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How do I sync GMail contacts into my Mac?

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If you are using Mac OS X 10.5 or later, it's just a matter of enabling in in your Address Book:

  • Address Book --> Preferences --> Accounts --> Synchronize with Google
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    i was just a few seconds behind :) +1 – LudoMC Jan 16 '11 at 21:54
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    I believe this option is only available if your Mac has been synced with an iPhone, otherwise it doesn't let you sync with Google. Not 100% sure, though. – Lorin Hochstein Jan 17 '11 at 0:29
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On most modern Macs (Mac OS X 10.6 Snow Leopard) you simply open the Address Book (-,), click on Accounts tab, and then under the left column, select "On My Mac (Local)".

Then click on the "Synchronize with Google" checkbox and enter your Google credentials, and voila! note that synchronising may have deleterious effects because of inherent problems with most sync systems. To be safe, I would back up either (or both) your Gmail and Address Book contants before proceeding.

To back-up your Address Book contacts go to File menu > Export… > Address Book Archive…

Your Gmail contacts can be backed up in this way.

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