Android contacts sync to gmail only working one way.

Posted on 2012-08-22
Last Modified: 2012-09-04
Working with an Android4 (Motorola) with service from Verizon.

I have added a gmail account to the phone and checked the option for contacts to sync.

None of the contacts (~2,000) on the phone sync to gmail.

If I open gmail and select contacts (none there to begin with) and add a contact... it shows up on the phone almost immediately. So sync is working from gmail to Android... but not the other way.

I followed the instructions here for setting up sync on Android:

It is working from gmail to android....
but not android to gmail.

What am I missing?

Thanks for any suggestions.
Question by:Tomster2
    LVL 38

    Assisted Solution


    Start with checking the following:

    1) Go to Contacts -> Accounts (hit your settings button once you are in contacts), and then your Gmail primary account. Make sure Sync Contacts is checked.

    2) Go back to Contacts and check your groups (may be a little 2-person icon or something like that), and make sure all contacts are in System Group: My Contacts.

    Let me know what you find out.


    Author Comment

    Thanks for the reply.  I will also check what group the contacts I added at the gmail website are in once they sync to the Android.

    Unfortunately, I won't have my hands on this phone again for a couple of days.  But will post back once I try your suggestions.

    Accepted Solution

    When the phone store transferred the contacts from the previously owned BlackBerry, the contacts ended up in a group that would not sync.

    You cannot manage groups on an Android - at least not more than one contact at a time... so there were two work arounds.

    1) Export contacts to an SD card. Wipe the contacts only:  Settings | Manage Apps | Contact Storage | Clear Data.  Then import back from the SD card and you get a choice of what group you want to import the contacts into - select My Contacts.... and this should now sync up to gmail.

    2) This is what I did.  We had a Motorola Droid 4.0.4 from Verizon. Verizon has a Backup Assistant program you can enable and sync all your contacts to a backup file on their servers
    From there you can export to several file formats and then import into Gmail. NOTE: gmail prefers the CSV-Outlook style.

    That will then sync to the Android - in its own group - and you now have duplicates for every record.  So turn off the sync, clear the contact data on the Droid, then sync again. If you do this all in the same time span, you will have your CSV file as a backup - always, always, always have a backup.

    Author Closing Comment

    The issue was the group that the phone store transferred the contacts into.  Not sure if their transfer software allows them to select the destination group... but that sure would help.

    Aside from that, you need to do a workaround

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