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Fix Unable to open Contacts on Android Phone

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Making phone calls and sending texts are the basic functions of a mobile phone. Anything that prevents you from doing so, like inaccessible Contacts, is a major inconvenience. All your important numbers belonging to friends, family, colleagues, business partners, etc. are saved in your contacts. If you are unable to open Contacts on your Android device, then it is a matter of major concern. Our contacts are extremely valuable and important to us. Unlike olden times, there isn’t even a physical copy of the numbers in a phone book somewhere that you can fall back to. Therefore, you need to know how to solve this problem and we are going to help you. In this article, we will discuss the various steps that you can take to solve the problem of unable to open the contacts app on Android Phone.

Fix Unable to open Contacts on Android Phone

Fix Unable to open Contacts on Android Phone

1. Restart your Phone

This is the simplest thing that you can do. It might sound pretty general and vague but it actually works. Just like most electronic devices, your mobiles too resolve a lot of problems when turned off and on again. Rebooting your phone will allow the Android system to fix any bug that might be responsible for the problem. Simply hold down your power button until the power menu comes up and click on the Restart/Reboot option. Once the phone restarts, check if the problem still persists.

2. Clear Cache and Data for the Contacts App

Every app saves some data in the form of cache files. If you are unable to open your contacts, then it might be due to these residual cache files getting corrupted. In order to fix this problem, you can always try clearing the cache and data for the app. Follow these steps to clear the cache and data files for the Contacts app.

1. Go to the Settings of your phone.

Go to the Settings of your phone

2. Tap on the Apps option.

Tap on the Apps option

3. Now, select the Contacts app from the list of apps.

Select the Contacts app from the list of apps

4. Now, click on the Storage option.

Click on the Storage option

5. You will now see the options to clear data and clear cache. Tap on the respective buttons and the said files will be deleted.

See the options to clear data and clear cache | Fix Unable to open Contacts on Android Phone

6. Now, exit settings and try opening Contacts again and see if the problem still persists.

3. Uninstall the Google+ App

A lot of Android users use Google+ app to manage their contacts and sync them with their Google account. However, some users have reported Google+ causing interference with the default contacts app. You can try to uninstall the Google+ app and see if it solves the problem. You can uninstall the app directly from the app drawer by long pressing on the icon and then clicking on the uninstall button. However, if you use the app too often and would not like to delete it, you can also force stop the app from the settings and clear cache and data. Make sure to reboot your phone after uninstalling Google+.

4. Clear All Voicemails

When you have a lot of stored voicemail on your device, it could cause your contacts app to malfunction. Even after you delete your voicemails, it is possible that some of them are left behind in the folder. Therefore, the best way to remove them is by clearing the folder. A lot of users have reported that the issue of contacts not opening was solved upon the removal of voicemails. It would not be a bad idea to delete your old voicemail messages if the above methods did not work.

5. Update Android Operating System

Sometimes when an operating system update is pending, the previous version might get a little buggy. The pending update could be a reason behind your Contacts not opening. It is always a good practice to keep your software up to date. This is because with every new update the company releases various patches and bug fixes that exist to prevent problems like this from happening. Therefore, we would strongly recommend you to update your operating system to the latest version.

1. Go to the Settings of your phone.

Go to the Settings of your phone

2. Tap on the System option.

Tap on the System tab

3. Now, click on the Software update.

Click on the Software update

4. You will find an option to Check for Software Updates. Click on it.

Click on Check for Software Updates | Fix Unable to open Contacts on Android Phone

5. Now, if you find that a software update is available then tap on the update option.

6. Wait for some time while the update gets downloaded and installed. You might have to restart your phone after this.

Once the phone restarts try opening Contacts and see if you’re able to fix unable to open Contacts on Android Phone issue. 

6. Reset App Preferences

Based on reports and feedbacks from various Android users, resetting your app preferences might solve the problem. When you reset app preferences you revert back to the default settings for all your app. All the settings like permission for notification, media auto-download, background data consumption, deactivation, etc. gets reverted back to default. Since this method has already worked for some people, there isn’t any harm in trying it yourself.

1. Open the Settings menu on your phone.

Go to the Settings of your phone

2. Now, tap on the Apps option.

Tap on the Apps option

3. Now, tap on the menu button (three vertical dots) on the top right-hand side of the screen.

Tap on the menu button (three vertical dots) on the top right-hand

4. Select the Reset app preferences option from the drop-down menu.

Select the Reset app preferences option from the drop-down menu

5. Now, a message will pop up on the screen to inform you about the changes that this action will lead to. Simply click on the Reset button and the app defaults will get cleared.

