I am new to Android, and I am trying to learn, (sometimes unlearn) and work around "issues". So please bear with me for my naïveté.

I have multiple accounts (multiple Google accounts, Skype, WhatsApp etc) configured on my phone. I want to sync contacts only from one Google account (let us say [email protected]). I have turned off Sync for all other accounts (let us say [email protected] and [email protected]) in the Accounts settings page.

I see that only contacts from [email protected] getting displayed by default, but if the same contact exists in another account as well, when I see the details from the other account also when I open it.

Say I have two accounts, [email protected] and [email protected]. I have a contact named "Test Sync" in both these accounts. I don't use [email protected] for contacts any more but it has a older copy of Test Sync with a older number. [email protected] has the latest details and this is the account I intend to use for contacts.

[email protected] has 9876543210 which is the latest number  
[email protected] has 12345678900 which is an older number.

Sync is off for contacts from [email protected].

In the contacts app, in the "Contacts to Display" section, only [email protected] is selected ([email protected] is not selected)

When I see the list of contacts, Test Sync is listed, which is expected as this contact is present in [email protected].
When I tap this contact to open it, I expect to see the number 12345678900 but I do not expect to see the number 9876543210. But I see both:

Contact Details from non-synced accounts

I don't want my phone to use [email protected] at all, in any way, for contacts. This is what I would expect when I turn off contacts Sync for an account and when I leave it unselected in the "Contacts to Display". Is this possible without removing the account altogether or deleting all contacts from the account?

(I have a HTC one)

  • If you have all those accounts configured on your device, and have the contact data entered there: why should they not be shown? Or did I get something wrong?
    – Izzy
    Sep 3, 2013 at 17:58

1 Answer 1


The Sync option only controls whether changes are synchronized to and from that device: that is, if you add or delete a contact on the device, this change is reflected on other devices, and vice-versa. Disabling sync just means the contacts that have already been synced to the device will get out of date when you change them.

To control which contacts are shown, you need to go into the People app, then choose Contacts to display from the overflow menu (the three-dots in the top-right corner). Then choose Customise from the Contacts to display dialog, and you can choose which groups of contacts from which accounts to show.

When you create a new contact, you can choose from the menu at the top which Google account to create it in (or to keep it on the phone only). It remembers your previous selection, so if you only want to use one account, you only need to set it once.

  • In the Contacts to Display part, only [email protected] is selected. Contact 'Temp Sync' is present in this account and is shown. When I tap that contact to open it, I see the details not only from that account but from other accounts as well (even when the other accounts are not selected in Contacts to Display).
    – Nivas
    Sep 3, 2013 at 22:59
  • I have reworded/updated my question to make it more clear (hopefully)
    – Nivas
    Sep 3, 2013 at 23:21

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