How To Fix “You Have Disabled A Required Permission” (Android Contacts)

If the Contacts app on your Android device shows the error “You have disabled a required permission”, you may be wondering what the cause is and how to fix the issue.

This message basically says you may have accidentally turned off one or more permissions for your Contact application to run smoothly e.g. access to your contacts, storage, or phone dialer.

You can fix the “You have disabled a required permission” (Contacts) by manually granting the necessary app permissions through the settings of your Contact application. You can also restore your Contacts application’s default permissions.

Why is my phone saying I have disabled required permission?

Your phone may be displaying a “You have disabled a required permission” message if you have turned off required permissions such as Contacts, Storage, or Phone permission for your Contacts application. 

You may have accidentally disabled a required permission on your device while clearing out unnecessary data or changing the notification settings.

The permission error also occurs if you are using a third-party contact app such as Google Contacts. Conflicts may occur between multiple contact apps over a permission, which can cause that permission to turn off for one of the contact apps.

The error may also occur if you clear out the data for a third-party contact app which caused the permission to turn off.

You can solve this issue by checking the permissions for your contact app on your Android device. Follow these steps:

  1. Go to Settings > Applications
  1. Choose the Contacts app
  1. Tap Permissions
  1. Toggle on the “Storage”, “Phone”, and “Contacts” permissions if turned off

This should resolve the Contacts permission issue.

How do I re-enable Contacts on Android?

Sometimes, the Contacts app on your Android device becomes disabled. It may happen if you are using a secondary contacts app or there is a conflict of permission with another app on your device.

It may also happen if you accidentally force stop or disable your Contacts app from the mobile settings.

You can re-enable (“undisable”) your Contacts on Android by enabling permissions for your Contacts app through settings. You can also re-enable the Contacts on Android by resetting the Contacts app to its default settings, clearing out the Contacts app cache, or restarting your device.

To re-enable the Contacts on Android, you can try one or more of the following solutions:

1. Enabling the required permissions

  1. Go to Settings > Applications
  2. Select the ‘Contacts’ app > ‘Permissions’
  3. Toggle on the “Storage”, “Phone”, and “Contacts” permissions.

2. Clearing the Contacts app cache

Clearing the app cache may resolve any temporary issue causing the Contacts app not to work properly.

  1. Go to Settings > Applications
  2. Tap on the ‘Contacts’ app
  3. Tap on ‘Storage’
  1. Tap the ‘CLEAR CACHE’ button

3. Resetting app preferences

You can try resetting app preferences for the Contacts apps to its default settings:

  1. Go to Settings > Applications
  2. Tap on ‘More’ on the upper-right side of the screen
  1. Select ‘Reset app preferences’
  1. Tap ‘Reset’ 

Your Contacts app settings will be restored to default.

NOTE: Resetting app preference will reset all the applications to their default settings including notification preferences.

4. Restarting your device

You can also try to re-enable your Contacts app by restarting your Android device. As always, restarting the device can clear out some OS issues. It can also clear out any permissions conflict between apps.

What is contact permission?

Contact permissions control access to add, create, and edit your contacts, access to the accounts you use on your Android device (e.g. Google account), and permission to modify data in these accounts. 

When an app has ‘Contacts permission’, the app can access your contacts list and contact information.

By default, apps don’t get contacts permission on their own, except for system-provided applications. Each app has to obtain confirmation from the user before being able to use certain permissions.

Contacts permissions are mostly used by system apps, messaging apps, calling apps, and social media apps.

You can view which applications use contacts permission in your Android device by checking the permission manager in your settings:

  1. Go to Settings > Apps
  1. Tap on the three dots at the top > ‘Permission manager’
  1. Select ‘Contacts’ in the list

You can view the apps that use ‘Contacts permission’ on your Android.

How to enable permission for adding contacts?

You can enable permission for adding contacts in the app you want to add contacts from by accepting the permission prompt when you use that app for the first time. You can also use the permission manager to enable permission for adding contacts.

An application needs the “Contacts” and “Phone” permissions to add contacts. To enable these permissions for adding contacts, follow one of these solutions:

1. Allowing permission on first-time app use

Some apps require the Contacts permission to function properly, such as such as Snapchat, WhatsApp, Google Contacts, and social media apps. These apps will automatically request that permission from the user on first app launch.

