How do I keep my Gmail contacts off my phone (Samsung Galaxy S if it matters) and at the same time keep my phone's contacts off Gmail? I don't normally do email from my phone, and when I have had to log into my account, it automatically downloaded all the contacts. I don't want to search through a bunch of email-only contacts to find the person I need to call.


In the Settings -> Accounts & Sync, select your gmail account, in there you will see "Sync Contacts". You can uncheck that and the device will not sync your contacts to gmail, nor will your gmail contacts sync to your device.

As onik said too, you can have it show only people with phone numbers too.

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    When I did this, there were still gmail contacts in my phone. – Jonathan Jun 25 '15 at 22:35
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    FYI: This setting does not appear to work on the current version of Android. Google's wisdom can really irritate sometimes. – jp2code Jun 6 '16 at 14:08

There's an option to only show contacts that have a phone number, you can set it in Contacts -> menu key -> Display options. This will hide the unnecessary contacts but keep your email synced.

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Here is another option similar to @onik's reply ...

In the Contacts -> menu key -> Display options, there is a list that says Choose contacts to display. For example, Google, Backup Assistant + Contacts, Preset, Hotmail. There is a down arrow on the left of each item. Click the arrow and panel appears with All contacts and a check box. Uncheck the box, and those contacts will not be displayed in your list.

  • This is for Android v2.3.5
  • On Verizon
  • Motorola
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Hay guys while non of you had the answer that worked for me, it gave me some ideas to work with. I figured it out. Android 6.0 Contacts -> Menu -> Contacts to Display -> then uncheck "Google" and uncheck "USIM". And it works great, yeah.

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First copy all your G-mail contacts to your phone. You can find this under Menu -> Manage Contacts -> Then Copy Contacts.

Choose to copy from G-mail to Phone.

All the G-mail contacts will copy over; Then you can decide which ones from the phone contacts can stay and which ones you can delete without having to worry about it "syncing" with Google and erasing important contact info.

Then you can also take it a step further and click your contact phonebook viewer. You can choose phone only, SIM, Gmail, etc; by selection. The phonebook will show only this information.

Finally for those who don't want to clutter up their phonebook with EVERY EMAIL you've ever sent - you can click under settings "view contacts with phone numbers only". This will give you a cleaner look for the phonebook.

hope that helps

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    That defeats the purpose of keeping GMail contacts OFF the phone. – Izzy Jun 29 '13 at 16:45
  • It sounds more like the OP was wanting to just keep them separate. Not sync them in two different places. – VarnerBeast14 Jun 29 '13 at 17:13

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