Look, I love many things about my BlackBerry, and probably more things about Gmail. They didn’t play so nicely at first, but after a series of updates they’re pretty compatible. Yet there is one thing that irks me to no end. See, when you communicate with someone within Gmail, that person is automatically added to your contacts list. When that contacts list syncs with your BlackBerry, you have a huge and unmanageable contacts list. If you want to get rid of that, you can follow these steps. I know I did. Having a non-synced contacts list is far better than the garbage list I get from Gmail. The first way — the hard way — is to clean up your Gmail contacts. That means going to google.com/contacts and deleting all of those contacts you don’t want or need. It will take a while, sure, but the payoff will be noticeable. When you’re done with that, go to Gmail and click on Settings. In the General tab there’s an option titled Create contacts for auto-complete. Select “I’ll add contacts myself” and save up. That should prevent unwanted contacts from populating your address book in the future. If you don’t want that hassle and just want to wipe your Gmail address book, you can simply wipe it from your handset. This will turn off sync, so you’ll have only your local address book. First you’ll go to Service Books. In OS 5.0 you can find this under Options, Advanced Options, Service Books. In the newer OS versions you go to Options, Device, Advanced System Settings, Service Books. In that screen you’ll see your Gmail address with [SYNC] after it. Highlight that, press the Menu key, and click Delete. Yes, your contacts will still be there. All you’re doing is turning off syncing. Now back out and open the Contacts app. Click Menu and go to Options. In that screen type R-S-E-T. You’ll get a warning, but select Yes. Now your Gmail contacts list is gone for good. I, for one, have done this, and am now cleaning up my contacts bit-by-bit. Once I have all those unwanted contacts out of my Gmail account, I’ll set up a sync again. We’ll cover that in next week’s Tips for Tuesday.
Tips for Tuesday: How to get rid of an unwieldy Gmail contact list
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