Android Syncing with G+/Gmail Contacts Bloat Bug

When you start to circle more people here on plus there is a pretty serious bug at the moment with Android phones. Please see this post for more details.

If you Don't want to do all the steps(more for devs or non-believers).. please help troubleshoot by listing your phone model and the actual SIZE of your Contacts Storage file in the comments below.

Here is a simple test to replicate the issue – You can see what me and many others are talking about…Do the following at your own risk of perhaps loosing circles/contacts. (but you shouldn't) Be warned this may take Several hours to resync up and should be done over WiFi. 😉 Some have suggested this is an HTC Issue.. Interested in seeing if the other brands have this issue.

A step-by-step test, replication and explanation of the Google Sync Contact Issue with Android.
(Please adjust for your model/brand but the idea is here people)

Do this by:
Step 1 – Display size of contact file – Settings – Manage applications – All – Contacts Storage – 45.61MB
Step 2Note this WILL delete your call logs – back up if this is important. – Select Contacts Storage – Select Clear Data. (file should now be 0MB)
Step 3 – Go into Contacts – Menu – Accounts – Auto-sync checked – Select Your Gmail(that is used with plus) – Check Sync Contacts
Step 4 – Go into Contacts – Menu – Display Options – Your Gmail(that is used with plus) – select 1 or 2 groups you have created under My Contacts in Gmail. ( I have created one that is "my friends" and one that is "family" Both have a total of roughly 40 contacts in them. ) Uncheck everything else.
Step 5 – Allow phone to sync completely. This may take awhile. Make sure its fully synced, not just a temporary pause.
Step 6 – Display size of contact file – Settings – Manage applications – All – Contacts Storage – 49.16MB

Anyone who Does this please – List your phone model… Answer from Step 1 and then answer from Step 6. Perhaps if enough people do these steps we can determain if it is specific models or everyone is experiencing it but is not aware( newer faster phones wouldn't have as much impact, also not much circling on plus will result in this not being clear its an issue yet.)

HTC HERO – GSM – Before 45.61MB – After – 49.61MB (i assume cause i added a bunch of people for this post) Regardless, it is not only downloading the 40 contacts as so many have stated. *Try it yourself and post your results*

Some more IMPORTANT stats.
Phone is HTC hero GSM – Rooted – Cyanogen mod 7.1. Android 2.3.7
I am circling 3kish of people currently on plus. 22k are circling me. I'd be circling more but this is becoming a huge issue.
In Gmail – Under My contacts I have 2074 (placed in specific groups, including imported from facebook and hotmail imported contacts) in Other contacts I have 7800.
I Do have photos turned on.. which is probably most of this spaces useage.. telling me to turn this off.. also not the answer.

Want the fast version of this test? Check and uncheck some groups under display option… They will IMMEDIATELY appear no sync required.. because they are already on the phone. 0_o You could also choose "only contacts with phone numbers" The results will be the same. All contacts are synced to the phone no matter what I choose.


Why is this an issue? My HTC hero is unusable if I Sync with Google Contacts under my account used with G+. Because I just proved it syncs everyone I ever circle or interact with EVER (even if i dont circle them any longer they remain in contacts) .. and there is no setting for me to stop that. My phone is constantly plagued with 'low storage', contacts takes forever to load and use, I realize this may have to do with the ability to +mention people … but this current format is not working. Between google+(40mb) and contacts (45MB) my phone of 150MB doesn't have much space left…

Possible Solution Please create the option for me to sync only select circles/groups under my contacts… and if possible a different way to + contacts in.. or remove it.(if that is indeed the issue) I'd rather have a useable phone than + contact abilities. Telling me to get a better phone, or use a different gmail account to sync is not an answer. As time continues this issue will become VERY CLEAR as people will be circling more and more people on plus.

I shall plus some Googley/Android people who I believe are relivent here. Yes im plussing in CEOs and senior VPs ( i love you google+) If you know of who I SHOULD be talking to instead… please let me know. :).. and yes.. i submitted this as feedback already. Feel free to do so also.

Google+ mobile – +Punit Soni +Ben Eidelson +Robin Norvell +Leslie Ikemoto +Ujjwal Singh +Brian Laird
Gmail – +Stephen Ng +Majid Manzarpour +Alex Gawley
Android – +Andy Rubin +Art Russ +Attila Bodis
HTC = +Bruce Jones +Jason Burek
Google + Peoples (Since its related to circles!) – +Louis Gray +Chee Chew +Natalie Villalobos

People who have talked/debated about this issue…
+Cam Meadows +Charlene Grommesh +Charles Mims +Mitch Miller +Thomas Clothier +Brenda Curtis +Scott Wakeman +Travis Wise +Stephen Butler +Dale Angus +Stacie Nuss +Dan Glass +Bradley Larcher +Sasha Petkovic +David Kokua +Wardell Latham +anthony cousins +Bogdan Suditu +Julien Bayle +Keith Barrett +Lynne d Johnson +Ali Salem +Ethan Blanton +Max McNally +Nena Blanco .. and many many others…

#android #contacts #feedback

Phew.. longest post ever. May something good from it .. pleeeease!

