De-bugging a sync loop

I've run into a sync loop: either my contacts are repeatedly duplicating, I'm making edits to my contacts and those edits aren't sticking, or I'm noting mass deletions. What is happening and how can I fix it?

Typically, sync loops manifest as mass contact duplication or deletion. Currently, we have a detection system which watches for these effects and temporarily suspends syncing in your Contacts+ account when this happens.

However, detecting a sync loop isn't always guaranteed on our end. Additionally, sometimes it can be difficult for you (as a Contacts+ user) to provide sufficient information to identify the "bridge" completing the sync loop.

In other words, here's how a sync loop occurs: you've connected your Google Contacts and your iCloud address book to Contacts+; however, either accidentally or intentionally, you have a third party syncing your Google Contacts and your iCloud address books together.

That being said, here's how you can determine if there's a syncing loop occurring in your Contacts+ account:

1. Head over to your Settings page in Contacts+ for Web. Take a look at which email accounts you've connected to Contacts+; these connected sources include Google Contacts, iCloud, and/or Exchange/Office 365/Outlook.

2. Find the contact "Contacts+ Support" in one of your connected sources (Google Contacts, iCloud, or Exchange/Office 365/Outlook). To note, you'll want to find the "Contacts+ Support" contact outside of Contacts+; in other words, log into your Gmail, iCloud, or Exchange account in another tab and find "Contacts+ Support" in your contact list.

3. If you're experiencing a syncing loop, you'll notice that this contact, "Contacts+ Support," has a section of notes in the notes field along with an "origin." This origin will either say Google, iCloud, or Exchange.

Go ahead and make an edit in the notes field below the dashed line. To note, you will NOT see these notes (below the dashed line) in your Contacts+ account, they're only visible in your external sources. Here's what you'll see:


To clarify, the "origin" will be there the moment the third party syncs your two sources together (i.e. Google Contacts and iCloud).

4. If the change does propagate to your other connected source, there's something besides Contacts+ that is syncing the sources together, thus establishing a syncing loop. However, if the change doesn't show up in another source you have connected in Contacts+, you're NOT experiencing a syncing loop.

In other words, the purpose of this edit is to confirm that there's nothing still syncing your sources (other than Contacts+) after having taken action to break the loop.

5. If you're not experiencing a syncing loop but still believe there's an issue going on, please email our Support team.

6. After fixing the sync loop (by removing the third party that's connecting your sources), delete the "Contacts+ Support" contact with the mismatched origin in your external sources (Google Contacts, iCloud, or Exchange/Office 365/Outlook). Contacts+ will notice and within 24 hours, we will resume syncing.

A mismatched origin includes seeing the wrong origin in one of your external sources. For example, if you're logged into your Google Contacts account but you see "origin: _____ (icloud)" in the notes field, that indicates a mismatched origin. 

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