A Guide To Managing & Syncing Your Google Android Phone Contacts

Google Android Phones are mobile devices powered by a Google operating system. They are different from other mobile devices because they allow for open source programming. Open source programming allows users to develop programming software for use on the device. These programs can range from games for entertainment purposes to helpful application to help manage daily tasks.

All of the applications can be accessed through the Google Android Market.There are thousands of free and paid applications, with the amount growing daily. All of the paid applications can be purchased using Google Checkout.Since the device is powered by Google it offers access to popular Google applications such as; Google Earth, Google Latitude, Google Sky, YouTube, Gmail, Google Translate and several others. Most of the Google Android devices offer up to 5 Mega Pixel cameras and the capability to upload videos directly to YouTube.

There are currently a number of Android handsets running  different software versions including, the Eclair and Cupcake updates. Since the release of the first Android phone with T-Mobile, Android devices have increased in popularity due to being a fully customizable and user friendly interface. All of the Google Android devices offer a full touch screen device with either a full or virtual QWERTY keyboard. Google is now providing Android devices for Verizon Wireless as well as Sprint.

Creating and managing contacts for Android devices is very simple since the phone is powered by Google. Here are the things needed to complete this task:

1. Google Android device
2. Active Gmail account
3. List of phone contacts

Log in to your Gmail account

First you will need to log into the Gmail account. Once logged in select the contact link on the left hand side of the screen.Clicking on the link will take you to the contact management area. in the upper left hand side of the screen there will be a plus sign icon. Click on this icon to create a new contact. Input all of the contact information and once finished click the save link. Repeat this process until all of the contacts needed have been saved.
Next from your active Android device log into the Gmail account where the contacts are stored. Once logged in go to the main menu on the device and select the contacts icon. Under contacts select the menu/options icon to bring up a list of available options. Under this list you will see an option for accounts. Select accounts, this will bring up all of the active e-mail accounts set up on the phone. Under the list of e-mail accounts select the Gmail account. Once the account is selected turn on the sync contacts option.
Now that the account is synced with the phone all of the contacts will be transferred to the device.

Syncing your contacts with your Android phone

Syncing your Gmail account to your Google Android device is the easiest way to maintain your contacts. It allows you to have a backup of all of the contacts in the device stored within the Gmail system. This is extremely helpful in cases of lost, stolen or damaged phones. With standard phones the only way to retrieve contacts is through the device itself. With the Google Android phone the device is not need to restore the contacts. Once the email account is registered in the replacement device the contacts can be retrieved following the same easy steps. Also once the device is synced with Gmail, any new phone contacts that are placed directly on the phone will be saved to the Gmail account automatically.

The easy and intuitive nature of the phone is one of the reasons that more and more wireless users are considering Google Android Devices the perfect device for them. The Google Android devices allow the user to have the synching capabilities of a traditional PDA/Smart device with a simple to use interface.To prove this Verizon has positioned their new Google Android phone, the Motorola Droid, as a phone that “Does” in a world of Doesn’t. With the introduction of even more Android devices, manufacturers such as Palm and Blackberry are trying to find ways to keep up with and surpass the Google Android devices.

  • Craig

    Actually, I find sync with my gmail contacts to be absolutely pathetic on my Android-based Samsung Vibrant.
    All of the group information used to organize contacts is lost during the sync, and all contacts are dumped into a single google account group on the phone!

  • Michael

    Am having the same problem on my Samsung Galaxy S (ala Captivate, sibling of the Vibrant) where the groups from gmail are not being synced down. Is this a Samsung issue?

  • http://privatejethiredirect.com Rob Dore

    Awesome post – I spent an age trying to find out how to get gmail contacts onto my phone rather than from phone to gmail. I’d amended all my contacts and tidied everything up using gmail, then I deleted all contacts on the phone and then tried syncing and every time it deleted my gmail contacts (fortunately I backed up after tidying).

    For anyone having similar issues, the difference in this post is to log in to gmail on the phone before syncing which then pulled the data from gmail onto the phone rather than deleting it from gmail.

    Many more hours have been saved.


  • http://privatejethiredirect.com Rob Dore

    By the way – for reference, I am using a Sony Ericsson Xperia/X10.

  • David

    Im having the same problem on my Vibrant. I organized all contacts into groups using gmail. But the groups are lost in syncing with the phone. All contacts are dumped into one group.

  • MrMathturo

    I cannot figure out how to transfer my contacts from my Android to my gmail account. I would imagine it is easy, like my calendar, but I cannot figure it out. Make it easier please.

  • Steve

    Not much better with the HTC incredible. Add a contact is ‘family’ and they get delete from “All Contacts”. “All contacts” should be “All contacts”!!! Tthen remove the ‘Family’ and they are completely deleted. And whats with links and broken links?

  • Alistair

    I’m having similar problems but the other way around! When I add a new or update an existing contact on my phone (HTC Desire) all is well until it syncs when it replaces the phones contacts details (including new changes) with the older version held on Gmail. I’ve tried clearing all contact data on the phone and replacing with a fresh download from gmail but still no change.

  • Someone

    Never had a problem, though there is no way to add groups without hitting a browser on stock Nexus 1.

    Remember to have the data sync (the circular arrow) on when you’re messing with your contacts.

  • Sherri

    I have been trying to get into gmail contacts for days. Everytime I click on contacts my browser is hosed for an hour. Anyone else experiencing this?

  • chitown

    i have lots of duplicates when i select contacts inside messaging. i have the view sim turnned off. i have gmail set to auto sync contacts. when i create a new contact i am able to
    select >new contact>add to gmail account. this part works like a charm, however, when i create a new contact on the phone the new entry never makes it back to gmail. if anyone thinks they can help,,,please post. TIA

  • KeithTempleman

    I have exactly the same problem on a G1 running Android 1.6. Tried everything I can think of, deleting, refreshing, turning background data off and on, rebooting the phone etc. Google contacts still is the boss and replaces everything and refuses to take new items created on the phone.

    IIRC this is a recent thing – has anything changed at Google?

  • Martin K

    I have the ATT Samsung Galaxy S — still unable to sync my gmail contacts — if you found a solution please let me know

  • MattM

    I’ve found that if I add a contact to the phone (e.g. when an SMS message comes in from a new person and I add the sender’s name as a contact), the contact is wiped out at the next sych. VERY annoying.
    Am using MTC Magic Android phone.

  • SkweezR

    Use DejaOffice

    All the categories of your Gmail account will be synced to your phone; contacts created on your phone will sync to your Gmail account.

    Finally able to filter contacts on my phone using categories (phew!).

    Hope PimlicoSoftware will come up with a great app of their own… Used to love DateBk on Palm.

  • SkweezR

    By the way, if you create a category on Gmail, be sure there is at least one contact in that group; I think empty categories won’t show up on your phone.

  • choky27

    Be verrrrry careful with Droids and Google. My problem was that my Gmail account was hacked by a thief who send an email to all my contacts about me and family being robbed in England and asking for money to return. These things happen, but rest of the story made me mad as hell with Google – called their customer service which flatly refused to do anything for me as verification, sending me to their web site, which among other things asks when did you open account (for verification I suppose). I have it for several years and for the life of me do not remember when did I open it.
    So, right now I have a droid phone without a single contact in it, and looks like i will have to manually repopulate it, as Google refuses to return my account without that darm date. Can’t beat that SIM card for saving contacts.
    Avoid them!!!

  • Daniel

    I am having to leave the old Palm OS and move to an Android OS. When I enter a new contact, there doesn’t appear to be a place to list his company. Surely, gmail didn’t overlook this. If so, this is worthless for business use.

  • SkweezR

    Yes you can list the company. Look better ;-)

  • Homer Holland

    Have HTC EVO Sprint. Contacts entered in People disappear. Gmail and calendar work fine on PC and phone. But not Contacts. Why and what to do?

  • Dash

    Managed to cut and paste my contacts from my Palm treo to the android with only a few errors in the buisiness contacts. But because they’re not in the G marked section on the android contacts, they won’t upload to the google online. Not very practicle

  • http://moo.com D

    I dont understand how you guys missed the sync option when setting up the phone. Google sync is a part of every android phone sold. Unless you root it. Though the bigger question is how do you get the google contacts to update with your linked information. IE. Birthdays, alternate information, etc… It will update on your phone but will not update your contacts on gmail.

  • RMP

    I have the samsung Vibrant and can’t get gmail contacts arranged into groups on my phone. Any one have a solution or is this a software issue in need of updating?

  • John in Memphis

    Have a Samsung Captivate (Galaxy S) and cannot get the groups I create in Gmail to sync down. All contacts are in one group. I want to send mass messages sometimes to certain groups. This is ridiculous considering old Nokia technology could do this…

  • RMP

    I found that what you need to do to put contacts into groups on your phone is re-enter those contact into your contact list on your phone and SAVE THEM TO YOUR PHONE. Then you can put those contacts into groups.
    It sucks that google contacts saved into groups doesn’t transfer into the Android platform.
    Maybe with the new Nexus s?

  • Alex


    A week ago I’ve removed all the unneded contacts and cleanup all the others, asigning groups and so on.

    Now, every time my phone connects, it adds a lot of garbage into my contacts on gmail. No matter if I remove them or not, they just apear again and again.

    Do you know from where Android is getting the contacts?

    BTW. I’ve removed all my contacts from the cell and then sync with gmail contacts.


  • RMP

    What kind of “garbage” is it adding into your Gmail?

  • KarmaTiger

    I had the opposite problem. I had to give my gmail info to make certain features work on my Vibrant, and google put all my gmail contacts into my contact list WHEN I DIDN’T F*****G WANT IT TO.

    Now it’s taking FOREVER weeding them all out, as every time I hit ‘menu’ to select delete it opens ‘search’ instead and the only way to make search go away is to go back to the main godd****d screen.


  • Alex

    Steps that I’ve folowed.

    1 – Remove all the contacts from my cell phone.
    2 – I’ve cleaned/assigned groups into Gmail Contacts.
    3 – I’ve REMOVED all the contacts under “OTHER CONTACTS”
    4 – Result (in my case) 310 contacts distributed on different groups.
    5 – I’ve synced my phone and everyrhing went fine.

    Now, ever day my cell connects and syncs with gmail and many contacts are being added into OTHER CONTACTS (garbage) no matter if I remove them again and again, they just apear again and again.

    I’m calling them “garbage” because those are just email addresses with no name, and in some cases are duplicated from My Contacts but without a group or pnumber.

    I just want to keep my contacts cleaned and synced just if I add some contact to my phone or to gmail contacts.
    I don’t have a problem cleaning the contacts that gets added because of the sent emails though.

    Is that possible?


  • http://www.google.com/support/forum/p/Google+Mobile/thread?tid=44ad7f1d7e76f75f&hl=en DLB

    I finally found a way to get contacts into groups and to get individual ringtones. Its a little annoying but it actually works. It wont sync them from google but you can create groups from the vibrant after this process.

