Microsoft's Contacts+Message backup Windows Phone app now works without a SD card

In April, Microsoft released a new Windows Phone app called Contacts+Message backup, which was designed to back up all of a phone user's contacts (in VCF format) and messages (SMS and MMS including attachments). However, the app required that a SD card be installed on the device in order to back up that content. Thanks to the most recent update, the app no longer has that requirement.

While there are only a few Windows Phone devices that lack a SD card slot, this update should allow those phones that don't have such a feature to back up their contact and message content and restore them later if need be. The change notes for the update do mention a known issue with the app:

"Restoring a backup of messages from a dual SIM Windows Phone restores all messages to message store for the first SIM/slot."

Thanks to everyone for the tips!

Download contacts+message backup for Windows Phone 8.1

QR: Contacts+Message app

John Callaham
  • Wait, what?  How?
  • Am asking the same question myself.......
  • To bad it doesnt write to the sim or restore Bluetooth transfer to say a pc perhaps
  • a SD Card? Or an SD Card?
  • It should be the last one, but different countries have different education levels even if it is the same language.
  • An SD card. It isn't about the letter the a/an precedes, but whether or not the sound following is a vowell... "An 'ess dee' card"...
  • An ess dee card.
  • An, according to Indian English; because you are pronouncing SD as Ess Dee, so, it has an E in front of its pronunciation..
  • A secure digital card
    (that should end the debate)
  • Lol
  • 920,925,930,1020 users #REJOICE
  • 928
  • Why
  • Gud...
  • Where does the backup file live? Would be nice to use OneDrive
  • You go into the pick folder menu, and It asks you to select a folder on your phone.  It looks like OneDrive isn't an option for now.  Send them that feedback so they know there is a desire for that.  I'd prefer OneDrive too since that's where everything else is backedup to. Now that I've thought about it, if you save the backup to your photos folder would they be automatically uploaded to OneDrive?  I know I have it set to backup my photos when I'm on Wi-Fi.  Give it a try.
  • Won't work on my Icon.
  • I just donwloaded it to my 930, and I had to open the folder menu and select where I wanted to save the data on the phone.  I picked the documents folder since this is data and not multimedia.  I'm guessing it will work for you since the 930 and Icon are pretty much the same device.
  • Yes, that did the trick, thank you. And it didn't take a lot of space in my storage, either.
  • Too bad MMS backup still crashes.
  • Yep. I really wish they would fix it!!! Lumia 925 here.
  • Anyone know if this was fixed?  
  • English is not my native language Shouldn't it be without AN SD CARD
  • Oh yes, AN will it be..
  • Good for migrating to android from WP.
  • Why does this need to be an app
  • Agreed, it should be part of the backup setting. I hate that I can force a device backup, but that doesn't force a text backup as well.  It seems like the automated backup runs maybe once a week.  When I'm restoring my phone or migrating to a new one, I want all of my texts backed up even if they're only a few seconds old.  That is definitely one thing iOS got right with their backup system.
  • I think that only works so fast with iOS because they reroute all of your messages through their servers before they get to your phone/your target phone. That's how they know when the other person is typing etc if they too use iOS. This can create other headaches like suddenly not receiving texts after changing phone until you disable/re-enable it etc. And perhaps the privacy issue for some.
  • Text message backup seems to be more of a sync than a backup. It happens in near-real time for me (I can see them under Contacts in It seems to work exactly how you want to me.
  • Hey gfunk84, Where in can i go to find my text messages?  When you say "Contacts" are you referring to the People App on  Do i need to setup a backup with this app first in order to see them there? Thanks
  • It's not an app. You download it in Store as an app. This is so MS can add features to 8.1 without having to push a whole system update and hope your carrier allows it. MS is going straight from them to you. No carrier involved/blocked/needed. It's easier to push it thru the Store and everyone can get it instantly. It gets added into your Settings list. It's not an app. It wont be in your app list. They added a feature to your phone without needing a whole system update. You're welcome.
  • Can someone tell me if this works in Windows 10 Mobile please? Even if the app is not available for it, is there any way to restore the data on Windows 10 Mobile?
  • No idea but go ahead and try it. The store will let you know if you can't install it.  I highly doubt you'd brick your phone, and if you did, then the recovery tool is a great program to have.
  • I don't understand... If I backup my contacts to folder that is located in my phone... How does it helps me in case I reset phone? I mean, isn't it logical that backups are saved somewhere else (One Drive)?
  • Ok, I got it. Saved it to my Documents folder in phone and then uploaded to One Drive. :) I guess it could be more straight forward, but it's better then nothing. :)
