How to sync your iPhone, iPad or iPod Touch with Gmail, Google Calendar and Contacts

February 10, 2011 by  

If you have an iPhone, iPad or iPod Touch and you use Google’s services (Gmail, Calendar, and Contacts) the video below will walk you step-by-step through the best way to sync all your data seamlessly with your Apple Device. Although these devices have a built in Gmail option it has some major limitations – specifically it doesn’t offer the ability to sync contacts over the air and limits you to one primary calendar.

I have tried several different ways and found  Google Sync (which acts like a Microsoft Exchange connector) works great.  I used it for years on my iPod Touch and now that I’m the proud owner of a new Verizon iPhone 4 (I am stoked) I used this same method to keep my iPhone and Google services perfectly in sync. One of the great features is that it lets you sync multiple Google Calendars (up to 25). That means when you create a new appointment in the calendar on your iPhone you can add it to any of the Google calendars you have access to (your own or any shared calendars).

Watch my video below and follow along with your iPhone, iPad, or iPod Touch as I show you how to sync your mail, contacts, and multiple Google calendars with your Apple device so you can send/receive mail, schedule appointments, and call any of your contacts from anywhere – instantly.  Now that’s The Anywhere Office in action!

Note that Google Sync is only supported on iOS versions 3.0 and above. You can check your current version by going to Settings > General > About > Version. If your business, school, or organization uses Google Apps, your administrator will first need to enable Google Sync before you can take advantage of this feature.

If you prefer written instructions Google provides them here but I figured it would be easier to follow along as you watch the steps in this video.

These steps work great if you are using your Gmail address as your primary email address.  If you prefer to send mail from your Gmail account (and your iPhone, iPad, or iPod Touch) using your own domain (ie I send email from then you will want to check out my next article and video where I’ll walk you through how to change the mail setupIt’s tricky but I found a way to get it to work so stay tuned!

(BTW all the video of me configuring the iPhone was actually shot with the video camera on another iPhone – how cool is that!)

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  • I really liked this post Phil, I use Gmail and I have been on a syncing frenzy since my iPad arrived, with the Mac, iPhone and iPad. Now all I need is an iPod Touch and I will feel complete lol!

    • Thanks Michelle! It truly is amazing how you can seamlessly use Gmail, Google Calendars, and Contacts so that no matter what device you are using everything is in sync. A long cry from the way it used to be. It’s this kind of “working smarter” that helps entrepreneurs and small business owners stay productive and work from The Anywhere Office!

  • Thanks for sharing Phil. I had no idea I could even do this with my iPad! I’ve had it for several months and still getting a feel for it.

    • My pleasure Darryl. It’s a shift in workflow using an iPad (I’m holding out till the next version comes out with a camera to jump in) but I’m sure every day you learn more of what you can do with it and it makes all your work much easier (and more fun). I know I found that to be true of my iPod Touch and now even more with my iPhone. I love traveling lighter!

  • Goodsha

    waoo!! i didn’t think this was even possible. thank you, i will syncing my iphone will make things a lot easier for me. thanks

    • No problem – glad I could help! Happy syncing . . .

  • Anonymous

    Thank you for your video. I have followed all of your steps, but Google Sync will not recognize my device so I cannot add my multiple calendars. Do you have any advice?

    • Not sure why that would be happening. Not something I’ve come across. You might try searching the google help forums to see if someone else is having a similar problem.

  • Hec Stephens

    Great Phil
    I want to buy an iPhone 4 (Verizon) but wasn’t sure if I could sync the phone to gmail.


    • Great Hec! I’m loving my iPhone 4 – amazing how many things you can do with it that you probably never even thought of and no dropped calls – huzzah!

  • George Tallabas

    Thank you so much for the awesome video. What if I do not use gmail and I use a Godaddy email account? I am a Realtor and have used a Godaddy email account for years and use the permanent email address of How do I work around this or can I?

    • George – The second video I included on this post shows how to use the general IMAP feature of your iPhone to send mail from Gmail using your own domain. These same steps should work for your Godaddy account or any other email account you have provided you fill in the correct outgoing and incoming server addresses, usernames, and passwords. You don’t need to take the extra step I explained where you back out and come back in and change the address from Gmail to your own domain – that is specific to using Gmail.

      I hope that helps you get it working!

  • Mfmace

    Hi, Thank you so much for the great video especially the one on sending from gmail with your own domain.
    I do have one question though, when i set up the contact and calendar sync with the exchange it has duplicated alot of my contacts?

    • Not sure why it would have duplicated your contacts. I think there is a step when it asks if you want to delete the existing contacts. I suggest making sure all of your contacts exist on your gmail account (maybe export them and make a backup just to be sure) and then letting it delete and replace the ones on your phone with the ones that you have on Gmail. As long as you don’t have duplicated in Gmail that should take care of it.