    1) On home screen tap contacts
    2) While in the phonebook tap menu, then more, and click on import/export
    3) Then select export to sd card ( it will then ask you to confirm your selection, select yes. This can take some time based on how many contacts are on the device).
    4) Once export is completed, access the phonebook again and tap menu, then more. Go back to import/export
    5) Then select import from sd card, a screen will then pop up and give you the option as to where you want to save the contacts.
    6) Options: Gmail or phone or if you have a corporate email this will also be an option. Make sure you import them to the phone in order to assign a ringtone to the contact.
    7) The device will then start reading from the vcard on the device. (This will also take some time based on how many contacts are on the device). Note: Now each contact will then have the little g for Google and phone icon
    next to the contact in your phonebook instead of having to create seperate contacts.

  • Lsmith

    Like most all responses I read my Sprint EVO Android ph will not sync my contacts. It did sync one time on Dec 3rd of this year. All prior tries to sync get this message “Sync is currently experiencing problems. It will be back shortly”. Sprint says it is a Google issue???? Any ideas? thanks

  • wsokol52

    Contact management and synchronization with android devices in Gmail is absolutely pathetic. First, it dumps addresses of every email ever sent to me into my contact list on android – which is quite idiotic, because it does not distinguish between my actual contacts and, say, all emails that some dolt added to the cc list of the email he sent to me two years ago.

    Since I could not find any solution to this problem, I bypassed it by creating a new Gmail account, and imported to it only those contacts that I needed (itself a very tedious process.) I organized them into groups and synchronized them with my android phone only to find that all those contacts are dumped into a single class identified by my Gmail address, and all of the group assignment is simply ignored.

    I can still use the synced contacts as long as the list is not very long, but for hundreds of contacts, this method of contact management is rather useless. I noticed that this problem has been reported by users as early as 2008, so one would think it would be solved by 2011. The fact that is has not only reflects the arrogance of Google.

  • pleaseanswer

    i am wondering if i remove a contact from my phone does it automatically get removed from my account and vice versa…if i remove a contact from my account does it get removed from my phone

  • http://doppelbock.net Doppelbock

    I have the reverse problem lately, I manually add a contact to my Droid and it syncs to Gmail but then I can’t find it on my phone anymore. I added one person three times on my phone because after each save I couldn’t find her (even using search). When I logged into Gmail on my desktop she was listed three times so I had to delete two of them and she *still* doesn’t show up on the phone (even though it regularly syncs with Gmail).

  • MD

    Just started trying to sync a Galaxy S with Gmail. Initially when I used the phone my Gmail contacts syncd automatically.

    I migrated my phone contacts (via Outlook) into Gmail. The extra gmail contacts have now syncd with the phone but they are in a Group called Contacts (Google System Group).

    Original gmail contacts are either in “Unassigned” are their original group. Hope this helps.

  • Karan Singh

    Suppose my friend’s number is 123456 but after some time his number changes to 123457 & i save it in my android phone. Here comes the problem, after synchronization the number will automatically becomes 123456….
    Plz Reply….

  • A

    I made a gmail account on my droid incredible and I don’t know why but I decided to delete it while I was on my phone. So I deleted it and it said it would take two days to be deleted but its been over a week and its not deleted all the way. It says I’m still logged onto my gmail on my phone but when I try logging in online it says that there isn’t a account with that email. HELP!

  • Richard

    Can anyone explain the difference between “My Phone Book” and “Phone” contacts? Also has anyone actually successfully synced google contacts, my Desire doesn’t seem to bother these days and I’ve given up on using this from day to day.

  • RMP

    My phone, Samsung Vibrant, doesn’t have “My phone book or phone contacts. Only contacts. My gmail contacts sync easily. The only issue is groups made in gmail don’t show up on the phone. I think this is a universal problem.

  • Nicole

    I have some contacts that are saved as t mobile and i want to switch them to be saved under my gmail. How do i do that?

  • TheNat

    if you want to update brithday’s here is what you do.
    change the brithdate on google or on the phone.
    wait 24 hours.

    Check online google calander and make sure the date updated if not update it again and wait 24 hours.
    now check the date. it WILL be updated.

    now on the phone open the calander app.
    hit the menu button (Left most) bottom of the phone
    chose settings then calender sync
    look at Managed Accounts
    pick google
    uncheck sync calender
    check sync calender. Now you will see a wheel spinning wait untill it stops.

    Tap back three times pick list at the top of the page. You should now see the changed date on the list if not navagate until you do. I tested this it works!

  • Tim

    I am syncing my contacts via Gmail, Linked in from HTC and Facebook from HTC.

    If there is a gmail/ phone contact the Facebook id is stored in the note-attribute.

    2 Questions:
    – where are the LinkedIn or general contact-link information stored and how can I manipulate them in a batch-manner or on the file? (must be anywhere on the phone)
    – is it possible to create a gmail/ phone contact for all Facebook, linkedIn, Skype etc. contacts to keep them all linked etc?


  • Tim

    Btw using HTC Desire Z

  • rational

    works great on droid x

  • sheri

    have upgraded from samsung galaxy to the galaxy s and i am having problems with gmail. on old phone i can see what emails i have(sky.com account) no problem, but trying to do this on the new phone is impossible,tried everything or im being thick, the s model will not sync nothing, says im logged into my namename@gmail.com but nothing in there, can anyone help or give advise in where im going wrong.

  • http://tinyurl.com/67xpv8 ozie

    how do i take contacts from an old sim card and store them onto my new sd card to then move to the new sim. i tried and it says no contacts saved to sim, when just before putting the sim in, i save all the contacts from the old phone to the sim card, ive even tried doing it with the old sd card, its like the phone doesnt detect saved numbers

  • Jill

    I have the HTC Incredible and I’ve found that if I put new contacts in through my phone they don’t sync with gmail at all. But if I put those contacts directly into gmail they get updated in my phone right away. I thought the syncing was supposed to go both ways? Is there any fix for this? Just hitting sync on the phone doesn’t fix it… thoughts?

  • jacinta

    with the 1.6 firmware it allowed me to sync only certain contact groups whoch was great coz then it was just numbers not random emails, 2.1 doesnt seem to let me. any ideas?
    my contacts are an absolute mess due to this.

  • John

    It’s a drastic but effective cure – LEAVE ANDROID alone. I have been tearing my hair out for 2 months trying to organise contacts on the ZTE blade. All I want is simple – are you listening Google!!

    A set of contacts who I phone or send text messages to.

    A second set of contacts I email, either via the computer or mobile Gmail.

    Too many contacts keep disappearing. A phone is supposed to work for me, Android has simply got it wrong.

    Why should I have to re-organise my whole contacts system just to suit some oddball,google geek’s idea of contacts

    Off back to Nokia and simplicity!

  • Ron Marcus

    If you do not have a gmail account and try to email a picture through gmail, does the phone automatically assign a gmail account for you?

  • jay

    what is the quickest way of backing up your current contacts to gmail from an android phone??

  • azroadster

    For those trying to get their Outlook contacts into Android contacts on Samsung Galaxy 4G, the post on October 1st 2010 at 5:11AM from SkweezR was VERY helpful. I’m sure there are other apps that might do the same thing but I used that one and it worked BUT with a little prep:

    If you’ve already got contacts in Android other than the couple of default ones your carrier may or may not have entered, just get rid of them and DON’T set up email accounts yet.

    Download the 2 apps from their site: http://www.dejaoffice.com/androidapp — download the Android app to your phone and load it; download the CompanionLink to you PC and load it.

    Follow the on-PC and on-Phone instructions from the two apps and you’ll probably be fine.

    My issues were: I wanted/needed to move my contacts from Outlook just once (then I’ll sync ongoing with gmail or whatever) — and doing the .csv migration proved fruitless (I ended up with a lot of contact or contact fields from Outlook missing regardless of detailed field mapping).

    WHEW! I hope this post helps SOMEBODY!

  • Kenji

    I found a tip on another website that solved the problem of groups not showing up properly on phone (in my case a Galaxy S/Sprint Epic now running the leaked Froyo.

    Go through all your contacts, looking for any that are on the phone only, or that are on both phone & Google. You find this on the phone, in each contact, in the section “joined contacts.” In each case, change the listing to Google only.

    When I did this, suddenly there were all my custom groups on the phone, just like it should. Cool, huh?

    Unfortunately, the assignment of groups has to happen at Google, the phone still can’t do that. I can browse contacts by group on the phone, just not edit them.

    Everything else now works fine, changes made on both phone & Google sync fine both ways.

    What doesn’t work fine at all is the way the phone automatically joins contacts that have nothing in common. I find that contacts get lost that way a lot. While you are going though your contacts, you should also look for ones that have two Googles under joined contacts. Every one like that in my phone was wrong. They can be separated, All the data For each is still there, just hidden.

    At the very least, Google needs to add a pref setting to auto-join contacts OR NOT. Its a terrible bug.

  • Josh

    To get contact groups working properly in Android and synching flawlessly to Google contacts, the following worked for me:
    –Backup up your phone contacts e.g. to MicroSD.
    –Install Contact Group Manager on your phone.
    –On your computer, go into Gmail/Google Apps Contacts.
    –Do a spring-cleaning of the contacts right there in Gmail/Google Apps. Cull the stupid contacts that Google idiotically added just because you sent an email to some stranger once upon a time. (You don’t need these, you can always do a search of your email if you need one of them again.) Create your groups, move your contacts to them, delete them from the generic “My Contacts” group (unless you want them there as well for some odd reason). Get it all looking right.
    –Sync it
    –Don’t bother using the in-built Android contact manager; it does not do groups properly. (Mine doesn’t anyway; brand new Motorola Atrix; YMMV)
    –Use Contact Group Manager to add new contacts to the groups, or to move phone contacts (e.g. from your previous mobile) into the groups, where they will sync nicely back up to the Google servers
    –From then on you can use Contact Group Manager for everything; only thing to note is that IF you want to create a brand new group on the phone, without using your computer and GMail/Google Apps, you can do so but you have to sync it to Google first (to get it registered on the server), and only then can you add people to the group without causing confusion. But I think if you forget to do this, and the person doesn’t sync properly within the group, you can still fix it up in GMail/Google Apps anyway.
    –Note that you shouldn’t do a mass-change to more than say 25% of your contacts without syncing; there is a limit beyond which Android goes on strike. (That too can be fixed; delete all your contacts and re-sync.) (Hence the need to back up first.)

  • Becky

    I have my google calendar come over to my android calendar but anything I enter on my android/HTC does not transfer over to my google calendar. Anyone know what I should do?

  • Laura

    Josh – Would you please provide a link to this Contact Group Manager app you’re talking about? I want an app where I can use it both on the phone and on my desktop PC. I want to organize all the contacts into groups using my comfortable keyboard, mouse and 22″ monitor, then have it sync with the phone. Does this app you’re talking about do that? If so, I need to know where to get the app. Thanks.

  • Laura

    Josh – Would you please provide a link to this Contact Group Manager app you’re talking about? I want an app where I can use it both on the phone and on my desktop PC. I want to organize all the contacts into groups using my comfortable keyboard, mouse and 22″ monitor, then have it sync with the phone. Does this app you’re talking about do that? If so, I need to know where to get that app. Thanks.

