It happens often that in the process of adding your Google accounts to your Android phone or device, you mistakenly sync all of your Google contacts to your Android as well. I have done this many times and although it is possible to go in and uncheck/deactivate contact syncing with your Gmail account(s), there is (surprisingly) not a quick and easy way to get rid of the contacts that you already mistakenly synced with the device.
This article will present a quick and easy way remove your Gmail contacts from your Android, accurately and cleanly and without inadvertently deleting other contacts, and using free software.
I tested almost a dozen free apps that allow you to delete, manage, or dedupe contacts on Android, but was disappointed each and every time. I simply could not filter by my gmail account, or perform mass operations on my contacts easily. Which is how this article was borne: by using free Android phone manager “MyPhoneExplorer” I was easily able to remove my gmail contacts. Below is a step-by-step on how to do it.
In a nutshell:
- Use ‘MyPhoneExplorer’, a free program that lets you manage and backup your Android on your desktop, to download your contacts, filter and delete your gmail contacts, and re-sync back with your Android. MyPhoneExplorer consists of two programs: a PC desktop client and an Android app. Download links in step 1 below).
Step by Step:
- Steps 1, 2, and 3 simply describe how to connect ‘MyPhoneExplorer’ desktop client with your Android.
- If you just want to know how to filter and delete Gmail contacts, skip to step 4.
1. Install ‘MyPhoneExplorer’ on both your PC and your Android
MyPhoneExplorer is a powerful free program that allows you to manage and backup your phone on your PC, and in our opinion should be on everyone’s ‘must have’ Android software list. But not that you need to install it on both your PC and your Android
- Get the Android app here
- Get the PC version here: pay attention to the install process and MAKE SURE to decline any bundled offers that you do not want (use the ‘decline’ button, even it doesn’t appear to be active).
2. Next, decide on how you will connect the PC desktop client with your Android
- Three ways to do this: connect via USB, WIFI, or Bluetooth
- For the purposes of this article, I will discuss connecting via WIFI, because I think most people will find it to be the easiest way.
- Make sure WIFI is on on your Android and both PC and Android connected to the same WIFI.
- Note: I am assuming that both devices are connected to the same WIFI network. If not, it may be easiest to connect via USB, which will require enabling ‘USB debugging’ on your phone and MAY require installing device drivers on your PC. If you decide to connect via USB and are having problems connecting your Android to your PC, check out this article which can help you fix this.
3. Launch the MyPhoneExplorer app on Android
- Click ‘settings’ (bottom right) and then click “WIFI-Pin” on top. Enter a passcode of your choosing.
- The main screen should display that your are connected to the WIFI network and your chosen PIN (see screenshot bottom right).
- You have a limited, 15 minute window of time to connect (see screenshot on the right).
3. Connect (in this case, via WIFI)
- Run the PC version. You should be faced with the prompt below (if not, choose File/Connect or click F1 to get it)
- Select “Phone with Android OS” and “WIFI” and click “OK”
- You may get a Firewall prompt like the one below, left. Click “allow access”. Next enter your PIN (right screenshot)
- Next, give your Android a name (left screenshot below), and finally, watch as it syncs your various items (including your contacts) with the desktop client (right screenshot below)
4. Downloading contacts:
- At this point both the Android and PC apps should be running and you should be connected and synced.
- If not, run the Android app and make sure it reads“waiting for connection“, then on your desktop go to File/Connect (or click F1).
- Click the ‘download’ (downward arrow) button on the desktop client’s toolbar to download your Android’s data and contacts to your phone.
5. Filtering by Gmail contacts
- In the desktop client sidebar, under contacts, click your gmail account.
- Adding ‘account’ column header: this is another way to filter; by right clicking the column header you can add “account”, and then click that column header to sort your contacts.
- If you have multiple gmail accounts, you can perform steps 5 and 6 twice, once for each account. Or sort by ‘account’ column header and select contacts to delete that way.
6. Delete Gmail contacts and Sync back to your phone
- Now that the content area shows only your contacts from your gmail account, click into that area and press CTRL+A to select all of those contacts.
- Alternately, you can mark the contacts to delete selectively by clicking on them while pressing CTRL on your keyboard.
- Once you have all of your correct contacts selected, click on the red ‘X’ in the toolbar to mark them for deletion.
- Click on the ‘Synchronise’ icon to execute. This is when MyPhoneExplorer will actually delete the contacts on the phone.
- In the screenshot above, I added ‘account’ as a column header in the contacts display area, and dragged it next to the names, just to show how you can verify that it is your gmail contacts that are being deleted.
That’s it. Not sure if this required a step by step tutorial with screenshots, but I do know this: those of us who were frustrated to have irrelevant contacts from Gmail accounts clutter their phone will be happy to see them gone ;).