Setting a device as 'Master' for contacts

Foxile

macrumors regular
Original poster
Dec 27, 2007
111
0
I've tried googling, but the number of different way of phrasing this, has meant I've find nothing helpful so far, so I'm hoping someone here can help.

I have an iMac, iPad and iPhone which are all set up for iCloud. What I would like to do is have one of them ( preferably the phone ) as the 'Master' device for contacts. That is the device I would use to change/delete contacts and have it spread out to the others, through the cloud.

I can't see any way to do this and as it stands, if I delete a contact on one device, it's back there a short while later, after the device has synced to the cloud.

I even tried deleting from the iCloud web page directly, but even that didn't work as it's populated again from one of the other devices.

I assume I'm missing something really obvious, so can someone please tell me what that is ?
 

mopatops

macrumors regular
Jul 21, 2011
159
32
UK
Sounds like it's simply a bug to me. Deleting from one device should delete from the rest. Is it possible to delete from each device within a few minutes of each other in the hope it doesn't sync back?
 

akm3

macrumors 68020
Nov 15, 2007
2,252
279
With iCloud, iCloud is the master. Period end of story.

This is a change from MobileMe. iCloud is the only trusted record. This causes some good things, and some bad things.
 

CosmoPilot

macrumors 65816
Nov 8, 2010
1,423
86
South Carolina
Wirelessly posted

Here's what you do, log onto www.icloud.com and check online to ensure all your contacts are there and up-to-date. If not, fix it online.

Then turn off iCloud contacts on all your devices. Then delete all your contacts from a device (say your iPad). After they are all deleted, turn iCloud contacts back on. At this point, all the contacts from the cloud will download to your iPad.

Now do the same to your Mac and iPhone. Bug fixed! Now iCloud is the "master"

IMPORTANT!!!
Ensure you turn iCloud contacts OFF BEFORE you delete them from a device. By turning this off, you won't disturb anything in the cloud.
 

Mak47

macrumors 6502a
Mar 27, 2011
751
32
Harrisburg, PA
What you're describing doesn't sound like iCloud isn't syncing correctly. That's different.

Do you have a Yahoo account set up on your iPhone? Is it syncing contacts? I've seen that cause all kinds of mayhem before.
 

Foxile

macrumors regular
Original poster
Dec 27, 2007
111
0
Well I followed the adevice about closing down iCloud syncing and them removing contacts from each of the devices.

It seemed to work for a couple of days, but the same problem is back again.:(

No, I don't have Yahoo set up ( I don't have a Yahoo account anyway ).
 

Arelunde

macrumors 6502a
Jul 6, 2011
980
28
CA Central Coast
You can make changes on your contacts list on any device connected to the iCloud contacts. HOWEVER ... on the iPhone and iPad, you have to touch the circle arrow (in the upper left corner - iPhone; lower left corner - iPad) to sync with iCloud. Currently, they don't sync automatically, like the calendar does.

Took me FOREVER to figure this out.
 

CosmoPilot

macrumors 65816
Nov 8, 2010
1,423
86
South Carolina
Wirelessly posted

The issue is pre iOS 5, contacts were stored internally on the device. When upgrading to iOS 5, it asked if you'd like to merge contacts or not. If you chose incorrectly it created 2 groups. A cloud group (the master) and it left contacts in the device on a separate group. Thus, if you change a contact from the interal group rather than the cloud group it will not get pushed to the cloud, hence none of your other iDevices.
 

CosmoPilot

macrumors 65816
Nov 8, 2010
1,423
86
South Carolina
Wirelessly posted

Arelunde said:
You can make changes on your contacts list on any device connected to the iCloud contacts. HOWEVER ... on the iPhone and iPad, you have to touch the circle arrow (in the upper left corner - iPhone; lower left corner - iPad) to sync with iCloud. Currently, they don't sync automatically, like the calendar does.

Took me FOREVER to figure this out.
This is 100% not true.

I'm not saying you have to do that for it to work, but that is not normal.

Check all your devices to ensure you don't have a different groups. Delete all groups and start with a clean cloud version as I instructed earlier.
 

Foxile

macrumors regular
Original poster
Dec 27, 2007
111
0
I don't have any groups ( I don't really have that many contacts anyway ) set up, that I can see.

To be fair, what Arlunde suggested has worked and my contacts have stayed as I wanted, since trying their method.
 

CosmoPilot

macrumors 65816
Nov 8, 2010
1,423
86
South Carolina
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Foxile said:
I don't have any groups ( I don't really have that many contacts anyway ) set up, that I can see.

To be fair, what Arlunde suggested has worked and my contacts have stayed as I wanted, since trying their method.
I'm not doubting you or the other poster, but I can assure you that is not a normal step.

If you update a contact from any device or Mac, it gets pushed automatically.

