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How To Sync Gmail Contacts to Your Mac’s Address Book [Mac OS X]

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The easiest way to call friends on FaceTime or email them with the Mail app on your MacBook or MacBook Pro is to sync your Gmail Contacts to the built in Mac OS X Address book. Syncing Google contacts to your MacBook’s address book is easy to do, but a bit more complicated than you might expect on a Mac. This guide will show you how to sync Gmail contacts to your Mac Address Book, but you could use the same guide to sync Yahoo contacts as well.

How to Sync Gmail Contacts to the Mac Address Book:

Step 1. Open up your Mac Address Book.

Step 2. Backup your Contacts in both your Mac Address Book and in Gmail. This is just a safeguard.

  • To backup your Mac contacts, open you Mac Address book. Click File and choose Export -> Address book archive
  • To backup your Gmail contacts, follow these directions from Google.

Step 3. Open up the Preferences for Address Book by Clicking “Address Book” and then click on Preferences. You’ll see the screen below.

How to sync Gmail to Mac Address Book

Mac Address Book Preferences

Step 4. Check the box next to Synchronize with Google and then click configure.

How to sync Gmail to OS X Address Book

Warning that Apple will Sync with Google

Step 5. Agree with the notice that Apple will sync with your Google Account.

How to Sync Google to Mac Address Book

Step 6. Enter your Gmail account name and password. Click OK.

Step 7. Close your Address Book Preferences.

Step 8. Launch iSync under applications.

Step 9. Open iSync Preferences and make sure that Enable Syncing on this computer is checked ans Show status in menu bar is checked.

Step 10. Click the big Sync botton in iSync to start syncing your Gmail contacts to your MacBook Air’s Address Book.

how to sync Gmail contacts to MacBook Air

Click the Sync Button to start Syncing

Step 11. If you have duplicate contacts, the Syncing will prompt you to resolve conflicts by choosing which one you want to use. This may take some time if you have many of the same contacts, but once you are done, you will be syncing changes without any further interaction.

Now your Gmail contacts will show up in your FaceTime application, Mail and other apps with access to the OS X Address Book.

Sync v. Import:

The reason we set up a sync, rather than an import because syncing will keep our contacts the same across our Mac Address Book, Gmail and our iPad and Android smartphone. If we had exported and imported, we would need to do that again and again to keep our data up to date. The Sync will also send your Mac Address Book contacts on to Gmail and to your other connected devices.

Josh Smith is a longtime mobile tech user, currently using a Droid as his primary smartphone. Josh is also an editor at Notebooks.com where he reviews notebooks and other mobile tech. Follow Josh on Twitter @Josh_Smith or email him Josh@Notebooks.com.

1 Comment

  1. Ric

    May 12, 2011 at 3:28 am

    Hi there! Thanks for this, it was very useful. I do have a problem though: I sometimes get a message from Syn saying he must proceed to modify and delete large numbers of contacts and I don’t know what to do and apparently if I make changes in Address, they won’t show up in Gmail Contacts! why is that?
    thanks!

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