Unwanted email contacts in phone contact list

I have just got a new fairphone. As it asks for a google account immediately, I entered my gmail account. But when I opened my phone contacts it already had all of my email contacts list in it. This has collected hundreds of contacts over the years, most of which are email only, or I don’t want them on my phone anyway. I did a factory reset and on restarting did an option so this didn’t happen immediately, but a few minutes later I checked my contacts and they had appeared again! I would rather not do another factory reset but do want these contacts out of my phone contact list, and keep them out. How do I do this?



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Maybe just check e.g. here:


Great, thanks very much Volker. Sorry if it was a question I should have found the answer too myself. I am not very tech-savvy and am finding it much harder to find solutions through the warren of questions & answers on the internet rather than having a manual to look through.


You may also want to consider looking at https://contacts.google.com/?hl=EN, where all contacts known to Google are stored. Cleaning up there should sync back to your phone too.


(which is exactly “method 2” in the linked article above) :slight_smile:



Unfortunately this method didn’t work. I have now factory-reset my phone, tried to stop it syncing my contacts when I reload and gone immediately to the setting & unsynced, and yet those contacts are still there. This is rendering my phone unusable (there are hundreds of contacts and yet they don’t include the phone numbers of my closest friends, because they are email contacts!!!). I don’t want to change my email contacts list, as I do use it for emails. I just want a separate contact list of phone numbers.

There must be a solution to this (or a lot of frustrated people). If anyone knows one please help!

@Volker I am not sure if being a moderator & ‘fairphone angel’ means you work for fairphone, or can give them suggestions directly, but if so, please suggest they do a clear and basic manual. I have been plagued by gripes since I got my phone about a week ago, to the extent that I haven’t used it, and they are all things that should not be issues and wouldn’t be if there was a manual. I am strongly in favour of Fairphone from an ethical perspective and want to be able to recommend them to people, but based on my experience so far I am more likely to warn people away from them.

No, I don’t work for Fairphone and I also can’t give them direct suggestions.
So I recommend you #contactsupport if you want to address support resp. the company directly.

Still if interested you can work with the community (where I’m a part of as everyone else here) intending to solve your problem.
Anyway I still can’t see that it’s a Fairphone specific problem. I assume it works equally with all Android phones and is “works as designed”. When you enter your gmail account during initial installation the phone starts the sync with your gmail account and imports all contacts saved there. So I still think you may have to remove those contacts through Gmail portal before this sync starts…
Unfortunately I can’t really help you with that as I’ve never used a Gmail account (and will probably never use one).


And btw.: there are a lot of manuals provided by Fairphone. Maybe you’ve a look at
Fairphone 3/Fairphone 3+ (FP3/FP3+) – Support


Hi @Volker

Thanks very much for your reply. Looking at replies on Android forums, some phones have options to only show phone contacts. So it appears to be a problem caused by Android (excessive inclusion of contacts) but not resolved by Fairphone (by including a phone contacts only option).

Thanks for your links to support pages. To clarify what I mean by a manual, a manual is a single, coherent document that wholly explains how to use the phone, with an index so you can quickly find what you need. The support pages are a collection of individual articles about resolving specific issues, but I have found them poorly organised and incomplete - in trying to resolve two issues I have got lost in a jumble of pages and not found the answers to the problems. I have since discovered Vodafone does have a decent online manual for the fairphone, here: FAIRPHONE Fairphone 3 | Vodafone UK

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I have found a solution! So am posting here so other people with this problem can find it too.

In Google Contacts, you can select all contacts & select ‘Hide Contacts’. This moves them to the Other contacts list & they no longer sync. As far as I am aware moving them to other contacts doesn’t affect their listing for emails. You need to refresh the page before you can see them in the Other Contacts folder.

Hope that’s helpful.



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