Android Syncing with G+/Gmail Contacts Bloat Bug

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  1. Marcus Smith says

    Thanks for the heads-up. Wasn't aware of this and haven't heard about it till now

  2. Scott Swain says

    Thanks for bringing up this issue. I agree with its importance so I will reshare to my circles.

  3. Marcus Smith says

    + Scott Swain Crazy how many bugs are out there that we don't know about till we find out it's not a problem with our device, but rather with the app or site

  4. Chris Robato says

    I have known about this long time ago. Its not a Google+ problem. I see it as long as you sync a service with lots of followers or following into it. You can have it with Facebook, Twitter, Yahoo, Hotmail, LinkedIn and more especially if all are combined.

  5. Divye Kapoor says

    I might suggest sending this post via the send feedback link. Trust me, it does go to the right people. Just make sure you include screenshots to validate this. (FYI, I work for Google)

  6. Patrick Shampine says

    I have no problem, but I don't sync my G+ contacts to my phone.

  7. Marcus Smith says

    + Patrick Shampine Facebook taught me that lesson the hard way already. I learned

  8. Chris Robato says

    How long time ago? Since early 2010 actually, when Twitter for Android first came out and started contacts sync. But I already noted it with some heavy Facebook users.

  9. Patrick Shampine says

    I don't feel the need to sync my G+ contacts to my phone, either they are already there or they aren't. Majority of my circled people are not and I don't plan on adding all that many from here.

  10. Amanda Blain says

    I realize that was a very long post + Divye Kapoor but it states at the bottom i already did submit via feedback 🙂

    If you don't sync contacts.. it's not going to be an issue + Patrick Shampine 😛

    + Chris Robato Why I beleive this is such an issue is cause it is adding people i CIRCLE on plus.. these people don't need to be on my phone. Its been suggested thats how you +mention people on the phone.. if so.. this is a serious bug that should be corrected.

  11. Scott Swain says

    Hopefully, this will push Google to modify the contact system to be more flexible and robust.

  12. Brenda Curtis says

    Well done,Amanda! You know I have the problem and approx the same circled/have me circled stats
    it looks exactly as you posted. I have a Huawai Ascend for my phone.

  13. Scott Wakeman says

    I can +mention people, + Amanda Blain – and they are not synced to my phone (using the 2-gmail address solution).

    If you like to keep data on your phone, folks, backup your 'call logs' as clearing the 'Contact Storage' DELETES your call logs… Back them up before clearing the data if you are a completist like me 😉

  14. Keith Barrett says

    I reported this behavior about 2 weeks ago ( ). The contacts sync (talking forever) and are there to aid the G+ app recognize names you enter into it. You can't control the sync, all you can do is suppress the display of them. I had over 600 people in my contacts list before G+ even existed, adding another 5000 entries, so I got caught pretty quickly.

  15. Collin Page says

    I've only circled a few hundred people but my contacts only at about 1.15mb

    Samsung Galaxy 3

  16. Chris Robato says

    Same thing happens with Twitter and Facebook for Android. If you allow contacts sync they will sync people right into the phone book whether you like it or not. I do set my display filter though for only people to show if they have phone numbers.

    The thing is, the phone contacts isn't really just a phone contact book but also an ALL contacts book for your Google and social networking. They no longer see your phone just as a phone but a social media device. I won't call it a bug but rather their vision, disturbing as it might be for some. They should modify the contact book so it can reside in the SD card.

  17. Amanda Blain says

    For any commenting on this thread.. please list your phone model and the actual SIZE of your contacts Storage file.. ( I listed the steps above on how to )

  18. Scott Wakeman says

    + Keith Barrett – there is a kludgy workaround for the issue [that resolves it to my satisfaction, but not to everyone's ;-)]. I can +mention fine from my phone without people being synced – HTC Google NexusOne 🙂

  19. Michael Rutherford says

    I don't think you're going to find a phone that doesn't work this way. The display option is just a display option and not a sync option. I don't have enough circled to notice. But I did a test a different way.
    1) Went to airplane mode.
    2) Cleared data.
    3) Checked to make sure contacts were gone.
    4) Go to contact display options and set so 'other contacts' don't display.
    5) Get out of airplane mode.
    6) Force a sync on the gmail account.
    7) Go back into airplane mode. So, 'other contacts' hasn't been checked since we've cleared data and been on the air. So if 'other contacts' prevented the sync of circles, we wouldn't have any at this point.
    8) Go to contact display options and set so 'other contacts' do display.
    9) Now, go look for them and they will be there. The conclusion is that it is just a display option and syncing gmail contancts with the account you use for G+ will make them be there.
    10) Lastly, be sure you get back out of airplane mode.

    So, you either need a way to control circle syncing at the phone or from within G+/gmail. And in one sense, it doesn't matter if you have enough memory or not. You shouldn't have to have 1,000s of contacts on your phone just because you choose to sync some G+/gmail contacts and you shouldn't have to use more than one gmail account if you don't want to.

    And yes, you probably do have the same thing with Twitter and Facebook.

    And my phone is a Droid X.

