I have synced contacts from my Google account on my Samsung Galaxy.

Now in my contacts are all kinds of people I've written once an email to, which Gmail stored in my contacts.

Some contacts even show up when I search, while they are not even to be found in my contact list on Gmail.

I would like to keep some control over which contacts I want to see in my phone or not. I would like especially to show those who have a phone number in my phone.

How do I filter my contacts from Google?

  • Okay I found out one of the first things to do is change the option in Gmail so that "I add contacts myself" instead of Gmail adding to my contacts any address I ever mailed with. Now how can I show specific groups in my phone and not all my contacts? Apr 7, 2013 at 4:49

1 Answer 1


Click on the people (contact) app and click the menu button and go to Settings -> Contacts to Display -> Customize. Then make sure only "My Contacts" and "Stared in Android" are enabled. Google shouldn't be adding random emails to My Contacts (since those should be ones you specifically added and the "All other contacts" should contain all the addresses you sent emails to).

If those emails are part of My Contacts, I believe your only option is to manually go through your contacts and change it. Luckily, Google has a web interface to allow this at http://contacts.google.com. When you are there, you can click the checkbox on all the contacts you don't want shown on your phone and then click the Groups icon (3rd button over, it shows 3 people on it), and then uncheck the My Contacts checkbox. The next time your phone syncs your contacts, it will fix your contacts list.

  • Thanks. Also when I want to add an sms recipient, I look up my contacts. There it shows all contacts including those who have no phone numbers. Is there any way to change this unintuitive behaviour? Apr 18, 2013 at 15:03
  • The reason behind this is you are able to send MMS messages to email addresses using the same app. This is why both phone numbers and emails will show up in the contact list. I know I can filter only mobile contacts with Handcent. And not that it will necessarily help you now, but the CyanogenMod Messaging app won't show email addresses (if you ever decide to install a custom ROM). Apr 18, 2013 at 17:32
  • Seems like they changed the interface since then, I cannot find all these buttons anymore :( Apr 17, 2015 at 18:46
  • If you're running lollipop, it hasn't changed much. You no longer need to press "settings" since "contracts to display" is directly under the 3-dot menu button. Within there, it's just a matter of picking which contact groups you want to display. If you don't have that option, your phone manufacturer may have replaced the stock Android Contact/People app with their own. Apr 17, 2015 at 18:50

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