Mobile

Google contacts not syncing? This is what you need to do!

Generally speaking, I love Android, but sometimes, when I’m adding a new account on a phone and get the Google contacts not syncing” error, I’m seriously considering other platforms. And I’m not the only one…

Specifically, when you’re setting up a new phone or adding a secondary account on it, it offers you the possibility to sync your Gmail contacts with the Contacts app. However, sometimes, Google contacts will not sync with your devices, which can be very frustrating.

Still, you should keep calm and carry on. If you’re having the hardest time getting Google Contacts to sync since there are somethings you can do in order to fix this.

Why are Google Contacts not syncing?

After doing a bit of research, we found a lot of Android users wondering how to sync contacts from their phone to Gmail and vice-versa. And they were almost fed up with getting this error.  It looks like Google is also aware of this, by the way.

Therefore, this is what happens: Once you add your Google Account to your phone, either your Google or Gmail Contacts should automatically sync. Yes, it appears to only be happening when people add an account to the phone. But in the eventuality of this not happening, due to unknown reasons, there are a few things you can try in order to fix the issue.

How to sync Google Contacts on Android

One of the following steps will most likely fix your contacts sync issue once and for all.

Make sure Android Sync is activated on your phone. In order to do this, go to Settings > Data usage > Menu and see if Auto-sync data is checked. Even if it is, try turning it off and on a few times.

Make sure Google Contacts sync is turned on. Go to Settings > Accounts > Google and select the account you’re using. Make sure Contacts is checked. Again, even though it is, turn it off then on again a few times.

Make sure that Background Data is enabled. If restricted, some apps or features will not work unless you’re connected to a WiFi network. Go to Settings > Data Usage > Menu and see if “Restrict background data” is selected or not.

Clear both app cache and data for Google Contacts. Go to Settings > Apps Manager, then swipe to All and choose Contact Sync. Select Clear cache and clear data.

Remove your Google Account and set everything up once again. Go to Settings > Accounts > Google and select the account you’re having issues with. Choose the Remove account option, then go through the setup process one more time.

Again, these are some official solutions for the Google contacts not syncing issue, coming directly from the search engine giant’s representatives. But I wanted to know what users who were unable to sync Google contacts with Android are saying about this. So I also found a very interesting solution.

One account to rule them all

Apparently, merging your accounts could be the solution, many users reporting that this worked. Specifically, you need to follow these steps:

  • Go to Contacts
  • Tap Menu, then select Contacts to Display
  • Select Device (usually a blue phone icon). After this, only the contacts on your phone will appear
  • Tap Menu again and select Merge Accounts
  • Select the Merge with Google option, which will merge all your contacts with Google.
  • Go back and select Menu again.
  • Select Contacts to display, then All contacts. You should see all your contacts this time

Wrap-up

Were these solutions useful for you? Are you still getting the “Google Contacts not syncing” message after trying these?

Let us know how everything went, by dropping a few lines in the comments section below!

 

95 Comments

  • Hi, none of the options described in the article worked for me. Is there a way to track what was synced to Google? My account settings on my Android phone tells me a contacts sync was successful just moments ago, but in the Contacts App on my PC I still see the old out of date contacts.

  • …so so much information up here everyone, all contributions here is highly appreciated since i learnt some new stuffs i didn’t know.

  • For those for whom nothing is working: export your contacts to CSV and have a look inside. You’ll probably see a messed up formatting caused by device-specific notes. Clean it up properly (look at the column names) and save as CSV. Switch off sync on your phone, clear cache and storage of the Contacts app, then go to contacts.google.com and remove all your contacts. Then import from your cleaned up file and switch the sync back on.

  • Messing with this for years Android 6, just found more more settings Phone>Contacts>Settings>Contacts to Display>Customize

  • On a Windows 10 computer, open Settings (click the Windows icon, click on the gear icon)

    Click Accounts>Email & App Accounts >click Add an Account or click on existing account>click on Manage> click on Options for syncing your content>choose your options>click Done .

    I chose to sync at 1 hour increments. This seems to have fixed the issue for me.

    • Please did you later find a way to resolve this?
      I’m currently being fucked by same situation, mine is syncing well, but i can only find 28contacts on my google contact but when i open the suggestion it showed that i have a backup contacts of 8,000+ but gradually reducing to 5,758.

      I don’t know what i should do again

  • I had the same experience on my SECOND GOOGLE ACCOUNT on my Sony Xperia Z5. Tried every method to stop sync error but worked out only when i updated for the latest gmail, drive and other apps. Thanks

  • Well I have been trying for ages to get my Contacts in by Android Blackberry DETEK 50 to sync with my Google Account. I finally resolved this by adding the Google Contacts App from Playstore and then linked the Blackberry Hub Contacts with it, I then checked that the accounts were syncing and it worked. This has taken me ages but at the moment its working. It was the Link between my Android contacts and Google. Hope this has helped anybody

  • I have solved the contacts sync issue myself. Nothing wrong with google. The problem is in the hidden file storage system.
    Before you begin, open your local contacts app and disable the syncing option. Google and the app will not sync anything. Take a backup of contacts. Then…
    1. Go to settings and select Apps.
    2. Then tap on show system apps
    3. Go to contacts storage and tap on storage
    4. Tap on clear cache and clear data
    5. Close everything. Start your local contacts app
    6. Enable syncing. All your contacts from google will sync
    7. Set default storage to google account not local.

  • I’m having an opposite problem:
    I’m a teacher, and through my school gmail acct. I created a group contact list for my students’ parents. When I next checked my phone book on my phone, they all appeared there!
    How do I keep those contacts in my email but not have them appear on my phone contacts?

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