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How to Fix Sync Issues for an Android Phone

Authored by:
Support.com Tech Pro Team
This Guided Path® was written and reviewed by Support.com’s Tech Pro team. With decades of experience, our Tech Pros are passionate about making technology work for you. We love feedback! Let us know what you think about this Guided Path® by rating it at the end.

Introduction

Modern smartphones no longer sync to your computer directly, but rather to servers provided by a company. In the case of Android, these are Google's Cloud services.

Normally, everything you save on your phone is automatically saved and refreshed regularly, making it easy to work on larger maintenance tasks, like importing, editing, or deleting a lot of contacts.

If your phone stops automatically updating, it can become very frustrating. This guide will help you through checking the settings on your Android Smartphone to be sure everything is setup right, and will keep you up-to-date.

Android logo.

1 Restart

  1. Hold down the power button on your Android device.

    Depending on the manufacturer and model of Android device you have, the location of the power button will vary.

  2. A prompt will appear on-screen. Select Restart.
    Android Power menu with Restart highlighted.
If the Restart option doesn't show up, tap Power Off instead. Press and hold the power button to turn the device back on.

If the menu doesn't show up, continue holding the power button until the device will turns off.

? Is your phone syncing properly now?

  1. Yes
  2. No

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Modern smartphones no longer sync to your computer directly, but rather to servers provided by a company. In the case of Android, these are Google's Cloud services.

Normally, everything you save on your phone is automatically saved and refreshed regularly, making it easy to work on larger maintenance tasks, like importing, editing, or deleting a lot of contacts.

If your phone stops automatically updating, it can become very frustrating. This guide will help you through checking the settings on your Android Smartphone to be sure everything is setup right, and will keep you up-to-date.

Android logo.

  1. Hold down the power button on your Android device.

    Depending on the manufacturer and model of Android device you have, the location of the power button will vary.

  2. A prompt will appear on-screen. Select Restart.
    Android Power menu with Restart highlighted.
If the Restart option doesn't show up, tap Power Off instead. Press and hold the power button to turn the device back on.

If the menu doesn't show up, continue holding the power button until the device will turns off.
  1. Open your browser, Chrome.
    Google Chrome.
  2. In the address bar at the top, type in google.com, then push Enter or Return.
    Chrome address bar.
  3. Make sure the Google page comes up. Type in something to search for, then push Enter or Return.
    Google Homepage with search box highlighted.
  4. Make sure your search results come up.
    Google search results.

Your Android phone can sync with a very, very large selection of different services, all provided by different developers, as well as with Google's servers.

This guide is focused on the Google Play Services. This includes:

  • Phone contacts
    Google Contacts
  • Photos
    Google Photos
  • Chrome browser bookmarks
    Google Chrome.
  • Gmail-provided Email
    Google Gmail.
  • Messages, Hangouts, Duo, Voice apps
    Google Messages. Google Hangouts. Google Duo. Google Voice.
  • Google Home
    Google Home.
  • Google Assistant
    Google Assistant.
  • Other apps provided by Google directly.
    Google.

Other services, such as WhatsApp, Twitter, Facebook, etc. are handled directly by those companies, not by Google Play Services.

If you are having problems with the way another service is syncing, it is best to reach out to the App's developer, instead.

  1. Open Settings on your phone or tablet.
    Android Settings.
  2. Select Accounts.
    Android Settings with Accounts highlighted.
  3. Select Google from the list of accounts.
    Accounts with Google highlighted.
  4. Make sure the e-mail address at the top is the one you expect. For each Google service, make sure the slider is set to the right for On.
    Google account services with email address and slider highlighted.
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