  20. Scott Wakeman says

    Phone: HTC NexusOne; Number of folks in my Circles: 4000; Size of my 'Contact Storage': 1.98MB

  21. Amanda Blain says

    If it is not related to + mentions… its even more ridiculous. I should be able to sync my group of real life friends and family to my phone.. and the rest should stay in gmail. I love the auto backup of contacts in my main gmail account. This feature ROCKS.

    For any who say this is "just the way it is"… O_o No. Google, android, htc , random developer… should easily be able to fix this issue and provide this as an option.

    + Scott Wakeman you are using the 'different' email option… correct? What is the result with you g+ gmail option…? (which is the point of this post)

  22. Scott Wakeman says

    I have no room to test [low storage]. I can tell you, though if I do use my main Google+ gMail account, I get the very same issue. I wish I could try, but I can't – but it is the same issue you are having, of that we can be certain.

    I think the issue here is: why are our Circled folk even being put into gmail in any form at all? We have no access to their email addresses, so why are they even accessable in my gMail account?

  23. Costel Anton says

    how many people u need to have in your circles to become a problem? I'm only having about 1000 and they're all sync on my phone…yet under my contacts I have only around 400kb…nexus s 2.3.7

  24. Amanda Blain says

    + Costel Anton Can you provide some more of your status? Like your rough gmail my contacts and Other contact numbers? Do you have pictures turned on or off?

  25. Michael Rutherford says

    That's actually a good question + Scott Wakeman . You can go to their google profile from the contact but it means logging on through the web browser. So that's not that useful. Mine does let me edit one and presumably add some other information but again, that's probably not that useful if you haven't created a full fledged gmail contact for them already. The other thing I notice is the ones that end up on the phone via 'other contacts' and gmail, don't all have full names. Some only have first names. The same is the case for me if I look at 'other contacts' on the gmail on the web and not on the phone.

  26. Costel Anton says

    my contacts are around 196 and my "other contacts" are 616…so 812 be exact…and I can see all the pictures on my phone, so I guess I have the pictures turned on…
    ok I feel like a dumbass right now…I was looking in the wrong place…it's actually 3.57mb of space…sorry

  27. Keith Barrett says

    I cannot afford to delete my data or the lengthy time it takes to download all my contacts, but my phone is a Samsung Galaxy S. Don't expect this to situation change; Google likely does not consider this a bug because if you are going to reference your social network contacts in a G+ or other apps, they will need to exist on the phone to avoid network slowness or incredible bandwidth usage fees (some people do not pay flat rates). The alternative is that you be forced to use G+ in a read-only mode or the slowness of the web. What can be done to improve this is to allow you to use the SD card for the storage, or perhaps put some compression around the data to reduce space demand. For me; there's no stability or space issue, but depending on what I do the sync time is very lengthy and usually when I'm trying to use the phone. I've asked Google several times to provide an option to not perform syncs when the phone is being actively used, but rather when it appears idle.

  28. Amanda Blain says

    + Costel Anton You are looking at "Contacts Storage" right? Not just "Contacts" under applications? My contacts is also 524KB Contact storage is 49.62MB

  29. Costel Anton says

    + Amanda Blain yeah I've noticed after my last post that I was looking in the wrong place…it's actually 3.57MB…sorry 🙂

  30. Michael Rutherford says

    Looks like about 5k to 6k per contact. Probably mostly the picture that goes with it.

  31. Chris Robato says

    If you like to know mine: Samsung Galaxy S2 – 8.97mb. HTC EVO 3D – 67.9mb. I don't sync Twitter contacts on both but I do with Facebook & Google+. Something rotten going on with HTC. Note I sync my Twitter contacts on my Iconia A100 with Google+ and I got 22.5mb. My Facebook contacts are not much to begin and I got the most contacts on Twitter.

  32. Ken Fife says

    HTC Desire with 57.52MB of contacts storage and 4,233 in Gmail "Other contacts" that are from G+ people in my circles. I'm sharing your post to all of them + Amanda Blain

  33. Edward Smith says

    + Amanda Blain I had the same issue and just had to go bi-polar. I have a personal email and 2nd email. The 2nd email is set up with my social media contacts. It is set up in my "account & sync settings" menu and I set the sync contact settings to "off" My personal account syncs everything.

    You can still sync the email on the 2nd account if you choose without pulling over all of the contact info.

    Same issue with my Picasa photos, however did not have the storage issue as they are online. But, it carried over anything associated with the gmail address. That is one of the drawbacks of having all of your eggs in one basket (speaking of Google products)

  34. Chris Robato says

    Please indicate your phone when you mention your storage sizes. I don't recall having swollen contacts databases on my Nexus One and Nexus S phones, but all my HTC ones seem to be bloated. On the Droid Incredible, it will holler a low memory error notification when the contacts exceed over 36mb even though I got half a gig of phone memory left.

  35. Michael Wang says

    I am very familiar with this topic. Google Contacts used to have two sets of data:
    My Contacts, which is your normal contacts.
    Other Contacts, which is your autocomplete database.

    If you are a heavy user, your autocomplete database can easily have more than 5000 entries like mine. People in your Google+ circles also appear in your autocomplete database for obvious reason. There is not much you can do about it at this time. The fundamental problem is Android should not split storage into multiple partitions. 50MB contacts should be nothing for a phone with 8GB storage.

