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How To Sync Google Contacts & Calendar with iPhone

Google SyncEarlier, Google announced the public release of Google Sync (Beta) that allows you to sync Google Contacts and Calendar events over the air. Any changes in your Google Contacts or Calendar will be pushed directly to your iPhone. If you’re a regular user of Gmail and Google Calendar, you’ll probably find Google Sync useful.

So, how do you setup Google Sync with iPhone?

Note: To use Google Sync, your iPhone should be running on firmware 2.2 or up.

Backup your Contacts using iTunes

Before, I go deep into the How-To. There is a catch in setting up Google Sync. All contacts and calendar events will be removed during the setup process and replaced with your contacts in your Google account. So, make sure you sync all contacts via iTunes to Google before configuring Google Sync.

It’s pretty straightforward to backup your Contacts:

1. Connect your iPhone or iPod Touch to your computer using the USB cable.
2. Open the iTunes application.
3. Select your iPhone and click “Info”.
4. Check the “Sync Google Contacts” option and you’ll be prompted to enter your username & password of Google account.

itunes_sync_google_contacts

5. Enter your Google account and click “OK”.
6. Click “Apply” to start upload your contacts to Google account.

Wait until the sync process completes. All contacts on iPhone should have been uploaded to your Google account. You can login Gmail to further validate the contacts. The contacts should be found under your “My Contacts” group.

Configure Google Sync on iPhone

Now, you should be ready to configure Google Sync on iPhone.

1. On your iPhone home screen, tap “Settings” application.
2. Next, tap “Mail, Contacts, Calendars”
3. Tap “Add Account….”, followed by “Microsoft Exchange”.

google_sync_ms_exchange

4. In the Email field, enter the name of the Google account.

Google Sync - exchange_setting

5. Leave it blank for the “Domain” field.
6. Enter your Google Account email address for the “Username” field.
7. For “Password” field, type in your Google Account password.
8. Tap “Next” at the top of your screen.
9. Next, a new “Server” field will show up. Enter “m.google.com”.
10. Tap “Next” at the top of your screen again. You may be prompted with a warning message. Just “Accept” it.

unable_verify_cert

11. Select the “Contacts” and “Calendar” for sync. Presently, the “Mail” option is not supported yet. So, only enable “Contacts” and “Calendar”.

select_sync_option

12. Tap “Sync” to confirm the synchronization and then tap “Sync” again for the data loss warning.

confirm_google_sync

That’s it. Google Sync should now erase all your Contacts and start synchronizing them from your Google account. So, if you go to “Contacts” on iPhone, you may find it empty. But don’t worry. Wait for a while and you’ll see the Contacts come up after complete the Sync.

Tip: For Contacts, all your iPhone contacts are placed under “My Contacts” group in your Google account. So, you find any contacts missing in iPhone. It’s probably the contact is not put into the “My Contacts” group and you’ll have to move it.

google_move_to_my_contacts

Testing Out Google Sync

As a common practice, Google released Google Sync as a Beta product. From my test on both Contacts and Calendar, the Sync works as advertised. After configuring Google Sync, try go up to Gmail and add a new Contacts in your “My Contacts” group. Or add a new event in your Google Calendar. You’ll find the contact or calendar event automatically push to your iPhone.

But probably it’s still a Beta product, I find the Sync for Contacts is not instantly updated on my iPhone. Most of the time, I need to wait a few minutes until the new contact shows up on my iPhone. However, it seems I only got this delay problem with Contacts. For Calendar, as soon as I add a new event in Google Calendar, the event is right there when I launch my iPhone Calendar. That’s pretty cool.

As you can see there is an option for “Mail” in the Sync setting, I think Google will soon bring Push Mail to iPhone.

What do you think about Google Sync? Does it work for you? Leave us comment to share your thought.

About Simon Ng

Founder, developer and chief blogger of simonblog.com

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52 Responses to How To Sync Google Contacts & Calendar with iPhone

  1. Bill February 16, 2009 at 1:25 am #

    Simon,

    I first installed NuevaSync a few months ago and I love it. It’s absolutely awesome to be about to sync my calendar so easily.