  • Laura

    Josh – Never mind. I downloaded an Android app called “DW Group Contact Manager.” It works great. I create groups in regular Google Contacts, and they sync automatically and in real time with DW GCM. Have to open the DW GCM app (rather than the regular Contacts app that came with the phone) to see the groups on the phone but that’s fine. Launch process is same as regular contacts app, just one click on the app icon on my phone’s desktop to enter DW GCM. All my contacts are now neatly organized into groups. Can text or call each contact from inside DW GCM, just like the regular contacts app that came with the phone. Did all the organizing on my desktop PC with keyboard, mouse & large monitor where it is more comfortable to work, and I didn’t have to do anything to make it sync. It did it on its own in real time. Highly recommend. https://market.android.com/details?id=com.dw.contacts.free

  • Udi

    I have initialized my gmail account in my new samsung galaxy s. all my gmail contacts have traveled into my phone. great.

    next, I entered several new contacts in my phone. auto synch is set to on and everything is done as described above, nevertheless my phone contacts do not travel to gmail, only vice versa.

    please help

  • john

    Android contacts and gmail contacts is dreadful. Whoever dreamt up this fiasco is a nut! all us regular users need is a set of contacts used by the phone and a set used by the Gmail, with the facilty to use both on the phone BUT NOT put them all together.

    I may be wrong but most phone users do not want all this hassle in what should be a simple arrangement.

    I am going back to Nokia!!

  • David

    I have a gmail account setup with all my coworkers names, phone numbers, email, etc in it. I sync it to mine and other coworkers Droids so that we all have each others phone numbers. Contacts tend to “disappear” pretty regularly because so many people have access to the contacts. Is there a way to make a gmail contact list “read-only” so that the contacts cannot be deleted from the phone?

  • Gina

    Is there a way to save your current phonebook on gmail? I want to erase some contacts from my phone, but want them to continue to be stored somewhere. If i erase from my phone, gmail is automatically and immediately synched so I no longer can see their information!

  • Gary

    Lots of problems syncing gmail contacts. I am not able to get contacts removed from the android phone (Captivate). For example, I removed all contacts from my gmail contact list and synced the phone: no changes. I see the same at the contact level. There are contacts which remain on the phone even though no longer on gmail. This same is even true within a contact. If a phone number is removed from a gmail contact, it still remains on the phone. Adding contacts works pefectly. Ideas?

  • R Escalera

    My Atrix 4G syncs ok with both calendar and contacts. Problem is, syncing removes all custom ringtones manually assigned to contacts on the phone. Any ideas on why this is happenning?

  • lasse

    No separate address fields for Street, City, Zip-code etc, in Google contacts, the sync really sucks when this information isn’t separated in their own data fields.

    HTC android have ridicules system groups that you cant remove making odd sync results.

    Google really have to step up a bit on this, a very important function that really is sub standard.

    And there is more issues with the contact business I don’t even bother to mention.

    For years people have complained about this but nothing happens, are they blind and deaf on Google?

  • http://www.gmailtips.com Joberhop

    Found this tip in my frustration of not being able to use my gmail groups on a mobile device (I use a Droid X and Xoom). Takes a bit to set up and seems stupid that you actually have to use this work around, but I email groups often from my mobile devices and this has been a HUGE hang up for me:
    Creating a Pseudo Address Group!

    Gmail currently does not provide the facility to send emails to a Group or a List or email addresses. But thanks to an excellent tip submitted by “arianj”, we now have a very doable workaround! Read on to see how to set up a pseudo Group Contact…

    Although Gmail doesn’t currently support Groups in your Contacts, you can simulate a Group list by doing the following:

    1. Create a new Contact

    2. In the “Name” field, enter the name of your Group (eg “My Friends”)

    3. In the “E-mail” field, enter your list of email addresses in the following format:

    friend1@gmail.com>,,,<" (without the quotes) between all addresses

    2. Be sure NOT to include a leading "”. This is intentional, because during auto-complete, Gmail adds these characters to the beginning and end of the full string that is in the e-mail field.

    3. Also, there should be no spaces in the string.

  • Christian

    DLB – Thanks: your good workaround solved my problem. I wanted to move my contacts from gmail to phone so that i could be able to assign ringtone to groups. it should be possible to do that in gmail groups that were synched with the phone..

    while importing my contacts from sd card to phone, it automatically merded the “old” gmail and the “new” phone contacts. that was pretty cool and useful, actually.

  • Hemant Chand Dungriyal

    how to change default voice through our code????
    my mean i want to make a app when it install in phone than user change default voice or which voice our application provide to user?????

  • Hemant Chand Dungriyal

    how to change default voice through our code??????
    my mean i want to make a app when it install in phone than user change default voice or which voice our application provide to user?????

  • rachel

    How do I take my gmail contacts off my Samsung captivate contact list?

  • Ravi Kishore

    I bought a brand new Google Nexus S, so far very Good except one issue with syncing contacts of gmail account, all the information along with image is displayed but not the phone numbers mentioned in the contact. Is there a problem with syncing?

  • http://talkandroid.com Peter

    Please get your act together with this Contact automatic sync stuff. I painstaking formated all my contacts with phone numbers in Excel and saved to a CSV file as instructed. I and did the Contact list import. The result was many more listings because the contact window listed all data in one vertical list instead of horizontal fields for various data like home phone, work phone, Mobile phone…etc. Why do a CSV if all the contact needs is a vertical list??? WEIRD!!

  • TigerA

    Each time I add a new contact on my phone to gmail account, it always get added to “Other Contact” group. I’ll need to tick the “System Group: All other contacts” in Contact display options to be able to see the newly added contact. It will also require me to login to email account via a PC to manually move this newly added contact to “My Contacts” group.

    My view is that the android developers have focused their efforts on “smart” part of the smartphone. But they seems to have forgotten that it is also a phone!

  • TigerA

    Another major issue is that the gmail and Outlook contacts can not be synchronised with a free software, unlike calendar – just wonder why???
    What is the business case for not providing this feature for free???

  • http://www.keiko4412.biz keiko dee

    I would like to see more posts like this!.. Great blog btw! Reisadvies Subscribed..

  • http://www.carrotmuseum.com John

    I just cannot see why they can’t produce a basic address book SOLELY for use with the phone for phone calls (duh!) and messages. Then when emailing use the google address book system. Simples?

  • Spooky

    I’m having a dreadful time trying to sync contacts on an Archos 70 with gmail contacts. Tried everyhing in manual, chat rooms, forums, youtube – you mention it, I’ve done it. Nothing works. Refuses to do what should be part of the functionality of the device. So glad that I have a Mac and an iPhone (sync always works without issues) and that I’m only struggling with this Android rubbish for a friend. Why do you guys waste so much time with this garbage? Weird.

  • Drewey

    Helping a friend with the problem of groups not syncing down to phone. Problem was fixed by going into the contacts menu–> show/hide, then unchecking the groups that needed to be shown, then all groups and contacts downloaded. Hope this helps.

  • Prabir Mittra

    Whatever the advantages are I still prefer to have my contact synced, saved and backup on my computer and not on a someone else’s server. Many places in the world do not have or does not have good internet connection.

    I have been using MS Outlook and Nokia PC Sync which served this need. Android has taken this away and now I am watching the N9, if it still provides this then I will switch back to Nokia PC Suite.

    Apple and Android requires internet or 3G connection and uses the “cloud” .It cost much in many parts of the world.

    Why force me into using a mode I am not comfortable with. Why isn’t there a simple connection;USB, Bluetooth or Wifi; to MS Contact, Outlook or others based in the PC. After all MS Office is use on over 80% of computers in the world.

  • jitendra

    it has limits of number of contacts

  • KK

    My Samsung Behold II can’t log in to the Gmail account via wifi.So, my account isn’t synced with the phone and all of the contacts can’t be transferred to the device.

  • amy

    so….i have all these contacts that got synced from Facebook to my android phone, but how do I update that to sync to my gmail.com account?

    that it won’t do.

  • Android Sucks

    Just wanted to say I found a final solution to Android’s completely dysfunctional OS – I dumped it and went back to the iPhone. Yes, Jobs is evil and iTunes is sinister, but at the goddam trains run on time.

  • Richard

    I had real problems with getting contacts to sync until I deleted all contacts from the phone (Desire)and resynced, no problems since.

  • malwinder

    i want my htc hd2 andriod how i can do it i really bore frm windows…. plzz plzz plzzzzzz help me

  • molly

    Dontcha love how theres no answers to these problems??? Basically, Google contact SUCK, android SUCKS, tech support from the phone companies and cellphone makers SUCKS and I’m getting the next iphone!

  • kevin

    Just got a new photon, whatever the latest android version is, and it is built in. Under contacts, menu->Display Options->Expand the google list->then check which groups you want to be synced. After you do that, they will show up under your groups section.

  • Michael

    Can someone explain the difference between saving contacts to “Google” and “phone”?

    I am wondering if this might effect the synching, but I do not understand the difference.

  • Brian Mansell

    Another new purchaser of the ” best in test ” Galaxy s2 – how do these guys test phones one wonders – I have had Motorola and Ericsson all my working life – brilliant – always. This Samsung / google has nothing so professional – I suppose it is just for youngsters who like playing around. Tried to move contact with Kies ( vcf cards) – did not recognise two thirds. Tried with impot/export from SD card – did not recognise two thirds. Not only that after some time – all were corrupted ” unknown ” – all of my contacts gone. Finally I read on a forum somewhere to bluetooth from my old phone ( works without sim ) to my Samsung ( note no Samsung of Google involved here ) – worked like a dream all vcf accepted. “4 hours later – all corrupted. It has to be a bug or intended so as to use Google Mail contacts. What I have just read here – Google Mail is the last you want – plus it feels so insecure for the friends in my contact addresses. Next step – I wish I knew – I am going to try to get the phone supplier to change – Ericsson please !

  • Brian Mansell

    Apologies all round – think I found the real problem. When I got my S2 I was really pleased to see that at last Skype Mobile was working – performs well.
    Apparently though on first start up you have to say how and what you want to synchronise – I didn´t – hence the problem as Skype does have a problem here with Synchronising. Took away Skype this morning – so far no problem.

    Look at https://support.skype.com/en-us/faq/FA11038/How-do-I-add-and-manage-contacts-using-Skype-for-Android

    for how to set up sync

  • Beatriz

    Where in Gmail is this?

    Once logged in go to the main menu on the device and select the contacts icon.

    I cannot find any icons or any contacts in Gmail when I log from my Android HTC Inspire 4G!

  • Ernie_07


    Neither Android nor Sync is causing the problem.

    GMail does a great job enabling a user to create “file cabinets” aka “groups” to house contacts. As of 2011-09-13 an import/export/sync would throw all contacts on the “floor” instead of filing them properly into their respective groups.

    Could it be that the PM assigned to GMail was hired despite being unable to justify why a manhole cover is round?

  • C. Hudson

    I couldn’t read all the posts here but what I’m goin to say is on my HTC EVO 4G phone is that when I sync all my contacts to my Google account n try to restore it back it had many Google profiles and I don’t know which to choose that have my recent contact lists. Also when I’m trying to link my contacts to their Facebook profiles is about a 100 Google n phone links!!! It’s just crazy now I’m stuck with a dilemna whether I should just jot down all my contacts n their numbers and start from scratch or just just edit all my contacts n do everything all over again… Google plz email me back n help me!!!!

