Top ten tips and tricks for managing your BlackBerry 10 contacts

By Alicia Erlich on 11 Jun 2014 03:02 pm EDT

For anyone who uses the Contacts Application on a daily basis, it is a powerful tool for connecting with not only colleagues and co-workers, but friends, family and social acquaintances as well. While the application is not without fault, it has come a long way since BlackBerry 10 first came on the scene.

That is why I decided to compile the top ten tips and tricks that I use on a daily basis to make sure things runs smoothly.

Reader comments

Top ten tips and tricks for managing your BlackBerry 10 contacts


too bad when you link a contact with the same number the contact adds the number so I have 5 of the same numbers per contact, what a mess

I gave up trying to clean up the contacts app within a month since I'm always installing leaks so I don't want to have to fiddle with contacts after every leak so I have just left it since February/March
Some contacts i even have 10 for them, some go missing so I need to ask the person on BBM what there number is again.

They need to fix merging, find out a way to merge facebook/twitter/linkedin/bbm contacts seamlessly without me having to fiddle with it.
I like linking Facebook with it for the profile pictures, there should also be an accessable contacts app without leaving the hub like Accompli.
TBH i think there should be shortcuts to the app in all of the hub in the top right corner of the reply box. But that's for a different thread/blog post

BlackBerry must prioritise fixing this missing/double/triple contact bug.
Busy folks literally access the contact list over 100 times each day.

BB10 and Z10 devices are approaching the 18 month mark, and this bug is still around!
Not only does this bring (great) inconvenience to users, this further tarnishes the BlackBerry image, pushing potential customers further away from buying BlackBerry devices.

I had the issue and discovered what it was. The only doubling of contacts I have is between my personal Gmail and Facebook. People who had their phone numbers listed on Facebook had double phone numbers, and I realized it is about the phone number format. Facebook stores numbers in the +13335557777 format. Always +1 at the beginning and no dashes or spaces. If you go into Gmail and copy that format, they merge just fine.

Via Z10

I dont have gmail contacts, like I said people shouldn't have to fiddle around like that.

all my number are 5197878989 format and it still doubles up anyways

when getting a call only the number shows up not the persons name, I don't remember people's numbers.

CALLER ID is supposed to give me a name for the contacts that is ALREADY IN MY PHONEBOOK (contacts)

Blackberry needs to prioritize fixing the contacts.

Its in a complete mess.

My whatsapp messenger (even the call function) cant recognize certain contacts sometimes- and this is complete un-acceptable from a phone that calls itself a business phone!!

Search for Place! You should try this app! Uses extended search perfectly in google maps!!

Is this a joke of some kind?

The contact app in bb10 is beyond me!

 BlackBerry Q10  Keep The Faith 

I use an app called IntouchApp Contacts. It can back up your contacts and then you can export it in a CSV sheet.
Then upload that sheet to Google Contacts. That's how I synced contacts.

You can use Outlook as well, after synchronization with pc using bblink. Just export contacts to csv file then import in Gmail.

Zwiped from my Zed

Go to settings inside Contact app and turn off display of all accounts. This will technically display only local contact. Select one contact and click ' select more ' and select all contacts one by one. Then click 'copy to' and select your gmail account and save.

Caution: If local contact is already having a Gmail link, this will create duplicate in Gmail side.

Great tips! Just so that you know, if you do not have your contacts locally, meaning you have deleted them, and you only have them sync'd, ( no duplicate) , and you are travelling(Inc overseas) and you do not have access to a carrier (data roaming) or wifi, your contact list will be blank. And if you have wifi, your battery life will be short. Beware....

Posted via Z10.

Wait, are you saying if I am only having Google contacts on my phone, without data the contacts will be gone from the phone?
I doubt that. Can someone please clarify that?

I would say that's not correct. To get around contact doubling I only sync to my gmail contact list. I unlink all others. Loss of data has so far had no effect on contacts that I am aware of.

Don Diego endorses the Zed.

Not true. It won't continue to sync updates I'd there's no network connection, but the Exchange contacts will be on the device still.

No. Only changes on either side will not reflect.
Without data connection, all synced contacts will be in place in device

I'll pass. Contacts are completely broken atm. I just look at my contacts through the phone button...

