If you’ve just bought a new phone, you don’t need to copy every single phone number over from your old phone manually. Ken’s Tech Tips explores some of the easier ways to do it.

When you change mobile network, you’ll get a new SIM card. Using a PAC code it is very easy to move (or “port” in mobile lingo) your number from your old network onto your new network and new SIM card. However using a PAC code will not help you to transfer things such as any phone numbers or text messages that you want to keep. Those things you’ll have to transfer separately (ideally before you use your PAC code as your old SIM card will get disabled).

When I recently went through the whole process of upgrading my phone and switching network (I moved from my LG Viewty KU990 on O2 to a shiny new HTC Desire on T-Mobile) my network gave me what seemed to be the standard piece of advice: to copy contacts over one by one onto my new phone. Not only would this have been tedious and time-consuming, it also gives a lot of potential for errors to be introduced when inputting the numbers into the new phone – only to be discovered later when you end up calling a complete stranger and you’ve lost your original phone book!

There are two ways to transfer numbers from your old phone to your new phone which will save you a lot of time:

  • Transfer via a SIM card
  • Transfer via a computer

How do I transfer my phone book and SMS text messages via a SIM card?

Phone numbers and SMS text messages can be saved in one of two places: on the phone itself or on a SIM card. The default behaviour is usually to save the phone numbers and text messages on the phone itself, however it may depend on how your phone was set up and configured.

You can use a SIM card to transfer contacts and SMS messages between phones. The exact procedure depends on whether you are using a locked phone or not. The key is to use a SIM card which is acceptable to both phones.

1. If you are moving from an unlocked phone:

  1. Take your new SIM card and place it into your old phone.
  2. Turn your old phone on.
  3. Copy your contacts from the phone memory onto the SIM card memory. Most phones should have this functionality so explore the menus (or documentation) to find it. On the Viewty, this menu item was under “Contact Settings > Copy > Handset to USIM”.
  4. Copy any SMS text messages you would like to keep from your phone memory to SIM card memory.
  5. Turn both of your phones off.
  6. Put your new SIM card back into your new phone. Your contacts and SMS messages should now appear on your new phone.
  7. Optionally you can now move these phone numbers and text messages onto your phone memory. This may have several benefits such as performance and enable extra features.

2. If you are moving from a locked phone to an unlocked phone:

  1. Take your old SIM card and place it into your old phone.
  2. Turn your old phone on.
  3. Copy your contacts from the phone memory onto the SIM card memory. Most phones should have this functionality so explore the menus (or documentation) to find it. On the Viewty, this menu item was under “Contact Settings > Copy > Handset to USIM”.
  4. Copy any SMS text messages you would like to keep from your phone memory to SIM card memory.
  5. Turn both of your phones off.
  6. Put your old SIM card back into your new phone. Your contacts and SMS messages should now appear on your new phone.
  7. Move these contacts and messages from the SIM card memory onto the phone memory.
  8. Turn off both your phones.
  9. Remove your old SIM card from your new phone. Put your new SIM card back into your new phone.

3. If you are moving from a locked phone to a locked phone (of different networks):

This is where things get a little tricky. As both of your phones are locked to different networks, you won’t be able to find a SIM card which is acceptable to both. You could borrow a friends phone to act as an intermediary phone or grab a really cheap unlocked one from Amazon (i.e. follow set of instructions 2 to copy contacts from your old phone onto the unlocked phone, then set of instructions 1 to copy contacts from the unlocked phone onto your new phone). Or try the method below.

How do I transfer my phone book via a computer?

Most phones come with software which allow you to synchronise your phone book with your computer. For example, the Sony Ericsson PC Suite, the LG PC Suite, HTC Sync, etc. You should have received a copy of this software with your phone.

Use the sync software for your old phone to copy the contacts from your old phone into Microsoft Outlook. Then use the sync software for your new phone to copy your contacts from Outlook into your new phone.

You won’t be able to transfer any SMS messages using this method.

Your experiences…

We’d love to hear your experiences migrating to your new phone. Let us know if this worked for you, or if you’ve found a better way.

Your Comments 89 so far

We'd love to hear your thoughts and any questions you may have. So far, we've received 89 comments from readers. You can add your own comment here.

