I'm on the iPhone OS3, I want to get my contacts on my phone in sync with my Google contacts, but I don't want to lose what is currently in my phone. So far I have been under the impression that by just turning the Google Sync on that it will overwrite the info on my phone. I don't currently have all the info on my phone in Google contacts so this would not be desired.

Other than manually inputting all the info from my phone into my Google Contacts, what approach could I take to get that info on the Google cloud so that I can turn on sync without fear of losing any information?

  • turning on google sync won't erase your contact unless you tell it to, however it appears to only provide one way syncing (from google to IOS) Aug 4, 2011 at 2:55

2 Answers 2


We recommend that you upload them to Google Mail using iTunes.

(PC instructions here.)

Don't forget to make sure they're in the "My Contacts" group, as that's what we'll then sync back down to the phone.

It's a pity that the iPhone won't let you upload them on the initial sync, but at least the iTunes option isn't too painful...

  • d'oh.. .you just beat me! thanks for the quick reply!
    – codeLes
    Jul 15, 2009 at 19:00
  • My pleasure - it's nice to see so much interest in Google Sync :)
    – Jon Skeet
    Jul 15, 2009 at 19:01
  • I'd upvote you but I don't have the required rep yet :(
    – codeLes
    Jul 15, 2009 at 19:01
  • Wouldn't make any difference at the moment anyway - I've hit the rep cap for the day.
    – Jon Skeet
    Jul 15, 2009 at 19:33
  • 1
    @Jon: May not make a difference to your rep; But does, surely increase the points of the answer. @codeLes: Don't worry. I did it, on your behalf ;)
    – lprsd
    Aug 4, 2009 at 16:00

I have personally synced my iPhone contacts (and calendars) with my Gmail account by using the "Exchange server" option from the "Mail, Contacts, Calendars" setting of my iPhone. Generally easy to set up, iPhone contact sync with Gmail is the preferred way for me to export-import iPhone contacts.

Here is a quick summary:

  1. Go to your iPhone Settings and chose "Mail, Contacts, Calendars"

  2. Tap "Add Account..."

  3. Tap "Microsoft Exchange"

  4. Enter your full Gmail address and the rest of your login credentials. Tap Next (top-right)

  5. In the server field type m.google.com and hit Next

  6. From the next slide, turn on Contacts and Mail or Calendars (most important here is contacts)

  7. Optional: If you would like to receive emails on the spot - don't forget to enable Push from your iPhone settings. Otherwise just set your Fetch schedule (under the same Options slide where Push is) to every 15 min or otherwise as desired.

For screenshots and a bit of more detail, see the above article.

  • Could you perhaps summarize the article here? We prefer you dont just link Feb 20, 2012 at 16:06
  • Sure, I am on it. Feb 20, 2012 at 16:13
  • I don't think Push is necessary and it is a battery killer. Can you verify?
    – uSlackr
    Feb 20, 2012 at 16:48
  • uSlackr, you are right. "Push" is an optional step and "Fetch" is sufficient for the sync to occur. Feb 21, 2012 at 12:54

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