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The new Google Contacts (Material) seems to have made a clear cut between

  • "My Contacts" (the contacts which were before in the "My Contacts" group) and which are synchronized to mobile devices

  • and "other contacts" which is a trashbin-looking group with contacts auto-generated, or the ones which were not in the old "My Contacts" group.

What is the status of "other contacts"? Is it possible to have it synchronized? is it possible not to have it auto-populate?

7

"Other Contacts" consists of:

You can keep it from auto-populating by changing that Gmail setting. Not much you can do about what it does with G+ Circles. And make sure all of your contacts have labels.

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  • One bug I discovered when migrating contacts from Android to iPhone was that if you have starred people from "Other contacts" then they will not show up when you export or sync your contacts, and they won't show up in "Other contacts". The only fix is to remove the star, and then "add to contacts" these individuals. I gave it a write-up here: apple.stackexchange.com/questions/252518/… – ubershmekel May 20 at 23:18
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The "legacy" (pre 2019 or so) web interface for Google Contacts had a way to select (and de-select) the "My Contacts" label. This gave the user some measure of manual control when contacts are miscategorized. The current (2020) interface does not have that "My Contacts" label visible as a selection choice in any interface that I am currently aware of.

It used to be that if you unchecked the "My Contacts" label (when the option to do that was available), the contact would then be listed in "Other Contacts" in the "new" interface. It was a useful distinction - I could keep the noise out of my main "My Contacts" list, but still have a record of rarely used contacts so that a couple years from now (for instance) when I get a call or text message, I could still have a record of it to refer to.

I have not found (yet) a way to "move" contacts in and out of "My Contacts". For a while, you could choose the legacy interface. That option is no longer available, or I have not found a way to get at it.

Update

I did find a way to do "move" contacts out of "My contacts". There is a 'Hide from contacts' option for each contact in your 'My Contacts' list in the contacts.google.com web interface. That will move the contact to 'Other Contacts'. I don't see such an option to do that with Google's current Android app version of 'Contacts'.

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