  • Annette Gallagher said:

    I have my contacts through Google but not my messages. My old phone has a micro SIM, the new one a nano. I am with the same provider Aldi. Is there a way to get old text messages?

    • Hi Annette,
      Sadly, I don’t think there any way to synchronise your text messages through a Google account. It might be possible for you to find an application to backup your text messages, or alternatively lots of instant messaging apps like WhatsApp have their own built-in solution.

  • Hi Ken. I recently changed from Tesco mobile to Virgin kept the same number,but I dont seem to be getting all my emails.

    • Hi Julie,
      Thanks for your comment. Changing mobile networks shouldn’t affect your ability to receive emails. Has anything else changed at the same time (e.g. your phone) as I think it’s likely that something else is actually responsible for this?

  • I have had a new iPhone 7 for a while now but my old iPhone 6s has a text message stored to the phone (which now has no sim) is there a way I can get that text message onto my new phone sim? The messages are from someone who sadly passed away and I’m frightened I lose the text thread. I really want this on my new sim. Can anyone help?

    • Hi Alan,
      You should be able to back up your old text messages, either to iTunes (via a USB cable) or to iCloud (via wi-fi). More information here. Once you’ve done that, it should be possible to see your messages, either on a computer or on your new iPhone.
      Hope this helps,

  • Hi Ken,
    I am a complete technophobe and have always left anything remotely technical o my husband. However, he has decided to move our provider from EE to Virgin. This in itself isn’t a problem and he has the relevant codes etc so our numbers remain the same.
    My problem is retaining and moving my photos and text messages. I gave tried to move my photos to The Cloud, but have no idea whether or not I’ve been successful and if indeed, all on The Cloud will move to the new provider.
    Unfortunately, I have nowhere to take my phone and get this done and am really worried that the things saved on my old SIM card will be lost forever.
    You are my only hope.
    Kind regards

    • Hi Helen,
      Many thanks for your comment. The good news is your photos and text messages are not actually stored on the SIM card! They’re actually stored on your phone’s internal storage, so you’re free to change your SIM card without losing your photos and texts (though of course, I do recommend backing up to the cloud should you ever lose access to the handset).
      Are you planning to use the same handset as before, just on Virgin rather than EE? If so, you can simply swap the SIM cards and no further action should be required to keep your messages & photos. If you’re moving to a brand new handset, you should consult the documentation for your new handset to see what features they have available for you to transfer your data over.
      Hope this helps,

  • Hi.
    I have an old Nokia (approx. 16 yrs old) still going strong. It’s a basic phone (calls and texts only, no camera, no internet access etc – suits me just fine). I’m with Virgin and currently on a top-up PAYG scheme. Virgin provides pretty poor coverage where I live and I’ve currently been without signal for 3 weeks. I want to change to Vodafone, which is more consistent. How /can do I do this on such an old phone? Companies seem to want me to sign up to various packages and bundles for features I can’t access. I just want my old phone working the same way but with a new service provider.

    • Hi David,
      Thanks for your comment. Just wondering if you’ve considered joining Talkmobile Happy Hour? You can read a full review here if you’d like more information but in short, they’re a low-cost sub-brand of Vodafone offering classic Pay As You Go. They charge a flat rate of 10p for calls of up to one hour and just 4p/text on Pay As You Go. This sounds like it probably be perfect for your usage!
      If you do really want to go directly with Vodafone, you can do this by choosing one of their PAYG Freebie tariffs.
      Hope this helps,

  • hiya,

    so I need to swap SIM cards with my sister (some misunderstanding with the contracts were on) and we havent swapped yet but her texts etc are coming through on my phone (vice verse). so we need to swap SIMs because obviously the company were on contract with has swapped the contracts if you get me? but how do I keep my contacts on my iPhone5S once my SIM card has been swapped


    • Hi Emily,
      Thanks for your comment. Your phone book will be stored on your iPhone, so there shouldn’t be any problem with regards to your contacts. You should contact your mobile phone network to let them know they’ve got the phone numbers mixed up – this is something they should be able to resolve for you.
      Hope this helps,

