Syncing Google Contacts in Mac OS X

Mac - Syncing Google ContactsI use GMail from Google Apps for my regular emails and since I use an Android phone, all my contacts are linked to my Google Account. And since they are the contacts I often have conversations with, I preferred to have them imported to the Contacts App in Mac, so that it would be handy. I didn’t want to export the contacts as a CSV but I wanted to keep them in sync with Google.

The impressive feature in Mac (that seriously lacks in Windows) is that once your contacts are imported to your Mac, it’s almost universal! Any application, say Evernote can have access to your contacts and can auto-complete the email field when you share your note with someone. This saves a lot of time going through your contacts to find out the email and copy-paste them.

Mac lets you sync Google contacts without a fuss, but it’s pretty much hidden inside. To sync, open the Contacts app, click ‘Contacts’ from the menu, select ‘Preferences’. Select the ‘Accounts’ tab. With ‘On My Mac’ selected, enable ‘Synchronize with Google’.

Mac - Sync Google Contacts

You must agree that the application will have access to your Google contacts in order to synchronize. Provide it with your Google username and password. It should sync your contacts soon. This has worked for many, but maybe because I use a Google Apps account, it probably fails. Nevertheless, there’s a workaround. Mac lets you sync via CardDAV. If you happen to have problems syncing contacts in your Google Apps account, CardDAV should work.

The CardDAV way!

CardDAV is a brilliant address book protocol that lets you access contacts effortlessly. Setting up to sync contacts via CardDAV is as simple as setting up an account on an IM Client. On the ‘Accounts’ tab in ‘Preferences’, press the tiny ‘+‘ button at the bottom to add a new account.

Mac - Google contacts over CardDAV

Setting up CardDAV is dead simple. In ‘Add Account’, fill in the details as follows.

  • Account Type: CardDAV
  • Username: Your complete email address (with domain)
  • Password: Your account password
  • Server address:

On the next page, you can allow Mac to use this account to sync its emails, tasks, calendars and reminders. You can disable them if you want to sync only your contacts. The edits that you make to your contacts on Mac will reflect in your Google contacts as well.