How to sort out confusion in iPhone Contact Groups?

My usage of my iPhone SE is that I never sync to the cloud because I keep private inforamtion in my Contacts. Instead, I sync my Contacts over home Wi-Fi, and it gets synced with an Exchange Server [1].

I have never used, created, or manipulated Contact Groups on my iPhone, yet I now seem to have two versions of my Contacts. Specifically, I have the following Contact Groups:

  1. All iPhone
  2. iPhone Global Address List
  3. All AkrutoSync Exchange
  4. AkrutoSync Exchange Global Address List

I can only enable #1 and #3. If I try to enable #2 or #4, I am shown an empty contact list. The disparate versions of my contacts are in #1 and #3. There are too many contacts and details to see where the difference lie, but I know that some Contacts that I recently created on my iPhone show up in #1. However, I consider #3 to be the main Contacts since it is synced with my laptop.

Without using the cloud, is there any way to migrate individual contacts from #1 to #3, other than manually copying details onto a piece of paper and disabling #1, enabling #3, and typing the details in again?

I can enable both #1 and #3, but then I get many duplicate Contacts and it's hard to tell which Contacts are from which Groups (if there is a way to determine this, I'd appreciate knowing). The duplicates may actually be near-duplicates, and I don't consider it feasible to manually figure out where all the differences lie. I am only interested in keeping #3 and migrating Contacts that exist only in #1 to #3.

Once I've updated #3, is there any way to “blow away” #1 Contacts and ensure that #1 is never enabled again?

On a related note, how can I ensure that #3 is the Group in which new contacts are created? If I currently create a new contact, it ends up in #1. If I go to Settings -> Contacts, there is no field for designating a “default” Group. Neither is there such a “default” field in Settings -> Contacts -> Accounts.


[1] The server is actually the AkrutoSync Exchange interface to the Outlook desktop app on my laptop.

Author: Subham

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