Blackberry Contact Sync

Blackberry, Mobile

Few years back, copying all contacts to the SIM was the only way of importing contacts onto a new phone. Most of the Smartphone operating systems today have better native support for address book management and synchronization.

On my old HTC Touch(running Windows Mobile), I could easily sync Outlook contacts with the device using ActiveSync. However ActiveSync worked only over a wired cable or via Bluetooth and there was no other wireless way of synchronizing contacts

Blackberry on the other hand has an amazing wireless contact sync feature. There is no separate “Sync” operation triggered by the user !! ; Any updates done on the Blackberry Address book are synced back to Gmail Contacts and same holds good for any updates done on Gmail Contacts.

Follow the below steps to get the perfect wireless contact sync on Blackberry

  1. The first thing to do is to setup Gmail as the primary store for Address Book. If you are using Outlook or any other contact store, you need to export the contacts to  CSV and import them in Gmail
  2. Gmail also has this nice de-duplicator feature which can be used to eliminate all the duplicate contacts in the address book.
  3. While setting up the Gmail account on Blackberry, select the “Sync Contacts” option
  4. It will take a few minutes, before you start seeing all the Gmail contacts on your Blackberry Address book.
  5. However there is a bug because of which, sync might cause duplicate contacts only on the Blackberry Address book (not on Gmail). To avoid this go to Address Book -> Options -> General Options and set "Allow Duplicate Names" to "No"
  6. All contact changes (add/update/delete)  done either on device or on Gmail are synced almost immediately.

Some of the frequently asked questions  on how to get the contact sync up and going:

What If I have the contacts only on the SIM?

  1. Import the contacts from SIM to Blackberry Address book. If a contact had multiple phone numbers, this will create multiple contacts on BB Address book.
  2. Setup Gmail sync (using the above 6 steps)
  3. Use Gmail de-duplicator to fix all the duplicate contacts which got created during SIM import
  4. Changes done on Gmail should automatically sync back to the device

What If I have already synced/imported the contacts via Blackberry Desktop Manager

  1. One way of handling this is to import the contacts into Gmail first, use the Gmail de-duplicator feature and then setup the Gmail contact sync feature.
  2. Alternatively, you can just go ahead and setup the Gmail sync; If there are duplicates, Gmail should help in merging the duplicate contacts.

Note: Wireless Synchronization can be turned ON or OFF even via the Blackberry Address book options.

Comments on this entry are closed.

  • Vinod Mar 8, 2010 Link

    I was totally relieved to see the Google Sync app for the BlackBerry. All of my Calendar and Contacts are in there for so long and used to sync beautifully with iPhone and Android. Google didn’t disappoint the BB crowd 🙂

  • Venu Mar 8, 2010 Link

    Yes there is a Google Sync app- and the calendar sync does work nicely. When I tried last, the contact sync was buggy

    The BIS contact sync however works fine (The carries BIS has to be on v2.6 for this support I guess) and it probably also needs the Enhanced Gmail Plugin on BB (its generally pushed by the carrier itself)

    • LarryMcJ Apr 4, 2010 Link

      The problem (well-documented) with the Google Sync App and BlackBerry is any events you have that recur forever (like a daily reminder to take a pill at 1pm) won’t sync properly. The event syncs, but the reminder does not.

      The enhanced Gmail Plugin got a few more things added to it in BIS 3.0, but they say that Calendar sync won’t be until October of 2010 🙁

    • LarryMcJ Apr 4, 2010 Link

      …and you’re very correct about Google Sync and Contacts….just the basic fields sync. It would really be nice if Google Sync did work perfectly…but it’s not going to happen for awhile.

  • Andres E. Parilli May 23, 2010 Link

    Hi i am using the Gmail Contact Wireless syncronzation with my Bold9700 and its working good, but i want to know if there a way to force the syncronization, becouse i always have to wait almost 2 days.

    Or to know when is going to be the next sync.

    • Venu Aug 12, 2010 Link

      Sync shouldn’t take too much time; delete the Gmail account from the BIS web page and add the account again

      • Diego Aug 27, 2010 Link


        I have a problem with my Pearl 9105 3G. I’m in the UK and when I have my Pearl set to wireless sync with my Gmail account, it rearranges the address fields in the ‘address’ and ‘edit address’ section of my Pearl, instead of the address being spread out in the correct fields they’re all bunched up. So instead of looking like this:

        Address 1: 10 Field Avenue
        Address 2: Fieldfare
        City: Lownsdown
        Stat/Prov/Region: Suffolk
        Country: UK

        It looks like this.

