How to sync your Apple Contacts with Google contacts

I just wanted to make a quick note that it’s 3 years since I wrote this article and this is still the best sync utility for OSX and Google contacts.  It’s available from the Appel store. 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. It syncs photos as well. It can sync one way (e.g. replace your iCloud contacts with your Google ones) or both way.

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 sworn enemies so iCloud will never play nicely 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.


9 responses to “How to sync your Apple Contacts with Google contacts”

  1. Liz

    I did the sync process but I still have contacts in my gmail that don’t match the contact on my IPhone8

  2. Kelley

    I cant get contacts to import anything – I just want gmail contacts no icloud sync. this is baloney…

    1. 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.

    2. kelley

      sorry – not that you are baloney :) you can not post that

  3. Lee

    I deleted hundreds of google contacts adn did a sync. They all came back. Is there a way to sync in both directions and keep deleted ones deleted?

  4. janet

    Did you mean Apple or Appel in your first paragraph…. is this a typo?

  5. Elwood

    The first thing the app you refer to indicates is that it will only sync 40 contacts and an upgrade is required to sync additional contacts. Hmmm, like you are connected somehow with this app. Did I miss that part of your discussion??

  6. Wayne Connor

    This is broken in Ventura (Nov 2022) and waiting for a fix from Apple’s side. But the iPhone app still works well.

    1. John Osmond

      Latest Ventura release 13.1 still has the problem

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