August 9, 2014 06:08

If you know me, you know that I'm a little OCD. It was killing me that my gmail and iPhone contacts were out of sync. So here's what I did to fix that:

  1. First turn on "Contacts" for iCloud in my phone settings
  2. Now all of my phone contacts are on iCloud
  3. Log in to, and export all contacts as vCard file
  4. Go to Gmail and import the vCard file
  5. This creates a new group, "Imported on [Date]" with all of the phone contacts
  6. Find and merge duplicates
  7. Go through other groups and remove contacts from the "Imported on [Date]" group
  8. Now the only contacts left in the "Imported on [Date]" group are the new ones that were on the phone and not in gmail
  9. Organize and clean up those contacts, and delete the "Imported on [Date]" group
  10. Now Gmail has ALL of my contacts, organized in the way I want
  11. Go to the iPhone settings > Mail, Contacts, Calendars. Add a new Google account and enable only "Contacts" for this account
  12. Go to Mail, Contacts, Calendars, and select this Google account as the Default account for Contacts.
  13. Disable "Contacts" for iCloud.
  14. Now any new contacts you create on your phone will be automatically copied to Gmail
  15. The last step is to ensure that any new contacts created in Gmail will also be automatically copied to your phone. In Mail, Contacts, Calendar > Fetch New Data, scroll to the bottom and select "Every 15 Minutes" for Fetch.
  16. Don't forget to backup your phone so that you don't have to go back and redo all of this.

All done! Now my existing contacts are synced on both accounts, and any create, update, or delete actions are synced both ways.