Z10 on T-mobile running

And also if you have a lot of contacts and have them located on your sim card, be careful you may have problems with your texts jamming up. Especially if you keep your texts for records and business. Beware...

Posted via Z10.

Dear Alicia , who payed you to write this article. There are tones of complains on this forum about the Contacts App of BlackBerry 10 and about how crap it is:
- It's working slow
- it's not showing the priority of search
- it's not showing the prediction
- it's all messed between accounts
- I have to linked 1600 contacts, one by one. Do it yourself Alicia if you have the time....
- even if I make a real effort and save into Gmail Contacts, un link and delete all other accounts. Make a merge into Gmail contacts ( by the way they know to do it embedded into contact app...) and bring back to the phone, after the integration with all accounts, the double efect will be back again. Believe me, I've tried....

So please give these advices to people that didn't try all the possibilities !

Proudly Z10 owner

My apologies that you are experiencing these issues. This tutorial was to present tips on how to work the application better, discover some capabilities you might not have known or present a how to for those who are new to the platform.

Don't get mad at her for having a lot of contacts that I doubt you've taken the time to sort, massage the data and make everything match up the same. Leave her and the article alone, everything in there is correct.

Via Z10

Agreed. Don't bitch at the author for presenting helpful tips using the contacts app because your 1600 contacts, saved across multiple social networks/sites with likely no consistency in formatting don't sync properly. That's pretty ridiculous.

Sent from my Z10. Or was it my Q10? Either way, it was sent from an awesome phone.

You're a prick. Alicia's article is helpful to a lot of people. She even acknowledged that the Contacts app isn't perfect in her article. Why don't you write some helpful articles instead of bitching?

Posted with my T-Mobile USA  Q10 via CB10.

I don't get all this constant "the contacts app is crap, contacts are broken, etc..." talk. I've never had issue with the contacts on BB10. I sync my Exchange ActiveSync accounts for email, contacts, and clanedar, and my contacts are always good to go. I have no trouble linking them with other accounts when necessary, but they are usually linked automatically, and correctly. What's different about my contacts from everyone who is having these problems?

Netwerx1, not everyone has exchange...a large number use Gmail... but I nevertheless agree with you that used properly the app is a great app overall

Posted via Z10.

Yes, all my email accounts are either or Exchange...I've never synced my contacts with Google, nor would I ever ;)


It has always worked fine for me once I figured out how to use the contacts app. Keep in mind, those with no issue are less likely to speak up, than those with an issue - even if the former is in the vast majority.

Never uploaded my contacts to Google and never had any problems

Posted via CB10 on my awesome black Q10 or my white sexy Z10

The contact app is a smart and very versatile app, but like anything BlackBerry, not simply brilliant but engineering brilliant...!!!
If you ad a contact on the go on your phone, it will load up on all your other accounts also ( eg local, sim, X change, Gmail, etc...) you need then to decide which one you want it on...

Posted via Z10.

I also need to add that contacts played nice when I only used my account: perfect sync, no duplicates, no dropped contacts and not laggy at all. The moment I added my Gmail to the mix, all hell broke loose.

Z10 STL100-1, OS


BB10 should be able to detect that and not show BBM pins to invite that are already there. I usually enter then in lowercase for convenience, but I hope the app will be smart enough soon

"No Q10?" -> "Buy from Chen... "

I think that any advice about the contact app should go to BlackBerry.

Post via BlackBerry ZedAche (2141)

The contacts app is still terrible! I have bbm, exchange, and two Hotmail accounts and it's all over the place. They need an option for basic mode where you input names numbers and email and that's all there is to it, nothing automatically linking things and pulling incorrect info.

Posted from my Z10 via CB10

There was nothing wrong with the Legacy contact address book. They should have left well enough alone on this. I still can't figure out how to sync my contacts and calendar with my desktop's outlook.

Posted from my Z30 on CB10

This is the only big complain I have about BB10, hope they fix all the problems once and for all in the next update, I have some BBM contacts that doesn't sync with the contacts app, the BB pin appears in the contact to invite him/her to BBM, some others dosn't give me the option to make BBM video or voice call from the contacts app and have to go to BBM chat to call, some other contacts I just can't fix the name of the contact, from the automatic merging some contacts get named by middle name and mother maidens name and when I open the contact just don't have the option to rename because the name and last name fields doesn't appear, have to create a new contact and merge it with the old one... and so on, anyway the base to build an amazing contacts app is there, they just have to work in the problems fast and fix them and it will be a great contacts app.