  36. Ken Fife says

    Agree, no problem with my Digital dark room workstation that has 12 GB RAM 😉

  37. Chris Holt says

    I'm not understanding how full RAM slows down the phone. Phones don't have HDD to swap to when they run short of RAM, therefore they close older, unneeded apps. If you have issues with your phone slowing down, try WatchDog and see if you can find the troublemaker apps that are running in the background when they should be suspended.

  38. Amanda Blain says

    + Michael Wang They are still split into the two types. Other contacts really don't need to get synced to my phone. Ever.
    + Chris Holt It's not just speed. This is Internal Storage on the phone. Its all being used with contacts. I constantly have "low disk space" messages.

    My phone is from Dec 2009.. so It's 2 years old… Others are reporting the issue with a phone that is 5 months old (HTC EVO 3D).

    I find it shocking that many people are stating that the answer is to upgrade to the latest model of phone, Instead of a patch. People here don't mind their contact files will just continue to bloat up and make an even semi old phone unusable?

    Does anyone know WHY people I circle are being added to the Other contact (autocomplete database) in Gmail.. or even better.. why when I uncircle them.. they remain in that database? <— Real issue to me. Not my phone is not new enough.

  39. Brenda Curtis says

    It's this much of a problem now and only affecting a fraction but as G+ continues to grow and we have hundreds of thousands of people circling us? Don't laugh! I would have laughed at 10,000 following me. I've more than doubled that. I can see the 'average' person having over 20,000+ in the not to distant future. some will have millions. It's still in trials. Now is the time to fix these things. I love the mobile app and want to use it! I shouldn't have to not have other apps and only have the mobile work for a couple of hours until I get the problems. and I damn sure shouldn't have to BUY more stuff.

  40. Chris Holt says

    + Brenda Curtis Only a problem if you circle them all back.

  41. Amanda Blain says

    + Chris Holt No… if i circle someone EVER… I change my circles up, people come and go on plus.. I add new groups of people often.. You think you wont be over the next coming years of plus usage? I also silly imported all my hotmail and address book contacts when g+ started so i could easily invite people here. You think no one else did these things? Talk to any power user on an android. They have this issue. They might just not know it yet.

    Like a horrible virus.. anyone you ever touch ever on G+ will be stuck with you, on your phone for life, Even People I have since blocked, Unless I manually go through and delete them at the risk of loosing people I want to keep circled.

  42. Brenda Curtis says

    + Chris Holt no, it's not. I have a little over 3,000 circled back. That's not it. It's anyone who has you circled, anyone that has ever sent you a message via your profile and for me anyone from Buzz that had me added and ever sent me a message via my profile there.

  43. Don Gemus says

    Same problem on a Samsung Galaxy Indulge, running Basix Rom. I have like 1500 contacts (about 500 are legit). I have 8 people who's name starts with Z! I want them off my phone, but not out of my circles. Some are even listed as "unknown". I dont have storage issues, but scrolling through 1500 contacts to find an email is annoying!

    I find myself circling less people to avoid this 🙁

  44. Chris Holt says

    I'm not seeing that at all. People who have circled me are not showing in my contacts. Only those who I have circled.

  45. Ken Fife says

    My problems started when I added + Colby Brown BEHIND THE LENS PHOTO CRITIQUING circles and a bunch more other photography circles. As a photographer myself, it is important to do this. Having my mobile phone run out of memory because of the number of people in my G+ circles was unexpected and indicative of bad forward thinking in Google's part.

  46. Michael Wang says

    + Amanda Blain The autocomplete database was designed for common case, since very very few people want to manually add 5000+ entries into autocomplete database.

    Most people think of Gmail contacts. It is actually a separate service at, but almost nobody uses it directly. Both Gmail and Google+ use Google Contacts to manage, well, contacts. The so-called Google Circles used to be Contacts Groups, which existed for very time long and Google Buzz used it. Microsoft Exchange/Outlook supports autocomplete database and contacts folders for more than a decade. So there is really nothing new here.

    Unfortunately, you can not turn off sync on Other Contacts for now, AFAIK. I know it does not help much here. + Gabe Cohen is the right person for it.

  47. Scott Wakeman says

    Perhaps Google is thinking too far ahead, and we Google+r's aren't seeing the bigger possible future picture.

    This isn't an easy fix, for if it was it would have been implemented already…

    This issue doesn't really need to be put out in the Cloud though, it needs to be directed directly at the companies involved: HTC directly – they have a freephone number, give them a ring and tell them your phone keeps breaking from Low Storage.

  48. Amanda Blain says

    If the answer is.. This is the way it is.. Then the contacts section needs to at least be updated so its pulling the correct full name from Plus profiles. I have like 25 'matt' with nothing but a +profile link and a photo.

  49. Jay Zalowitz says

    + Amanda Blain tldr on what happened?

  50. Chris Robato says

    +Don Gemus, set your Contacts app display option to People with Phone Numbers only.

