No contacts on Windows Mobile after adding Google account

If you have just purchased new Microsoft Lumia phone (or any other device, that uses Windows Mobile system), added your Google account to this device and you found out, that even though synchronization was successful, you have absolutely no contacts imported, then you’re in the same situation, as I was and this article should help.

The My Contacts problem

By default, all your Google contacts are stored under My Contacts group. You can create as many subgroups as you want and split your contact among them. Then, again by default, you’ll have particular contact put into that subgroup and default, mail My Contacts group.

Keep in mind, that when you add Google account to any Microsoft Lumia phone (or any other device, that uses Windows Mobile system), you’ll have access only to contacts from My Contacts group. If you’re purist (like me), that removed all contacts from My Contacts group and keep each contact only in corresponding group, you’ll end up with no contacts on your phone.

To solve this problem, login to Gmail through web browser from any computer, go to Contact Manager, browse through all your subgroups, select all contacts and click on My Contacts in Groups dropdown box (click on label directly or check corresponding checkbox and click Apply). Repeat these steps for every of your contacts group, you wish to see on your Windows phone and then, finally do one more sync on that device. You should now get all your contacts.

Lumia will not import / sync any of your contact groups. All contacts will be put just as they are and you’ll have to recreate all groups manually on your phone. Keep in mind, that any group on Lumia can have up to 25 contacts, which can be a problem at some point.

Custom fields’ labels problem

Moving all contacts to My Contacts, which finally let you import and sync them into your Lumia phone may only be the first part of solving your problems. The other one is, that Lumia ignores all custom fields’ labels in all your contacts!

So, if any of your contact contains any field, which label was not picked up from dropdown list, but was entered manually instead or you have used Custom option in dropdown, then you may be sure, that all these fields won’t be synced. If you like to keep detailed control over your contacts, by using custom labels, you may even wake up in worst case scenario, that more than half of your contacts has contact detail imported (synced) partially or not synced at all.

To fix this problem, you have to login to Gmail on your webrowser, go to Contacts section and browse all your contacts, carefully checking each and changing any custom label into one of default ones.

Microsoft Lumia should support following labels (field types) for telephone numbers:

  • mobile and mobile 2,
  • home and home 2,
  • work and work 2,
  • company,
  • pager,
    home faxandwork fax`.

And following e-mail labels (field types):

  • personal,
  • work,
  • other.

As you can see, some of them are different than those, that Gmail offers / supports. Thus, you’ll have to carefully check, which one in Gmail matches (maps) which one in Lumia.

In addition, Lumia phones completely ignores URL / websites entries entered in Gmail. You have to add all URLs manually, on your phone, by tapping Other > Website in contact’s edit screen. You can have only one entry of this kind per contact. Once added, saved and synced to Gmail account, they’ll appear in Gmail marked as Other in URLs section. However, you should not modify them in any way, using Gmail, because any modification causes, that each modified item will again disappear from your phone upon next contacts sync.


If you know, what to do, then applying above steps and fixes isn’t a hard task. If, on contrary, you don’t know, what is happening, then you may waste hours trying to find out, why your damn phone does not display any contact from your Google account or why it sync only certain fields.

Lumia (Windows Mobile) ten phone types, but only three e-mail types and only one website per each contact. This clearly proves, that in this context Microsoft is still in twentieth century. How, in the name of God have ten separate phone numbers? And, on contrary, how many people you may name, that have more than just one website, profile, blog, etc.?

Leave a Reply