Somewhere you've got a bug that needs flushed out.
 

miamialley

macrumors 68030
Jul 28, 2008
2,770
247
Orange County, California
You can make changes on your contacts list on any device connected to the iCloud contacts. HOWEVER ... on the iPhone and iPad, you have to touch the circle arrow (in the upper left corner - iPhone; lower left corner - iPad) to sync with iCloud. Currently, they don't sync automatically, like the calendar does.

Took me FOREVER to figure this out.
As another poster said, this is completely not true. The contacts and calendar sync automatically from all iOS devices and your Apple computer.
 

paulcdb

macrumors regular
Jan 24, 2009
239
4
i've never had any problems with adding, updating or deleting contacts in icloud.

But then i only have iCloud syncing contacts which you can check in Settings > Mail, Contacts, Calendar

They should all say mail only except iCloud!
 

Housedistillery

macrumors newbie
Jun 22, 2012
2
0
Wirelessly posted

The issue is pre iOS 5, contacts were stored internally on the device. When upgrading to iOS 5, it asked if you'd like to merge contacts or not. If you chose incorrectly it created 2 groups. A cloud group (the master) and it left contacts in the device on a separate group. Thus, if you change a contact from the interal group rather than the cloud group it will not get pushed to the cloud, hence none of your other iDevices.
Ok ! I have those contacts stucked on my phone and I can't delete them. I have reseted the device, restored it, wiped the contact... But each time I use spotlight to look for a contact, this old mobileme contact list pops out. I'm turning crazy ! I just would like to wipe it out but can't find a way to do so. Anyone have an option for that ?
Thanks
 

CosmoPilot

macrumors 65816
Nov 8, 2010
1,423
86
South Carolina
Ok ! I have those contacts stucked on my phone and I can't delete them. I have reseted the device, restored it, wiped the contact... But each time I use spotlight to look for a contact, this old mobileme contact list pops out. I'm turning crazy ! I just would like to wipe it out but can't find a way to do so. Anyone have an option for that ?
Thanks
The word MobileMe sticks out. I was never a MobileMe person, so not sure about it, but do you have some sort of login to that which causes contacts to download into your phone?

Another thought, if you are backing up your iPhone to the Cloud and then restoring it after a reset/erasing...you're probably restoring the problem.

I'd recommend the following.

Turn off iCloud contacts on any device/mac you have. In other words, no Apple product should be communicating with the Cloud for contact information.

Delete every contact in your iPhone (search hard for any groups and/or stuck contacts). Backup your device to iCloud (iCloud Contacts still turned off). Reboot the phone (power down/turn on). Look in contacts again and delete any that might have popped up. Power down and restart again. Perform another backup to the Cloud.

Log onto www.icloud.com and check your contacts online. Make sure there are no Groups. You should only see "All Contacts" Click on the Red bookmark (if displayed) to ensure there are no additional groups.

Erase your iPhone (all content and settings).

Perform a restore from iCloud (once restored, no contacts should be on your iPhone since you backed it up after deleting all your contacts from it).

Go back into iCloud settings and turn iCloud contacts back on (iPhone only). The cloud contacts should download onto your device. This should do the trick.

I recommend not turning iCloud contacts on any other mac devices until you've had a few days to test out the iPhone.

Please report back after you've had an opportunity to do this.
 

JMG

macrumors 6502a
May 4, 2006
553
0
With iCloud, iCloud is the master. Period end of story.

This is a change from MobileMe. iCloud is the only trusted record. This causes some good things, and some bad things.
How is iCloud the master if it is constantly being updated by your devices by definition?
 

akm3

macrumors 68020
Nov 15, 2007
2,252
279
How is iCloud the master if it is constantly being updated by your devices by definition?
Imagine it like your device is asking iCloud for permission to add the contact. If iCloud grants it, it adds it. If it doesn't, it removes it. This has caused me problems personally where iCloud keeps deleting a contact I'm trying to add (or keeps adding a contact I'm trying to delete).

iCloud is the boss, and when it's wrong, it's a total PITA.

MobileMe used to ask "Hey, sync conflict! Do you want to trust whats on the MobileMe servers or on your Device?" and you would choose, and that would become the boss. That led to a lot more scenarios where you would get things like massive contact or calendaring duplication. iCloud simplifies that by defining iCloud always as the trusted record. That USUALLY works great, except when it doesn't it is harder to fix than MobileMe was.

Incidentally, the best way *I've* found to fix sync errors in iCloud is to make sure that every device that syncs to your icloud is turned on and connected to the cloud, then go to the iCloud website and make the changes you want to make there. It then propagates to all your other devices. Sometimes this works, sometimes this doesn't.

I've also had situations where I had to restore from a Time Machine backup, and iCloud treated a bunch of stuff I'd previously deleted (and still on the backup) as new records and added them all.
 
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