  51. Chris Robato says

    +Amanda Blain. I am not seeing the memory swell issue with other phones, but only in particular with HTC Sense phones.

  52. Michael Wang says

    People should never look at autocomplete database. It has been constant complain since day one of Gmail. In Outlook, it is completely hidden, so nobody complains it. I guess the story is only for engineers to understand.

    Anyway, it is truly useful for most people most of time. Just nothing us perfect.

  53. Don Gemus says

    Thanks Chris, but that wont help me find my contacts that I email only (dont have their number).

  54. Chris Robato says

    There are also filters based on social network account. You can and not display Twitter or Facebook contacts for example. Or you can set to display, let's say Yahoo contacts only.

  55. Vincent de Smet says

    + Amanda Blain For rooted users there's a workaround. You can move the database, which is located in /data/data/ to you SDcard and create a symbolic link. Then the whole database will be on SD(which could be a security issue).
    It works for me, with 540 contacts. Before: 3.42 MB, After: 484 Kb.

    In a few steps:
    Make sure busybox is installed correctly
    0) Make a backup of your contacts just in case
    1) Start adb shell
    2) cd /data/data/
    3) cp contacts2.db /sdcard/
    4) rm contacts2.db
    5) ln -s /sdcard/contacts2.db ./contacts2.db

    Be warned that any application that can read your SD-card might find the contacts-database and read it. I don't think so, but it could be. If you're afraid of it and still want to use it, put the contacts2.db in a sub folder and rename it(be sure you edit the steps above if you change map/names 😉 )

  56. Amanda Blain says

    Wow… i will look into this + Vincent de Smet

  57. Dan Soto says

    So, I finally got mine to sync correctly. Initially after 5-6 hours it still was not syncing completely (only the first 5Mb) but, after rebooting, it synced.
    HTC Sensation:
    Before 25.55 Mb
    After: 25.76 Mb

  58. Vincent de Smet says

    + Amanda Blain I've tested it a little bit better, and it's acting weird. android.process.acore Force Closes because it couldn't open that database, but the contacts application can still open it. So I'm not sure if it works correctly.
    In case you'd like to revert:
    1) Start adb shell
    2) cd /data/data/
    3) rm contacts2.db (this removes the symbolic link)
    3) mv /sdcard/contacts2.db .
    4) chmod 660 contacts2.db
    5) reboot

    Reverting will stop that Force Close issue.

  59. Amanda Blain says

    Ugh.. so not the answer then + Vincent de Smet … goooooogle please help us poor peoples!

  60. Scott Wakeman says

    I wish we were all barking at the correct tree, but I don't believe Google is the correct tree to be barking at.

  61. Scott Wakeman says

    LOL – + Mario Aguilar – who wants to be a part of Cult Apple? Not me!

  62. Michael Wang says

    + Amanda Blain I don't know any good solution other than getting a phone with more storage, unless you really want to hack it. Maybe someone else has better suggestion.

  63. Brenda Curtis says

    huh. I don't know if I've made things worse but I un sync'd G+ and it's down to just over 7 MB.. and I don't seem to have lost any people I've circled. and I'm still able to use t he mobile app.

  64. Ben Eidelson says

    We will investigate, thank you for the report.

  65. Scott Wakeman says

    Thanks, + Ben Eidelson

  66. Brenda Curtis says

    and I'm hitting a brick wall again. now with brand pages and more people to circle the issue is getting much worse. I went from 19MG of contact storage to 30 overnight and only added about 30.
    I had to remove the app again!

  67. Gary Blewaska says

    Still trying to figure out Amanda. Seems a tiny bit squirrely, but I was wrong a few times in the past 🙂

  68. Amanda Blain says

    I was wondering how brands would impact this…. 😐 I also wonder if my brands are adding into my contacts!? Ugh. I'm thinking we might have to set up a different gmail to use phone sync with + Brenda Curtis

  69. Brenda Curtis says

    yup. The are adding into your contacts. I'm still confused on how setting up a different account will help but I'm going to be working on my phone later with One Who Knows so I'll see if he can help me get it all sorted.

  70. Amanda Blain says

    If you make a new gmail. Stop all syncing with your real gmail.. and only import the handful of contacts you want into your phone into the new gmail… and then turn of all contact syncing with your main gmail account…

    It has been said this lame work around will work. But defeats the purpose of syncing with my main email account in the first place.

  71. Ken Fife says

    Hi + Scott Wakeman + Brenda Curtis + Amanda Blain My phone became a brick and I implemented Scott's duel e-mail fix. So far no problems. The solution is not as elegant as I would like, but going from over 65MB on my phone's contacts file down to 256KB was a breath of fresh air. I suspect that the G+ app wants all the circle data in that 65MB file, but the app is too big for my phone anyhow so it will not be loaded. This is déjà vu for me. I worked long hours on old DOS computers trying to get more out of the limited RAM. Now days my photographic workstation has 12GB RAM, and in two years my new phone may have that much too. 😉

  72. Scott Wakeman says

    How's it going for you, + Amanda Blain? Did you manage to put this kludge of a solution into action :-)?

