Syncing contacts from a non e.ecloud account?

Sorry for this naive question, but I am setting up a new /e/ Fairphone 3, and I ported (successfully) various old, independent email acounts on it with K9mail.
Of course I added my new account too.
I then imported my numerous contacts inside the Contacts app, with a big .vcf file, and definitely this works fluently.
But now I’d like to benefit from the eCloud backup for contacts, and what I see is, only the contacts associated to are synced. So, none at this moment.
→ is there an easy way to sync these contacts in the Contacts app, which are not associated to


Regain your privacy! Adopt /e/ the unGoogled mobile OS and online servicesphone

I think I did just this by uploading the .vcf to Contacts on eCloud. Then you might want to add a contact next day to reassure yourself they were actually synced! :slight_smile:

I would suggest to export all contacts to one or more *.vcf files and import them all in ecloud diretly to contact app
In that case you should have all contacts in your ecloud profile.

Thank you @aibd , @kisman172 !
I understand this, but then won’t I get everything twice on /e/OS? As all of them are already in there…
What I sort of expect is finding a setting, in the Contacts app, that says “now associate these contacts to the account”, or something like that…

I would expect sync to be sync.

If the system made that error it would be a fail!

You can have multiple addressbooks on your phone. Some of them can be local (like the one, that you used when importing your vfc file), some of them can be associated with a server (eCloud for example).

I know of no way to associcate contacts from one addressbook to another, so it does not work the way, you would like it to work for now.

My suggestion would be:

  1. import your vfc file on eCloud
  2. synchronize the contacts from eCloud to your phone (yes, now you have the contacts on your phone twice (local addressbook and eCloud addressbook))
  3. Remove the contacts of your local addressbook from your initial import
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Thank you @Markus !

Trying this, I find that my /e/OS Contacts app exports vcf files in version 2 while the eCloud Contacts app requires v3 to work.
After a number of tries I find that I must fake the version (search/replace the 500+ mentions ‘VERSION:2.1’ in each of the 500+ lines), then remove some vcards that apparently are not understood anymore, then replace again 500 times the expressions ‘TEL;WORK:’ with ‘TEL;TYPE=home’, and in that case, the surviving vcards are correctly read.

I only did this on a subset, I am definitely not sure the next sync will bring back (that part of) the vcards on the phone.
But worst of all, even if it works I just can’t delete by hand my 500 old contacts one at a time afterwards.

So, I’m close to abandoning the feature. i have local contacts. I now have a v2 vcf local backup. I’ll save this somewhere. That’s already something.

You are right. Nextcloud stopped supporting vcf v2.1 some time ago.

There are software packages, that convert vcf 2.1 to more recent versions. I did not try them but here is one of them: GitHub - jowave/vcard2to3: Convert vcards from version 2.1 to version 3.0

What is the name of the addressbook (the account), that contains the 500 contacts?

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I think there may be a relatively pain-free way of achieving what @Herve5 wants.

By default, I believe contacts will be imported to the Device address book (i.e. the one that does not get synched). Once an /e/ account is configured on the phone, the COntacts app ‘Import from .vcf file’ dialog offers a choice of address books, including Device and the Contacts and Recently contacted address books in the /e/ account.

So I’m guessing that @Herve5’s 500 contacts will have been imported to the Device address book. From there they can be exported in the phone Contacts app to a .vcf file - presumably v2.1 as that’s what the contacts app understands - then reimported to the /e/ Contacts address book, also using the phone contacts app.

Once the reimported contacts have all been synched to the account (check using the web app), the 500 device contacts can be deleted by clearing the data from the Contacts app , as described on this web page.

(Note: Clearing Contact App’s Data will also delete your recent call history and favourites.)

The next time you sync with your /e/ cloud account, the contacts will be synched back to your phone, and will appear in the contacts app.

If you are nervous abut clearing the Contacts app’s data, you can instead choose in the Contacts app (in the three lines menu) to only display contacts from the /e/ address book. The 500 device cntacts will still be stored on the phone, but you wont see them in the Contacts app (unless you choose to do so).

I hope that helps. Good luck!


Thank you , @Markus , @petefoth !
It’s a bit late here for me to try safely, but I’ll attempt all of this tomorrow morning first thing!
I’m also delighted to see /e/ features very reactive people like you -that’s a very good sign IMHO!

OK, I have done this, and it works. Thank you all!
I now have another issue (I find /e/ Contacts app is very minimalist, not dealing with groups apparently) but I’ll create another thread with this.
Thank you again!

If you install the DAVx5 app - - from the F-droid Store - that can enable easy syncing of Contacts, Calendar events and Tasks from your own NextCloud server or account.

Best regards,
Steve Berson

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