How about making it so that only your priority hub people can get through. When you turn it on. If you are in a meeting. Only specific contacts can call txt or email. Or if you are sleeping only specific people can call or txt or email. When I turn it on. Sometimes I miss my bold. With those profiles. Z10 user

Posted via CB10

The contacts app is a disaster. No fault of the article writer but it's just hopeless. Bring back the 7.1 app.

Z30 / STA100-5 / / T-Mobile USA

Somehow, contacts have been created in all the email accounts (5) that I have in my Z30. Is there a way, by which I can detect common contacts across all emails and delete the ones not needed.

Posted via CB10 on my Z30

For me the contacts app has been terrible since day 1. It seems to have become a little better with 10.2, but I still have contacts that mysteriously go missing, contacts that "unlink" themselves, duplicate Skype entries.. The list goes on. Yes, I do sync with Google. Not sure if that is the source of the problem, but if it is, then find the root cause and solve it! This should be priority #1 for the target "business/enterprise" prosumer. I gave up a long time ago trying to tame the wild contact list, and have just accepted the fact that this is something BB10 just does terribly. And every other BB10 user I know has complained about this at one time or another as well so I know it can't just be me.

Posted via CB10

The target prosumer from enterprise is under BES and mostly using Exchange Active Sync where there is no issue.
Issue, it seems, is mostly with Gmail users who are mostly consumers and, sorry to say, they are out of focus now by BBRY.
I use and all social accounts, and it works flawless.

About the duplicate Skype entries: You can remove the Skype contacts from your list. Just open Skype and check the settings. Maybe this helps a little... :)

I believe it's a mix

-of user error, people don't know how to use the multiple accounts feature,

-and bugs and programming errors in the app, that it doesn't detect duplicate numbers and lists them several times, also syncing problems with multiple accounts

- it even gets worse if you have some of them in local notation (07....) and some in international GSM notation (+61-7...)

Hey boffins@BBRY, we trust you to fix this up, probably needs a few experiments how Google contacts, Outlook, BBM, Local Contacts and the whole mix behaves, what can be safely mixed and what causes the explosion!

"No Q10?" -> "Buy from Chen... "

Also some improved documentation would be handy (specifically for syncing and merging), so we can do some good ol' RTFM!

"No Q10?" -> "Buy from Chen... "

I have suggested that they allow us to search contacts by the notes or any other available field in the contacts app. We can't even use the universal search and get a contact that way (or at least has never worked for me for the notes field). Hopefully, they give this one day.

Posted via CB10

My Palm Pilot had a better contact program. BlackBerry please make an update that has categories that can sync with Microsoft active sync or even Google! Please I'm begging at this point!

Posted via CB10

The contacts app my not be perfect, but for myself it works great, it's all in how you set it up and manage it. As for all the haters out there I believe that they have forgotten how to think for themselves.

Posted via CB10

No sure why people have so much grief with contacts. I have over 1800 contacts between work and home, and the contacts app keeps them nicely organized and available for me.

I found if I use my Hotmail account as my main contact list, when adding new contacts I un check the add to BlackBerry link and local contacts and just sync to my Hotmail and Sim card. Since then I've had little problem with duplicates.

Posted with the brilliance of my Z10!!!

If I saved a contact to sim and phone how do I delete it only from the sim while leaving it on my phone?

Posted via CB10 on my awesome black Q10 or my white sexy Z10

If you create a contact on both sim and phone (aka local), as soon as it is created, it is linked. So if you try to delete the sim contact, it warns that the linked contacts will also be deleted.
First unlink the contact so that you can see two contacts in the list. Select the sim saved contact and delete.