  73. TJ Allard says

    Thanks for directing me to this threa + Amanda Blain I'm having the same issue. My contacts are now over 70MB it has made my + HTC #evo useless. Everyone I circled has joined my phone forcing me to delete almost everything in order to get it to at least work. Finally I decided to just remove G+ from my phone because keeping it meant it was the only thing I could use. Very frustrating!

    The main problem that I see that can be very easily corrected is to give us the option to sync "all contacts" or "my contacts ". Yes its a clunky and less than perfect "fix" but Gmail handles contacts in a clunky and less than perfect way. There REALLY needs to be some kind of contacts overhaul, it has become a nightmare. Spending an hour a day just trying to deal with the sync and contact issues is really making me question if the system is worth it.

    My digital life is all Google, but c'mon guys you HAVE TO FIX THE CONTACT SYSTEM ONCE AND FOR ALL!!

  74. Scott Wakeman says

    No + Derrick Wallner – you just deleted everyone in your Circles 🙁

    Avoid this – it is no solution, just more Google+ heartache…

  75. David T says

    I have the same problem. HTC ChaCha. Contacts takes about 23 MB worth of space, and renders the phone useless.

    There are so many ways that this problem could be solved – it is a huge issue that it wasn't foreseen. Solving it should be a priority.

  76. Amanda Blain says

    One would think + David T Thanks for your comments.

  77. Chris Robato says

    I tested different phones including more of my HTCs. The fact that my Desire has a bloated base but not my Nexus One tells me its an HTC issue.

  78. Scott Wakeman says

    + Chris Robato – I 'concur' that this is a HTC issue, and that HTC should be the ones this issue is primarily directed at. Do they have a Google+ Brands page? Is + HTC official?

  79. Chris Robato says

    Yes, they got a Google brands page.

  80. Brenda Curtis says

    I just had to lose the mobile app AGAIN. It is not an exclusive to HTC issue. I have an Ascend by Huwaui.
    App-57 MB
    contacts storage 29 MB.
    I couldn't have any other apps and unfortunately doing business effectively is more important that having G+ on the go.
    Is any attention being paid to this?

  81. Scott Wakeman says

    Oh, + Brenda Curtis – you are right about the Google+ App being a hog. That issue doesn't even have a kludgy workaround 🙁 The issue there is how fast your Stream flows – following 4000 people (as I do) within about 30 minutes I have to stop the app and clear its data, then re-login. + Ben Eidelson & + Punit Soni are looking into that particular issue.

  82. Brenda Curtis says

    + Scott Wakeman I don't know Ben but I know Punit and if he's on the case I am sure something will be done as soon as possible.
    I clear my data and it clears my circles. LOL! No bueno! I even turned off the auto sync but that didn;t help either.
    Hate to say it but I'm back to FB for mobile contact with friends.

  83. Tim Harrell says

    This is not an HTC/Android issue – I have exactly the same problem on my BB Bold 9700. I had to switch wireless syncing off to stop it , otherwise I will have a gazillion people in my Phone Contacts. Not good.

  84. Scott Wakeman says

    A BlackBerry had issue, + Tim Harrell?

  85. Tim Harrell says

    Yes, I have the same problem with a BB Bold 9700 – suddenly my contacts are full of G+ people- most of them are actually company brand pages! I had to disable syncing it was so bad.

  86. David T says

    Mine is repeatedly at about 20 MB. I have done that thing where you copy your contacts to your SD card, then delete from People, then import. It is soon up to 20 MB again. Turning of syncing didn't really seem to work.

    I have lots of contacts. 646 in Google, and a whole bunch more in Facebook. What is causing the bloat – photos? If so can I turn photos off?

    This is such a basic problem, I'm astonished that it hasn't been addressed.

  87. Chris Robato says

    I assume its HTC? My EVO 3D syncs the same things as my Galaxy S2. The EVO has a near 70mb contacts file. The Galaxy has near 10mb contacts file. Using my Nexus One as control, the Nexus One has a near 10mb contacts file.

  88. David T says

    Yes, HTC ChaCha

  89. Chris Robato says

    I suspect it has something to do with the HTC smart linking system.

  90. David T says

    I fear it might be.

  91. Ceri Clark says

    I just removed Google+ from my Samsung Galaxy S2. I wasn't having problems with space but it is irritating aving to scroll through thousands of contacts to get to my friends! It's not a big loss anyway, I find the text too small on the app and I have to use the web anyway.

  92. Chris Robato says

    I made some experiments. if a contact file that is 10mb on a Nexus is 17mb on the HTC with smartlinks but not Friendstream enabled. But if Friendstream is enabled it swells to 70mb? Why? It seems Friendstream syncs high resolution images for portraits vs. the low density images Facebook for Android uses.

  93. Jeff Sexton says

    People I know have just been running into the issue of contacts filling up their phones (just contacts! ). I expect I will run into this shortly. This is quite a blunder. Google+ has a very, very significant hardware requirement for Android phones, with no practical work around (for typical users), and Google isn't even telling anyone about it. Wow. Google+ and Android are products significantly important to Google, wouldn't you think? And yet they are shoving people away from it.

  94. Chris Robato says

    + Ceri Clark All you need to do is just set the Display Options filter to Display Contacts with Phone Numbers only.

