Categories: Report an issue : Contacts and Sync : Google Chrome :

Contact Group labels/assignments getting lost

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Contact Group labels/assignments getting lost bcassell 1/10/14 12:03 PM
I just noticed this morning that hundreds of my contacts have lost part (or all) of their contact group labels/assignments. Most of the affected contacts were members of atleast one of my Google+ circles ... but the ones that weren't have now simply been dropped into the "Other Contacts" category.

This leads me to believe that the recent roll-out of Google+ Gmailing features has somehow screwed up my contact list. This is very frustrating, because I've spent years detailing and categorizing everything, and now much of that information is lost (forever?).

Re: Contact Group labels/assignments getting lost wdurham 1/12/14 3:25 AM
Contact addresses that now only appear in Other Contacts have been stripped of both any Group name you gave them and the My Contacts Group name.

So you need to look at what else is syncing with your Gmail contacts that could be stripping all group information from them. 
Re: Contact Group labels/assignments getting lost Dave Dagg 1/12/14 10:51 AM
Same thing here! What a pain.
Re: Contact Group labels/assignments getting lost wdurham 1/12/14 9:19 PM
If you have the same problem, I'd suggest first looking at how else you are accessing the account and what services/accounts are syncing with your contacts. 
Re: Contact Group labels/assignments getting lost Dave Dagg 1/12/14 10:25 PM
I use my Nexus 5, Nexus 7 and Chrome browser to access the contacts. Nothing else.
Re: Contact Group labels/assignments getting lost wdurham 1/12/14 11:29 PM
OK, so that's two external devices - how do you sync to your Gmail contacts using these devices? And do you sync to any other contact service or account? 
Re: Contact Group labels/assignments getting lost Dave Dagg 1/12/14 11:40 PM
Just use the sync on phone and tablet. No other contact account or service.
Re: Contact Group labels/assignments getting lost Amanda in Tucson 1/13/14 7:54 AM
Same issue. Using Chrome as my browser. Syncing with Samsung Galaxy (for months now successfully). Not syncing with any other programs. They still seem to exists My Contacts. I'm syncing two Gmail accounts with my Samsung and the other does not seem to have this issue....yet.
Re: Contact Group labels/assignments getting lost bcassell 1/13/14 8:28 AM
The only device I have syncing Contacts is my Verizon Galaxy Nexus (Android 4.2.2 with latest Gmail app). I am also logged into the Gmail app from my iPad 3.

I recently logged into the "Motorola Store" with my Google account. I just removed it from my Google account's list of "Connected Sites" (note: it was the only one).

I don't think that was the issue though, because my wife's contacts are starting to get mislabeled as well. In my account I just checked my "Other Contacts" group this morning, and it is growing in numbers. Dozens of contacts that I had in my "Business" group are now without group labels as well.

I'm concerned that Google's bugs might be related to by usage model of my contacts. I have removed the "My Contacts" label from every contact that I organized into a _group_ (effectively leaving only unsorted contacts in the this default group). This makes it easier to have a custom view of your contact list on your Android phone, whilst also including the "My Contacts" group. This is important to me, because if you create/add a contact from your phone, there is no actual way to remove the "My Contacts" label from that device/phone in the app (Stock Jelly Bean "People" app).

Re: Contact Group labels/assignments getting lost wdurham 1/13/14 8:34 AM
I have now escalated this issue to the Gmail team as there does seem to be a problem here. 

However, it will make life easier for the team to troubleshoot if you STOP stripping the My Contacts tag from contacts you organise into Groups. 

Just assign your Group tag and leave everything else as default. Then the team can more easily assess what is happening. 
Re: Contact Group labels/assignments getting lost bcassell 1/13/14 9:15 AM
For the time being I am leaving the "My Contacts" tag on all contacts I have corrected (since it auto-tags it), because I assumed (correctly) that the problem would probably repeat itself. This still leaves me without an effective way to have a custom contact view on Android with sorted and unsorted contacts.

Example: you meet someone new, add them to your phone (but not a group). They are in "My Contacts" and nothing else. Thus, you needed that displayed on your phone. Unless you take the extra step of adding a group to absolutely everyone every time you create a contact (e.g. 'My Contacts 2' j/k), which would work and not be a total pain if there was a default option for this on the phone.  ... All of this workaround i'm suggesting is a stupid idea IMHO, and it should simply work as before. Google should simply add an implicit "All Contacts" view (the logical inverse of "Other Contacts") if that's what they want to use "My Contacts" as.

Re: Contact Group labels/assignments getting lost wdurham 1/13/14 9:32 AM
Sorry, but I don't understand your problem. If you add a contact yourself if goes to My Contacts. You will see it if you look at My Contacts. You might also add it to a Group - and then you will also see it in that Group. 

If Gmail auto-adds for you, you will see that in Other Contacts. Then you can choose whether you want to transfer that address to My Contacts or delete it as irrelevant going forward. 

If you don't want that to happen, and you want My Contacts = All Contacts, go to Settings >> General in Gmail and turn off the option for Gmail to auto-add addresses you send email to. 
Re: Contact Group labels/assignments getting lost bcassell 1/13/14 11:03 AM
The 2nd issue I'm discussing is orthogonal to the more important root issue, so let's not worry the development team about that problem.

But I'll describe the usage a little more fore you:
In Gmail (PC), when you:
  1) add a contact; it automatically adds the "My Contacts" label
  2) add a label to an existing contact; it automatically adds the "My Contacts" label if it is missing

In Android (v4.2.2):
  when you add a contact; it automatically adds the "My Contacts" label, and there is no option to remove it (but there is for all other labels)


So I ask of you (@wdurham), if I want to have contact information saved in my google address book, but not have it displayed at all times in my Android phone's flat contact list, what would you do to customize it?

