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How Do I Know If My Contacts are Saved on My Phone or SIM?

All phones give you options to save your contacts either on your phone or SIM, and depending on what kind of phone you’re using, there might even be a third option that lets you tie it to your email. There are advantages and drawbacks to using any of these options.

However, that’s not the question here. The question is: how do I know if my contacts are saved on my phone or SIM? If you need to know this information for any reason, it’s pretty easy to find out once you learn a few things about how contacts work on your device.

In this article, I’ll show you how to tell if someone’s contacts are saved on their phone, SIM, or even on Google. Also, you’ll learn the benefits and drawbacks of saving your contacts to any of those platforms and why you should even care.

How Do I Know If My Contacts are Saved on My Phone or SIM on Android?

Modern Android phones will allow you to save your contacts to the SIM, the phone, or the cloud (AKA Google Drive). Also, depending on what make and model of phone you’re using, it should be pretty clear where a specific contact is saved by merely looking at it.

By default, new contacts on your Android phone will be saved to your phone’s internal storage or Google. There are many reasons for this behavior, but the most important one has to be the capacity; your phone’s internal storage is capable of carrying many contacts.

Also, your SIM doesn’t allow you to save numbers with extra information apart from the name. When saving to your phone or Google, you can add a picture, the contact’s email address, their middle names, their occupation, and your relationship with them. On the other hand, you can only add the contact’s name and phone number when saving to your SIM.

Since there are so many different makes and models of Android phones out there, it’s impossible to list out how to tell if a contact is saved on your phone or SIM for every single one of them. A pointer to check is metadata; if a contact has more than just their name in your phonebook, it’s likely saved to the phone.

Also, some phones add a little phone icon to the end of contacts saved to the phone, while SIM contacts have a little SIM icon. You can check out for signs like that to see if your contacts are saved to your phone or your SIM on your Android phone.

In short, there’s no definitive way to tell where your contacts are saved on all Android phones. Take note of the pointers I recommended and try to see if you can determine which of your contacts was saved on your phone and which was for your SIM.

How Do I Know If My Contacts are Saved on My Phone or SIM on iPhone?

iPhones are more straightforward than Android phones when it comes to saving contacts. While Androids give you options like SIM, phone, memory card, Google account, and even your high school math notebook, Apple only makes it possible to store contacts on your iCloud.

Once you set up a new iPhone, it imports all your contacts from your SIM to your iCloud. It ties those contacts with your iCloud account so that when you eventually move to a new iPhone, you’ll get all your contacts without having to struggle with inserting a SIM on your phone.

While Google also offers this with Google Contacts, the fact that Android phones still let you save contacts to your SIM and phone is so 1980. There’s no reason why that should still be allowed, as SIM cards have proven to be terrible storage mediums for contacts.

About how to know if your contacts are saved on your phone or SIM on an iPhone, the answer is that you don’t have to know. Everyone knows the contacts are saved on iCloud and are cached on your phone; what more do you want to know about it?

Why Save Contacts to Phone or SIM?

If you’re wondering why to choose your phone over your SIM or vice versa when saving a contact, there are many reasons. Generally, saving to your phone is the more logical option, but the SIM can also put up a decent competition in some very specific scenarios.

If you’re a device reviewer, for example, you’ll keep checking out new devices constantly and you do not necessarily want to log in to your Google account with every single one of them. In that case, keeping your close contacts on your SIM and swapping them in and out of the phones you’re using might be a good idea.

Out of that insanely specific use case, however, saving contacts to your phone is simply better. It takes more contacts, lets you add more information about each one, and is overall just an upgrade over saving to your SIM. And then there’s backing up your contacts to Google Contacts.

How to Backup My Contacts to Google

Ever since Google Contacts became a thing, it has become pretty useless to save contacts to either your phone or your SIM card, at all. You can simply save everything to Google and instantly have it available on any phone at your disposal by logging in with your Google account, and it’s free too.

If you have a modern Android smartphone, your contacts should already be backed up to Google. Simply head over to contacts.google.com to see them, and you can also log in using your Google account to access them on any Android smartphone that you have.

READ MORE: Should I Save Contacts to SIM or Phone or Google?


One of the little things that Android smartphone users tend to obsess over is the location where to store their contacts. While the well-known options are phone and SIM, you can also store to your Google account, which is the best. This article teaches you all you need to know about saving contacts on an Android or iOS smartphone.

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