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

Dee May 2, 2011

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.

  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.

      • Erindymphna
        April 20, 2012 at 12:49 pm

        did you ever figure out how to do this? i am trying to figure this out now.

        • ha14
          April 20, 2012 at 3:23 pm

          How to import VCard(.vcf) file from iPhone to Google Gmail
          [Borken Link Removed]
          To add the iPhone contacts to Google Gmail account. you need export the contacts to computer as vcard format. and then add the VCF file to google gmail manually.

          Transfer Contacts to iPhone 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:
    [Borken Link Removed]

    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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