  95. Michael Rutherford says

    + Chris Robato That is only a display option. The contacts are still on your phone consuming memory. You just don't see them when you change that option.

  96. Scott Swain says

    I have the same problem but on my HTC Amaze, a phone with a ton of memory. My issue is not low mem. My issue is certain apps, including "contacts/phone" and SMS, not seeing my "main" contact list. And by "main" I mean the one from my gmail that has all the phone numbers. I have over 4000 G+ contacts and they are getting pulled into my phone and mixed up in ways I don't want. One thing that happens is it's slowing down the way my phone works in regard to contacts. For example, click on a contact icon to get a context list and it takes much longer for that context menu to appear. In main "settings" –> sync, the choices for sync are not granular enough and/or they just don't work as they are named.

  97. Jeff Sexton says

    It's astonishing to me that Google's answer to this problem seems to be 1) stop using Google+, or 2) buy an iPhone. I'm not surprised that a problem like this occurs, I am surprised that Google has no interest in making Google+ work for people that are not software engineers.

  98. Amanda Blain says

    i think this only affects older models of HTC phones.. that seems to be the trend… i created a new email and synced things over there…. I think thats why this has not been addressed cause everyone is blaming everyone else.

  99. Chris Robato says

    + Michael Rutherford He was complaining about finding contacts. Control filters make it a non issue. Plus even if it is consuming memory, how is that hurting you? The total from my Google, Yahoo, Facebook, and Google+ contacts is over 1500, and my memory footprint is only 23mb on the Nexus. As I mentioned before, the large contact book sizes happens with HTC when you enabled HTC Sense for Facebook and Twitter. Not only does it add contacts from these networks, HTC also uses higher resolution imagery for portraits than the Android Facebook app itself. Each image takes more bytes definitely.

    Earlier HTCs require that you enable Facebook for HTC to work the Facebook app. Later HTCs bypass this shell sync and let's you use the sync from the official Facebook for Android.

  100. Michael Rutherford says

    + Chris Robato It's not really hurting me all that much because I don't have that many. But, there is no reason to sync all of these fairly unusable contacts. The only thing you appear to be able to do with a contact that comes from your circle, is open a profile. And, it opens the profile as a web page and not in the G+ app. To make matters worse, most of them do not sync with full names. At least for me they don't.

  101. Michael Bodine says

    I have a Motorola Droid. On the original experiment of removing your data and letting it resync, i came back with more or less the same amount of memory used. What no one has mentioned here i find most interesting. My Google Contacts data base exports into about 1.5MB worth of CSV text, but on the phone, it takes over 40MB.- although in the last few days, despite deleted several hundred contacts, it has still grown to over 50MB! I can no longer receive text messages, and if i don't delete every email as it arrives, i can't sync my emails either. This is clearly NOT an HTC problem. I am planning on upgrading soon, but it seems ridiculous. I have over 10GB available on my SD card – why can't the contacts database be stored there?!? How can this thread run for two months without feedback from Google or any phone developer? I just removed Google+ from the phone… it's not clear to me that this will save me at all, as between the time i started removing G+ and finishing up this message, the data base has added an additional 1MB into the contacts storage. There should be both a work around and a permanent fix. Totally wacky, and unacceptable behavior for the phone.

  102. Jeremy Carlson says

    This just got to be a ridiculous problem for me. I just went on a circling spree and added 2 to 4 thousand to my Google+ stream. The first time it's synced contacts since then, my Contacts Storage jumps from several hundred kb to 45 mb. No Twitter sync, no Facebook sync, and no other events that might continue to closing contacts storage.

    I have an HTC Nexus One running Cyanogenmod 7.1. I have no HTC proprietary layovers, skins or apps. This is not an HTC issue and it is not specific to an OEM or even operating system. It is an issue with Google contact syncing when large numbers of contacts are added to the phone's contacts list from Google+ and I imagine it would or could be possible with other extensive contact lists typical if other social networking sites.

    Please provide your users the option to sync selectively, specifically the My Contacts vs Other Contacts. It may not be as elegant as an overhaul of Google Contacts but at least we can still use our phones. The alternative for me and anyone else who had thought through the logic is to take steps backward in Google+ and info the social networking that it did so well to enable in the first place.

  103. Amanda Blain says

    Only fix… is to create a new account.. include the contacts you want in that.. and use THAT section for your phone book syncing. There is no other option. It also DOES seem to be HTC issue likely something to do with photographs of people are stored near as i can tell.

  104. Alex Moore says

    Samsung Galaxy Europa 24 mb.

  105. Andrew Jones-McGuire says

    Just wanted to add my bit – I have a HTC Desire and have complained about this!
    It was a major pain for me last year.
    I am now running CM7 and my contacts storage is 13.57mb and I have 1500 contacts (real and G+)
    Last year though – when running HTC Sense – Contacts storage was 68mb!

  106. Bleh Meh says

    + Amanda Blain The solution is @ .

