1. tim_nic's Avatar
    Hello, AndroidCentral. I am going to try to explain, in as much detail as possible, a severe issue with my Galaxy S4 (purchased in May 2013) that hit me on the weekend of March 12-13, 2016. I have spent the entire week troubleshooting, scouring forums (including this one), poring over my phone's functions, losing sleep, and generally being driven to the brink of insanity in trying to solve this issue to no avail. But, I digress; let me try to explain what is going on.

    Last Saturday night (March 12), I looked at my phone and noticed an odd notification telling me that some functions on my phone may not work properly due to limited storage space. There was another notification telling me I would be unable to receive or send SMS/MMS messages because of, again, limited storage space. My phone was also, at this point, automatically put into Safe Mode, which I soon exited (and I am not sure if this was an error on my part to do so; if it is, please tell me so I know how to respond properly in the future).

    Taking a look at my internal storage provided me with a shock: 0.00B of storage remaining! I looked at my Applications to see where all of this Used Space was coming from, and noticed something called "Contacts Storage" sitting at the top, filling up nearly 4.5GB!!!!! I have never had a lot of contacts added internally to my device in the first place (nor in Google Contacts--the latter shows about 80, and the former is likely to be around the same), and either speaking to friends with Android or reading around online confirmed that there is no way it should be larger than several MB--let alone 4.5GB!!!

    And so throughout the week, I had decided to troubleshoot as much as possible before posting here so I could gather as much pertinent information as possible. I will now explain several things I had done/found out:

    1. Uninstalling apps to make space did not help in any way; the moment I freed up some MB, the Contacts Storage would simply eat it away and grow larger.

    2. I cannot access my Contacts or Phone Log because it tells me that my Contacts are "being updated," and a loading icon continues to spin indefinitely. HOWEVER, when I go to my keypad and begin typing in numbers, my contacts' names will begin showing up.

    3. Upon entering my Messages, all the names have been replaced by their phone numbers. The text messages are there, but the contacts' names are not.

    4. I used Samsung Smart Switch to try and back up my entire phone, and curiously enough my Contacts were successfully backed up (and the number appeared to be realistic, less than 100). HOWEVER, when trying to back up Messages, it said "A data processing or other error on the device has prevented this item from being backed up." Call Logs, Story Album, Email, and Other Settings also failed to backup, with the message "Error occurred. Unable to proceed with data backup." being applied to each of them.

    5. Now, this seemed to me to be a BIG discovery: Upon looking at my Accounts two days ago, and looking at my connected Google accounts, Google Contacts sync had showed itself to have NOT been functioning for the past two weeks! Instead, the sync icon was red instead of green, and contained the following notification: "Sync is currently experiencing some problems. It will be back shortly." But as I had said, it showed the last successful sync taking place just over two weeks ago (on March 5, to be exact), so this seemed like it was perhaps the root of the issue.

    I then disabled Google Contacts sync on both my connected accounts (one for personal use, one for work), and noticed something interesting--upon logging into Facebook (and having to enter in my login information again for some reason), my Contacts Storage had dropped all the way back down to about 0.91GB (yay), before climbing back up to about 3.21GB (boo) in a matter of minutes where it remained at that 3.21GB for an entire day ONCE I had disabled Google Contacts sync--from around 3PM March 19 to 3PM March 20. This made me very happy as I thought I had finally stopped the Contacts Storage from ballooning anymore. Unfortunately, it decided to jump right back up to 4.5GB yesterday afternoon, before falling back down to 3.5GB, then down a bit more, then back up where it stayed at around 3.91GB from yesterday afternoon to... well, today, when it's shot right back up to 4.5GB and I now have 0.00B of internal storage remaining (edit: 48KB now remain). So this obviously did not solve my problem.

    6. I have both Facebook and Facebook Messenger contact sync disabled. Evidently, this has not solved anything either.

    7. During last night when my phone had about 600MB of space free, I downloaded the "Contacts Sync Fix" app because of how many people had recommended this. It scanned "130 contacts" in about 3 seconds, finding nothing wrong with my phone. Yet another solution failing to rectify anything.

    8. The very first thing I had done when having this issue pop up was to run an AVG scan of my phone, but that also came up with nothing. However, the scan seemed to go by awfully fast (or at least, much faster than I can remember in the past), and it makes me wonder if it even scanned my entire phone--I don't think it did.

