Synology Contacts gone



  • Hi, my wife has just bought a new phone.

    On her old phone we have used DAVx5 (and previously DavDroid) to sync her calendars and contacts with our Synology network drive. This has always worked well and I also use it for my Android phone.

    I installed Davx5 on her new phone, added her calendar accounts and then added her address book account. It found her address book account easily enough by using the same URL as used on her old phone.

    I then synced her contacts but the sync only lasted for a second which I thought wasn’t long enough to have downloaded her whole address book and, sure enough, her new phone had no contacts on it. I tried again and the same happened. I then left if for a few hours because I was busy with other things.

    However, later that day, my wife was using her laptop and discovered that all of her contacts had been deleted. I cannot understand what has happened but it appears that, instead of downloading my wife’s contacts from the network drive to her phone, it has uploaded her ‘empty’ address book from her new phone to the network drive and deleted all of her contacts.

    This is very bad. I assumed that I would be able to restore the address book database from my backup Synology drive because I do a daily backup of all files and application data (calendars, address book etc.). However, Synology have just told me that this process does not actually back up the contact data itself and that there is no way to do this without manually exporting the address book and saving it somewhere.

    I know the shortcomings with Synology’s backup process is not your fault but the result is that my wife has now lost ALL of her contacts and it appears to have been DAVx5 that has caused the data loss. Clearly, I may have done something but all I did was set up the account and tap the ‘sync’ button as I’ve done many times on our old phones.

    Can you explain how this has happened?


  • developer

    @danner_uk said in Synology Contacts Deleted:

    I know the shortcomings with Synology’s backup process is not your fault but the result is that my wife has now lost ALL of her contacts and it appears to have been DAVx5 that has caused the data loss. Clearly, I may have done something but all I did was set up the account and tap the ‘sync’ button as I’ve done many times on our old phones.

    This won’t delete anything.

    Can you explain how this has happened?

    No. DAVx⁵ only deletes contacts on the server when they have been set to deleted explicitly on the Android device (for instance by deleting them in the Contacts app).

    Do you have logs of your CardDAV server? Then you can look for DELETE requests to see when resources have been deleted and by whom. If they were deleted at all – maybe they vanished from the server for other reasons.



  • Well, I can’t explain what happened and I don’t have access to the CARDAV logs but I know that all I did was set up the app and contacts account on the new phone and sync.

    No other devices were in use at the time and I merely opened the contacts app on the new phone to see if they were there (which, of course, they were not). I certainly didn’t delete any contacts because they were never there.

    I know that I typed the URL incorrectly on the first occasion and so removed the account from the DAVx5 app before adding the account again (successfully). Other than that I can think of no way the contacts were deleted from the CARDAV server on the network drive. It is most strange and I can only think that it was, in some way, related to the installation and initiation of DAVx5.

    However, Synology’s tech support were incorrect and I have been able to restore the CARDAV data (including all contacts) from a backup performed the day before I set up the phone. I have also now been able to add the account to DAVx5 and it is all syncing correctly.



  • @danner_uk okay, well then we can never find out what caused these entries to be deleted… Maybe you didn’t delete the account first but the addressbook itself from the account with the 3dot menu. Then however the users get informed that if they proceed the whole addressbook incl. all entries would be deleted on the server.



  • You could be correct but don’t think so. I recall a warning about local copies but not copies on the server and I’m always very methodical with these things.

    But, as you say, I’m not sure we’ll ever know for certain.

    Thanks for the prompt responses however.


  • developer

    @danner_uk There is no option that deletes local address books, and there is no warning for that. So if you got a warning, it was probably the one that those data are deleted on the server.

    However, we are just reworking those dialogs and texts, and the new version will require to check a checkbox before it’s possible to delete collections on the server. Maybe this helps to avoid such things in future.



  • This is the warning I get when clicking on the 3 dots in the top right of the screen to delete the ‘account’ and, as you can see, it refers to local copies. This was the option I used.

    Screenshot_2019-03-20-12-13-54.png

    And this is the warning you get when using the 3 dots next to the address book URL which I wouldn’t use (because I wouldn’t want to delete from the server!).

    Screenshot_2019-03-20-12-14-01.png

    The difference is clear.

    But anyway, we’re all fixed again now and I just wanted you to know what happened to see if there was anything that could have caused this.


  • developer

    @danner_uk said in Synology Contacts gone:

    The difference is clear.

    Indeed. Deleting the account won’t delete anything on the server…


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