How to sync contacts from iOS to Gmail – Complete guide

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Looking to sync your contacts from iOS to Gmail but cannot wrap your head around this technical mission? No worries, we have your back! It’s no rocket science, you just need to know which icons to look out for. Here’s your tap-by-tap guide.

Why Do You Need To Sync Contacts From iOS to Google Workspace?

We live in a connected world, where things are done in one click. Well, nearly. Having all your devices [private and corporate, mobile phones and PCs] sharing one contact database is a convenience modern people swear by. SMBs often rely on a multifunctional Google Workspace capability to drive their private and business communication—so synching contacts from iOS to Gmail is a must-do efficiency trick.

Cross-platform, OS-agnostic, omni-device contact synchronization is a commodity one gets used to quickly.

We have all been there: trying to find a person’s contact details across multiple messengers, on all devices, and in every contact base and still failing the mission.

Or having an iPhone for private use but having an Android device for corporate communication and keep switching between the two as contacts are not shared.

Another common scenario when people wish to sync Google contacts with iOS is when iPhone users get to switch to Android for personal use or as a work requirement.

Whatever your reasoning to back up your iOS device contacts to Google contacts – it’s the right decision that will save you lots of hassle and confusion going forward.

How to Sync Contacts from iOS to Gmail

If you need to sync Google contacts to iOS just follow this algorithm:

  1. Open the Setting app on your iPhone
  2. Tap Contacts
  3. Tap Accounts
  4. Tap Add Account or chose one of the available accounts [Google workspace account is chosen in the example below]
  5. Choose Google among the email provider options
  6. Sign in to your Gmail account by inserting your email and password, ticking all access permissions as prompted
  7. Sync Contacts to iOS by toggling the button next to Contacts into an active state
  8. Tap Save in the right upper corner. 

NB: At this point, the device may prompt you with an alert to choose one of the following:

  • To keep existing local contacts [choose Keep on my iPhone]
  • To delete existing contacts [go for Delete]

Make Gmail Account Default for Newly Added Contacts on iPhone

Now that you have synced your iPhone contacts with Google Contacts, you can also choose Gmail to be the default account to add new contacts.

  • Go to the Settings app
  • Tap Contacts 
  • Tap Default Account 
  • Choose an account

Transfer Contacts From iOS to Android Through Gmail

Once you have saved iOS contacts to Gmail with the above steps, the mission of synching them to Android boils down to synching your Android Contacts with your Gmail account. Read our tap-by-tap guide for instructions.

Unlike a backup function, synching operation means a few devices exchange the data both ways all the time. Once permission to access a certain cloud account is granted, a synched system gets refreshed automatically when a new contact appears in the other system—and vice versa.

So once you sync both your devices’ Contacts—iOS and Android—to Gmail, the details added on one device will be available on the other two.

Backup iOS Contacts with Google Drive

You can also back up your iOS contacts with Google Drive. Follow these steps to complete the mission:

  1. Download Google Drive to your iPhone
  2. Log in with your Gmail account
  3. When in the Google Drive interface, tap the three-lined hamburger menu to see your options in the dropdown list
  4. Select Settings
  5. Tap Backup
  6. Tap Contacts – that will lead you to a slider, that you need to turn on
  7. Return to the screen where you chose Contacts and tap Start Backup at the bottom right.

Now all of your current iPhone contacts are backed up to your G Drive. 

NB: Mind, that backup is a one-time manual transfer of all existing contacts to a certain folder on the cloud. Any further changes to the iOS contacts app will not be reflected in the Google Drive backup.

However, having your contacts backed up is probably the safest thing to do once in a while for security reasons—and specifically for occasions that are related to traveling to places with a high risk of getting a phone lost or stolen.

Tips on How to Fix Google Contacts Syncing Issues on iOS Devices

If you fail to perform a smooth iOS backup contacts to Gmail, one of these methods can help you deal with the impediment:

Restart Your iPhone

The simplest and the most effective remedy for many technical glitches in devices produced by Apple is a simple reboot. Depending on the model you use, you will need to press two buttons at the same time [usually it’s any of the two volume buttons + a side button at the same time] until the slider appears.

Find more details for other iPhone models on the Apple customer support official website [the latest models use the below algorithm]

Apple: how to restart iPhone X and later models

Remove and Re-Add Your Google Account

You can also try removing and re-adding your google account. First, go to the Contacts app, Groups, then tick and untick your Gmail account.

Disable and Re-Enable Contacts Sync

Another method you could try is to fully break the link between your smartphone and Google Contacts by disabling and re-enabling your Contacts sync. Go to the Settings / Contacts / Groups field and then put the toggle bar next to Contacts back to active state.


Now that you know how to sync contacts to a Google account from an iPhone device, you can drive efficiency, and save time looking up details across different platforms.


How Long Does It Take to sync iOS Contacts?

It takes just a few minutes to perform Contacts Google sync iOS depending on the internet connection, the number of contacts, level of mastery of the iPhone user. A savvy user with a great connection and a contact base of a few thousand people should take no longer than 3-5 minutes.

How Often Do You Need to Sync iOS Contacts?

Once you sync your iOS device with Gmail, the two accounts are synchronized in a two-way manner, whereby contacts flow from one device to another seamlessly without further need for manual intrusion or update.

Why are my iOS contacts not syncing with Gmail?

The most common reasons why your iPhone contacts are not syncing with Gmail are the wrong initial set-up of the sync, confusing synchronization process with backup, and not being able to sign into your Google account. 

1 Comment. Leave new

  • Helen Mitchell
    December 2, 2022 3:24 pm

    That’s so simple, this iPhone-Gmail syncing. The article is huge, but just follow the first guide and you are all set.


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