Android share suggesting inappropriate contacts

This issue appears to be closed/resolved on the android bug tracker but may still exist on your phone if you have not updated or if no update is available.

The Android share menu has been a great feature for me, for example, when I am viewing a cute pick of my cat, I can click share and send it direct to my fambam though telegram!

However, recently things suddenly went very wrong: sensitive work related contacts and people who are no longer in my life have been bumped right to the top of the menu! With and in some apps this is a one click feature so a miss tap could send personal content to them with no takebacksies, additionally there is some lag in the menu loading so the icons suddenly jump around after a few seconds making clicking any tap a precarious exercise indeed! Blocking or removing unwanted contacts in apps has made no difference at all also: imagine if this were someone’s stalker or a violent ex partner? (To clarify, that is not my situation… but I can imagine how awful it would be for someone in that situation).

I took a look at the related bug report and there are people who are really having some big issues here, including one guy who cheated on his wife and they are now trying to work it out but the woman he had an affair with (despite being purged from his phone totally) is still showing as his number one share… above the wife… I am so glad I am not that guy!

I just wanted to summarize what I learned about fixing this, for anyone else having issues.

Sharing v direct sharing

The share icon and menu (which I like) suggested a range of apps to use to share something with, for example Twitter or gmail. This is different to the direct share which suggests individual contacts within apps to share something with, so, a twitter follower or a gmail contact. It seems like an update has switched on the direct sharing which is when things “went wrong” for me. It might have something to do with “simple share” which popped up one day recently. This may also be related to some battery use issues I have recently started experiencing.

Turn off direct share

Some phones allow direct share to be turned off, on mine it’s under Settings > Advanced settings – I found it by pulling town from the top of the screen, clicking the cog-wheel icon and searching for “Direct share.”

If this option is not available on your phone then there are some other solutions mentioned in the bug report thread.

Other solutions for routed phones

A youtube guide here or some code here may work for those of you who have routed their phone.

Other solutions for non routed phones

Those with a “normal” non-routed phone who cannot turn off this feature seem to be using some out dated apps to get round this issue, here is a guide. Essentially you replace the inbuilt share menu with another app. The free option, andmadeshare, was last updated in 2013, the paid option, fliktu, was last updated in 2015. Given the potential security issues mentioned early on in the bug report, I would just turn off rather than use an app if you have the option.

9 thoughts on “Android share suggesting inappropriate contacts

  1. Thank You! This was the only solution that worked! And I didn’t even have to download an app like other sites suggested.

  2. Thank you so much for clarifying that you also had contacts that popped up that you dont have in your life anymore/dont talk to anymore because my fiance had his ex’s name as one, and I bugged out!!! So now I’m researching if those contacts are recent ones, thats what I thought and believed, but I’m glad to hear that they aren’t, so again thank you so much….now I have alot of apologizing to do!😉😉

  3. This issue no longer exists though I still cannot disable direct share. Just a heads up, your “PLEASE STAR AND COMMENT” link is broken

    1. Hi thanks! My guess is the issue is closed/resolved but will still exist on some phones that are not updated or where an update is not yet provided. The a ability to turn off that feature was always restricted on some phones unfortunately. I guess the link is broken because the issue is closed, I will delete that part for now. Can’t seem to find s link to the closed issue unfortunately.

  4. I found a solution for non-rooted phones!
    1. Identify what app the contact suggestion is from
    2. Go to the app’s info page (long press app icon and click the i)
    3. At the top, select “Disable”
    4. Test by opening a link to something. This will force the Direct Share panel to recalculate contacts.
    5. If you wish, you can re-enable the app by going back to the app info page.

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