  • John

    Don’t hold your breath waiting for Google to react, this has been an issue for some time, evidenced by this extent of this post. Only solution I know is to create a phone book group in Google for use purely on the phone, and only sync that.

  • John W

    It’s amazing that after a couple years Android phones still are unable to do the *basics* of what a smart phone should be able to do. Calendar and Contacts functionality is horrible on Android.

    I’m ready to eat the cost of the rest of my contract and switch to some phone that actually works. (unfortunately I’m not sure there are any, phones seem to be getting worse each year – I don’t need my phone to be a “TV”, I need it to be a basic PDA)

  • John

    What is more amazing is that Google/Android do not react to all these negative comments and do something about it. Currently I will not be having another.

  • Antoni

    i figured out how to make the groups show on your phone. your local phone contacts may not support group mode. if your contacts are grouped in gmail but not on the phone, download a third party app like groupy or group contact lite. they will show up then. that is how i got it to work on my sony xperia.

  • DannyJ

    After viewing all these complaints, I thought I just might add the following. At first, syncing didn’t seem to work for my Droid Charge. Information came into the phone correctly, but I couldn’t get it to go back up to the internet. Then I realized it was operator error.

    Ever since, I have been very happy managing my contacts. The only issue was that I had to control groups from the internet, which is not super convenient. Someone above recommended using DW Contacts / Phone / Dialer, and this seems to work flawlessly.

  • http://Matrongvang.com Jasper Waale

    My problem is that I dont want to sync 2000+ emails accounts , but only my 100, that I have on my sim with the Phone numbers, finding a person to send a SMS has gone from ones option to as many as the person has emails address that might 3-4 which cant be used because no phone number in that record.

  • John

    Jasper, the way I have got round this same issue is to create a group in contacts called phonebook (or anything else you care to name it). Drag those people you wish to appear in your phone into that group. Then tell you phone to sync with that group only.

    This gives me those people I normally phone, but sometimes email, showing in the phone. On the PC ALL contacts show up.

    Not ideal but it works.

  • http://Matrongvang.com Jasper Waale

    Hi John

    Well I think your solution will work, in google I have some 2600 persons listed my Main phone book is only around 120, some I know have nick names and I find them by that ( look like no support for this also ) other has 4-5 different entries new and current email address is just a messs, one of the few things I found to be preventing me from being happy about my phone..

    Thanks for sharing, I worried that just be much more of time robber then to just have a function that in the SMS Part only show persons that shows PHONE number listed or have been ticked off as a contagt

  • John

    Yes it works but it’s a frig. It really put me off Android from day one. Google is so unresponsive to stuff like this. I guess there is a contacts manager in the market, but it would involve re-typing all the contacts you wish to use.

    A Nokia style phone is all I wanted to contact people I normally phone or text.

  • Sam

    Hello friends,
    I have a situation.
    I have Motorola Atrix and initially I used one of my official gmail account for contacts but later when I started adding contacts on my mobile, I used my gmail accounts randomly to save the contacts, but now I want all my contacts on my phone to be saved into one gmail account. How do I do that?

  • http://gmail Brenda

    This Is absolutely ridiculous.! For the cost of an Android Motorola phone initially, then the monthly charge, transferring, or sharing contact addresses with other emails you may have, should be simple! I have spent 2 hours trying every “help” option etc. to figure out how to transfer the contacts to compose from gmail, and the closest I’ve come is this opinion page. ABSOLUTELY RIDICULOUS. I pick a photo to share, the option is my gmail, yet I have to save it and go back to my other email address to get the recipients address. Then remember it while I re- access the gmail account it’s being composed from. Come on Google, I’m intermediate when it comes to computer and/ or mobile web usage, but even I am intelligent enough to know thatt a customer should not have to get aggrivated while trying to send a pleasurable photo, or even an important email away from an in-house house computer. Also, the scrambled & distorted words or letters NEED to be visible on mobile devices.
    I have filled out entire employment applications while away from home, just to get to the end and there is no code visible to enter for “security ” purposes. Come on. We pay you!!!

  • http://ccafe1.com unknown

    this system is pure bullshit

  • sancelot

    Thanks to a collegue help, I found a workaround in order to sync contacts in both ways.

    only add an exchange activesync account (with your gmail account login and password)
    and then contacts will be perfectly synced!!!!


  • Peripatetics

    How add exchange activesync account?

  • Prabir

    Why do we need a “workaround” if Android is BETTER than the others. Or are we being “conned” by the manufacturer and Google so that they can contiune economical. Apple JUST WORKs ! no need to twick, workaround or be a geek to make it work.

  • Pratyush

    gmail does not save high resolution contact images.
    Gmail contacts does not have all the attributes such as “IsCompany”.
    Gmail does not care about your groups.
    Gmail does not sync properly with your mac address book and while synching considers itself superior.
    There is no desktop solution to edit your contacts

    I am wondering why the hell I switched to android.

  • Rich M.

    I have a Motorola Blur device and I thought managing my contacts with google was going to be wonderful.
    It’s actually very broken.
    When you edit contacts online with google, it successfully syncs my phone contacts about 1 in 4 times.
    I have found no reason for it or explanation as to why.
    What I’ve found that I have to do is:
    Delete the contact with my online google-contacts.
    Then RE-add the contact online – then I check my phone to see if it synced.
    After 1 or 2 or 3 or 4 tries it eventually appears on my phone. I have no idea what the magic difference is that finally makes it sync to the phone.
    If anyone figures it out, let me know.
    I’ve done a few google searches and found nothing very helpful. I’m sure there is an explanation out there, but I don’t have hours to search for it.
    I purchased an adroid FOR this feature(manage your phone from online), and I find it’s failure to be a real disappointment.
    – Rich

  • John

    It’s been figured out for you – read all these posts – Google sync is ill conceived, ill designed and simply does NOT work properly. Worst of all is Google clearly has no intention of fixing it.

  • http://www.diskdoctors.net/undelete/software.html david l jhonson

    My Samsung Behold II can’t log in to the Gmail account via wifi.So, my account isn’t synced with the phone and all of the contacts can’t be transferred to the device.



    i am having sonyericsson xperia 10i.

    i cannot able to download anything from android its showing “There are no Android phones associated with this account. Please sign in with a different account.”
    how i can associate with android. for that wat i need to do ??????


  • kev

    I actually want to the appositive. I dont want to sync (link) new contacts to gmaill. I want to keep a privacy and just save some phone numbers to my phone, and stay there. How do i do that? Every time i try to ad a new phone number gmail or yahoo email pops up asking me to link to one of those (NOT OPTION TO NO LINK) frustrating.


  • Dont understand

    This Google Contact business is just inexcusable. Android is a Google creation. Google is a multi-billion company. There are no issues with Contacts on an iPhone and syncing with Google. There are all sorts of issues (in general) with the Android OS unlike with IOS. Android may be popular now (only because smartphones are pretty much being given away for free to mobile providers.

    With the exception of Google search engine technology and maps, and to some extent Gmail, Google should just focus on doing a few things, and doing them well. Now, they’re all over the place and too proud of what they (think) they accomplished when in fact they haven’t.

    I’m done with Android. Android is a screwed up OS that has more problems then it’s worth. I want something that’s easy to use and it works, instead of crashing or freezing.

  • John

    Yes the solution is shown above – create a separate group in your google contacts (I call it phoneboo) and use that in the phone and then it only synchs with that.

    I know it’s a workaround, but heck Google do not give a s***

  • Mathias

    There is a REAL solution for the groups problem. Just change your contact groups settings to use the Gmail account groups instead of your Phone groups.
    Suddenly all groups will become available.
    Have fun!

    • Karin

      How do you do that?!? When I click on Contacts, then Groups on my android charge, I see the “Phone” groups, then scrolling down, the “Google” groups, and “Facebook” and “Skype” groups too. Is there a way to have it show JUST Google groups?

  • Pratyush

    @Mathias, The problem we are talking about is that google does not support many fields and there is very low resolution image. No offline application and the mac sync does not work. So people who have shifted from Iphone.ios are loosing a lot out here and the User experience is just so un-satisfying.

  • Diaminedave

    To get contacts from phone to gmail I have
    just followed the advice of DLB at Dec 14th
    Seems to have worked fine
    So I think my problem was that when I first imported contacts into my phone I did not save under google account I saved under phonebook.
    On phone export contacts to sd card. Import from sd card to gmail account. Synch
    Hope that helps

  • Bruce

    I have a Samsung Charge. I am new to Android. Quite surprised to find out that it is not possible to enter a contact on my phone and have absolutely no way to sync it GMail on my phone. Seems the M.website does not even have a contact ability. There is for the desk top version. I must fault Verizon my “Service” provider for even putting a phone on the shelves that can not be synced to another computer via USB or other method. I have no problems going from outlook express to GMail contacts and then to my phone, but any information entered into my phone manually seems to require a manual typed sync to another phone. I must agree with those who have posted before me here that Google has created an expensive toy and not a functional tool for the workplace.

  • Bruce

    OK, long talks with numerous people from Verizon and Toshiba (all who wanted me to do a system restore to factory settings) before I finally found someone who was able to get their hands on a phone, think off the check sheet and work the problem through with me. Between the two of us we figured it out.
    Problem 1. Contacts entered on the phone will not sync to Gmail.
    Solution 1. when entering a new contact you are given a choice of where to save the data: phone, SD card and GMail. You MUST select Gmail. If you select phone it will not sync to GMail. A major flaw IMO.
    Solution 2. Multiple contacts can be exported from your phone to your SD card and then exported to GMail.
    Solution 3. This is a guess but it should work, you can email individual.vcf cards / files to laptop or desk top and then take the files and move them to GMail.

    Of course the need to go through this is bogus and ill conceived on behalf of Google and in my opinion inexcusable. The biggest failure of Google, Verizon and Samsung, is to have so many techs out there that have no idea this is a problem and what needs to be done to avoid it. When there is such a bug and inflexible detail in an operating system regarding something as essential as contact management the phone should come with instructions and support staff should be made aware. For my previous comments I offer no apologies as it took extreme effort on my behalf to stick to my guns and finally find someone who could think for themselves and figure out the problem.

    • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_IWJVAI4U6CY7M4PPY3IFIB3FIQ Isaw

      Thank you for your input here. I agree with your comments. You have solved a problem that I have spent the last 3 hours working on. Sorry, but I still in love with google and android. Hopefully, this issue will be fixed. 

    • http://twitter.com/WebCEO Web CEO Limited

      Excuse me, but I tried solving that issue by exporting to the SD card and re-importing where all the contacts were Google (Gmail). This did nothing in terms of allowing a synch with my PC. The solution you just described is good but people often end up with the same issue as before. For those who don’t see their problem resolved doing that, it may be true that deleting extra applications on the phone will allow Gmail sync to happen again. I’m trying that now, and if that works, I will tweet and FB post about how it apparently is an issue that one avoid putting too many applications on their phone.

  • John

    You are dead right. It is inexcusable of Google to be totally unresponsive to 1000’s of customers disappointment in this “viable alternative to iphone” – what utter rubbish.

    What I do is email a cc to myself and pick it up on my pc next time I am home and add it to the address book then. Another stupid workaround. I am off to iphone next.