  • Hello Ken,

    I had a Vodafone 575, made by Alcatel. We lost our Vodafone signal at home and have now had an O2 boostbox installed. went through a long rigmarole getting the phone unlocked so I could use an O2 sim and see if the signal was OK. This I did. Then I decided to upgrade from this basic phone and have a Samsung Galaxy J5(6). I was able to transfer contacts via bluetooth, and incoming sms in small batches by swapping the Sim from phone to phone. Right at the end of this process, when I copied the sms, the orginal dates disappeared and they weren’t in the right order. When I tried the same process with the outgoing sms, again the dates were gone.
    Have you any idea why this has started happening? Unfortunately because the 575 is such a basic phone the apps I have looked at for backing up the sms on to PC don’t work.

  • Vishal Madderla said:

    Hi Ken.
    I have recently got my sim changed from a Micro sim to a Nano sim for my new Samsung A3. I have copied and transferred all my backup files such as WhatsApp messages from my old phone to the new one. But WhatsApp doesn’t read the backup messages present I’m my phone. Please can you suggest a better alternative? I have few important messages to revive.
    Many thanks.

  • Hey i hav a problem, i recently set up a phone for sumone, wat i did was download apps like whatsapp, Facebook, Skype, viber, messager but jus to say dat there was no sim or memory card in de pone, the person called mi de other day and say dat their was getting all my messages from whats app, how is dis possible

    • Hi there,
      Thanks for your comment. Did you set up the WhatsApp application with your own SIM card inside their handset? If so, their WhatsApp will now be linked to your phone number (hence, they’ll be able to receive WhatsApp messages on your phone number). You should ask them to log out from WhatsApp and to sign up again using a different SIM card. Alternatively, you could install WhatsApp and log in from your own device (this will automatically log them out of your account).
      Hope this helps,

  • Hi Ken, All-

    Hoping against hopelessness here: I had saved my phone #’s (and god-knows-what-else) to my SIM card by default. When T-Mobile tech support recommended a SIM card change due to a frequency upgrade for data rates, the jerk at the the store failed to consult me on data storage to the chip, transfer my data to the new chip and threw away my old chip despite my questioning him about it. Unfortunately, Google backup (via gmail accnt) didn’t backup all my #’s, just a fraction of them. The worst part is I lost precious, new work contacts just made at a recent production, so never called the number or texted in order to retrieve. Huge opportunities lost so far! I still have the phone, but the old chip is long-gone. Any ideas?


    Mike C

    • Hi Mike,
      Thanks for your comment. If your phone numbers were only stored on the SIM card and nowhere else, it’ll unfortunately be very difficult to recover the numbers. If you previously shared your phone numbers with Facebook, you might be able to get some of them here. It’s also worth checking various cloud services in case some of them were copying your contacts without your knowledge (e.g. Google Contacts, Samsung Accounts, etc).
      In general, it’s always good to have your phone numbers stored in the cloud rather than locally on your SIM card or handset. Best of luck on the journey to recover your phone numbers.

      • I have the same problem as another person’s ? Only more dire! I also told the clerk @ the store I abslotuley had yo have all contacts,pics,emails essentially everything saved to put in my new Samsung phone! The old one was a Samsung as well I cracked the screen to the floor and broke the LCD screen and the store threw away my sim card and SD card I got a Samsung Galaxy s6 they had a samsung galaxy s4 but my sd card and and sim which is what I need has been tossed by the store I had backed up all apps the day before but not all to Google so I am not sure if it would be in the Samsung acct as I am not positive I had one on the old phone It’s possible but if not is there any recovery of this data? I have several rentals & it could be devastating! The 4 any help if possible

  • i bought a moto g3 and i cant transfer my contacts from i phone3gs.. So. is there a way of transfering the contacts using bluetooth or any other means.?

  • I have galaxy s5 on sim only with vodafone all contacts stored to fone ..changing to sim only on virgin same fone ..how do I keep all my photos etc

  • Hi,
    I was using the calendar on my android Galaxy S3. Before I got my new phone, I downloaded the google calendar app and synced the two. It worked perfectly. All my appointments were showing on the google calendar.
    I activated the new Galaxy S4 and downloaded the same google calendar app. When I connected to gmail, most of my appointments were missing. Only recurring events and holidays showed up. Is there a way I can use a USB to get sync the missing appointments from my old (deactivated) phone to the new one? Or maybe another easier way? My carrier is MetroPCS/TMobile.