I won't ever understand why it's been so difficult to Blackberry to fix all issues about the Contact app. I'm also suspicious about Whatsapp. Everytime, for some reason, I have to restart my Z10 I notice that there are some members in a Whatsapp group which names don't appear in the conversation, I see that it's showing the phone number instead, and I have to go to Group Info and click on ADD, every single time it's the same. Besides this, i'm not sure is somebody has experienced when I receive a phone call, the caller ID shows me the number, not the name, even though it's a contact, supposedly recorded in my address book.... indeed, a total disaster! I really love Blackberry... yes, absolutely!

I get the "number only /no name" frequently. Hate that! Over 3k contacts, I can't remember all their numbers! GIVE ME A NAME!

Posted via CB10

knew most of it already but love the extra tips guys! Thanks so much! :D Long Live Blackberry!

Posted via CB10

I took one day to link all my contacts properly and I haven't had problems since. All your contacts really do look beautiful once everything is organised. Sure it could do things much better but really you only need to sit down with it for a day and sort it out. You only have to do it once.

Posted via CB10 on Blackberry Q5

Thanks! A few tips I didn't know about.

Like others I've had TONS of issues with duplicate (3x even 4x) contacts.
But I wiped all my contacts. Checked my Gmail for duplicates then I sync only Gmail and now I have no issues. For about a month.

Posted via CB10

Very comprehensive! Even after using BB10 for over a year, I learned a couple of things. Great job!

Posted via CB10

^This. I've had very little problems with the app since release. I get the odd duplicate contact but linking has worked just fine for me.

Sent from my Z10. Or was it my Q10? Either way, it was sent from an awesome phone.

Great features, but I'm kind of like the OS7 contact features where it doesn't create duplication of names, telephone numbers etc. The other thing, as in OS7 too, we can have choices in the contact telephone number, such as Mobile, Mobile 1, whereas in BB10 it's all Mobile number which can be confusing at time, which number to call.

Posted via CB10

when you add a new Contact, remember click the " Save To ": and check off which email account you do not want this new Contact to sync too. I have my sons email on my phone so when I add a contact to my contact list , I check off my sons email so the new entered contact does not sync to my sons contact list.

I appreciate this article and have found that with each update my Contacts have been working better. I was expecting a mess anyways since I have been porting information since my first Nokia flip phone to my subsequent Berrys.

I love how you can access Contacts thru BlackBerry Maps and just tap and and go.

Sent from my Q10 or Z10.

Depuis quelques semaines impossible de synchroniser BlackBerry Q10 avec outlook ! ! ! Plus de synchronisation des contacts et tâches !!! Tous les BlackBerry que j ai eu se sont toujours parfaitement synchronisés quel retour en arrière ! Je vais être obligé de changer de téléphone

Posted via CB10

J'ai deja eu ce probleme et il suffi de faire un "reset settings" des liens Outlook a syncroniser; contact et calender et de les reconfigurer.

Contacts linking is a NIGHTMARE -- its never automatic and always resets when device is rebooted!! This is the worse aspect of BB10

Posted via secure bb10.2.1.2179

Alicia, I didn't realize one could hide/add a contact by swiping right... thanks for the lesson! now I won't have duplicate contacts.

From the mind of a mAnIaC

Sorry guys that I've disturbed your Zen but the problems I've told you are real. I don't know from were but there are.
I've had 2 years 6 top smartphones with android before I decided to go with BlackBerry and never experienced these problems. I ve had the BlackBerry 9900 and never experienced these problems. Just from having this awesome Z I had it. You all seems to not experience this issues. Ok, tell me your secrets!

Proudly Z10 owner

I don't want my contacts linked to Google, Gmail or any online services, but yet they are.

How do I copy all of my contacts so that they are stored locally? Keep in mind that I have over 100 contacts and want to copy them easily.

Posted by a Proud NRA Supporter!

Thanks for listing it out. I really wish if BlackBerry would have an option for select all instead of selecting 500 contacts manually.

Posted via CB10

It would be helpful of BlackBerry Link can have a contact management ui for us to clean up contact details and merge contacts

Posted via CB10

I think the selection of one-at-a-time thing is too long a process...
I wish BlackBerry can just add up the option of "select all", "copy all" etc... to make the BlackBerry10 worthwhile.

Posted via CB10

I'm sorry Kevin, but this is the type of article that makes me think you need to get rid of some folks. The contacts up is screwed up so badly. Any cursory search of the forums would reveal this is the biggest complaint with BB10. How can someone right that it is "powerful" with a straight face. Today I woke up and all my contacts had disappeared overnight. Unacceptable.

