Backup contacts and messages to SD card on Windows Phone 8.1

Microsoft has recently launched “Contacts + Message Backup” Windows Phone utility application which is essentially a settings app that enables one to make backup of all contacts and messages present in phone. The app helps one to save their existing contacts in VCF format and messages like SMS and MMS in XML format to the SD card. The backed up data can be later restored to same or another Windows Phone.

Backup Windows Phone contacts & messages to SD card

Backup Windows Phone contacts & messages to SD card

Backup your data

Follow these steps to backup your contacts and messages to SD card on your Windows Phone:

Step 1: Download and Install “contacts+backup” application from the Windows Phone store. The application is currently available for Windows Phone 8.1 and above.

Step 2: Once the installation is complete, the application doesn’t show up in the Apps List of your phone. You will have to find the “contacts+message backup” option in the “settings” app on your Windows Phone.


Step 3: Launch the “contacts+message backup” app which is present inside settings. The landing page comes with 2 options – “backup” and “restore” option. You can choose the option, depending on your requirement – If you are taking backup for the first time – click on the “backup” option. If you want to restore data from backed up data hit on “restore“.

Step 4: In order to proceed with backup, in the backup page – check on the options which you would like to have a copy of. Choose one or more of the following options – Contacts, SMS and MMS. After the selection, tap on “backup” and the backup process gets initiated with a progress bar showing the status. The time taken to backup your contacts and SMS depends on how big is your contacts list and SMS log. Wait until the backup process finishes. If you want to quit backing up, tap on “stop“.

Step 5: The created back up would be saved with the current timestamp and would be stored in a folder called “backup+restore” in the SD card which is attached to the phone. You can anytime view these backed up files in the SD card using the Files app. All your contacts would be saved in .VCF format and SMSs/MMSs would be stored as an XML file.

Restore data

In order to restore the saved data from SD card to same or another Windows Phone – follow these steps:

Step 1: Launch the “contacts+message backup” application present in the settings app (the same way you did for backing up data).

Step 2: In the landing page of “contacts+message backup“, choose the “restore” option which opens up the “restore” page.


Step 3: By default, the latest backed up file would show up in the contacts, SMS and MMS section of restore page. The dropdown which is present holds all the versions of backed up data – you can pick the file from which you want to restore data. Also note that there is a cautionary message stating that you might not be able to rollback sometimes.

Step 4: After selecting the required backup files under contacts, SMS and MMS, tap the “restore” button to start restoring your selected data back. The time of restoring data depends on how big your backed up files are.

A known issue in the app has been reported for dual SIM phones that allows app to restore all the messages to message store of first sim/slot present in the phone.

Posted by on , in Category Phone with Tags
Chethan Thimmappa is a technology blogger and a mobile app developer. His areas of interests lies in Windows, Windows Phone, Cross-Platform App development and End-user design paradigms. He is passionate about cars and bikes.