    Is it your opinion that I should convert to the google sync? If so, is that only because of the contact list sync (or not).

    Thanks,

    Bill

    • Simon Ng February 16, 2009 at 11:49 pm #

      @Bill,

      If NuevaSync works great for you, just keep it. Google sync does the same to synchronize the calendar event. But if you want to also sync your google contacts, you can try out Google sync.

  2. mikaelf February 17, 2009 at 8:03 am #

    I wonder how we can get away from the warning message (about the certificate) in step 10. A few years back I got the same message when I accessed https://gmail.com – instead I needed to go to https://mail.google.com. Might be the same kind of problem!

  3. Sherwin February 17, 2009 at 3:19 pm #

    Hi Simon, I can;t seem to see the “Sync Google Contacts” under the info tab of my iTunes. How come?

    • Simon Ng February 18, 2009 at 3:19 pm #

      @Sherwin, what version of iTunes are you using? You need to use iTunes 7.7 or later for Google Sync Contacts. You may check out Apple support for more details:

      http://support.apple.com/kb/HT1245

  4. Sherwin February 18, 2009 at 4:59 pm #

    Hi Simon,

    I am already using the most updated version of iTunes. I was able to jaulbreak my iPhone until 2.2.

  5. Sherwin February 18, 2009 at 5:02 pm #

    Hi Simon,

    I just read about “Windows users must choose only one contact application to sync with”. I am currently using Windows address book. Guess I have to switch. Thanks!

  6. mm July 16, 2009 at 12:08 pm #

    hey, thanks for the excellent info on synching. one problem i found is that when i synched my contacts all 1000+ people I have ever emailed showed up in my phone!! I went to look at the contacts view in GMail and My Contacts only has 50 contacts – - further down is listed “All Contacts” (just like your screen shot) with the 1000+ contacts. How do I restrict the contacts on my phone to only what I’ve selected in “my contacts”?

  7. blah August 11, 2009 at 1:32 pm #

    Hey mm you may want to make some subfolders in your contacts. That’s what I did and it works great.

  8. aq August 30, 2009 at 10:08 am #

    could you explain the subfolders more? when i sync, i have my contacts duplicated as does my husband….

  9. dave September 3, 2009 at 3:30 pm #

    i’ve gone through the instructions here and on several usergroups multiple times, and while my multiple google calendars sync beautifully, none of my contacts sync (it is a completely empty list). i haven’t found other people with the problem in usergroups, but i doubt it’s a rtfm problem (i followed the instructions exactly, multiple times, and even erased and reset my iphone to start from scratch. everytime it failed.).

    i’m on a macbook pro, osx 10.6, itunes 8.2.1, iphone 3GS 16gb.

    thanks in advance.

  10. Levin September 4, 2009 at 9:12 pm #

    Hi! Got à similar Problem As Aq! Have Set it all Set up like in the tut but my iphones contacts wont Sync As they should! I have noticed that i have two Groups of contacts on my iPhone: the iPhone contacts and the gmail contacts Group. When i now create à new contact it will Be out automatically into the gmail group. Cant Change that. Only this Group gets synced to my gmail account. The “old” contacts which are in the iPhone Group wont Be synced! But i cant Put them into the gmail Group to Sync them! :( Solution for that?

  11. Ray November 17, 2009 at 12:20 pm #

    Great post! I’m keeping in my Evernote soI can get it anywhere and share. Thanks again!

  12. davide January 21, 2010 at 5:25 pm #

    Hi, everybody.
    Does anybody know if this Google Sync system works in both directions?
    I mean, if once I update/add/delete a contact on the Iphone, this will be “automatically” updated/added/deleted in Google at the first Sync link (same question is applicable to the calendar).
    Thanks.