    9. The Contacts Storage appears to fluctuate on its own terms at least once a day--eating up my storage until there's literally 0.00B remaining, but then falling back down so there might be 500MB remaining. As I type this now, there are 48KB of space available; I have no idea how to gauge the fluctuation because it appears to be virtually random (though it likely isn't), and so it's a toss-up in terms of how much available space I will have within the next hour or two.

    10. I should note that I have yet to install the Marshmallow update. The reason for this is, ironically enough, due to internal storage issues that were plaguing me upon the update's release, and so I have no idea if this Contacts Storage thing was slowly eating away at my phone or if that was just something different entirely. Regardless, it would of course be nice to try and finally update my phone, but I need storage space to do that with...

    11. Finally, I don't know if this is related or not, but my WhatsApp chats were gone when opening the app. I pray Google Drive has them backed up like my hidden data shows me on my account, but at this point it's difficult for me to put much trust in it when my phone is being absolutely hammered by this... whatever the heck is going on.

    ...Phew. I think this just about covers everything I have taken note of over the past week. At this point, I'm just mentally and emotionally drained, and am turning to AC as my ultimate plea for help. I have found several threads with this issue, but as I am not sure if its diagnosing is universal or not, I felt it best to post my experiences in as much personal detail as possible to allow for the most personal solutions to (hopefully) occur. I just don't know if I'm going to need to "Clear Data" on Contacts Storage, or do a factory reset, or just buy a new phone (which would be least preferable due to financial strains on me...). I'm just so upset and tired and utterly defeated, I just want everything to go back to normal.

    I really, really thank you all *greatly* for taking the time to read this and help me out. I really cannot say how much any support would mean to me, truly. Thank you, and I hope to receive some feedback soon...
    03-21-2016 02:03 PM
  2. belodion's Avatar

    I don't know what is the cause of the trouble but my instinct would be to do a Backup & Reset. Let us know if you'd like advice on how to proceed, especially with the backing up.

    I'll also pass this on to wiser persons than I, who may be able to suggest something less drastic.

    Posted via the Android Central App
    03-21-2016 02:43 PM
  3. tim_nic's Avatar
    Hello belodion, and thank you for the welcome.

    If it does come to backing up & resetting, then yes, I do think I would very much appreciate advice on how to proceed. Two things I would like to bring up, however:

    1. If I "Clear Data" on my Contacts Storage, will this also erase all of my text messages? If not, then that is not a very big deal to me at all; I can figure out most of my important contacts by the contents of the messages themselves. If so, however, then I would really like to know the best way to back those up (especially as Smart Switch was unable to do so).

    2. "android.process.acore stopped working" is something I have noticed popping up a number of times. Might this be a clue to the problem? I have seen others mentioning this appears to sometimes be the result of a bug in the Facebook app and its integration with the OS, and to perhaps try uninstalling it... Before I do this, though, I'd just like to know if this might help out with troubleshooting in any way.

    Thank you for taking the time to respond to me, belodion, and I do hope I will hear back from you or anybody else with some advice on how to proceed.
    03-21-2016 10:42 PM
  4. kramer5150's Avatar
    Holy schmoley!! what an ordeal. I really can't offer any kind of help, other than to reset the phone. Hopefully someone has a better fix.

    I was the field trip photographer on one of my daughters field trips and had 7.5G of pictures to upload to the Google drive shared folder for the class. I did a Google "auto-sync" not really thinking it was any big deal. It took all the parents, and kids email address (work and home mind you) from that shared drive and blew it up on my phone!!! UGH.

    So I can sympathize, hopefully if nothing else that makes you feel better.

    Curious... if you back up and reset, doesn't the backup process also back up all those bloated contacts?
    03-21-2016 10:53 PM
  5. Rukbat's Avatar
    Tim, restoring the original ROM (if you're going that far, you may as well) deletes everything the phone didn't have when you got it. See Backing up an Android Device to back up the phone. See [Samsung] How to flash Stock ROM via ODIN to reflash the ROM (AFTER you've backed everything up).

    The shared drive resides in 2 places - on Google's server AND in your phone. It's great to share important files - but not on your phone. Share them on the hard drive of a PC. Share them on another cloud server (Mega gives you 50GB free). But not on your phone - everything you save to Drive is eating space on the phone too, even if you save it from another computer linked to that Drive account.
    belodion likes this.
    03-22-2016 08:49 AM

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