I have an iPhone 4s with iOS 7.0.3.

I am trying to sync my iPhone contacts somewhere safe, besides the backup in iTunes. I was burned in the past with iTunes backup when contacts all got lost on my phone and the backup deleted the contacts as well.

I am trying to avoid iCloud because I want to be able to easily extract the content as a flat file.

I used to have iTunes sync my iPhone contacts to Gmail. But suddenly, iTunes no longer gives me an option for sync with Gmail - it only gives me an option to sync contacts to Windows Contacts.

Windows contacts would be ok too - except this also doesn't work anymore. I'm on Windows 8 and when I run wab I only see an old copy of my contacts from a previous sync - this used to work, and doesn't work anymore.

How do I get either of these syncs working again? I'm on iTunes 11.1.3.

  • What exactly do you want to get solved here? Is the goal to understand what is going on, do you want to set up syncing with Windows Contacts or do you want to re-enable Google Contacts syncing?
    – nohillside
    Jan 11, 2014 at 15:02
  • Updated question. I would be ok with either windows or Google contacts, preferably Google. Both USED to work, and now neither one does. Jan 11, 2014 at 18:48

2 Answers 2


Try syncing from your iPhone Settings to Gmail Contacts using [OTHER >> CardDAV]

Do this:

  1. On your iPhone select SETTINGS
  2. Mail, Contacts, Calendars >>
  3. Add Account... >>
  4. Other >>
  5. Contacts: Add CardDAV Account
  6. Server = google.com; user name = [fullEmail]; pw = [gmailPw]; desc = [optional].

Tested 1/14/2014 on an iPhone 5 running iOS 7.0.4

Here's Google's documentation: http://support.google.com/mail/answer/2753077?hl=en

[Note: iOS7 requires clicking SAVE, iOS5/6 does not]

This cuts out iTunes entirely and provides you with options for flat-file delimited export via Gmail's settings menu.

  • This worked for new contacts on my iPhone - after also setting Google/Gmail as the default account for Contacts. But what happens to the existing Contacts - they were associated with the "from my PC" account. Where did those go? Jan 18, 2014 at 20:24
  • It's difficult for me to recreate the issue, so I don't have a ready answer. Have you checked Gmail Contacts (via Gmail or contacts.google.com) and searched on a sample contact? They might be under "Other Contacts" rather than "My Contacts."
    – redo1134
    Jan 19, 2014 at 19:15

If you have your GMail configured in the E-Mail tab, you can enable the contacts from Google Mail. These are synced with your Google Mail contacts, and you don't have to sync them via iTunes anymore.

If you store all your contacts in GMail, you can easily use them on all the devices you'd like to use without using iCloud. You can easily export and import these too.

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