  • http://paraglding-lessons.com Jeff

    well, I found a fix here. My issue was that phone would not upload contacts to gmail. Solution above that said to export to SD Card, then import from SD card and choose Gmail as destination, seems to be working. With 1000 contacts, will take some time, but now I will have access to my primary (phone) for all email. Yes, Google should make this all easier. Going much faster after connection to a wifi. FYI if you cannot send mail from a droid, just disconnect from Wifi and it should go. That one was driving me crazy as well.

  • Galane

    Android’s contact management is way behind Ye Olde Palm OS. I just upgraded my Epic 4G to 2.3.5 and in the process managed to lose my contacts, logs and text messages.*

    Fortunately I didn’t have many of either and I wrote down everything important I had in text messages and Memos. Also, I haven’t wiped my LifeDrive.

    To get my contacts sorted out, I used a Java applet called palmreader to export my address.dat file from Palm Desktop to a .vcf which Google contacts could import. Since some German person wrote palmreader, it puts the tags like Mobil and Privat on things instead of Mobile and Private, so those all have to be changed. It also gets mixed up on business names because Android still doesn’t have a type of contact for a business like Palm had years ago.

    I had a few .vcf files of contacts I’d sent to the Epic from my old phone by Bluetooth.

    After exporting from phone and google, then importing to each other, I had a bunch of editing to do and on the phone some contacts ended up with one Google and two Phone, so one needed deleted and some for the same person didn’t automatically join.

    I just added a new contact and had it save to Phone, there doesn’t appear to be any way to save it again to Google.

    It will not automatically upload that contact to Google, nor will it do it when I go to Menu, Settings, Accounts and sync.

    Also why isn’t there a menu selection to synchronize contacts IN CONTACTS?! Why do I have to wade through a menu in a totally different location to do a contact sync THAT DOESN’T ACTUALLY SYNC THE PHONE WITH GOOGLE?!?!? It only pulls contact data from Google, it does not push contact data to Google.

    How this *should work*.

    Whenever a contact is added on the phone it should automatically (like it’s supposed to but doesn’t) upload a copy to Google *with image thumbnail and ringtone assignment*. Whenever a contact is added to Google it should automatically download it to the Phone and any edits on the phone like adding a thumbnail and ringtone should automatically be pushed back to Google.

    The user should never have to export a .vcf, should never have to muck around with making manual edits and joins to force the two ends to match up.

    What Android needs is an Android Desktop app like Palm Desktop and to @#%@ with “the cloud”.

    After so many updates to the Android OS, why has Google not got this contacts thing ironed out? It’s not like they don’t have any examples of how to do it right, like Palm, iPhone and Blackberry. Just frigging copy some way that actually works!

    *And the Market didn’t remember any of the apps I’ve downloaded. Amazon Appstore remembered every app I’ve downloaded from it, including several I want it to forget because they were not apps I want to have on my phone again.

  • This article is bad

    this article fails to explain how to sync…

    • Guest

      Open your Gmail app on your phone then press the menu (left) button. Select “Accounts”. On the accounts screen press menu button and select “Account Settings”. The rest should be self-explanatory.

      • Guest

        P.S. My sync works just fine.

        • Pattie Coxey

          Well goodies for u!
          I am no techie either.Switching from a computer to a DROID 3 w/o any instructions/directions included can be quite frustrating and has taken way too much of my time.
          Isn’t the idea of a smartphone is to be smarter than the last device? They have sucked us into a very time consuming, expensive way out of the real world.
          All I wanted was to lower my expenses, delete my PC and have a phone I could go online with!
          Tired and unhappy

          • Pete

            Don’t take this the wrong way..
            But yea, a smartphone is actually way smarter… than a phone.It’s like asking yourself why your latest roller skates aren’t as good as your 3yr old car.
            Please, do post your specifc issue, there’s a lot of people out there who can give a hand, and I happen to have a Droid3 myself.

            Lots of things to consider and that can affect your experience..
            Did you also migrate from another mail provider towards Gmail ?
            PS: If you don’t like the built-in Gmail app on Android for performing specific tasks such as managing contacts, forwarding rules, or any other feature. And would really prefer the PC version of Gmail on your phone, I might suggest opening the browser and logging to gmail from the website, then you can click on the “Desktop” link at the bottom, which will basically take you to the desktop version of the gmail site…

      • Joe

        ah thank you very much sir.  you are a god among men… don’t know what the writer of this article is.

    • Gezzz

      most horrible fail on the most basic function a smartphone is supposed to do. Android is stupid in many ways. you can’t even get internet connection via USB from the computer/laptop it’s connected to like Windows Mobile did.

    • http://twitter.com/WebCEO Web CEO Limited

      Worse. It fails to explain what to do when you do everything right (switch sync on) and things work for a few weeks but then stop for no reason and you don’t even notice that new contacts are building up on the phone that are not being backed up in Gmail Contacts.

  • Louise

    I am NOT a techie.  Just replaced my Treo 680 with a Samsung Galaxy II and downloaded a program called CompanionLink.   Using this program I synced my Palm Desktop with Gmail.  Then I used the Gmail sync feature on the Gal and all of my contacts were synced successfully.  The only problem I have is that the synced version is first name, last instead of the reverse which I prefer.    Any suggestions or ideas? 

    Then, I used Deja Office app (a required partner to CompanionLink free in Android Marketplace) to sync over WiFi with my Palm Desktop.  This results in all contacts coming across in preferred mode into the Deja Office Contacts. 

    There is a way to specify that Personal contacts are not to be shared, so bank and card info etc. will not be synced.  This makes me feel more secure, but leaves me without info on my phone since I don’t see any way to make these entries password protected. 

    Hope this helps someone and that someone brilliant can address my two issues!

  • Pattie Coxey

    Why is this so difficult? On my PC I merely clicked on contact email and it opened a folder for them & I just fabled & clicked all conversations into their personal folder. No searching in archives or inboxes! Geeks? Fix it!

  • Gmatthewspbs

    I want to upload only a a specific selection of my gmail contacts to my android phone.  How do I do that and synch only those contacts and changes to those contacts?

  • PC WM

    It’s broad daylight robbery! I want my contacts list available OFFLINE and cut off the cloud tethering off Google servers.

  • http://www.facebook.com/paleange1 Paul Blanchard

    my problem is quite the opposite. i have over 200,000 gmail contacts and they synced to my phone, killing my storage. and it crashes everytime i try to mass delete. brand new samsung stratosphere

    • Jslushy96

       exact same problem!

      • mrd

        i was able to select which aspects of gmail synced. after turning on auto-sync then you can choose which aspects to sync under manage accounts (check boxes appear next to each aspect once auto sync is turned on

  • Joe

    this method is backwards.  it should be enter numbers into your PHONE, then sync with Gmail… not the other way around.  this method is ridiculous at best.  hell i came from iPhone and iTunes syncs your contacts to you Gmail account how it should be done.  lol@entering numbers via a website then syncing to your phone.  now i’ve seen it all.  Thanks, but i’ll keep looking for a real app/method.  and to the rest of you complaining in the comments below me should have also known better.  juss sayin.

    • Paythetroll

      You’re an idiot obviously brainwashed by apples elitist products smh. When you enter a contact in via your phone all you have to do is manually (unless set for automatic) sync and all will be done for you. Meaning to and from your gmail contacts. 

  • Met1027

    I have an Evo. When my contacts saved to Google, it saved them two, sometimes 3 times. When I would update a phone number it would keep the old number. So I found a way through GMAIL to update my contacts, but I deleted ALL numbers off myphone. I want to link my Gmail contacts (just the numbers, not every friggin email address that EVERY emailed me) and I can’t do it. Any help?

    • Ash

      you can do it, in contacts, bring up menu, click more, get to display options, click “system-my contacts” for purely phone numbrs only display :)

  • http://twitter.com/alston1951 alston green

    I have a G2 Android phone, I had to replace it and it would not allow me to access my Gmail account that has all my contact. Idid follow the directions for the verification but Istill can’t import them. The address book is in tact on my computer . suggestions ?

  • Archerphil

    I need it the other way round. sync my phone contacts and calender to google mail account. Please help

  • Hugsdf

    totally retarded article. how the heck do you sync your phone contacts with GMAIL??

    • Redheadedstepchild

      Hey toughguy, why dont you RTFM?  Go to settings, accounts and sync….well I will leave it at that.  Since you are not offering anything positive, I will let you monkey around with it ;-P.

      • Charliedone1

        so i go to settings…accounts….but there is no sync option

    • Abhishek Koothur

      lol duude.. u are a Noob + Loser..  i am sorry

  • Sara Nana54

    Thank you for the post, it’s very helpful make it a lot easier for me.

  • Pezoba

    I have sync turned on from Android phone to gmail.  I add a contact on the phone but it does not show up in gmail contacts.  Why not?

    • Rochellealvira

      im having the same problem, have you found out the answer? can you help me?

  • Dr Raymond Tan Suan-Kuo

    I checked my gmail account- the phone contacts are not there despite me ticking the auto-sync box a long time back! Here’s what I did-hook up your phone via the USB cable to your PC. Log into your Gmail with the PC. Then go to Contacts in your Gmail. There is an option called import contacts. Click that and then go search for the latest backupfile of your SD card in your phone, its a file with .vcf at the end-Of course, you should already have backed up your phone contacts on your SD card first. Also in your Gmail contacts list, there is a button that clears up duplicate entries by merging them-good to do that too! why aren’t things easier???!!!

  • Johndeg1

    I’ll tell u what is doesn’t do! a very simple, basic email function. like email a group of people. waited for the Galsxy Nexus, the best of the best, and I can’t email 16 coworkers I gave saved in a group on g mail a huge disappointment. Come google get with it! johndeg1@aol.com

  • Kimarh1

    Hi, I just want to delete one contact from my smart phone. Am afraid of deleting whole contacts. Can you help please?

  • Nikesh ponnen


    I am having samsung galaxy R phone. I am already having Google account. When try to add my account details to my phone that is showing your password or username incorrect.
    actually i am giving correct details only. If i am using internet option and open gmail then i can access my account.

    Can u help me please ….???

    • Tarynn Sampson

      I’m having the same problem – please let me know if you have a solution.  It’s happening with my samsung galaxy note.

  • Andy

    I have had my Motorola Atrix for 4 months now. It will not synch my google contacts with my droid. I have called ATT and Motorola numerous times.I can’t believe google has not figured this out after several years of working with this software. NO wonder so many people “love” their I-phones. They are so user friendly. My android has been nothing but a headache since I got it. How hard can it be to synch contacts? Really? My friends never have these problems with their I-Phones. My old blackberry was absolutely seamless. Anyone have any ideas other than going to an I-Phone?

  • Michael Zamora

    Is thier and app that is sperate from your contacts yet still a contact list.
    kind of like a sperate database such as a company directory but don’t want to flood the contact list

  • Bob Sagat

    is there any way that i can find these contacts online becuase i would like to delete them but theyre still in my phone after reseting my whole phone and turning the sync off. i just wanty to start fresh.

    • Andrewov89

      after I reset my phone my contacts got deleted

  • Mikelitoris

    How about you just make a list of the steps. A lot of pointless shit in here from what I skimmed, tl;dr

    • Imloriann34

      I totally agree!!!awesome remark n u couldn’t have said it better Thanx we were deffinatelt on the same page. Imlori23@gmail.com

  • Hmmdespe..

    i have a se xperia pro and when i want to add an account to my phone it doesn’t give me the google choice.. so that’s why i still can’t use android market..
    what should i do??