Simply click on the Reset button and the app defaults will get cleared

7. Checks the App’s Permission

It sounds a bit strange but it is possible that the Contacts app does not have the permission to access your contacts. Like all other apps, Contacts app needs permission for certain things, and accessing contacts is one of them. However, it is possible that due to some update or by mistake, this permission has been revoked. Follow the steps given below to check and restore the permission to the app.

1. Open Settings on your phone.

Go to the Settings of your phone

2. Select the Apps option.

Tap on the Apps option

3. Now, select the Contacts app from the list of apps.

Select the Contacts app from the list of apps

4. Tap on the Permissions option.

Tap on the Permissions option

5. Make sure that the toggle is switched on for the Contact option.

Make sure that the toggle is switched on for the Contact option | Fix Unable to open Contacts on Android Phone

8. Start Device in Safe Mode

If the problem still persists, then we need to try a bit more complicated approach to solve the problem. The problem could be due to a third-party app that you have recently installed on your phone. The only way to confirm this theory is by running the device in Safe mode. In safe mode, only the in-built default system apps are allowed to run. This means that your Contacts app will be functional in the Safe mode. If it works properly in the safe mode, then it would indicate that the problem lies with some third-party app. In order to restart the device in Safe mode, follow these simple steps.

1. Press and hold the power button until you see the power menu on your screen.

Press and hold the power button until you see the power menu on your screen

2. Now, continue pressing the power button until you see a pop-up asking you to reboot in safe mode.

3. Click on okay and the device will reboot and restart in safe mode.

4. Now, try opening your contacts again. If it works properly now, it would indicate that the problem is caused by some third-party app.

9. Get rid of the Faulty App

If you find out that the reason behind contacts not opening on Android is a faulty third-party app, then you need to remove it. The easiest way to do this is by deleting the recently added apps, one by one. Every time you uninstall an app, restart your device and see if the problem still exists.

1. Go to the Settings of your phone.

Go to the Settings of your phone

2. Now click on the Apps option.

Click on the Apps option

3. Look for the recently installed apps and delete one of them.

Look for the recently installed apps and delete one of them

4. Now reboot the device and try opening your contacts. If the problem still exists repeat steps 1-3 and delete a different app this time.

5. Continue this process as long as the recently added apps are not removed and the issue isn’t resolved.

10. Alter the Date/Time Format

A lot of Android users have reported that changing the date and time format of your phone has fixed the problem of contacts not opening on Android. Follow the steps given below to learn how to change the date/time format.

1. Go to Settings of your phone.

Go to the Settings of your phone

2. Click on the System tab.

Tap on the System tab

3. Now, select the Date and Time option.

4. Here, enable the 24-hour time format.

Enable the 24-hour time format

5. After that, try using contacts and see if you’re able to fix unable to open Contacts on Android Phone issue. 

11. Perform Factory Reset on your Phone

This is the last resort that you can try if all of the above methods fail. If nothing else works, you can try to reset your phone to the factory settings and see if it resolves the problem. Opting for a factory reset would delete all your apps, their data, and also other data like photos, videos, and music from your phone. Due to this reason, it is advisable that you create a backup before going for a factory reset. Most phones prompt you to backup your data when you try to factory reset your phone. You can use the in-built tool for backing up or do it manually, the choice is yours.

1. Go to the Settings of your phone.

Go to the Settings of your phone

2. Tap on the System tab.

Tap on the System tab

3. Now, if you haven’t already backed up your data, click on the Backup your data option to save your data on Google Drive.

4. After that, click on the Reset tab.

Click on the Reset tab

5. Now, click on the Reset Phone option.

Click on the Reset Phone option

6. This will take some time. Once the phone restarts again, try opening the Contacts app again. If the problem still persists then you need to seek professional help and take it to a service centre.

Reset the Phone | | Fix Unable to open Contacts on Android Phone

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I hope the above tutorial was helpful and you were able to Fix Unable to open Contacts on Android Phone issue. But if you still have any questions then feel free to ask them in the comment section.

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Elon Decker

Elon is a tech writer at TechCult. He's been writing how-to guides for about 6 years now and has covered many topics. He loves to cover topics related to Windows, Android, and the latest tricks and tips.

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