How to Sync Google Contacts With the iPhone

Rolodex with index card for Clark Gable

Remember using a Rolodex to keep track of your contacts? OK, maybe you don’t, depending on how old you are. Either way, those days seem positively prehistoric now.

Today’s online tools sync your contacts across platforms so you don’t need to be at your desk to find that important phone number. All you need is your phone itself.

The iPhone is one of the hottest smartphones and Gmail is one of the most popular email providers. So it’s a pretty safe bet that there’s a real need to sync Google contacts with the iPhone.

While this isn’t that hard to do, there are a few steps you need to follow. Luckily for you, we’ve figured out the best way to sync Google contacts with the iPhone. Here’s how.

Sync Google Contacts with iPhone

1. In the Settings app on your iPhone tap Mail, Contacts, Calendars.

iPhone Setting screen

2. Scroll to the bottom of the list of current accounts (if you have any) and tap on Add Account.

Mail, Contacts, Calendars screen on iPhone

3. On the next screen select Google.

Add Account screen on iPhone

4. Enter the following information:

  • Name – Your full name
  • Email – Your full Google email address
  • Password – Your Google password
  • Description – Enter a memorable description so you recognize it later.

Tap Next at the top of the screen to continue.

Entering info for Gmail account on iPhone screen

5. On the next screen make sure Contacts is set to ON (green). You can choose to sync calendars and email as well, but you don’t have to in order to sync Google contacts to the iPhone. Simply turning Contacts on is enough. Tap Save to finish up.

Contacts toggle switched on for Gmail in iPhone

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

6. Open the Contacts app on your iPhone to start the sync. Depending on how many contacts you have, the process should only take a minute or two at most. Once complete, the contacts will update as you update contacts in your Google account.

While your Google contacts are syncing with your iPhone, you still have to make sure new contacts go to Google, too. To do this you need to set your Google account as the default for contacts. We’ll look at that next.

RELATED: 6 Google Calendar Tips and Tricks for Power Users

Setting Your Google Contacts Account as Default

Depending on how many accounts you have syncing to your iPhone, you’ll have at least two accounts for Contacts at this point: the default iPhone account (iCloud) and your new Google Contacts account.

You can save a new contact to any account on your phone, but there is a default account to make the addition of new contacts quicker and easier than always selecting the account manually.

To set this up, go back to Settings. Tap on Mail, Contacts, Calendars again and scroll down to the Contacts section.

Mail, Contacts, Calendars screen on iPhone

Tap on Default Account and choose your new Google account from the list.

Gmail account selected as Default Account in iPhone

Now when you add a new contact it will go to this new account by default.

SEE ALSO: 5 Quick Tips for Managing Google Contacts


Learning how to sync your Google contacts with the iPhone isn’t the most difficult thing out there, but it can be a real headache if you’re flying blind. Don’t forget that this doesn’t merge your contacts from other accounts. It only shows your Google contacts on your iPhone.

In other words, if you have unique contacts already on your iPhone, they won’t automatically show up in Google Contacts. To make that happen you need to export your contacts and import them into Google contacts.

And hey, wouldn’t you know it? We have a post on how to migrate from iCloud to Google Contacts to help you out.

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