How to Sync Google Contacts with the Apple Address Book

Closeup photo of watch gears

Syncing Google contacts with Apple address book, now called Contacts, used to be a real pain. Recently, though, this has become a much better experience if you set it up the right way and let the virtual gears line up correctly.

From email addresses to phone numbers to birthdays—syncing your Google contacts with Apple address book is more than useful. It’s a necessity for anyone that uses both.

Check out the steps below to sync your contacts the right way and avoid annoying issues such as duplicate Google contacts.

Sync Google Contacts With OS X

1. Open Contacts on your Mac (Applications > Contacts).
2. Click on the Contacts menu in the Apple menu bar and click on Preferences.

Selecting Preferences in Contacts drop-down menu

3. Click the Accounts tab and then click on the + at the bottom of the account list.

Contacts Accounts window

4. On the account types screen select Other contacts account… and click Continue.

Add Account window with logos of popular email providers

NOTE: You may want to select Google from this list, but this will try to set up email and other items. If you’re only trying to sync Google contacts, follow these steps.

5. Enter the following into the account information window that appears:

  • Account type: CardDAV
  • User Name: Your full Google email address
  • Password: Your Google Password (Note: If you have 2-step verification set for your account, you will generate and enter that password here.)
  • Server address:

Duplicate contacts killing your productivity? See how Scrubly can help in this 100-second video.

Entering account information in CardDAV window

Click Create when you’re done.

Now your Google contacts will start to sync to your Mac.

RELATED: 5 Smart Tips for Managing Your Google Contacts

Cleaning Up Your Contacts

The end result is that you’ll have a new item in the sidebar of your Contacts app for this Google account.

This means if you’re also using a service like iCloud for your contacts you might run into the issue of duplicate contacts when clicking on All Contacts in the sidebar.

The best way to fix this is to move all your contacts to Google contacts, turn syncing off for all your accounts on your Mac, and then delete all your local contacts.

Next, turn on contact syncing only with your Google contacts account, and your contacts will sync back to your Mac.

When you sync Google contacts with Apple address book while still syncing other accounts, you will definitely run into a few duplicates. But once they’re all on Google contacts, you can use Scrubly’s duplicate contact remover to clean them up.

RELATED: The Easy Way to Fix Mac Duplicate Contacts


Since every service handles contacts differently, setting things up to sync Google contacts with Apple address book can definitely lead to a few issues. But once you clear them up, your contacts will be safe and you can easily sync them not only to iOS devices but to Android and Windows devices without issue.

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