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How to Selectively Sync Only Certain Contacts from GMAIL to IPhone/ IOS

TeroVesalainen / Pixabay

I really like to use the whole Google Suite for my business needs such as mail, contact management etc. Furthermore I am a big fan of cloud storage and having everything in sync properly. If you are like me you might want to have a little more control over what is synced especially if it comes to datasets like contacts that can become pretty large.

Usually Gmail creates a Contact whenever you mail someone or get a mail from anyone. That is ok, cause atually these are contacts – independent from if you know them well or less. But when it comes to syncing the contact database to yor IPhone you might want to break it down to only those contacts you really care for.

The magic of GMAIL Contacts Grouping

GMAIL does not make it too easy for you to understand what is synced and when. But if you continue reading you will understand and be able to carefully select a set of contacts that you want to be synced on your phone (IPhone in my case, this guide only applies for IOS).

First of all head over to the Google Contacts administration page and tidy up, find duplicates (Google has a great little helper function for  this), add data, combine contacts and give everything a global integrity check. You will want to have clean and consolidated data on your phone!

The core idea that helps you to select the contacts is the grouping mechanism. And this is not too easy to guess. There is a general „My Contacts“ group. This is the essential group that will be synced. To exclude contacts from syncing but keep them in The System you need to remove them from the „My Contacts“ group. Don’t forget to click „Apply“ whenever you have unchecked the „My Contacts“ group. TO make things easier: you can also bulk select contacts in the overview and deselect the according group en bloc.

Properly Re-Sync on your phone

Basically one might tink that this is it. But actually I have found myself aiting and waiting and all those beautiful changes I have made online dont sync to my phone. At least not within reasonable Amount of time. But as I am not very patient. Here is a neat little trick to  force a resync and to see that everything worked. It simple as that: Remove the Google account from your phone, restart your phone and readd it. Done.

Your Data will be back again in a second. But for unknown reasons I always had to reboot my phone after removing the google account. Otherwise II was unable to readd it, cause IOS thought that it is still there. So don’t hesitate to delete everything when removing the account. It will all be back in a minute. Maybe it is always a good idea to have recent phone backup at hand nontheless.


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