  13. todd April 12, 2010 at 11:37 am #

    Yeah i wish the contacts would update automatically like the calendar does. its nice to check all the things as they work wiht the calendar.. but the contacts should do the same,. oh well… someday

  14. paul August 16, 2010 at 4:29 pm #

    This sort of works, only that it will shuffle your contacts list so that you can no longer pull up the names you had set as business contacts. It reverts the look-up back to the first and last name. Learning this the hard way :) Now after hours of straightening out my contacts list, I get to do it all over again. Thanks Google.

  15. BILLIEJO CHAVARRIA August 25, 2010 at 4:23 am #

    I HAVE THE 3G IPHONE. BEFORE I UPGRADED MY IPHONE, I WAS ABLE TO SYNC MY IPHONE AND GOOGLE ACCOUNTS TOGETHER. NOW WHEN I SYNC, I AM FINDING THAT THE CONTACTS DID NOT ACTUALLY SYNC. WHEN I FOLLOW THROUGH YOUR STEPS I REALIZE THAT IN STEP 11 I DO NOT HAVE MAIL, CONTACTS, CALENDAR. I HAVE MAIL, CALENDAR, AND NOTES. WHAT CAN I DO TO SYNCY MY CONTACTS??

  16. Michael September 9, 2010 at 5:31 am #

    Billiejo It means that you didn’t select Exchange as mentioned in the instructions. Choose Exchange when setting up the account instead of gmail.

  17. anon October 8, 2010 at 5:28 am #

    Anyone know of a way to bring the groups used in google contacts to the IPhone without buying an app?

  18. Sascha January 23, 2011 at 9:42 pm #

    A How-To in german you can find here: http://geekroom.de/mac/ios/how-to-google-account-mit-dem-iphone-synchronisieren

  19. Rajesh February 17, 2011 at 11:20 pm #

    Thanks Simon. It helped

  20. Ish June 23, 2011 at 2:03 am #

    Thanks Simon! Great instructions! You’re the man!

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  22. Joanne Clark October 19, 2011 at 6:12 am #

    Hi
    I have had lots of problems with this, I have iPhone 4 version 4.1, I am a google apps email user, not all of my contacts have been synced :( very frustrating… any help appreciated.

  23. KDuarte November 8, 2011 at 2:25 pm #

    Thanks so much for your wonderful instructions!

  24. P December 14, 2011 at 9:40 am #

    Worked like a charm! Thanks so much!

  25. Justin January 17, 2012 at 1:25 am #

    If you are in PC maybe using this solution for iCloud too.

    I’ve put my print screen there

    http://www.justin.my/2012/01/how-to-transfer-contacts-from-google-to-iphone/

  26. Mike Fowler June 27, 2012 at 1:12 am #

    Thanks so much for this post. My old iphone 3g really started acting up including losing all my contacts. Even when I synced with iTunes still no contacts. I followed these instructions and all my google contacts showed up! Thanks so much. Does this work with Yahoo?

  27. ofirb September 23, 2012 at 1:13 pm #

    Looks like Google now supports CardDAV as the preferred way to sync Google contacts with iOS devices:

    http://support.google.com/mail/bin/answer.py?hl=en&answer=2753077

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    the first one worked great! Just got my 5 today! loved it! thank you! =)

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  31. Jay January 15, 2013 at 5:00 pm #

    Well’ I’ve tried it, but its keep saying that’ my exchange password is wrong. But’ I know that’s the correct password … What should I do now ???

  32. Aalok Mishra January 16, 2013 at 6:43 pm #

    I lost my all contacts by google sync. Now in my iphone contacts I can only see few email ID.

    Please help me to restore my contacts. Suggest needful.

  33. Billy February 13, 2013 at 6:38 am #

    I’m trying to sync my contact with your method, but however it seems itunes has changed their interface, now the interface that you have compared with theirs is totally different!

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    Hallo! This solution for some reason doesn’t work with my iPhone – no contacts were syncing from Google. I have iPhone3 with iOS 4.2.1 Can anybody help me? Thanks in advance

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