  • Meant for people, who keep local backup. While your phone automatically backs up to your one drive account, this setting (app) is for people, who'd back up and then copy the respective backup folder on their PCs.. Specially people who don't have access to internet always, and or for people, whose backup does not work for one reason or the other..
  • And moreover it was meant for phones with sd card initially. For example, if i reset my phone, i don't format my sd card. This way, I can always carry the backup, whether I am connected to the internet or not,and can restore it whenever i want
  • OneDrive backup is hit and miss.
  • Unless you went to a lot of effort to do it wrong, contacts and messages are already stored externally anyway. Contacts in your MS account or whatever email service you use, messages in OneDrive backup. I have occasionally lost some data with a phone reset, but never contacts or messages. Yes, just like Microsoft, I am assuming if you have a smartphone, you have internet access.
  • A nice app..
  • An Ess Dee card
  • Yes! My 1020 loves this
  • I would like to use this post as an opportunity to say that I would pay for an app that saves my WhatsApp messages and sends it to OneDrive. My Lumia 930 doesn't have a microSD slot, so the only way to take the messages out of the phone is sending them to my email, one conversation at a time
  • Maybe it's a beginning of backup to phone memory and no lose for data on it when hard resetting
  • Backup up to phone memory m, then hard reset. I'm sure that's gonna wipe backups lol
  • There is no way I've got 5901 sms messages. But would be useful if there was an app on pc to sync, delete etc sms messages. Painful on phone.
  • So installed this on my L830, supposedly, not showing in my app list yet says it is installed, click on "view" in the store and it takes me to the home screen, also, the "in store history" shows the last app installed prior but not this one... Tried a reboot and soft reset but no go Joe. Anyone else have a similar issue and how do I uninstall, suggestions?
  • It's a system app. You wont find it in your apps list or in the most recently installed apps list. You'll find it in settings.
  • At the bottom of Settings. They added to your OS without needing a whole OS update that has to go through your carrier.
  • Thx for that Naren Parker... Duh stupid me, was thinking that but it kept eluding every time I looked, that's what happens when you get very little sleep the night before lol.
  • I wonder why windows phone doesn't allow saving contacts to the Sim card instead of outlook. It's a basic feature every phone have, why not windows phone??
  • Ten year-old dumbphones backed up contacts to SIM cards, because back then a "contact" was a name and a number. Today, my phone has 800 contacts, many with three or four phone numbers, an address or two, and some have a paragraph or two of notes. Just backup your contacts to a sync account (MS, Google, etc.) like the phone is designed to do, and stop lamenting long-obsolete antediluvian "features" like backup to SIM!
  • Ability to backup contacts and sms is great. But....
    I really hope MS would not make new folder in contact while restoring "Backed-up" contacts. I always hated gmail for this type of folders. I loved windows phone for not letting store contacts locally on phone. This enable syncing properly without confusing folders..
    And Secondly why do we need App for this?
    Can "People Hub" should be enable with this feature? MS lately making many features in different Apps instead of including in OS or exsisting apps for which Windows Phone 8 and 8.1 is loved.
  • Attention: No "Backup" - Lets call it "Export+Import" ! This tool allows to export some of the most important contact fields into VCF. In case of a restore you will be pretty surprised what you will miss! I will not use for a new phone or for restoring. Dangerous to name it "backup"! No pictures, no comments/notes, no SIM info (dual phone), etc... etc...  
  • Good point! Anyway, I wouldnt consider any solution as "APPROVED FOR USE" until I personally tested it, and checked with my own 2 eyeballs what it does is what I expect. Lesson 1 in IT business! Since the company was founded, MSFT makes bold statements, and the user usually finds out half of those statements are either non-existent in the reality at all, or MSFT has some kind of alternate reality in which those things said are true, but in the reality we normal people live, they are not. If you dont know this trick, you will get burned couple of times, if you use MSFT software.
  • People should always take care. But it is not possible to do always qualified application tests with new advertised software. You would do nothing else all the day :-) So it is not fair to pretend that you will be on the safe side and would get a real "backup" of your valuable personal informations. But.... I also learned people are more sensitive to typo errors and wording when doing comments on a software. The functionality is not so important to everyone is my impression ;-)
  • Would someone please tell me what to do with this .msg file that is created by this app. It doesn't open. What good is it if I can't read the messages? Disappointed, was looking for a backup solution that is in some format I can use. Thanks.
  • Posted twice by mistake.