  • Joe

    I have logged into my GMail account and had to find out where my contacts went after the new look. The checked my Samsung Gravity Smart LOL nothing smart about this phone. The Google account was already using the sync feature. I had to go back to my GMail and look up the contact I wanted to call. When I called from my Android Samsung Galaxy Smart phone the contact NAME and number came up. The thing I don’t understand is why I try to look on the contacts on my Samsung and they have an Icon that Google has done a sync BUT none of the GMail contacts are in the phonebook.. Weird

    • Rochellealvira

      have you sync’d in your phone contacts to your gmail as well? i cant find where my sync’d phone contacts are in my gmail. can you help me?

      • Alexandru Guzu

         Well, the article describes how nice the feature is, but it does not say anything about how to use it.

        Apparently you can only sync contacts one way: Gmail -> Phone.

  • Nigelgreer73

    I am having problems updating my t-mobile Samsung galaxy s vibrant. Have downloaded kies, and it says my phone is unsupported. Called Samsung UK, told me they cant help as I got phone in USA!! Emailed USA, they say call a number. Cannot get through. Emailed them back, can you call me please. No reply!! Surely a multi national multi million dollar business can call a concerned customer losing confidence in there products, to provide them with some support. I’ve tried all the tutorials etc and am getting know-where. Please help. many thanks…

  • Tipoboricua

    I noticed that every time I create a contact using the phone it can’t sync with the Google account. The only way I can sync is if I create the contact on Google. There’s any way to solve this?
    Greetings from Spain.

    • BryanW

      I am having the same problem. Samsung Skyrocket.

  • Clyde Mcleod

    Thanks, I did all that and got the contacts onto my Samsung mini Galaxy – but when I try to call someone, a voice says that it does not recognise the number.  I checked back on the numbers and found that in the transfer process, often times the first digit (invariably a zero) is not stored on the device.

  • Wanaraz

    Apparently when you enter a contact on your android it automatically goes to your Gmail account which is great but when I open my contact list  on the android it’s not there. I went back into Gmail and it was there. Sync is on but no go. So I reentered the name and phone numbers  into Gmail and that did appear in my phone. So remember don’t think because you entered a new phone number in your phone that it’s there cuz it won’t be.

    Why can’t you guys simplify Android phones?

    • Ioiosotwig

      I had the same problem… go to CONTACTS, select MENU, then DISPLAY OPTIONS, then CHOOSE CONTACTS TO DISPLAY. Pick your main Google Account and see which GROUPS you have selected to SYNC with… just checkmark the ones you want to SYNC.  I believe you need MY CONTACTS checked to display everything. You can have 1,000 names in Google, and if you sort some of them into groups, you can then just have that group appear in your phone.

      • Wanaraz

        WOW thank you. I did that and they popped in to my contacts properly. There were some doubles that I just deleted.Thanks again!

        • Sexiladi2013

           You can also merge the contacts if there are doubles and it will even delete the duplicates….it took me an hour to figure this out, but glad I did…lol

      • Drsuz2002

        I am having the same problem, but now I can’t find “menu” under the contacts tab.  Probably having a space out moment, but where is it?  All I see is how to add a contact, but nothing about “menu” or “display options”.  Any help you can give me would be greatly appreciated.

        • Drsuz2002

          OK, I am having the opposite problem, I am trying to see my contacts on my phone in gmail.  I have my phone set to ‘sync” with my gmail, but I can’t see if in the contacts in my gmail.  Do I need to do something from gmail.  I seriously considering an iPhone!

      • http://twitter.com/WebCEO Web CEO Limited

        Go to Contacts in what program and on what platform? You didn’t say.

    • Ulhaq Imran


      i have just purchase the HTC nexus one from my frnd,i reset to factory setting.But it is not showing the gmail account.Can u suggest me how can i configure my gmail in my phone and also merket is not coming.

      under contact it was asking to ad account but gmail is missing under manage account.Please help me and if possible mail me the solution at ulhaq.imran@gmail.com

  • Torosians

    states nothing obvious about transferring or saving android applications on my samsung galaxy S phone, so that when I upgrade to the newer 4g model I won’t have to redownload the applications through the android market, the kia application that came with the phone, never worked at all since I purchased the phone, and no calls to the developers or tech support provided any results.  I can backup all my contacts, movies, photos, emails, videos using the sd card, but the applications are a no go.

  • Ginni Fleck

    All my email addresses synced but none of the phone numbers. How do I sync the phone numbers onto my Samsung Galaxy device?

  • Sunil devadas

    I am trying to see my contacts on
    my phone in gmail.  I have my phone set to ‘sync” with my gmail, but I
    can’t see if in the contacts in my gmail.  Do I need to do something
    from gmail.
    i am using samsung galaxy young.

    • Skeetorkift

      on the gmail page click on the red gmail with the arrow and pick contacts

  • Itsmeroyce

    the question i really have is can i edit a contact from my phone? i have friends that have new phone numbers and i need to enter them in the same contact. can i do that from my phone? if so how? if not why not?

  • Livinintraffic

    I find your info so helpful. But, how can i copy it to my phone for offline usage? My email is livinintraffic@gmail.com. hope to hear from you.

  • Klouise0917

    I think I am going nuts! I can not find any kind of contacts icon on my gmail app on my andriod phone. It goes strait to my inbox and/or I have a listing chats, sents, outbox, drafts all mail, spam, personal, receipts, etc… but nothing about contact… HELP.

    • http://www.veryandroid.com/contacts-backup.htmlonverter/transfer-files-from-iphone-to-computer.html Backup Contacts for Android

       Transfer and manage android contacts on computer with PC Tool for VeryAndroid Contacts Backup. It may help. Try it.

      • http://www.veryandroid.com/contacts-backup.html iPhone to Computer

         Good luck!

  • Regge

    Can someone explain to me why when I sync my contacts between my phone and gmail, instead of updating the contacts, they add. That means if I have an updated info on a contact on my phone, it doesn’t update the old info in the gmail. After syncing, it turned out having two info for one same contact.

  • Regge

    In my phone, I have some contacts stored in the phone, some stored in gmail. How do I sync in order that my phone contacts are stored in gmail as well and not having duplicated contacts in both my gmail and phone contacts when I sync?

    • Youwillneverforgetit

      In contacts menu, open options. there is an option to hoin account with google. select it.

  • Youwillneverforgetit

    But ifi lost my phone and i have to call a person, can i find the number on internet on my gmail account?

    • Zbbud7

      You should be able to find them in there.  If you click on Gmail with the pull down and switch it to Contacts it will show your numbers.

      • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=500491165 Jheri MacLeod

        How do you switch it to contacts? There is no option for me

  • Jitendrathakuri

    hi guys any one help me out of this problem, i have problem with my htc mobile android while i call i can lesson his voice but his nor lesson my voice please help how to fix any easy way thank you for your advice in advance !

  • Stewart Chris30

    Can I restore my phone contact list to how it was two weeks ago? I lost the contact of a friend shawnda pitkins and need it back?

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=500491165 Jheri MacLeod

    I had a huge list of contacts, but after I activated my gmail account to my android, it deleted all of my contacts and I can`t get them back. Someone please help?

    • http://www.facebook.com/robertlemke Robert Lemke

      There is a restore option within gmail contacts, restore your contacts to a previous date, the instructions are simple.

  • Keishayoung80

    How da hell my boyfriend is able to view my contacts online ugh i hate this

    • http://www.facebook.com/robertlemke Robert Lemke

      Change your password on gmail.

  • Vann

    My newly added contacts don’t show in the list, 

    I went to Menu>display options>choose contacts to display, then I tapped on my gmail account and checked all the corresponding boxes under it.

    • http://www.facebook.com/robertlemke Robert Lemke

      Wait for a sync, confirm gmail contacts actually has your contacts saved.

  • Nadeegurl11

    I don’t like my contacts being synced with my gmail account. How do I unsync my contacts from gamil?

    • mommy31

      Why is it bad to sync everything can my mobile device get hacked super. Easy that way?

    • tes

      if you go into accounts & sync, you can uncheck the box

      • http://www.facebook.com/sohaibnaqv Syed Sohaib Ahsan Naqvi

        i want to remove my facebook and gmail contacts from my mobile. i have unchecked the above mentioned box. what to do??

  • esa

    i added my contacts from my gmail when i purchased the phone, now when i am adding new contacts i am storing them on phone not my gmail account, how do i mantain a backup on both (the phone gives two options while adding “gmail” or “phone” only)?

    • http://www.facebook.com/robertlemke Robert Lemke

      You can adjust this through your sync options.  In your contact list, press your option key and it will pull up a list of buttons, click Accounts, and you should figure out what to do from there.

    • mpixi

      when you want to add a new contact or add a number you just dialled to a new contact the first option in the contact window is to choose in the dropdown list next to the frame picture “gmail” and not “phone”. Doing this all your contacts will be synced to your gmail account and not lost. If you leave the dropdown to “phone”, if you lose your phone your contacts are lost. I also use to show up just my “gmail contacts” in the option contacts window 

  • Michelle

    When my husband got my new phone, he set up an Gmail account for it. I only used it for a few things and so I don’t remember the account name. My phone crashed and I do not know how to recover the gmail account name. Is there a way to locate it based on my phone number?

    • http://www.facebook.com/robertlemke Robert Lemke

      Michelle,  Click “Forgot User ID” or “Forgot Password” on the Gmail login page to access the account.  On your new device (or same device if you have restored it from it’s crash) login with you new account info, since upon retreiving your gmail account from a PC/Mac will instruct you to create a new password.

  • K Biles13

    How do you view all your phone contacts in your gmail account?

    • GingerNutter

      under the Google logo click the word Gmail

      • anuj

        i cannot view the numbers on gmail even after sync

  • Jspates185

    I have the galaxy S phone and I need to get the contacts out of just my Google group to some smaller groups but I am not given an option. How can I move my contacts around within the Google group

  • Esteban

    How do I combine all the contacts on my phone into Gmail or Phone contacts?  I have been trying to export all the phone ones then importing them online into Gmail contacts but there is one contact in particular that will not go.  What I am afraid of is that there may be more than one.  On the phone it shows it as a Phone contact but it will not export.  It will not import into gmail contacts online or into Outlook.

    • Wayne Harp

       export phone contacts to SIM Card.  Then import from SIM card to the proper Gmail acct (if you have more than 1 Gmail acct).
      I liked to clean up my phone numbers to linking the phone and gmail contact. then put the phone #’s in this format for example: (512) 404-2330 instead of 5124042330 or +15124042330 etc.  then I copied/pasted neat format into the gmail contact blanks. when everything looked good on the computer, I unlinked the contacts, chose to view only phone contacts, then delete everything off my ‘phone’ contact address book.   Now I simply view then gmail acct that has 100% of my contacts.
      (It took about 2 weeks of effort, I have a lot of contacts that needed work!)
      PS: the phone # in my example is a 4 min. recording….