    Any help would be appreciated. Thank you!

    • Hi Carol,
      Thanks for your comment. Were you using the official Google Calendar app or were some events actually created through Samsung’s S Planner app? I recommend taking a look at calendar.google.com (log in with your normal Google Account). The events you see on that page are the ones that should appear on your new Galaxy S4. If they aren’t appearing on that page, it’s possible the events are stored elsewhere (e.g. locally on your Galaxy S3 or elsewhere like in your Samsung account).

  • Hi, how can i move the text messages from my Samsung Galaxy S3 mini to my laptop? But i still want to be able to read them on my laptop. Can you help me please? Thanks 🙂

  • Hi can you please tell me how I can copy text messages from my old samsung galaxy ace to new galaxy note 4 as I dont want to lose them thanks

      • Thanks did try to download smart switch but not supported by my ace think too old a version. Also old phone has been doing loads of wierd things and when I tried linking it to laptop it wasn’t showing so guess I will have to write off my messages. Thanks for your help

  • When I get my upgrade I am keeping the same number but my sim won’t allow me to use the old sim because the contract will be cut out. Is it possible to transfer my texts from the old sim to the new one? I currently have an iPhone 5 and will be getting another iphone. If I cannot do it will they do it in a shop as i have important texts on that SIM card and i need them to be moved to my new one?

    • Hi Catherine,
      Thanks for your comment. I think you should be able to back up your data to an iTunes account (this includes all of the text messages on your phone). From there, you should then be able to restore the data to your new iPhone. The iPhone doesn’t actually support saving text messages to a SIM card so the details above won’t apply for your handset.

  • My samsung gt s5230 has frozen (for no apparent reason) so have bought a new phone lg l40 both payg tesco mobile—thought it would be straight forward process of transferring tesco sim old phone to new tesco phone but only getting a few of the tel.nos showing.
    Perhaps you can explain Thanks

    • Hi Andy,
      Thanks for your comment. The chances are some of your contacts are stored on the SIM card whilst other contacts are stored directly on the old Samsung handset. Are you still able to access your old Samsung handset? If so, use the option to copy all of your contacts over from the handset to the SIM card. This will make them available to your new LG L40.
      Hope this helps,

  • Hi i have a Sony Xperia m and i want to transfer everything contacts sms messages whatsapp kik photos files everything to my Samsung s4 mini it is a giffgaff sim and sd card

  • Hi Ken

    My phone fell and broke over Christmas and I have just purchased a new phone. Having thought I could just swap over the SIM card, I find to my horror that the new phone (a Moto G) uses a micro-SIM card instead of a standard SIM card. As I keep all my contacts, etc on the SIM, can you advise me what to do next? I am not very tech savvy and could really do with some advice. Also, as my very old phone, which I keep for emergencies, uses the standard size SIM, is there a way I can transfer the mini card to it if necessary?

    • Hi Anne,
      Thanks for your comment. You’ll need to change your standard-size SIM card for a new micro SIM which will work in the Moto G. You can read more about how to do this here.
      With regards to transferring your phone numbers… if possible, the easiest way to do this is to use the Motorola Migrate app (available from Google Play). This will automate the process of transferring phone numbers onto your new handset. If Motorola Migrate isn’t compatible with your old phone, you can cut the standard SIM down to a micro SIM once the numbers are saved on your SIM card. Micro SIM cutters are available from Amazon for around £5. If you’d like to use the Micro SIM in a standard SIM handset, you can also use one of the SIM card adapters.
      Hope this helps!

  • Hi ken, can you transfer your old phonebook from an old non smart phone which has a big sIm card onto a iPhone which used a micro sim?

    Many thanks

    • Hi Emma,
      Thanks for your comment. There are two ways of doing this:
      1) Copying the phone numbers via PC (you’ll need to synchronise the contacts from your old phone to a PC, then copy them from there onto the new smartphone). You’ll need to have relevant software to work with both handsets.
      2) Once you’ve copied the contacts from your old phone to a SIM card, you can cut the SIM card down to micro-SIM dimensions.

