How can I sync iPhone contacts to GMail contacts without iTunes?

Dee May 2, 2011
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I need help syncing my iPhone contacts to GMail contacts without iTunes. I have followed Google’s instructions. I now get contacts from GMail to iPhone, but not the other way. Contacts on my iPhone did not go to my GMail contact.

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  1. Prc11375
    September 22, 2011 at 12:09 pm

    By default contacts created on the IPhone go into the iPhone group as opposed to the gmail contacts group (for gmail users) there is a way to change the default account (I.e., group) in the iPhone settings. This will allow contacts created on the iPhone to sync with gmail contacts.

    Btw. I am responding to the original question!

    • Selvon666
      November 1, 2011 at 2:03 am

      How do you go about changing that default setting? I would like to add a contact on the iphone and have it automatically add it to my gmail contacts without itunes.

    • ClaRo
      April 23, 2012 at 3:30 pm

      I would like to know if anybody managed to fix this. Is the syncing problem an iOS bug?

      • Christian
        April 25, 2012 at 12:27 pm

        There are other ways in which to sync/back up your iPhone contacts without iTunes:

        I personally use a standalone tool when syncing my iPhone contacts with Gmail which makes things a bit simpler.

        It is not a bug. There is a little known setting which needs to be changed in order for your iPhone contacts to start syncing back to Gmail. On the iPhone go to Settings > Mail, Calendars... Under Contacts, make sure you set up the default account to Exchange.

  2. Tina
    May 8, 2011 at 6:23 pm


    did you manage to set up syncing independent of iTunes? Please do let us know how you did it in case you succeeded!

    • Prc11375
      September 21, 2011 at 12:11 pm

      I read on other sites that contacts not part of the google all contacts group do not sync with google contacts. This is the behavior that I have observed on my iPhone. I'm looking for a way to update contact group info on the iPhone but so far have had no success.

      • Tina
        September 21, 2011 at 9:09 pm


        I'm afraid I cannot answer your question or confirm your observation. In case you do not receive an answer from someone else here, I recommend you to ask a new question.

        • Prc11375
          September 22, 2011 at 12:12 pm

          I wasn't asking a question. Seemed like you were though...Didn't realize you were the moderator.

        • Tina
          September 22, 2011 at 7:27 pm

          You said you were 'looking for a way to update contact group info on the iPhone but so far have had no success.' I considered that a potential question for MakeUseOf Answers. :)

  3. Roy
    May 3, 2011 at 6:27 pm

    The only way I've ever heard of is by setting up your Gmail account as an Exchange account in your iPhone's settings. This article gives step-by-step instructions:

    The article was specifically written for doing the same thing on an iPad. However, the author says (responding to a question in the comments section) that it should work on other iOS devices as well.

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