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Can't JOIN contacts if HTCData exists in notes field

This has been driving me insane since I switched from my HTC Evo 4G to the Samsung Galaxy S4 a couple of weeks ago. I was astonished that a flagship phone didn't seem to auto-link the contacts to Facebook, Skype, Whatsapp, etc.. like my HTC did.

I would press the "join" button (or the menu item) and it would SAY it did it, but never actually would link them. Very infuriating and borderline made me want to return the phone honestly.

Well this morning on "accident" I got one of the contacts to link. I examined what the difference was and it turns out that this stupid <HTCData> tag that HTC uses is the culprit (and confirmed by deleting the tag from other contacts that refused to link previously and then they magically manually linked).

So after searching for a while I came upon a couple of threads:


I ended up following the second one there and exporting to a GOOGLE .csv file however (NOT the smaller Outlook one as they suggest). Then I opened it in a TEXT editor (NOT a spreadsheet editor). I used Notepad++. I searched using REGEX for:
and then replaced them with nothing.

Back on gmail, I deleted all my contacts, forced a sync on my phone to ensure they were all gone there too, and used the IMPORT feature on gmail to re-add them from the .csv file. As soon as I did that, I re-synced from the phone and much to my elation they just started to link with my Facebook, Whatsapp and Skype contacts where it could. I still had to go through and manually do a bunch of them because some people are annoying and aren't consistent with their names and other match-able data, but sure beats doing them all by hand!


Also, a little pro-tip for you if you didn't know. After you link a few accounts together on a contact, click the menu button and choose "set default". This will allow you to choose things like the contact's name, phone, email, etc. that will be the default to display/use. That took me a minute to figure out.


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