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Android 9 – Galaxy S8+: Contacts Show Deleted Telephone Numbers and Email Addresses

(Topic created: 10-27-2019 09:26 AM)
malletKAT
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Galaxy S Phones

But when a Contact is edited the deleted/stale addresses/telephone numbers no longer appear and thus can’t be deleted yet again.  However, these stale data are delivered to apps that use my Contacts.  This causes emails to be rejected and texts to be bounced back if I mistakenly use the stale data in these apps.

I found Samsung’s online Chat service to be of no help with this problem.   A General Reset of all app Settings does not help either (requested by a Chat tech), but would have caused a heap of problems if I had not first backed up my phone through Smart Switch.

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malletKAT
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One final note on which I will click Accept As Solution:

 

It turns out that only a few of my Contacts were polluted with deleted “zombie” data, as were only a few on my wife’s phone.  These were easily corrected through the Contacts Import/Export function.  We will probably never know how these contacts became contaminated.

 

Contacts Exporting creates a series of VCard definition sets in the plain text file Contacts.vcf, which when copied to a computer are easily edited with a good test editor.  I only had to edit the bad VCard sets in the Contacts.vcf file, create a new update .vcf file with only the changed VCard sets, copy it back to the appropriate phone’s SD cards, delete the associated “bad” contacts through the Contacts app and finally import the newly made VCard image update file.  Now all the contact data on both phones has no zombies as far as we can tell, but if any show up, we have a simple procedure to kill them off.

 

Thanks again for your help.

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SamsungAdam
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Are you saving your contacts to multiple locations, such as your google account and the phone?


Be sure to click " ✓ Accept as Solution" when you find an answer that works for you.





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malletKAT
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@SamsungAdam wrote:

Are you saving your contacts to multiple locations, such as your google account and the phone?


Yes, my Contacts, as well as most other things, are backed up to my Google email account.  I believe is the default for Andoid systems and, although I now use Smart Switch for local backup, I haven't changed the Google backup option which I set up way back when.  I'm not sure when the Google backup occurs.

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malletKAT
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I do not specifically "save" my contacts to my Google email account; it happens according to some background backup scheduling.

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SamsungSteph
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Go into your Settings under Accounts and select the Google Account. From here you can edit your sync settings, try disabling the contacts sync and let us know if this helps at all or changes anything.


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malletKAT
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@SamsungSteph wrote:

Go into your Settings under Accounts and select the Google Account. From here you can edit your sync settings, try disabling the contacts sync and let us know if this helps at all or changes anything.


It does not change anything.  The stale Contact data appears to be stored somewhere locally on the phone.

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SamsungRei
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I see. The only remaining option I see is to make sure all of your contacts are in your Google account and saved correctly. Go to Settings>Applications>Contact and Force Stop and Clear Data on the app. This will delete all of your contact information from the phone. Then go into your Google settings and sync contacts again to restore the correct contact information to the phone.



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malletKAT
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@SamsungRei wrote:

I see. The only remaining option I see is to make sure all of your contacts are in your Google account and saved correctly. Go to Settings>Applications>Contact and Force Stop and Clear Data on the app. This will delete all of your contact information from the phone. Then go into your Google settings and sync contacts again to restore the correct contact information to the phone.


I can get to the Force Stop option but I do not see any Clear Data option on that screen, both before and after executing the Force Stop, or anywhere within the Contacts app.  Contacts app version is 10.1.02.23

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SamsungAdam
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Thank you for following up. To clear the data from the force stop screen, go to storage and clear cache and data.


Be sure to click " ✓ Accept as Solution" when you find an answer that works for you.





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malletKAT
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@SamsungAdam wrote:

Thank you for following up. To clear the data from the force stop screen, go to storage and clear cache and data.


I was able to complete what you asked.  Contacts had no data, and then I cycled the Sync toggle on my Google account which caused a resync.  All the data was restored to my contacts just as it was before – no change, still with "zombie dead" phone numbers and email addresses visible through all apps that use my Contacts, except when I choose to edit a contact within the Contacts app, in which case only the true live data is displayed.

 

I’m curious why you think the problem could be with the backup to my Google account.  The only time I performed any type of restore from that account (all syncs being backups until the phone Contact data were deleted) was when I upgraded my phone and all my Google account backup data was loaded into the new phone.  The zombie Contacts data I have been testing with were “killed” after that upgrade-to-Galaxy-S8+ event.  I see no reason why any data was ever retrieved on my Galaxy S8+ from my Google account backup data.  These zombies are data that has been marked as dead somehow (because editing a contact does not show them) but still are in the Contacts data bases everywhere – my phone, my Google account and my Smart Switch backups on my computer  (which is where I always go to by preference to restore data).

 

BTW: This thread’s topic “zombie contact data” problem also exists exactly as described on my wife’s Galaxy S8+.  We bought the phones at the same time, and the common Google/Samsung software is at exactly the same rev level on both phones, including Android and Contacts.

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