I have a Samsung S5 (not rooted) linked to a single gmail account. Several months ago I started noticing contacts disappearing. I would attempt to call or text them and they wouldn't come up in the search. It has recently gotten much worse (or maybe I just didn't notice before), but now roughly half of my contacts are now missing.

I can log into gmail via a browser and see them all there. (I don't have gmail app on my phone). I can add new contacts either in gmail or on my phone and they sync down within minutes. However there are many of my old important contacts that are in gmail but will not sync to the phone. I have even tried modifying a few and they do not show up on the phone.

I'm not trying to do anything fancy here. It seems like some of these contacts are messed up somehow and I can't figure out what is going on. Another hint: at some point I imported a bunch of contacts into gmail via CSV file, but don't see any pattern with the ones that are having problems. Thanks, Eric

  • What group(s) are they in, when viewed in the browser? I believe that with some devices/settings only the contacts in "My Contacts" group are synchronised.
    – Joe P
    Jun 5, 2017 at 23:13
  • That was helpful, thanks! I poked around and realized my missing contacts are listed in Gmail's 'Other Contacts'. I guess my follow-up question now is why did this happen and is there a way to mass convert 'Other Contacts' to Contacts. There is a button to do them individually but that would take a while.
    – jacobsee
    Jun 6, 2017 at 0:00
  • Great! I've added it as answer. Mass convert should be directly possible, added to answer.
    – Joe P
    Jun 6, 2017 at 9:13

2 Answers 2


Check the groups the contacts appear in, in web Google Contacts. With some devices/settings only the contacts in "My Contacts" group are synchronised. (In some cases it's possible they are synchronised but not displayed or returned in normal searches.)

If this is the problem, moving the contacts back into "My Contacts" would fix it.

You should be able to do this clicking Other contacts in the left panel, then the checkbox in the header row to select all, then click the Add to my contacts button. (If that button doesn't appear, click the groups button and check My Contacts.)


Not sure of this will help, but all of a sudden all of my contacts, from S-Z, were gone in my phone and my Google account.

I finally had success retrieving them by going to my Google account. I went under Contacts and selected more. Then I selected Undo changes and customized the time because I knew all of my contacts were there 5 hours before. As soon as I did that, all of my contacts reappeared on my phone and my Google account.

Hope that helps someone else. Not sure how it happened in the first place.

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