon Samsungs -- you might have to use the "share" option since there is no "Import/Export" option.

  1. go into the Phone app
  2. go into the Contacts tab
  3. tap the three vertical dots to get the menu
  4. choose "Share"
  5. select all by pressing the check box in the upper left
  6. hit next a few times
  7. open the file on the new device
  8. it may ask for permission for contacts to get to your files
  9. and then it should ask if you want to import it

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.