    There might be an app that can delete groups (circles) from the contacts or one might be able to be made; Specially if there's a demand for it…

  107. Bleh Meh says

    + Amanda Blain and #Everyone do you think there's a demand for an app that bulk deletes contacts and/or circles? I'll look into making one if there is…

  108. Amanda Blain says

    Google has changed the way contacts/circles in handled since this thread started.. they made it easier to delete people who were no longer circled by you and you didnt know under the other contacts… but really.. none of that fixes the HTC issue with photo size… Shame no one took notice of this issue.

  109. Maleko McDonnell says

    This is still an issue. My phone (Samsung Infuse) has crashed and had to be restored. My contacts went from 300, to 35,000 after my circles! Is there a fix?

  110. Abel Shen says

    yes, I do encounter this problem. I use samsung i5801, android2.1. Recently I want to sync my phone contacts to google account, after waiting a long time, found my address book became unusually large, extend 1000 contacts, crazy!

  111. Lee Rothstein says

    Problem with a Droid 3 is that sync takes so long that problems are likely to occur during the sync process as network connections fade in and out. This is friggin dum. I've missed several appointments due to calendar sync problems because of this. Google MUST fix. I have plenty of memory so that's not the issue.

  112. Kyle Weller says

    Have this same problem with a samsung galaxy.s2 for t-mobile I have 7000 unassigned google+ contacts and only have display options not sync options. Adding another email account and disabling sync is the only way to temp.fix it. Sad to see android 4.0 has this issue

  113. Tom Hennigan says

    Me too.

  114. Bob Denny says

    + Amanda Blain , contacts (as well as data for most other apps) are stored in the /data/data partition. This is a separate partition. On some phone models it is as small as 150Mb. When it gets below 15Mb you get the "Space is low" warning. Since virtually no one understands that it is a data space issue, all sorts of old wives' tales have been spread about moving apps to SD, deleting apps, whatever, that have the side effect of freeing space in /data/data, often temporarily. On my Droid Incredible, with 6Gb of internal space, the /data/data partition is 150Mb. Pitiful! So it's really bad for Google to sync the thousands of contacts you may have in your G+ circles into your phone! Bletch!

  115. Richard Hoefer says

    I too have this problem — but tonight someone in a Hangout ( + William Brine , an android tinkerer) explained a few things to me about how Google+ "decides" which contacts to sync with your android phone.

    This answer is either completely missing the boat, in which case, sorry for wasting your time — or it may explain a few things having nothing to do with the phone models at all. He said it's all tied to your Google+ Account settings (on the website) and which circles of yours are designated as part of "Your Circles" or not.

    On the web, not phone: Go to your Google plus page(s), click the Settings icon under the notifications area > select SETTINGS > (you arrive at your ACCOUNTS page, with Google+ highlighted) > Scroll down this page past Google+ games, to "YOUR CIRCLES" > Click CUSTOMIZE > "Customize Your Circles" . Here is a checkmark list of all of your circles.

    My helper in my Hangout session explained: "Any of the circles that are checked are also included in a superset called "YOUR CIRCLES", and any contact within "YOUR CIRCLES" gets synced to your Android Gmail contacts.

    He explained: "When you un-check the box, that circle will still function as a specific group for those individuals inside it, but they will no longer be included within the special category called "YOUR CIRCLES.""

    He said "The people and circles that ARE within "Your Circles" are the people you want a slightly-higher relationship with — receive notifications from them, or you want to be able to chat with them. Thus, Google presumes you also want to be able to send and receive email from them (!). These are the people that will sync to your Gmail account on your phone, because you're designating them as being "more special" than just a circle.

    He said "Your Circles" is confusing nomenclature, and it would be helpful here to really think of "Your Circles" as "Your Outer Circles" or Outbound Circles — because those are the ones that are pushed to your phone.

    The downside, of course, is that we all want to be able to have notifications from certain groups of people whose interests we share, but it doesn't mean we want to email them. According to my Hangout "helper" , to get rid of all those Google+ people showing up on your phone, you have to unselect the checkboxes within this "YOUR CIRCLES" Settings area.

    If they are checked, then within google+ you will receive notifications from them, and you can chat with them etc, and they will appear as contacts on your phone.

    If they are unchecked, then within google+ you will NOT be able to receive notifications from these people, etc., but they will not be added as contacts to your Gmail on your phone.

    Hope that helps. If this turns out to be wrong or incomplete, please correct it. Thx

  116. Richard Hoefer says

    + Amanda Blain Does the above post have any relevance to the G+ contacts populating your android phone issue?

  117. Enrique Morales says

    It has relevance for the topic, but as it solves the phone storage issue, it break everything else, since those contacts would be useless in G+. This is a very disappointing feature embedded into G+ and android, and it should be easy to fix allowing the user of the phone to select which circles to sync to the phone… Also, people is complaining about it long time ago and the only difference we have in G+ is the white space…

  118. Amanda Blain says

    That box doesnt work for me.. and is likely effected by the amount of followers i have contact bugs… It is also a very new feature likely designed to help with this error… too bad its several months too late.. i just bought a nexus instead.. no more issue. i also agree with + Enrique Morales since it makes G+ usless…. HTC should fix the issue with graphic size being downloaded.. as it seemed to be mostly HTC phone reporting the actual problem.

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