  • Mwasif7

    Thanks for this Video, but when i set the details in Microsoft exchange Server and later on change it to Google and when i finally come out of Mails, I have a pop-up menu, which says incorrect password,
    and asking me to enter the password and when i enter the gmail password it again pops up and says the same thing.What shall i do? your lessons have been very useful but i need a little more help.

    • Hmmm not sure why that would be – try removing the account and setting
      it up again. I had to do that once to get it to stick. Also the password
      is case sensitive.

  • Andrea

    Hi, I am glad you put this together!  I just got an iPhone 4 and I’m trying to sync my gmail and many calendars with it.  I have tried at least a dozen times to use microsoft exchange, but after I put in the server information ( it is unable to verify my account.  I checked my username and password and I’ve got those right…just wondering if google has changes some things and I may have outdated information???  Any ideas?

    • Hey Andrea – not sure why it wouldn’t work.  I have used these steps to configure 2 iPod Touches, and iPhone and an iPad so i can confirm they work. All I can suggest is deleting the account and following my video again step by step.  The passwords ARE case sensitive so make sure you are typing the proper letters in caps or lowercase.

  • Brionyduff

    I followed the instructions and it all went as it was supposed to but I still dont have my contacts in my phone. I was really wanting to sync so that if I delete from my phone, it will also delete from my home gmail and my ipad?

    • The contact syncing should work.  Never had a problem with that on my devices.

  • Clintonbreeves

    Love the Video, Can you please explain how to create multiple Calenders?

  • Artlight7

    Hi, Phil,
    before I go forward — and I admit I have not yet watched your video but I HAVE read all the comments about it — will I be able to sync the contacts and calendar in my iPod Touch OS3.13 with my new Gmail account which has almost no contacts in it so far? I’m looking for an easy way to prepare to dump my mac email account while retaining all my contacts and my single mac calendar.

    Thanks, ArtLight

  • Artlight7

    One more thought…think twice about carrying your iPod touch in your pocket, please. The consequences of using a laptop on yer lap or carrying yer device in yer pocket can be severe in terms of the effects of EMFs. Adrenal exhaustion is one common health result. Others have suffered cancer. This is also why I have not gone to ISO4 — I do not want the constant wifi bombarding my energetic system.

    • Carsonjstark

      Wifi signals are harmless, don’t worry about them. There are countless other things that are much more likely to cause cancer, such as food that you probably eat. 

  • Amyebrucker

    Very useful video! It’s easy to follow and to the point. (I’m using iPad 1). Everything worked: contacts, multi-calendars and adding multiple emails was easy, even though it wasn’t in your tutorial.  Thanks for creating the tutorial.

  • Steve

    I wish I’d found this video a year ago (or even February…) using Exchange instead of Gmail was the key- so much easier. Many thanx from New Zealand.

  • Llippin424

    Sweet! Thank you for making this video, and making it so simple!!!! Bravo

  • KathrynBerla

    Phil, on Google Calendar, my husband can view my calendar as “busy” during my appointments without seeing the names of my patients, etc.  When I loaded Google calendar onto his iPhone 4, my “busy” blocks don’t appear at all. I don’t want to load my real  calendar onto his phone because my patient info is confidential–also need for it to be read only. This worked on his droid–help!

  • This website is fantastic.I would like to introduce this nice website to my friends. Thank for share!

  • Contact

    unfortunately the page says that my iphone 4 is not a supported device

  • Bowser555

    Thank you so much!  You are amazing!  Worked like a charm!  Any idea how to syn-up alerts, or have the iPhone make every event it syncs up give me a 1 Hour alert?

  • Karen K

    Hi Phil,
    I loved this! I am trying to solve this problem and it is really challenging. I have an iPhone, iPad and macbook. I use the mail function on all. I have 2 gmail accounts, one hotmail account, and 2 go daddy accounts pointing to the Apple mail tool. The problem that I have is that each email goes to each iproduct – so instead of having 100 emails a day – I have 300. And it is really hard to keep up with not to mention disenchanting to delete all of your emails on your phone and then have to delete them all on your laptop (and god help you if you have not checked email for 3 days!). This issue is really hampering my productivity so I am trying to find a solution. I also have MobileMe, not sure if that could help.

    WIll using this google sync help me with deleted emails? Thanks so much for your help! -Karen

  •  This is very helpful tutorial for me! Recently I buy iPhone 4s but can’t sync my iPHONE. Thanks for the video input, Its really very useful for me. Keep up coming.

  • Beaujc

    Thank you very much Phil. It worked !
    Of course, I have to experiment so I added a new phone number to an existing contact and I wanted to see if my other synched devices would update and they did not.  Am I missing something….how do I update data as it is so very dynamic and never static.

    Please advise.  Thank you.

  • Devinluzod

    Hi Phil , it syncs new entries between my iPhone and new ipad3…but doesn’t sync my previous calendar entries from my iPhone …help!

  • Cullulloo

    Great Job. I’m using a 2gen itouch and all info relevant.


  • chiwoowa9

    Thanks for posting this.