I set up both CalDav and CardDav on my iPhone 4S using iOS 6. It does sync new entries both ways but it fails to sync any of the existing ones. Google search queries did not shed any light on this question, so:

Is this service meant to sync existing information either one way or two ways?

2 Answers 2


I was having a similar problem, at least with Gmail contacts using CardDav. The problem is that CardDav puts your newly synced contacts in a separate "group" on your iphone than your current contacts. (You can check that by hitting "groups" in the upper left of your contacts and seeing what's listed there.) So for new contacts, yes, it will sync both ways, but not necessarily for old ones that were solely on your phone.

A couple of things to start with: 1. When you make a new contact on your iphone, does it properly sync with your gmail contacts online? (I think you say that it does, but I'm just checking.) If not, go to Settings->Mail, Contacts, Calendars->Default Account (the one under the Contacts section) and choose Google).

  1. Had you ever synced with gmail contacts in the past? Are the contacts that were in your iphone different from the ones in gmail, or are there duplicates?

Because CardDav does not touch the existing iphone contacts, there's no good way to get those to be in gmail. The only way I've found to do this is for each contact, choose "share" and email it to yourself. When you get the email on your phone, add it to your contacts. Then, assuming Google is the default (see #1 above), it'll put it in the right place and then all syncing will work as it should.

I agree that this is convoluted, but it's the best I can come up with after days of searching and messing around. I had previously synced with Gmail contacts using iTunes (no longer supported, as far as I can tell), so once I set up CardDav it downloaded all of my existing contacts, creating two of everything, but it at least knew enough to link them so they only show up once.

You'll have to specify exactly what the problem is with syncing calendars with CalDav. That's something I've actually had better luck with.

  • One possibility for getting local iphone contacts into gmail, now that initial sync doesn't go in that direction: Sync with mac address book (or a local program like that), export as csv or vcard, and then import that into gmail ([support.google.com/mail/bin/…). Then that should automatically sync with the CardDav address book already set up on your phone. If someone tries that, let me know if it works. Commented Dec 17, 2012 at 5:56
  • Sorry for the late reply but after some offensive language on the google support forums and no replies on the other websites I had almost given up on this thing. To clarify: New contacts and calendar entries would sync both ways just fine. In the meantime I imported my iPhone contacts using a backup app and sending them to the gmail account in csv format. It would create duplicate entries after turning on sync again, but as you stated, they would at least be linked together. As for CalDav: Same problem! New calendar entries sync both ways, old ones don't.
    – Vey
    Commented Dec 18, 2012 at 14:38
  • I had hit the character limit, so going on: Changing the date or name of the existing entry (to make it seem new) does not affect the behaviour - still no syncing. One addition to the CardDav problem regarding your question #1: I had synced with GMail in the past but to make things easier I deleted all my contacts from GMail. The contacts section was completely empty. So was (or rather is) my GMail calendar.
    – Vey
    Commented Dec 18, 2012 at 14:42

Here what I do to solve sync with Google Contact ** :

  1. Install free App, Contacts Kit (free). It's contact backup solution apps.
  2. Backup All your contact using the apps.
  3. Go to icloud.com. Delete all your contact from iCloud. ( this to prevent double entry)
  4. Open your iPhone contact to see if all the contact gone.
  5. Go back to App, Load back your contact from Apps Backup to your iPhone contact directory.
  6. Open your iPhone contact, you should see all your contact back to normal.
  7. CardDAV should start sync your contact with Google Contact now.

Hope that help, I'm still looking at this to see any unforeseen side effect or strange behaviour.

** After all the Google CardDAV configuration is done and contact default has been change to Google CardDAV.

  • Worked like a charm Commented Dec 21, 2016 at 16:29

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