  • Jacky

    having transferred my contacts from my old Blackberry phone successfully, am now finding difficulty in adding new contacts to my Sony Ericcsson Xperia Arc S phone.  Have tried everything (I think)!  Could anyone help please?

  • Caple1214

    I have the Droid 3 and I am attempting to backup all my contacts to my gmail account. Not sure how to do this. Can anyone help me…please???
    Thank you

    • Lyam Amnell

       Easy you can’t it only works if you enable the function to store on android. You can’t put old “SIM”-card contacts into your android list.

      See ya

      • Wayne Harp

         I think you can if you ‘import from sim card’ to the gmail acct you’re using.

  • John

    The contact sync from my google acct to my android does not sync.  This android system sucks.

    • Kb1fua

      Mine doesnt either…

  • Johnrjosephjr

    If it is so intuitive why can’t we add or change birthdays on the phone or use an email group?

  • Punknsmomma

    why isn’t my gmail syncing with my evo all of the sudden? nothing works, I have checked and unchecked every setting! Do I need to delete the account and re do it?

  • Binghamdeb

     A friend checked his yahoo acct on my phone. Then somehow.I ended up with his contacts on my phone: 518 contacts. Then I desynced and it was better, but erased most of my phone contacts! Yikes. Then it would not let me add new (or rather, my erased old) contacts. I resynced the gmail and yahoo. I have to hide soooo many contacts or else I can’t find people I want to call!
    When I add a contact, it does not appear on the list! I used to be able to text to Canada!   Do I have to turn the international on?
    I’d gladly go back to the way I had contacts. I hid many. I am so confused.

    I can’t even get on the web with my Android now.

    NOthing works as Punknsmomma says. I can’t even text people because I can’t even add them to my contact list anymore. I try and it all disappears!

  • Elektrared

    Doesn’t help if Google sync isn’t working.

  • Elektrared

    Getting an iPhone, sick of the EVO’s shite battery life and Google Sync not working. I wanted to be loyal, but if the product stinks, I can’t use it,

  • RonnieA66

    I need help with my contact so I can get them.

  • http://www.desiedition.com/ Raj

    seems this one is not working any more, I am having issues in syncing with the contacts…

  • Daveplatt1000

    contacts no longer synching… seems its not just me. last synch was 28 April. Anyone got any ideas?

  • tam

    I synced and merged to google and all of my contacts disappeared in my phone.. please help me

  • Masoud Rahimian

    Unfortunetly my contacts names ,rename to old ones when I sync.
    in the other hand, when I rename an old synced contact in my cell ,it return to it’s old name stored previosly on the web.
    please help me

  • erica

    ok  so i had reset my fone and my numbers will not come back what should i do?

  • Kirsty Mclennan69

    I sync d my Motorola razor n all my phone contacts are saved to my Google account hoe do I get them off and on my HTC ? Please I need it ASAP as its all my work contacts

  • Malcolm Casswell

    I’ve synched my contacts on my HTC phone with Gmail.
    Now where have they gone?
    I cannot see a link to any of my contacts within GMail

    • Yigal Cohen

      in the new interface,click on the word “Mail” under the Gmail banner. This will reveal “contacts” and “task” selections.

  • Lynnanne626

    the contacts that are not in gmail, but are in the phone, how do i add them to gmail
    so when i switch phones all contacts will be there. please note i am an older lady NOT techno savy, so keep it simple.

  • vmeta4755

    To add contacts to Gmail, go into your contact list on your phone and select to “send contacts” from your options. Then email the list to your Gmail account and upload the list. Just worked for me.

  • Adam Johnson
  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=661110653 Gavin Magrath

    I want to know how to sync my contact groups.

    I have well over 1000 google contacts and I do NOT want them all syncing! I only want to sync 2 or 3 of my 8 categories. I could do this on my Sony Ericsson but just got a Galaxy S2 and can’t figure it out.
    Yes google, the sync is very easy, but please write an article telling us how to USE it, not just how to turn it on!

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=661110653 Gavin Magrath

    Ok so in answer to my own question, the options are not under sync. Go to the phone book, call up the setting menu, probably go to more settings, and then DISPLAY OPTIONS.

    Here you can tell the addressbook to “display” only contacts with numbers, “display” only particular categories from your gmail account(s), display or not display facebook contacts, etc.

    I guess it syncs them all anyway, and you’re just deciding which to see in the phone’s address book.

    • Holli O’Neil

      Thank you, this helped.

  • Tom Ward

    To get contacts from your Android phone into Gmail (I’m on an HTC Desire HD):
    First log in to your Gmail account on your PC. Navigate to Contacts (drop-down menu appears when you click the red “Gmail” to the left of the screen), and click on “New Contact”. Near the top of the screen there’s a button to create new group. Click this and name the new group “Android” (or whatever…).

    Now, on your Android phone, go to Accounts & Sync, then refresh your Google account. This has added that “Android” group to your phone, but at the moment it’s empty.

    So, from your home screen, find your phonebook (“People” on my HTC), and find that “Android” group. Open it, then hit “Menu”. This should give you the option to “Add Contact To Group”. Hitting this option should bring up all your contacts on your phone, and if you hit “Menu” it should give you an option to “Select All”.

    Once you’ve selected all, and added these to the group, go back to your home screen, menu, settings, accounts & sync, and sync the google account again. This will then upload all the contacts from the “Android” group to your Gmail account, and you can find them on your PC under the Contacts-Android folder in your Gmail account.


    • tes

      Thanks for this. It mostly seemed to work. For some reason not all the contacts came through in good order, but most did!

    • ABSChicago

      Hallelujah – and thank you!!

    • ABSChicago

      Hallelujah – and thank you!!

    • Derek S.

      Thanks a ton. This helped immensely. I found it easier to move my contacts that I wanted to move into the “Android” category from GMail on my PC, however.

  • Juliegay1965

    Tom Ward I love you!….. You have no idea how long I have struggled with this problem. Reading & reading endlessly…. worked perfect first time…thank god for that!

  • Carolynsmith838

    How do I find my starred contacts on my phone?  They have disappeared!

  • csmolka

    I have followed the actions you suggest but while I have 524 contacts in my gmail account, only 154 how up on my Android2 phone. Any clue would be appreciated.

  • Guest

    What a useless article.

  • Zedon

    Very useful article, thank you. Was struggling with my new Samsung until reading this, great stuff

  • MJK

    Is there any way to choose which information is current before syncing between my phone and gmail?  I have updated information, ie new phone number on my phone, when I sync with gmail, it reverts back to the old number and the new number is for ever lost.  My old windows phone let me know of any discrepancies between the email and the phone contacts and let me decide on which one to update with.

  • George Avery Grimes

    How do I get my google contact groups to show up on my Driod Razr phone?  They show on my old Droid Incredible, but not the Razr? 

    • Alling Park

      How do you get them to show on the Droid Incredible? I have that, and cannot get the groups to show up.

  • Mami2b2011

    HOw do i find my contacts in my gmail to be able to sync to my Droid?

  • noor farah

    i un intentionally tauched the

    ; (fatory data reset) option and lost all of my contacts
    what do i need to do to get my contacts back to my android

  • Alling Park

    How do you get them to show on the Droid Incredible?  I have that, and cannot get the groups to show up.

  • access boiler

    There seems to be a clear bug also on phone number sync.

    Contacts with only phone numbers are not sync’ed from phone to gmail contacts. All the rest of the crap is ending in gmail. I checked around and there were some articles stating this issue back in 2010 and it’s still around.

  • access boiler

    There seems to be a clear bug also on phone number sync.

    Contacts with only phone numbers are not sync’ed from phone to gmail contacts. All the rest of the crap is ending in gmail. I checked around and there were some articles stating this issue back in 2010 and it’s still around.

  • Bmeana

    There is no “contact link” on the left hand side in gmail.  Galaxy note. NOW WHAT?

    • tes

      somewhere in your computer gmail maili account is Contacts. maybe it’s the template you’re using – just look around. they’re there

  • Gregg

    Does anyone know a way to restrict contacts syncing to downloading them to phone only?

    In case you’re wondering why…  Am contemplating a text messaging network for my civic association.  Envisioned:

    * setting up a gmail account for the association’s contact list.

    * entering the contacts.

    * designating members as members of a master group and sub-groups based on location.

    * setting up everyone’s phone to synchronize with the single gmail account.

    * then anyone can send a text message to master group or sub-group.

    However, we don’t want everyone’s contacts from other mail systems / accounts being uploaded to the civic assocation account!!!

    If this doesn’t work, I guess it’s back to exporting contacts in CVS and vCard formats and e-mailing them for people to import themselves.  Unfortunately, my last experiment with Yahoo mail didn’t recognize / retain group memberships.  Any other suggestions welcome!

  • Marciakimble

    I’be been trying to find my contacts that I backed up on google.from my iPhone when I upgraded to the android and have not been able to and I was guided to sync my numbers to Google and haven’t found them since omg its frustrating trying to find them help please

  • Kris Moe

    Just had to reset my Samsung Infuse (ATT) all the while thinking my syncing was working with my gmail account but I’m not finding those phone numbers now. Not happy…. Any suggestions aside from tough luck. Thanks.

    • Rab-c

      Im getting the same thing on my samsung galaxy s3 as ive tried to grt my contacts from galaxy s2 and its not doing it

  • Rab-c

    Got galaxy s3 and when browsing the net ive just had all my browser history from my iphone4s can any1 tell me why that happened

  • Maralubzadam

    I forgot my old gmail passwrd. Now hw can i sync my contacts and info?

  • Thomas

    i forgot my  gmail password  and i  want  to  sing  in  to  my email and  facebook  now   can  you   give  me  my  password  to  gmatticrap@gmail.com can you get back to me on my phone number 732-2982305

  • abhi

    go to google dashboard. there you will get an option to manage all your android contacts. as most of you are saying that you lost all your contacts in either of the 2 places, then you must know that if in case all your contacts from your device are deleted at once (like in phone reset) then the sync and your dashboard keeps on bugging you about it.

  • Guest

    *first click on the red “Gmail” then a drop down menu appears with “contacts” . I couldnt find contact list.

  • Raycstef

    So how do I get the hidden contacts out of the droid max into gmail.  

  • Vincent Jones

    my phone is broken and I’m trying to get my contacts out my phone to gmail

  • larson

    My droid stores every email I send from my pc gmail account on my phone as a contact it is getting very annoying how can I change this


    do not need science/physics. lost contacts , i want them back.. simple question i am loosing business.. call me stupid, but stupid is—.. tell my phone to give back my contacts.. may be simple to you all butpain in my ass. HELP!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • gene edge

    I had the contacts from my old cell phone transferred to my android by Verizon. I can’t get the contact list to sync to Google/gmail. My phone says it sync’ed, but the contacts are NOT on gmail. Help

  • milan

    What is the signifigence of joined contacts on your android phone? does that give some one else with an android phone my contacts info or what?

  • http://twitter.com/stfamanda Amanda Stephan

    I don’t like my contacts being synced with my gmail account. There is so many apps that backs up your contacts to SD or even to the cloud. I’m currently using GCloud backup that backs up everything not just my contacts to amazon cloud which am sure it’s all encrypted there. i guess it’s much better than syncing with my gmail.