I only see two viable options:
  1) remove all grouped/labeled contacts from "My Contacts"; in custom view select which groups I wish to display (& My Contacts)
  2) leave everything in My Contacts (for no discernible reason); create a new group (e.g. "Phone view") and add all contacts you wish to display on your phone to this group; In your custom view only select "Phone view"

Option 2 works, but you lose the ability to control your phone's view at the group level. Also, you have to remember to add all new contacts to this group, otherwise they won't appear on your phone.

Option 1 is more elegant, because the "My Contacts" group effectively only displays unsorted contacts (and I believe in trying to remedy that).

This usage model problem I'm describing is probably why most Android users simply have a flat contact list, because the custom/group management scheme doesn't work well without A LOT of effort.

- Brian


note: label == "contact group"

Re: Contact Group labels/assignments getting lost william warden 1/13/14 5:59 PM
grrr
just noticed same problem here
access contacts through android (droid razr Maxx)
and various browsers, firefox, chrome
i typically do not have contacts in my groups
233 previously categorized contacts now in "other contacts"
with their categories gone
very few contacts are in my contacts
at least 500 have been maintained in the correct group


recent changes
OS for my android was recently updated
and using chrome browser a bit more

grrrr

Re: Contact Group labels/assignments getting lost wdurham 1/14/14 9:51 AM
 if I want to have contact information saved in my google address book, but not have it displayed at all times in my Android phone's flat contact list, what would you do to customize it?

That would depend on how and why you use your Address Book on the phone - or in Android parlance your Contacts or People App. There are two main purposes:

1. To make phone calls
2. To address emails

For the first, you need to open your Contacts/People App, but on most Androids you can set the app to display only contacts with a phone number.  Tap the menu and choose Settings. 

To address emails, you do not need to view your contacts or open your Contacts/People App, so what you can see is less relevant, as the Gmail App will auto-complete from all of your contacts. 

However, all Contact/People apps provided on Android phones seem to be different according to the manufacturer, so it may be worth checking the user guide for your phone. If you don't have one you should be able to download one from the manufacturer's website.
Re: Contact Group labels/assignments getting lost bcassell 1/14/14 10:27 AM
Well, I should start out by saying my phone is a Verizon Galaxy Nexus, so it is running the stock "Google Experience" version of Android 4.2.2.  On this device Google provides two separate apps dialing and phonebook.
  1) Phone  (displays only contacts with phone numbers)
  2) People (displays contacts)
Both of which are affected by the same "view settings".

In general I use the Google Address Book for all aspects of my life. I don't keep a hardcopy on paper anymore. But on my phone I don't need/want to have the phone number of every person I have ever met displayed at all times (foreign relatives, business contacts, ex-friends, etc).

If by chance I DO want to find one of these people from my phone, I have two simple options:
  1) Browse their Group
  2) Search
Both of these work just fine.

Without some sort of filtering option for the flat list display, like I've been talking about (and using), peoples' contact lists grow way too large, and then everyone resorts to simply searching (or using groups) anyways; making the scrolling list futile IMHO.

Re: Contact Group labels/assignments getting lost Joe Pierson 1/14/14 12:54 PM
My wife and I both are experiencing the same problem of having group labels stripped from contacts in our gmail accounts. Other than Chrome the only device I use to access these contacts is through the stock application for my Samsung Galaxy Note II and my wife's phone is a Samsung Galaxy 2. Just noticed this happening to both of us separately within the last 48 hours.
Re: Contact Group labels/assignments getting lost wdurham 1/15/14 12:48 AM
Joe -

The Gmail team are currently investigating this issue. 

Please add your troubleshooting data to this main thread and watch it for further information: 

Re: Contact Group labels/assignments getting lost wdurham 1/15/14 12:57 AM
bcassell - 

Right now, there is an issue with Contact groups which Google are presently investigating and fixing.  But this is affecting the way you like to use your contacts in Gmail and on your phone. Your preferred procedures work fine when there is no error - so I guess we are discussing to no purpose, as you will be able to revert to your usual behaviour once this glitch is fixed. 

In the meantime, I'd suggest using the restore option in the Gmail Contact Manager to roll back to before the error occurred, when all your Groups were intact and unaffected. Then immediately take a backup by exporting everything to a Gmail compatible CSV file on your computer. Then whatever happens, you have your backup and can clear your contacts, re-import and re-sync to your phone once the issue is solved. 
Re: Contact Group labels/assignments getting lost Jj Decker 1/18/14 10:14 AM
Thats a crap work around, since I have added many contacts since the "lost categories glitch" occurred.  So if I got back, I lose all data I entered recently.  Microsfot Outlook contacts are 1000 times better than google contacrs.
Re: Contact Group labels/assignments getting lost dutchRafa 1/19/14 1:36 PM
I've had that 3 weeks ago (hundreds of contacts lost all their labels), spend an evening manually restoring them back then, and today I've noticed it's all screwed up AGAIN....! This can't be TRUE, Google?!
Re: Contact Group labels/assignments getting lost Dikrane 1/20/14 12:57 AM
Hello,

I went on my Google Contacts page this morning and I encouter the same issue: among 1000 contacts, 300 have lost their custom group label I have assigned a long time ago.
Can anybody tell me what happend?
Is this going to be corrected by the Google team?

Thanks,

Stephane

Re: Contact Group labels/assignments getting lost wdurham 1/20/14 3:58 AM
The issue is currently being investigated by the Gmail team and will be fixed as soon as they are able to. 

For further information see the main thread for this glitch: 

Re: Contact Group labels/assignments getting lost Dikrane 1/22/14 5:32 AM
Ok, thank you for your answer.

Will contacts recover their original group labels back or they are permanently lost?

Thanks

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