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The Best Way to Set Up Contacts, Calendars and Gmail on Your iPhone (your iPad, too!)

Until recently, I taught a different set up for synchronizing contacts and calendars on the iPhone/iPad, but Google is phasing out that program called Google Sync and I have rewritten the set up instructions. Below is the best Google-supported process for connecting and synchronizing your iPhone/iPad to Gmail, Gmail contacts and Google calendars. If you don’t have a Gmail account yet, go here first to set one up.

Set up Gmail Contacts

Once your contacts are in Gmail’s Contacts, make the following changes to your iPhone (the ‘>>’ symbol is a short-cut for ‘touch’):

  • Touch Settings>>Mail, Contacts, Calendars>>Add Account>>Other. 
  • Touch Add CardDAV Account.
  • Enter the following in the fields:
    • Server: google.com
    • User Name: your full Gmail address
    • Password: your Gmail password
    • Description: My Contacts (or your choice of a description)
    • Touch Next.

This will take you back to the Settings, Accounts list.

  • Touch your newly added Contacts account.
  • Verify that Account is ON. If it is not, touch OFF to turn it ON.
  • Touch Advanced Settings.
  • Verify that Use SSL is ON. If it is not, touch OFF to turn it ON.
  • Touch My Contacts arrow at the top.
  • Touch Done.
  • Scroll down to the Contacts heading.
  • Touch Default Account.
  • Touch My Contacts (or your new description) so that it is checked.
  • Touch the upper left arrow to go back to the Mail, Contacts, Calendars screen.

 Set up Google Calendars

  • From the Settings>>Mail, Contacts, Calendars 
  • Touch Add Account.
  • Touch Gmail.
  • Enter the following in the fields:
    • Name: your name
    • Email: your full Gmail address
    • Password: your Gmail password
    • Description: My Calendar (or your choice of a description)
  • Touch Next.
  • Turn Mail OFF.
  • Leave Calendars ON.
  • Leave Notes OFF.
  • Touch Save.

Set up Gmail

  • From Settings>>Mail, Contacts, Calendars
  • Touch Add Account>>Other.
  • Touch Add Mail Account.
  • Enter the following in the fields:
    • Name: the name you want seen when you send an email
    • Email: your full Gmail address
    • Password: your Gmail password
    • Description: should autofill with GmailIf not, enter Gmail.
  • Touch Next.
  • IMAP tab at top should be highlighted with blue background. If it does not, touch IMAP to highlight it.
  • Under Incoming Mail Server enter:
    • Host Name: imap.gmail.com
    • User Name: your full Gmail address
    • Password: If your password wasn’t automatically filled, enter your Gmail password
  • Scroll down to Outgoing Mail Server and enter:
    • Host Name: smtp.gmail.com
    • User Name: your full Gmail address (enter it even though it says Optional)
    • Password: your Gmail password (enter is even though it says Optional)
  • Touch Next.
  • After account verification, you will see an IMAP screen with Mail ON and Notes OFF.
  • Touch Save.
  • Press the Home key.
  • Touch the Mail icon.
  • If you don’t see “Checking for mail” on the bottom of the screen, but you do see Mailboxes in the top left, touch Mailboxes. Then touch Inbox to refresh your Gmail.
  • If you see “Checking for mail,” just let it finish.
  • Touch the Home key, then Settings, and then Mail, Contacts, Calendars.
  • From the Accounts list screen, touch your newly created Gmail account and then your Account name.
    • Scroll down and touch Advanced
    • Touch Drafts Mailbox.
    • Under On the Server, touch Drafts.
    • Touch Advanced in the top left corner.
    • Touch Sent Mailbox.
    • Under On the Server, touch Sent Mail.
    • Touch Advanced in the top left corner.
    • Touch Deleted Mailbox.
    • Under On the Server, touch Trash.
    • Touch Advanced in the top left corner.
    • Under Deleted Messages, touch Remove.
    • Touch Never.
    • Touch Advanced in the top left corner.
    • Touch Account in the top left corner.
    • Touch Done.
  • Touch the upper left arrow to go back to the Mail, Contacts, Calendars screen.
  • Press the Home Key to exit out of all Settings.
2 replies
  1. Stevie
    Stevie says:

    Worked as indicated except for the last part of the gmail setup. In the mailbox behaviours, the ” on the server” just seemed to be defaulting to “inbox” and would not allow me to change it. The “on my iPad” option was set as what you seemed to indicate I wanted to set “on the server”. Is this a mistake in the document or am I missing something?

    Reply
    • Lynn
      Lynn says:

      Thanks for pointing this out, Stevie! When I teach my classes, I’ve been adding a step which I’ll correct in the post. What you need to do is force the Mail app to refresh with your Gmail settings. Just touch the Mail icon to connect with your Gmail. If it doesn’t show in the bottom that it is checking for mail, touch the Mailboxes arrow on the top left, then touch Inbox to force the refresh. Now you can to to Settings, touch Gmail, touch your Account, go down to Advanced, etc. You should now have the On the Server option.

      Reply

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