  • Dear Ken,

    I am a complete smart phone novice. But I just got a Apple 5 for Xmas which uses a nano sim card. Currently I have a very old Nokia 6822 with a normal sim card and all my contacts are stored on the sim card. I’ve read your instructions on transferring contacts but because of the different sized sims I don’t think those instructions apply. Retyping 200 contacts by hand does not fill me with joy, so I’m really hoping that there is a better way. Any advice you can give would be much appreciated. Thank you.

    • Hi P,
      Thanks for your comment. The only way I’m able to think of, of quickly transferring phone numbers from your Nokia to an iPhone, is to plug your Nokia into a PC (use the Nokia PC Suite to import your phone numbers into Outlook/Windows Contacts). You should then be able to use iTunes to copy the phone numbers onto your new iPhone 5.
      Hope this helps,

  • Hi Ken,
    Just found your page and impressed by the feedback!
    I have an old Nokia 2700 and I fell over the other day and now half of the screen is black. I’ve bought myself a new Nokia 225 and changed the SIM over but only a few of the numbers have come over with it.
    I’ve tried to download the contacts to my PC but failed and I can’t see enough of the screen to copy the contacts from the phone memory to the SIM card.
    Is there any way I can salvage the contact list please?
    (I suppose one option is to get the screen repaired but there could be further damage inside)

    • Hi Peter,
      Thanks for your comment and sorry to hear about the damage to your old phone! Unfortunately, I wouldn’t be able to tell you whether it’s possible to transfer the data (I haven’t used this handset myself!). One thing that might be worth doing is bringing your phones to the network operator store (e.g. I know Vodafone has something called a RED Box which is able to transfer this data for you automatically).
      Good luck and wishing you a merry Christmas!

  • Hi,

    I am transferring from an unlocked ancient Nokia using Vodaphone as a carrier, to a Samsung Galaxy3. My new SIM will be a microsim via Giffgaff which I believe is an O2 service.

    With the difference in the SIM card sizes, what can I do to transfer messages and Phone contacts? Can I cut the old card down?

    Many thanks

  • Hi
    I have the Samsung S3 with the new android, and am using virgin for my calls. Because I’m having problems with this, I’m changing to Tesco.com who use o2 (there is better coverage for my area).

    I have just got the PAC Code disconnection from virgin will take place on the 7 November 2014, but I want to transfer all my contacts. I am told once virgin disconnect me, and I install the Tesco sim I will loose all my contacts, texts, photos.

    So can you please tell me how to transfer, I have heard about Samsung Kies 3 which is the one for me, I have downloaded this to my computer windows 7, I understand I have to use a charger usb to help with the transfer. I have not done this yet, is this the best way?

    Also should I have Kies 3 on my phone as well? I did download it which was successful, until it asked to SAVE As but did not give way of doing this, without doing that you could not open the programme.

    I hope you can help me before I get cut off.

    Or can I sent all my contact details via Bluetooth? if so how or what should I go into on the phone I know how to use Bluetooth to download photos to my PC.

    I also have a drop box can I say the contacts to the dropbox? if so how?

    I look forward to your reply

    Thanks Anna

    • Hi Anna,
      Thanks for your comment. On the Galaxy S3, most data will be stored on the handset rather than being stored on the SIM card from Virgin. Hence, if you’re keeping the same phone, changing the SIM card won’t cause you to lose any data. Photos and text messages will definitely be fine after the transfer. The phone book should also be fine 90% of the time. To be doubly-sure, I’d copy any contacts stored on your SIM over to the handset itself. Within the Contacts application, tap the menu button followed by ‘SIM Management’ and ‘Copy Contacts from SIM’. This will copy any contacts on the SIM card over to the handset.
      Hope this helps,

      • Hi Ken

        Thank you very much for your prompt reply. There is no ‘sim management’ within the contacts menu, what I have is Import/Export
        E.g Import from SIM Card, Export to SIM Card, presumably it would be export to SIM card, if I do this how would I know it has worked?

        It is nice to have people like yourself that give help and advise.

