How do I get a list of RawContacts?

Android Contacts API Library written in Kotlin with Java interoperability. No more ContentProviders and cursors. Say goodbye to ContactsContract. Build your own contacts app!

How do I get a list of RawContacts?

This library provides the AccountsRawContactsQuery API that allows you to get a list of RawContacts matching a specific search criteria.

More specifically, this query returns BlankRawContacts, which are RawContacts that contains no data (e.g. email, phone). It only contains critical information required for performing RawContact operations such as associating local RawContacts to an Account.

For more info, read How do I associate a local RawContacts to an Account?

An instance of the AccountsRawContactsQuery API is obtained by,

val query = Contacts(context).accounts().queryRawContacts()

A basic query

To get all RawContacts as blanks,

val rawContacts = Contacts(context).accounts().queryRawContacts().find()

Specifying Accounts

To limit the search to only those RawContacts associated with one of the given accounts,


For example, to limit the search to contacts belonging to only one account,

.accounts(Account("", ""))

For more info, read How do I query for Accounts?

If no accounts are specified (this function is not called or called with no Accounts), then all RawContacts of Contacts are included in the search.

A null Account may be provided here, which results in RawContacts with no associated Account to be included in the search. RawContacts without an associated account are considered local contacts or device-only contacts, which are not synced.

For more info, read How do I learn more about “local” (device-only) contacts?

Note that this may affect performance. This may require one or more additional queries, internally performed in this function, which increases the time required for the search. Therefore, you should only specify this if you actually need it.


To order resulting RawContacts using one or more fields,


For example, to order RawContacts by account type,


String comparisons ignores case by default. Each orderBys provides ignoreCase as an optional parameter.

Use RawContactsFields to construct the orderBys.

Limiting and offsetting

To limit the amount of RawContacts returned and/or offset (skip) a specified number of RawContacts,


For example, to only get a maximum 20 RawContacts, skipping the first 20,


This is useful for pagination =)

Note that it is recommended to limit the number of RawContacts when querying to increase performance and decrease memory cost.

Executing the query

To execute the query,


Cancelling the query

To cancel a query amid execution,

.find { returnTrueIfQueryShouldBeCancelled() }

The find function optionally takes in a function that, if it returns true, will cancel query processing as soon as possible. The function is called numerous times during query processing to check if processing should stop or continue. This gives you the option to cancel the query.

This is useful when used in multi-threaded environments. One scenario where this would be frequently used is when performing queries as the user types a search text. You are able to cancel the current query when the user enters new text.

For example, to automatically cancel the query inside a Kotlin coroutine when the coroutine is cancelled,

launch {
    withContext(coroutineContext) {
        val rawContacts = query.find { !isActive }

Performing the query asynchronously

Queries are executed when the find function is invoked. The work is done in the same thread as the call-site. This may result in a choppy UI.

To perform the work in a different thread, use the Kotlin coroutine extensions provided in the async module. For more info, read How do I use the async module to simplify executing work outside of the UI thread using coroutines?

You may, of course, use other multi-threading libraries or just do it yourself =)

Extensions for Kotlin Flow and RxJava are also in the v1 roadmap, which includes APIs for listening to Contacts database changes.

Performing the query with permission

Queries require the android.permission.READ_CONTACTS permission. If not granted, the query will do nothing and return an empty list.

To perform the query with permission, use the extensions provided in the permissions module. For more info, read How do I use the permissions module to simplify permission handling using coroutines?

You may, of course, use other permission handling libraries or just do it yourself =)

RawContacts from more than one account in the same list

When you perform a query that returns groups from more than one account, you will get everything in the same BlankRawContactsList. This list is just like any other List except it also provides an extra function that allows you to get a sublist with RawContacts belonging only to a particular account.

val rawContactsFromAccount = blankRawContactsList.from(account)

Getting Contacts and RawContacts from BlankRawContacts

If you want to get the Contacts and all associated RawContacts and Data from a set of BlankRawContacts,

val contacts = Contacts(context)
    .where { RawContact.Id `in` blankRawContactIds }

For more info, read How do I get a list of contacts in a more advanced way?

If you need a more convenient way to convert the BlankRawContacts to RawContacts, use BlankRawContactToRawContact extensions. For more info, read How do I use some miscellaneous extension functions to make my life easier?

Profile RawContacts

The AccountsRawContactsQuery API also supports querying the Profile (device owner) RawContacts. To get an instance of this API for Profile queries,

val query = Contacts(context).accounts().profile().queryRawContacts()

All queries will be limited to the Profile, whether it exists or not.

Using the where function to specify matching criteria

Use the contacts.core.RawContactsField combined with the extensions from contacts.core.Where to form WHERE clauses.

This howto page will not provide a tutorial on database where clauses. It assumes that you know the basics. If you don’t know the basics, then search for sqlite where clause.

For example, to get a list of RawContacts with the given IDs,

val favoriteRawContacts = Contacts(context)
    .where { Id `in` rawContactIds }


This library only provides basic WHERE functions. It does not cover the entirety of SQLite, though the community may add more over time <3

Furthermore, this library is constrained by rules and limitations set by the Contacts Provider and the behavior of the native Contacts app. One such rule/limitation has resulted in this library not providing WHERE functions such as isNull or isNullOrEmpty to prevent making misleading queries.