How to sync your Apple Address Book (Contacts) with Google contacts

This may be one of the ugliest icons that you’ve seen on your Macintosh computer but this is a powerful little app. It synchronises your Apple Contacts (from iCloud) with your Google contacts.  This means that any contacts or groups you create in Gmail or on an Android device are available on your iPhone and OSX and iCloud, and vice versa.

I find this app really handy because I have a stack of groups that I have created in my Apple Contacts.  I’d like to be able to send out bulk emails or a group SMS message to these people from my Android phone. The problem is that Apple and Google are enemies so iCloud will not sync with Gmail.  ‘Contacts Sync for Google Gmail’ connects  these 2 worlds of iCloud and Gmail together.

This picture explains it all.



‘Contacts Sync for Google Gmail’  synchronises your contacts  between Gmail and iCloud. Note that this is not syncing your Apple computer directly with your Android phone.  The synchronisation is being done ‘in the cloud’.  Once Gmail (on the web) and iCloud (on the web)  are in sync it flows down to everything else (your phone and computer) automatically.

Gmail and iCloud are synched in the cloud by ‘Contacts Sync for Google Gmail.’  Then Gmail synchronises with your Android phone while iCloud syncs with your desktop computer (and iOS devices),  which means everything is kept in sync.


Syncing between iCloud  and Google


Step 1: Download the app from the Apple Store here:

(or search for “Contacts Sync for Google Gmail” on the Mac App Store)

Step 2: The first thing you need to do is enter your account details for your Google account and your Mac iCloud account. To do this go to ‘Accounts to Sync’  and log into Google and then log into Mac.

Log into Google Gmail account


Log into your Apple iCloud account


Step 3: Now you can select ‘sync.’  There are three options:

  • 2 way sync  will merge all your contacts together.
  • Gmail –> iCloud  will delete all your iCloud contacts and import your contacts from Gmail.
  • iCould –> Gmail  will delete all your Gmail contacts and import your contacts from iCloud into Gmail.


After the sync is complete it will notify you of which contacts were updated.


You can keep the app running in the background and select ‘Auto Sync’  so that  changes to either iCloud or Gmail are copied across.  Otherwise you can manually sync when you want to.


Removing Duplicate Contacts


I found that after the sync I had a lot of ‘duplicate’ contacts. (I had 2 or 3 versions of the same contact.)

Thankfully Gmail has the ability to find duplicate contacts and to merge them together.

(You can’t do this in the Apple Contacts so the merging needs to be done on the Gmail side).

To merge contacts, firstly log into your Gmail account and select “Contacts” under the “Mail” menu.


Now go to the “More” menu and select “Find & merge duplicates…” This will  find all the contacts that have similar data.  Don’t worry, it will prompt you with all the contacts it has found and prompt you to continue before it merges them.


I found that I had to use contact sync to sync between iCloud and Gmail,  then I ran find and merge duplicates,  then I synced again,  and so on, and after I had done this cycle for five times all the duplicates were removed.





4 replies on “How to sync your Apple Address Book (Contacts) with Google contacts”

Apple and Google are enemies. Steve Jobs names Google (not Microsoft) as Apple’s #1 competition.
iCloud Contacts is by Apple.
Gmail Contacts is by Google.
They do not want you to sync with each other.
It’s like trying to put a Ford Engine in a Toyota Car.
Thankfully people have written 3rd part apps to do what Apple and Google in their stubborn-ness refuse to do!

If you just want a one-time export you should be able to ‘Export’ your Gmail contacts into vCard format and then import them into Apple Address Book.

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