        Thank You

        • Hi Anna,
          No worries at all! ‘Import from SIM Card’ is the option you want 🙂 The best way to check if things worked is to take your Virgin SIM card out of the handset. You can turn on your handset without a SIM card inside and verify whether your contacts, texts and photos are still available. If anything is unavailable, you can put the SIM card back into your handset and you can make sure to copy the data before the SIM card later goes inactive.

  • Hi, my phone was stolen and giff gaff still haven’t replaced the sim 8 days later- if and when it does arrive does this mean any texts received in the 8+ days will not be visible?

    • Hi foggy,
      Very sorry to hear about your phone 🙁 See this page on the giffgaff website for more information about lost and stolen SIM cards. It normally takes 2-3 working days for your SIM card to arrive (if it doesn’t, giffgaff recommends you contact an agent). The texts should still be visible providing they haven’t been picked up already using the old SIM card (if you’ve contacted giffgaff and barred your old SIM card, the texts should queue up and be delivered to your new SIM card).
      Hope this helps,

  • Aisling Owens said:

    I have an iPhone 5 and I’ve noticed that my screen is starting to go. There is discolouration on the screen when the phone is on, but it disappears when phone is off. I want to get a new phone, however I cannot loose valuable text messages or photos or ‘whatsapp’ conversations. Is there any way I can get all of these onto my new phone? My phone constantly reminds me that it cannot be backed up as there is no storage. I am not good with technology, and I am so confused. Please help

  • Hi Ken

    I have Tesco PAYG on a Nokia, I have just got an iPhone 4 and have been into Tesco for a new sim card a Micro sim. I am now waiting the 24 hours needed for transferring my number/balance. Tesco told me there is no way to transfer all my phone contacts other than manually. I had assumed it would be possible to put the new micro card into a card adaptor and then transfer the information from my old phones memory. I would then put the micro card back into my iphone. Is this possible?

    Thanking you


      • Hi Ken,

        I am in a similar situation, wishing to transfer my address book from an Sony Ericsonn KT??? (Sorry I can’t find the number, it is very old) to an iPhone 5c. I don’t have an adapter but I do have an iMac which recognises the old phone for downloading photos but I can’t see a file on the desktop for the address book. I tried selecting export all addresses from the phone via Bluetooth although the iMac recognises the phone it bottles out shortly after. Is it just the the phone is so old that the Bluetooth software is just long in the tooth? I do hope you can help, your solutions to others’ problems seem very comprehensive!

  • I washed my phone by accident – I then went to the vodafone shop and bought a new phone and they gave me a new sim card with my phone with my same phone number. However, I have no contacts – what now – slightly lost

    • Hi Jennifer,
      Thanks for your comment. Which phone were you using before and will that phone still turn on? If you’re using a smartphone (e.g. iPhone, Android or Windows Phone), there may be a copy of your phone book stored on the internet (check iCloud/Google Contacts/Outlook.com). By logging in to one of these services, you should be able to recover your phone numbers. If you’re using a feature phone, it may be necessary to access your old handset in order to recover the old address book & phone numbers. In this event, if your old phone no longer turns on, it may be difficult to recover the numbers.

  • Ken, I had an old standard Samsung duos c3322. Now I shifted to xperia smartphone. I have been able to transfer all my contacts and received sms messages to xperia, but the real problem i am getting is in transferring my sent sms to the new smartphone.

    Inbox sms were easier, shifted from phone to SIM and then to the memory of new phone. But the problem came in Sent sms, because old phones had separate folder/place for sent items, while new smartphones have all conversation (received/sent) for any particular individual in same place i.e. their is no concept of Outbox in smartphones.

    How to solve this, I even tried downloading Kies 3 but my old samsung phone would just not be able to connect with it. Re-installed n times but same result. Also, messages are somewhat personnel so do not wish to go to Samsung/Xperia shop.

    Can u help.

