The Best Way To Set Up Gmail On Your iPhone and iPad

The ability to check email and send email from anywhere, on any of your devices, is a real time-saver, but only if ALL of your devices “know” what’s being changed, deleted, etc.  It’s called syncing and it’s supposed to make your electronic life easier.  For example, deleting emails on your iPhone while you’re having your oil changed won’t be deleted from your iPad and computer if you haven’t set them all up to delete and synchronize correctly.  Then you are wasting your time by duplicating or triplicating the work later.  More importantly, this method will allow you much greater flexibility for multiple email addresses and calendars.  It’s time to set up your iPhone/iPad properly to liberate your time, and it’s easy.

1. Confirm your iPhone/iPad’s software version

These instructions work for the iPhone 3GS, 4, 4S and any iPad.  This will not work for the original iPhone or iPhone 3G (sorry). Plus, you must have a Gmail account/address.

How do you know which version you’re running?  Do the following:

  1. Touch the Settings icon on your iPhone or iPad.
  2. Touch General
  3. Touch About
  4. Scroll down a little until you see Version.
  5. You should see a number 5.0 or higher.  If you don’t, then you need to connect your iPhone/Ipad to your computer and update the iOS through iTunes. Instructions are here.

Now that you’ve checked and you’re running iOS 5.0 or higher, it’s time to set up your iPhone and/or iPad.  The instructions are the same for iPhones and iPads, so just repeat on as many iPhones and iPads as you own.

2. Remove any previous setups for Gmail on your iPhone/iPad

This will not permanently delete your Gmail account or any of your Gmail information with Google or on your computer.  It will temporarily remove Gmail from your iPhone/iPad.

  1. Touch Settings
  2. Scroll down and touch Mail, Contacts, Calendars
  3. What do you see under Accounts?  You may have one or more listed.
  4. If you see iCloud listed, just leave that alone for now.
  5. If you see Exchange listed, touch that to open it.  If the Account email address at the top is a Gmail address, look at the list just below your Gmail address.  Make certain that Mail is Off. Leave your Contacts and Calendars settings alone for now. Touch the arrow in the top left corner to return to the list of Accounts.
  6. If you see Gmail listed, touch that to open it. Touch Delete Account and then touch Delete Account again.

3. Set up an Exchange account properly

if you did not see an Exchange account with your Gmail address when you checked for previous setups of Gmail, do the following from the Mail, Contacts, Calendars page in your iPhone/iPad Settings page.

  1. Touch Add Account…
  2. Touch Microsoft Exchange
  3. Fill in the form as follows:
    Email – your gmail address
    Domain – don’t type in anything
    Username – your gmail address again
    Password – your gmail password
    Description – it should already have Exchange.  If not, enter Exchange.
  4. Touch Next in top right corner
  5. The same screen will reappear with a field for Server.
  6. Enter in the Server field
  7. Touch Next
  8. After verification, you should see this:
  9. If Mail is On, touch On to turn it Off
  10. Touch Save

4. Manage your Google Sync devices

  1.  Press the big, round indented button on your iPhone/iPad.  It’s called the Home key.
  2. Touch the Safari icon
  3. Touch the white website/url field at the top.  Delete whatever is in that field.
  4. Type in the field
  5. Touch Go in the bottom right corner
    You will see a screen describing Google Sync for your iPhone
  6. Touch Sign in with your Google Account
  7. Type in your password
  8. Touch the Sign In button
  9. You should see iPhone listed under Manage Devices.
  10. Touch iPhone
  11. In Google Sync Settings make certain the following are checked:
    Enable “Send Mail As” for this device.
    Enable “Delete Email As Trash” for this device.
  12. Touch Save
    (If you see Calendar settings, don’t worry about those right now.  That’s for another topic.)
  13. Press the Home key (big round indented button on iPhone/iPad).

 5. Add your Gmail account the better way

  1. Touch Settings
  2. Touch Mail, Contacts, Calendars
  3. Touch Add Account…
  4. Scroll down and touch Other
  5. Touch Add Mail Account
  6. Fill in the form as follows:
    Name – the name you want seen when you send an email
    Email – your Gmail address
    Password – your Gmail password
    Description should autofill with Gmail.  If not, enter it.
  7. Touch Next
    IMAP tab at top should have blue background.
  8. Under Incoming Mail Server enter:
    Host Name –
    User Name – your Gmail address
    Password – If your password wasn’t automatically filled, enter your Gmail password
  9. Scroll down to Outgoing Mail Server and enter:
    Host Name –
    User Name – your Gmail address (enter it even though it says Optional)
    Password – your Gmail password (enter is even though it says Optional)
  10. Touch Next
    After account verification, you will see an IMAP screen with Mail On

  11. Touch Save

This is the foundation for more easily using Gmail and other email addresses on your iPhone/iPad.  Stay tuned – there’s more to come!

5 replies
  1. Leslie Umstetter
    Leslie Umstetter says:

    Love this Lynn! Easy to follow format and directions and I will apply to my cell phone as soon as I can locate it! lol.. do you anything about locating your Iphone within the house…I am known for misplacing it.

    Very proud you have got your dream started and wishing you much success. Looking forward to all the shortcuts I can learn from you.

    • Lynn
      Lynn says:

      Thanks, Leslie! I know what you mean about “losing” your phone. We all misplace them and end up calling from another phone to hear the ring, unless it’s on vibrate! There is an awesome way to locate it if you have icloud. If you know you have icloud and hopefully your phone settings allow being “found”, on a computer go to Log into your apple account. Click on Find my iPhone, then Play Sound or Send Message. I’ll post about it sometime.


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  1. […] If you haven’t been following my earlier posts, first set up Gmail on your iPhone/iPad by following the instructions in the best way to set up Gmail on your iPhone and iPad. […]

  2. […] If you haven’t been following my earlier posts, first set up Gmail on your iPhone/iPad by following the instructions in the best way to set up Gmail on your iPhone and iPad. […]

  3. […] can be frustrating when you have additional email addresses that you use.  If you have followed my best way to set up Gmail on your  iPhone/iPad and set up Gmail for your non-Gmail addresses, then you are able to receive and read messages for […]

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