Posted via CB10

Does anyone have this issue of contacts disappearing..especially when you want them the most. I have faced these many times.
This is one major issue with BB10 that I have faced not just with my z30 phone but with my q10 as well.

What is the reason for this issue?. Is restarting the phone or security wipe the only solution.

BB10 devices are great..its just that these basic issues need to be fixed first before going to the big ones.

Posted via CB10

If I have a contact stored I cannot find it in the Whatsapp contact list. I have to make a contact in Whatsapp and then have to save it in the BlackBerry contacts and have to add is as a new one or an existing one but then I cannot save it. Therefore I cannot add new contact to Whatsapp .
I constantly struggle with the contacts.....

posted via my Z10 

I am not sure if it is carrier based or not but all my numbers have to be saved like this in my contacts (876= country code for jamaica)


If I do not have the +1876 it will not recognise it in my contacts. since realising this from when I first got the Z10 I make sure I save numbers in this format, other than this i have no issues with contacts .

Z10, official Digicel

We're missing:
- Speeeeeeed
- A real contact merger, not just a linker
- LED colours for contacts
- A proper source manager with "select all"
- A duplicate resolver

I think the problem is that there are multiple conflicting standards for contacts. My android tablet has the same issues with contact duplication. My iPhone 4 had same problem as well as my old curve. Synchronization is another actually complex problem that is buggy in bb10. Seems like Google v. Exchange issues are the common thread. I still have old contacts that were imported from my first cell phone that I try to get rid of but seem to pop up in my Google contacts, etc.

Posted via CB10

blackberry need fix contact issue here.
duplicating, missing! so frastrating..

i am using gmail contact sync.

Posted via CB10

My issue is not yet solved, tried every possibility..

I am having my contacts on Gmail.
Sync with by phone through Gmail account, the problem which I face is many of the times someone calls me I just get his no, and name is not displayed, once I receive the call I get his name displayed.

This has happened to my with my 5 different z30 and even with q10..

I being very loyal to bb have always tried to stuck to this phones but finally I was fed up and I switched back to Android..

I have done following rectification to get rid out of this but none of that work.

II did exported all Gmail contacts and imported them in outlook and from them I sync with bb link, but then also it didn't worked..

Anyone has any solutions for this?

Correct bro... actually me n my friends also facing same problem... tried adding country code... but there has no solution i think... BlackBerry should have eye on it.. guys spread it this bug means we can get solution on it!

Posted via CB10

For duplicate contacts use fire chest backup app.. its awesome.. tooks backup.. merge duplicate contacts.. and removed also.. awesome app.. use it premium version.. it was free app on dec 2013.. paid app per day offer!

Posted via CB10

It's too bad there's no tip or trick on how to keep deleted numbers and email addresses from coming back. The contacts app is a complete mess.

I send all my contacts alphabetically via e-mail to myself and then save the attached contacts to a folder on the SD card. The saved contacts also retain the custom contact images.

Posted via CB10

Does anyone know how/if it's possible to have only mobile phone numbers appear as a choice when going to compose a text message? A CB search leaves me pessimistic ...

The syncing with Gmail works great. Just have to learn how it works. I went through all these issues. Need to know that contacts can be saved in three different places. Sim card, phone, Gmail.
Put a new contact in, take note at the top where it is saving to. I just save to the Gmail or Google. Works perfect and really quick. Both ways either adding or deleting.
Facebook can grab more information from the web, and create duplication or may not sync all, depending where it saved this contact. The settings are in contacts, swipe down from the top, at the bottom you will see the areas you can control. More control is needed when contacts are added from the web.
More confusion if you import contacts from an old phone or previous SIM card.

Don McAskin, Z10. I don't Type...I swipe.

I agree that the OS10 Contacts app has been not up the same par as OS7.
BlackBerry is also aware that OS10.2.1 still doesn't sync the contract groups from our computers.
But they don't have a resolution to this problem.
If you have to erase and restore your phone for any (number of) reasons, you have to manually rebuild all of those contact groups.
With over 600 contacts and 41 groups, this takes me several hours to do.