  • Hi Ken,
    I have an old phone (Samsung GT-E1230) and have at last got an android one (Motorola Moto G).
    The problem I have is the 2 sim cards are different. How do I go about transferring my contacts from my old sim to the new micro one?
    Thanks very much for your help

  • Hi Ken,
    I own a very basic Nokia phone that is not a smart phone and I am planning to buy an Apple 4s. Is there any way to transfer texts that I would like to keep onto the new phone, as the aforementioned phones use different size SIM cards. I do not have a laptop or computer, only an Apple iPad.
    May I also ask if you would recommend 16GB or 32GB.
    I would also like to commend you on your excellent website. I have absolutely no knowledge about phones, but by reading your clear, concise information I feel that I can now make an educated choice and understand the many aspects involved in using a smart phone. Thank you very much.
    Best wishes, Sally

    • Hi Sally,
      Thanks for the comment. Unfortunately, on the iPhone, Apple doesn’t allow you to import old text messages. I’m not really sure there’s going to be a way around this – though you can of course keep your old Nokia handset. Even after your SIM card has been deactivated by the network, you should still be able to read the old messages on your Nokia. A better solution would be to back up your messages on a computer but it sounds as if this isn’t currently possible.
      With regards to the 16GB vs 32GB model, I’d recommend having a look at my guide on smartphone storage. It’ll tell you how many pictures/music files/videos/etc you can store on the device.
      Hope this helps,

  • Hello Ken-
    Wonderfully helpful site – have spent the best part of the evening on it, as I've only just discovered it!
    My query is the reverse:
    How do I ensure that all my precious Voicemail + Voice Memos + Notes + Photos + all my apps, especially those with personal content (eg. birthday lists, calendar, family trees etc.) will be saved to my PHONE? I'm changing from a contract to a Sim-Only 30-day tomorrow but will be keeping my phone and phone number …
    I have an iPhone 4S.
    Please can you help? I want to arm myself, instead of being at the mercy of a perhaps-inexperienced salesman tomorrow!
    Best wishes,

    • Hi Mary,

      Thanks for the comment! The iPhone 4S automatically saves all of this material to the phone so you don't need to worry about that! SIM cards only have a limited amount of storage space and as such, very little is actually stored on it. Voice memos, Notes, Photos and Apps will still be there after changing your SIM card.

      With regards to voicemail, are you switching to another network or staying on the same one? Unfortunately it's not possible to transfer your voicemail messages to a different network, though you could try recording them manually. If you're staying on the same network, it's possible that voicemail messages will still be there after changing your account type. However, please double-check with the network about this as it depends on how they process the tariff change.

      If you're changing network, you may also need to unlock your iPhone. You should do this before cancelling the contract on your old network. You can find out more here.

      Hope this helps,


  • hi Ken. i am upgrading from galaxy ace to galaxy note2.i also hv samsung notebook. how do i transfer my txt, contacts,memo.voice recordings to note2?galaxy ace is locked and note2 is unlocked. am with virginmedia.i tried to tranfer data to my notebook using usb cable and nothing happened.i read from yr site that i need to sync but with what?
    btw yr site is excellent for novice(OAP) like me.i hv learnt a lot.thank you.

  • h there. i want to transfer from galaxy ace on Virginmedia( locked) to micro sim(virgin media) on unlocked galaxy note 2. is there an easy way. if i have to put on pc what sync device do i need to use.(i hv samsung notebook).as if i activate micro sim then my old sim will b deactivated. i wish to transfer.voice recordings, calender,memo , txt msgs and contacts.pl help.

  • i have a slightly diff problem.hope you can help. i am upgrading from samsung galaxy ace to galaxy note2.i also have samsung notebook.i wish to tranfer all my contacts,txt msgs,photos,notes,voice recordings etc.in the past ,i used bluetooth which transferred without a hitch as phoneswerea the same make. now its the same make but diff type of sim.i have never transferred anything on to pc and not sure how to do it. what sync device to use?i particularly wish to transfer voice recordings for sentimental reasons.

    • Hi Shree,

      The chances are that your voice recordings will be saved as a file on your phone. The easiest way to access it would be to connect your Galaxy Ace to your laptop. You can then copy the audio files onto your computer, and subsequently onto your Note 2.


  • Thanks Ken, I've tried loading my software but it is that old it says it will revert my laptop back to windows xp so I didn't bother carrying on because I didn't want to mess my laptop up.

    • Hi Dawn,

      If you are using Windows 7, it's probably a dialog box saying it's going to run in Windows XP compatibility mode. Don't worry, it won't downgrade your laptop to Windows XP just to run a single programme – it just runs the programme in such a way the programme thinks it's running on XP.