        Address 1:
        10 FieldAvenueFieldfareLonsdownSuffolkUK

        Same goes for the address section in the contacts.

  • Morten Oct 7, 2010 Link

    I get the same problems.

    But only on some addresses….
    I try to update the address on my BB 9700,… and few minutes later its back to everythingononeline

    Also – many of my contacts have PIN registered, but on a few of these the PIN dissapear after sync,… others stay perfect…
    Some registered birthday dissapear… others stay …

    Using BIS sync… but – its confusing….

  • beggsie Nov 8, 2010 Link

    I set up my blackberry to sync with my gmail account last week but now my contact lists on my gmail account and blackberry are multiplying exponentially! As I try to delete contacts, more are added. I cannot even delete them off my blackberry. It is set to not allow duplicates.

    • Venu Nov 8, 2010 Link

      The best way to sync is to start with a empty address book on the device (blackberry) and have all the contacts on Gmail.

      You seem to have synced on your existing contacts in Blackberry. I would suggest the following

      Go to Contacts -> Options and type Alt+ RSET ; this is to reset the contact sync; this should fix the issue

      If not,
      1. setup your gmail address book (add all the missing contacts , run de-duplicator etc)
      2. Use Desktop manager to clear the Address book on the device and sync again

  • Rrrr Jan 16, 2011 Link

    Can I use wireless sync for two gmail accounts?
    My 1st gmail account has all the contacts which I would like to wirelessly sync with the blackberry, my 2nd gmail account is new and has not contacts, but I would like the 2nd account to have the same contacts as in the first account.

  • junetune259 Feb 19, 2011 Link


  • junetune259 Feb 19, 2011 Link


  • Chris Vidalakis Apr 1, 2011 Link

    There is a solution I found that works well. It is called Office Accelerator Wireless BlackBerry Sync by Baseline. The company has been around 20 years and gives great service. Just Google Office Accelerator or visit them at

  • Nicole Lewe Apr 6, 2011 Link

    I have a blackberry pearl. The phone kept giving me critical errors so our IT dept reset the phone. My gmail still syncs emails but it won’t load my Gmail contacts only my outlook contacts. We tried rebooting and resetting up gmail, but it is still missing the gmail contact service book. When I go to contact lists, only option is Desktop.

  • Manoj May 17, 2011 Link

    Hi. Thanks for the info. But i am still facing a problem here, and wonder if anyone can help. Earlier i was using the blackberry service with a service provider and everything was working normally. Later i shifted to a different service provider, and now i dont have the option of wireless sync. In the address book, when i go to options / wireless sync, it says unavailable. when i go to my gmail contacts, all my contacts are there, but they dont sync with my phone. could anyone tell me if there is a any setting i have missed out, due to which its not working. apart from the address book, everything else is working fine. even my BBM contacts have been remotely backed up, and i retrieved them without any hassle. Just left with my contacts. kindly advice. Thanks in advance…

  • ashwani Jul 6, 2011 Link

    hi. i have a BB curve , and i use gmail contacts to sync with my phone. I have hundreds of contacts on gmail and now they are all in my BB contact list. How can i sync only *My Contacts* and not every other contact on Gmail with BB.

  • Hattan Mar 20, 2012 Link

    I can’t sync all my blackberry contacts with my new Gmail account. I tried many ways but only few contacts got sync, and the rest haven’t.
    Note: that the contacts that haven’t got sync is the contact that already sync with my Yahoo email few month back, also it is can be recognize as contact list properties wireless with

  • dio Jul 19, 2012 Link

    for export contacts to csv file you may use

  • Wissam Oct 29, 2012 Link

    My assumption is that your contact list is linked to an email account you originally had on that BB.

    Normally, you should go in the Email settings, and synchronize those contacts with the email online, and then extract them from within the email online (ex yahoo mail, etc …)

    But now, the only was to get back is to have a sim card with BB and internet service. Use that sim on your BB, and login.

    In your lists, try to change the default list and export, or follow my method up by synchronizing the contacts to an email, and then exporting them from your online email account.

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