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  1. #1

    Member Since
    Jun 28, 2009
    Syncing Address Book with Google Contacts (again)
    I have a MacBook Pro and an iPhone, and I use Google Mail. I'd like to know why my contacts are such a nightmare. I would like my contacts in Google, in my iPhone and in my MacBook to be identical. I thought it would be a good idea to make my Google contacts the 'master', and sync both my iPhone and my MacBook to Google, but I don't mind if one of the others is the master, as long as it works and they all stay identical. Setting up syncing is dead easy. The only problem is that it doesn't work, so my question is not 'how do you set up syncing?' but 'how do you make it work?'.

    To get the dumb stuff out of the way. In Address Book on my MacBook Pro I've gone to Address Book>Preferences>Accounts and I've checked 'Synchronize with Google' and I've clicked configure and put in my Google credentials. Job done. Then, with my iPhone connected to my MacBook Pro, I clicked the iPhone Info tab in iTunes and checked Sync Google Contacts, and enter my Google credentials in the configuration. Easy. Job done. Now I can get on with the interesting things in my life.

    I don't know how long it takes for the sync to happen - a minute, an hour or a day, so I left it for a day and then looked at my 'Family' group in the three places. In my Google contacts there are six items and in my MacBook there are two items and on my iPhone are the same two items as on my MacBook. Maybe my iPhone is syncing with my MacBook. Neither my iPhone nor my MacBook are syncing with Google.

    Another question is why do I have on my iPhone a group called 'All Contacts', which contains many duplicates, and a group called 'All on my iPhone', which seems OK. Why do duplicates keep appearing?

    I would be very grateful for any help or suggestions.


  2. #2

    mrplow's Avatar
    Member Since
    Oct 01, 2007
    Mac Mini i5 (2014 High Sierra), iPhone X, Apple Watch, iPad Pro 12.9, AppleTV (4)
    The way I did it / do it:

    1. Tidied up my contancts in gmail (made sure all my contacts were here)
    2. Cleared out my Address book on my Mac and my iPhone
    3. Setup exchange Gmail sync on my iPhone
    4. Disabled all contact syncing in iTunes. Enabled syncing with Google in address book

    This way the iPhone syncs with Gmail and Address Book Syncs with Gmail. The iTunes sync was causing duplicates for me as it's an extra, unnecessary link to gmail. The only reason i can see for using the iTunes sync is if your not using the exchange method for syncing with gmail.


    Please use the reputation system if you think you've been helped - bottom left of this post

  3. #3

    Member Since
    Jun 28, 2009
    Thank you, Mr Plow
    I applied steps 1), 3) and 4) of your procedure. I found that I already had an Exchange account set up on my iPhone. I don't know why or how, because I've never had anything to do with Microsoft Exchange, and don't now. There is a Google document on how to set up an iPhone Exchange account to sync with Google ( and it says to leave the Domain field blank, whereas mine had in it, so I corrected that. The rest was according to the Google spec. Then I unchecked the Google Contacts Sync checkbox in iTunes and did an iTunes sync with my iPhone connected. It still doesn't work.

    Thank you for your feedback and suggestion, nevertheless.



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