I have enabled Google CardDAV contact synching some time ago and disabled iCloud (contacts).

Now I wanted to reenable iCloud synching too... I see some contacts on iCloud.com and on my Mac - probably from before I disabled this. On reenabling the option on iPhone, I still don't see some contacts on iCloud.com... when I add a new contact it does appear there but I cannot get all of them to sync.

I even tried disabled iCloud contacts on the iPhone again, went to delete all of them from iCloud.com and reenabled the setting on iPhone. It asked me if I wanted to merge, I said yes and again I see a lot of contacts online, but not all...

Is my Google contacts sync interfering? I thought I can have both. What can I do?

  • From personal experience I would not recommend syncing both. There are fields that are proprietary to each of them (for a while any phone numbers named iPhone would be deleted by Google) and it can cause massive amounts of conflicts. Jul 11, 2013 at 20:21
  • ok, too bad... I'd need iCloud contacts sync so that I can see names in the Messages...
    – davidhq
    Jul 12, 2013 at 15:01

2 Answers 2


Honestly, it's not advised to sync Google & iCloud this way. As you found out, two syncing services running against the same set of Contacts cause a lot of problems. Even if you get it working, over time you'll find information getting duplicated in a single contact, data that you can't remove (it keeps coming back) etc...

So don't rely on doing it the simple way (that you've already tried) cause it's unreliable at best.

Some links to other discussions with various ways of tackling this problem:

Q&A on Stack Exchange about this issue

Discussion on Google Groups


I settled for a partial solution: to once in a while copy all the contacts from Google to iCloud so I can see the names in Messages for example.

Follow these simple steps:

  1. Go to Gmail / Contacts
  2. Select More / Export -> The Group: My Contacts, vCard format
  3. go to iCloud.com / Contacts, select all contacts using the shift key and DELETE them
  4. choose Import vCard and select previously downloaded file
  5. Done

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