  1. Open the app for which you want to add “Contacts” permission
  2. On app launch, confirm access to contacts

Your app now will have permission to add contacts.

2. Using Android settings

  1. Go to Settings > Applications
  2. Tap on the app you want to add contacts from
  1. Tap ‘Permissions’
  1. Select and grant ‘Contacts’ permission
  1. Your app now has the permission to add contacts, including modifying/adding contacts:

The latter screen can be accessed by tapping 3 dots > “All permissions” from the apps permissions list.

3. Using the Permission manager

  1. Go to Settings > Apps
  2. Tap on the three dots at the top of the screen
  3. Tap on the ‘Permission manager’
  1. Select ‘Contacts’ in the list
  1. Scroll down to the ‘Denied’ section and look for the app you want to add contacts from. If you don’t see a Denied section, tap on the 3 dots > “Show System”
  1. Look for the app you want to add Contacts permission for > tap on it > allow permission
  1. Repeat steps 4-6 for ‘Phone’ permission

Why can’t I open Contacts?

You may not be able to open the Contacts app on your Android because of a third-party app interfering with your Contact apps. Other possible causes are if your device storage is full or if you accidentally turned off permissions for your Contacts app.

1. Third-party app interfering with your Contacts app

You may not be able to open your Contacts app if you are using a third-party contact app and that app is creating a conflict.

Third-party contact apps use the same permissions as the default Contacts app. These permissions sometimes interfere with each other creating a conflict.

To solve this problem, try to clear the data for the third-party contact app and force stop it:

  1. Go to Settings > Apps
  2. Tap on your third-party contacts app
  1. Tap ‘Storage’ > Tap “CLEAR DATA”
  1. Tap the back button once
  2. Choose ‘Force Stop’

The third-party app will be stopped and should stop interfering with your contact app.

2. Storage full

Your Contacts app may not open if your storage is full on your Android device. Full storage prevents the device from working properly as your apps require a certain amount of storage space to operate. 

This may cause your Contacts app and other applications on your device to crash.

You can resolve this problem by clearing unnecessary data from your device. Follow these steps:

  1. Go to Settings > Storage
  1. Select ‘Internal storage’ > ‘Cached data’
  1. Choose ‘Delete’ 

Your storage will be cleared and you should now be able to open your Contacts app.

3. Permission issue

Your Contacts app may not be opening because you might have accidentally turned off the required permission for your Contacts app.

Contacts app requires some essential permissions including storage and contact information. If these permissions are turned off, you will not be able to use contact information.

See section “Why is my phone saying I have disabled required permission?” at the start of this article for how to check and turn on permissions for the Contact app on your device.

How can I access my Contacts without my phone?

You can access your Contacts without your phone using a third-party contact backup app such as Google Contacts or Samsung Smart Switch once you’ve backed up your contacts through that app.

Google Contacts is a contacts syncing and backup application that manages contacts across your mobile devices and the web.

You can store your mobile contacts and email contacts on your Google Contacts app through your Google account.

To access your contacts without your phone using Google Contacts, you must sync (back up) your contacts to your Google account.

If you haven’t stored any contacts on your Google account, you can sync your existing contacts to your Google account. Follow these steps:

  1. Go to your Contacts app
  2. Tap on the menu button
  1. Select ‘Manage contacts’
  1. Tap ‘Sync contacts’
  1. Toggle on syncing for the accounts of your choice

With your contacts synced with Google, here’s how to access your contacts without your mobile.

Access contacts on a different device

  1. Download and install the Google Contacts app on another mobile device. Your contacts will be displayed on the main screen. 
  1. If you do not see your contacts, tap on the menu button
  1. Select ‘Contacts’

Your contacts should now be displayed.

Access contacts on a laptop/desktop

  1. Go to Google Contacts using a laptop. Your contacts will be visible on the main screen
  1. If you do not see your contacts, tap on Contacts from the sidebar

Your contacts will be displayed on the screen.

How to disable contact sharing on an Android phone?

You can disable contact sharing on an Android phone by turning off contact synchronization through your mobile settings.

To do so, follow these steps:

  1. Go to your Contacts app
  2. Tap on the menu button > ‘Manage contacts’
  3. Tap ‘Sync contacts’
  1. Toggle off syncing for the accounts of your choice