  • How do you transfer numbers and text message from an old sim from an old phone to an iphone 4 sim card as they are a different size? Once the new sim is activated will the old sim not work in the old phone?

  • How can I save text messages please from old Samsung with T-mobile to new LG viewty? Any help would be much appreciated./

    Yours technopohobically


    • Hi Ros,

      Is your new LG Viewty also on T-Mobile (or unlocked)? In which case you should be able to copy your texts to your SIM card and use that to transfer it over. Otherwise you may have to sync it through your computer.


  • Brian Moreau said:

    Just taken delivery of my new HTC Desire and although generally I am very impressed with the phone it does appear to have some very strange bugs that I have never experienced before even with really old basic phones.

    Copy contact from SIM to phone.
    This appears to be impossible or at least I have not managed to find a way to do this yet, and looking at all the blogs it appears I am not the only one having difficulty with this simple function. As said above this is not something I have ever had difficulty with in the past.
    Usually it’s an option in the setup but not so with the Desire.

    The contacts I do have are also displayed in a really strange format. Lastname;Firstname/1

    Ok Update Update…
    It can be done in only 13 steps!
    I will post instructions on my website tonight.

  • Richard Willans said:

    I am so tired of people who should know better not telling the real truth. I have just attempted to migrate from an N95 8gb to HTC Desire and it is NOT simple. For instance, the Contacts Manager does not have the capability of listing last name first – it doesn’t even have the requisite number of fields. I have confirmed this with HTC themselves. Which means that no matter what you do, the contacts info synched through MS Outlook will not be correctly transferred. I have 670 contacts – not unusual for the “business world” – including notes and addresses, as well as different phone numbers. What regular Phone Directory do you know doesn’t allow you to display or even enter, last name first? I have gone round the world trying to find an Android app that will take over this function, but so far I have found nothing that sounds even remotely adequate. Yet funnilty enough, in all my research, I have not found one single person who has admitted that transferring all one’s contact info to Android Phones is likely to be next to impossible!

    Perhaps I am being too harsh. If there is a work around, I would be grateful for the information. Otherwise, I am in for a very long hall doing everything by hand. Oh yes, please don’t mention Google Synch to me either. Since the Contacts Program on Desire doesn’t have the right number of fields, I don’t see how that will work either. And the Sim Card thing is irrelevant. The number of fields available to transfer to the Sim Card is even more limited.

    Yours, very frustrated,


  • I had to move my contacts recently between a touch diamond and a desire. It wasn’t fun. Simcards are designed to stop a number of strings and a number. Humans want to store contact info. These are different beasts. My friends have longer names than sim cards seem to allow, and they split out the 2 or 3 numbers I have for each person into seperate numbers. Synching doesn’t work because gmail doesn’t seem to understand that people have phone numbers as well as email addresses. I don’t want to wade through a list of email addresses on my desire looking for the symbol which means `phone number`. And although you can hide contact info other than on the phone (ie hide sim, gmail etc), this only seems to work in 1 or 2 places, meaning that other apps which use contacts don’t honour it and again you’re wading through useless data. The only solution is to:
    1) copy data onto sim on old phone
    2) put sim in new phone
    3) copy sim data onto phone
    4) delete all data off sim card
    5) delete all synced gmail/sim data
    6) ensure anything to do with syncing contacts is disabled
    7) spend 30-60 mins manually editing names so that:
    Jackson, Ric
    Jackson, Richard
    8) manually stick peoples home, work, mobile numbers onto 1 contact
    9) manually cut&paste peoples names so surname is in the surname field and first name in first name field (mine was back to front).

    I entertained the idea of using some app to do this for me, but quickly decided that finding and learning how to use one would probably take more than the 30 odd mins it would take me to do it myself. I have no idea why phones don’t do this for you – logically it’s very very easy (mobile numbers have a prefix; identical names can be combined etc).

  • Graeme McKay said:

    I may be wrong, but aren’t there SIM CARD READERS that can be bought that allow for transfers and backups to be made? These may be able to be used to transfer contacts and/or text messages between phones…

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