  • Tia

    There’s an easy way to sync your phone/gmail contacts. On the Droid, when you’re in Contacts, hit menu and select “Merge with Google”. Everything on your phone will appear in your gmail contacts after you sync.

  • Gary

    Dear all frustrated users:
    I found a solution.
    Use dropbox!

    So, extract your contacts on gmail on your desktop.
    to do this, go to contacts on gmail, and click the “more” button next to “add a contact”

    Then click export.
    Choose vcard format.

    You then need to use dropbox.
    Put it in dropbox from your desktop.
    Use your phone’s dropbox and receive your contacts.
    Solution :)

  • Nala

    Would be great if it worked !!!!

  • j

    quite useless thanks anyway

  • Eric

    There’s a difference between the web and android versions of gmail. I have a Motorola RAZR and an Iconia Tab A200 and the gmail mobile app does not have a Gmal logo hiding a contacts link in the upper corner of the screen. There’s a Google link that takes you to the Google search screen, and Google+ that takes you to the Google+ screen, a Google Calendar link and one that says “more” which when clicked on shows apps but nothing labeled “contacts”. Under that is my gmail address and under that are the folders. There is no Gmail logo in the left corner of the android app as there is on my, non-Android, Web Browser’s Gmail screen. The question isn’t how to handle the non-Android version of gmail but the ANDROID version. So far the only comments to, “How do I access contacts in gmail mobile for android software.” Has been a few comments that talk about installing some open source app that will handle contacts for gmail. Why? Why can’t Google handle contacts for their Android version? BTW, a tablet doesn’t have a phone list of contacts to sync so that won’t work. Google will become a true source of cloud computing when they’ve actually constructed a cloud. Right now they have a cirrus cloud commonly referred to as a “mackerel Sky” but they need to produce a thunderhead. Yes I’m impatient. I have 3K invested in a laptop, tablet and phone and kids that are scattered from San Diego to Guam I need Google cloud services to work so I can connect all of this together and synchronize it, now.

  • http://www.facebook.com/bfro76 William Lopez

    I agree, useless article.

  • james

    I deleted my contacts from my old cell but I didn’t realize untill I after I looked at my other phone in which I have lost all my contacts on gmail and the second phone. Is there any way to retireve contacts on gmail?

  • Uma Balasubramanian

    everybody from all sites and forums are giving solutions for new contacts, what about existing contacts which are not already synced? how to save in gmail?

  • Um Yeah

    First you will need to log into the Gmail account. Once logged in select the contact link on the left hand side of the screen.Clicking on the link will take you to the contact management area. in the upper left hand side of the screen there will be a plus sign icon.

    Click on this icon to create a new contact. Input all of the contact information and once finished click the save link. Repeat this process until all of the contacts needed have been saved.

    Next from your active Android device log into the Gmail account where the contacts are stored. Once logged in go to the main menu on the device and select the contacts icon. Under contacts select the menu/options icon to bring up a list of available options. Under this list you will see an option for accounts. Select accounts, this will bring up all of the active e-mail accounts set up on the phone.

    Under the list of e-mail accounts select the Gmail account. Once the account is selected turn on the sync contacts option.

    Now that the account is synced with the phone all of the contacts will be transferred to the device.

  • sergejs

    I have appr. 1400 contacts in my android. Google syncs only 950 contacts. Why?!

  • Ajumbo

    I lost my android phone how do i get back my contacts through gmail?

  • mdkangas

    don’t get me wrong, i think Google produces the most amazing thing. but, they have zero zero zero clue about contact management. trying to synch my phone with my google contacts produces no contacts from my phone going into my google contacts and 8 bazillion contacts being generated because i’ve used gmail to send emails to people that are not actually a friend or family member. *gasp*

    here’s what i would tell Google if i could. “Just because I contacted someone via the internet once in my life does not in any way mean I wish to save their information. What I have in my phone are the only people I care about. Ignore everyone in this world and pay only attention to my phone.”

    • Cara

      true story, i sold and bought lots of stuff on craigs list, now all the craigslist hidden emails and the actual emails people responded in are both trying to squeeze onto my phone with my contacts.

    • Crazoid

      well, completely agree with u but you can try try google settings which would ensure that any random contact doesnt get added to your google account . . it helps. . .
      but google & samsung are new kids for contacts management right now . . . symbian was good in it though . .

    • Bob Neilans

      Hi mdkangas – You can stop that on your main Gmail account on your laptop through the Settings Menu

  • Helena

    Hi! Why can’t i use the same password on my phone and my PC, cause when my phone is blocked and requires my email password it does’nt accept it. So which means i only have access when i log in my PC not on my phone? please help!

  • iscorpious

    This doesn’t work. The “+” button doesn’t exist on either version (Mobil app or desktop)
    When using nexus7_ got no way to add from tablet-luckily my does sync to my laptop.
    But that doesn’t help when I’m Mobil.

  • Charles Rowin

    okay so i figured i didnt want all my phone contacts on my gmail as they are all just freaking phone numbers and not email addresses. so i deleted them from gmail contacts and lo and behold somehow that made all the contacts on my phone go away… WTF?

    • DaSheek

      awww that sux. I decided to export my contacts to a google csv file then sync’d them up just incase i ran into this problem you are experiencing.

    • BrainyBroad

      EXACTLY. I don’t want all the shit on my computer transferred to my phone, but there’s no way to stop it. And when I delete it off my phone then it resyncs and deletes it from my desktop.


    • marvinlzinn

      Yes, I figured out that is what would happen, not what I wanted. Apparently what is in my cell phone is only communication with gmail where it gets the information. I like being able to export from Outlook to gmail, and gmail to my cell phone, but I also want to delete all of them from gmail and stay in the cell phone. I do know I could disconnect from gmail and just enter them all manually, but that would take more time than I can ever spare.

  • marcia

    I am not so confused on how to save contacts or get them back, its the difference between saving to phone and saving to google. The reason being is all the redirects I sometimes get. AND it may just stem from an app that I may not have read the reviews on because some can modify your contact storage which if you or I read your privacy policies and terms of use from google or android, they warn you about 3rd party apps. Its your decision to download those apps, Its like a constant battle between one page and another. Its all nice on one front then I get a page where there’s nothing but cussing going on. Theres a flip side to every coin and I seem to get 4 sides all around. I am afraid to sign into my samsung account because I’m afraid to get 6 coin sides. I go to church but unfortunately I was nosy so I guess I get ALL the coin sides because I am all over the internet because I wanna know how stuff works. In the meantime I keep deleting all my contacts because somehow I’m under the impression that maybe I should because of “page behavior”. Be careful what you download and if your not sure, do it the ol fashioned way and write your contacts down with some graphite and a little thing we all know as A PIECE OF PAPER! I should listen to my own advice because sometimes I feel like an idiot til I write it all down! Lol. Good luck to you and yours!

  • deivis

    Try to try “iStonsoft Android File Manager”,Google it,Believe it can help you!

  • pmiller

    I asked how to transfer gmail contacts to SD card in android that’s all did not get an answer

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  • http://www.arrby.wordpress.com/ Arby

    I HATE Google. I hate abusive, too big and too free, tax evading corporations. Period! I want to simply add a contact to my gmail. My add button is missing. I’m clicking like a rabid monkey to call it up. No luck. Then you ‘Google’ it and no one’s talking about it. One site that told me to click on my invisible ‘contact’ button (which appears and disappears and I have no idea what the rules are for it’s appearances and disappearances). When I tried to respond, it wanted me to write an article!!! Screw you Google. Your days are numbered, along with this murderous system of things.

  • Sally

    I have the opposite problem then most of you. I just bought a Samsung Galaxy S5. When the ATT people (so called) transferred my contacts – they didn’t. They got all my contacts from Google Email. Therefore, I have no contacts actually on my phone. I try to SYNC my phone numbers to my car – and guess what – there are no contacts – they are all on Google.
    How do I save the google contacts to my phone storage so that SYNC in my car can access them?

  • yasser

    What action starred in android device in Mobile Samsung

  • Fayaz Ahamed

    I am owning a Samsung GAlaxy note2 and my phone has encountered with a sudden death which lead to lose my contacts and other datas eventually. i didnt sync my data or contacts with google .How do i retrieve them? Please help me out . I am in dire need of all the data.

  • irra

    I have three Samsung devices. I don’t want to share contacts between them, but somehow whatever happens on one , seems to happen on the others. I don’t want information popping up on all devices. Thanks
    Irra Gully

    • A Guy

      Then don’t register your Google account on the particular device. If you want to keep the “personalities” appart, create different Google accounts for each phone which will have separate contacts, separate recovery methods, You Tube preference, Google Plus, etc.

  • gopal

    I have xperia l i reset my phone and lost my contact also which are saved in gmail but when I relogin my gmail it does not synch my contact when I login in computer it showes no contacts in gmail when i tried to restore then also it blank plz heLP me

  • Ron Guillemette

    This information must be old. There is no longer a link to your contacts in Gmail for the app. It only exists on the web version. You can get to your contacts when you create an email but there doesn’t seem to exist a way to manage these contacts. I also can’t find the management in Google+ on the android app. Very frustrating.

  • Ravi Sharma

    Only those contacts will sync with Gmail that are fed or
    created as Google accounts. Some phones do not give this choice while the
    contact is being created and so, it is just a phone contact.

    To sync these contacts with gmail, you have to edit such
    contacts, take the following steps:

    go to contacts
    click edit contact
    on top of the contact above the name will appear Phone

    Tap it to open other option
    you will see

    choose google

    now your contact has been saved under google

    When you sync your account it will be synced to your
    gmail account

    Let me know if you face problems after this!


  • Damon Leroy Hoppe

    I foolishly used the sync feature to sync my phone address book with google….The thing did not sync but instead deleted my phone contacts and added them to google. Now I cant get them back onto the phone as there is no option to transfer them back to the phone…grrr!!!

  • gee

    My gmail have maltiple contact (4times)
    Can I edit gmail contacts?

  • JOUR

    i have big problem on my google account i am not sure if these was because i sycnchronized all on my phone and i add a contact of my friend too at the same phone… i have some private documents and pictures …that seems to leak after couple of weeks after i did synchronizing all my account in my samsung sneo with the additional account of my friends google id..is it possible that all my account i entered in my google like my facebook will also automatically be signed in on my friends google or phone where she is also using her google account ?i used to add google account.i need your help because i dont know where those leaks came from..and those are my private documents and most of them are only saved in my facebook that happen to be always automtically in logging in on my phone. where i have a multiple google account w/c is all synchronized.

  • digitalzen

    I deleted several hundred old contacts from my phone (SIM storage). They did not delete on my web account. Will they do so if I import them to the phone, then sync? I don’t want all the garbage contacts from the web account to sync back to the phone. Once I’m rid of them, I want to re-sync with only the desired remaining contacts.

    In other words…how do I clean up the contacts on my phone and have them cleaned up on the web as well?

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  • Arlene B

    All I want to do is figure out how to save/send the ENTIRE THREAD of my Messages on my old phone to the new one. I cannot blue-tooth it because the new phone is Apple. How can I FIND the files when I have the phone hooked up to the PC? I cannot seem to find any files that are text files, HELP!!

  • bairday

    Yes! This is helpful. And I read a guide on FonePaw which is the same as this.