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How to Move Google Exchange Contacts to iCloud on the iPhone

When I got my iPhone, the first thing I did was sync my contacts using Google sync, which is available through the Google app for the iPhone. I later realized that Google sync doesn’t sync photos of contacts, while iCloud does. So I decided to move all of my contacts to iCloud. That was easy to do, but it wasn’t easy to figure out.

So to save you the trouble, here’s how it’s done:

First, when your contacts are up to date with Google Exchange, go to “Settings” on your iPhone, then “Mail, Contacts, Calendars” and turn off Exchange contacts sync. It’ll tell you that you must delete all of the contacts from your iPhone. Press delete. (Remember, your contacts are up to date on your Google account.)

Next, connect your iPhone to iTunes and go to the info tab. There, you’ll see the option to sync your contacts with various services. Select Google Contacts. You’ll get a couple of prompts. Press ok through them. Now click apply on iTunes to complete the sync.

Once the iTunes sync is complete, go back to the info tab and uncheck the box for syncing contacts. You’ll be asked whether you wanna delete all of your previously synced contacts or keep them on the phone. Choose to keep them.

Now, disconnect your iPhone from iTunes and go back to “Mail, Contacts, Calendars” in “Settings”. Turn off iCloud. You’ll be asked whether you wanna keep any iCloud contacts on the phone. Choose yes. Now turn iCloud back on and you’ll be told that your contacts on the phone will be merged with iCloud! Success!

I hope this was clear enough and helpful.

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22 thoughts on “How to Move Google Exchange Contacts to iCloud on the iPhone

  1. Shai says:

    Is there a way to do this when the gmail account is linked to another website? My school email uses gmail, but its not @gmail.com its something else and it seems that iTunes isn’t recognizing it therefore I can’t sync those contacts with iCloud

  2. ML says:

    It worked! Thanks so much. Only hiccup I had was that I didn’t have iTunes yet (noob) – no worries. It was super simple once I registered. Thanks again!

  3. Nicole says:

    I got this to work, thanks! So now are my Google contacts totally cut off from updates on the phone, though? For example, if I add a Google contact, will it go to phone or do all updates now have to be done directly on the phone?

    • M.K. says:

      You’re right, Nicole. Your phone is cut off from your Google contacts. No contacts will cross from Google to iPhone or vise versa.

  4. Useful! I have been looking for it for a long times!
    But I am just wondering whether I should use iCloud or Exchange.
    It is proved that Google is more reliable, at least now. But iCloud adds useful functions. And I want to access my data not only through my iPad, but also on my android phone. Should I use Exchange or iCloud?

    • M.K. says:

      I don’t know how it’s been proved that Google is more reliable. I wouldn’t expect Apple iCloud to be any less reliable. If anything, I’d expect it to be more stable.

      I don’t know about Android phones. I don’t think they can sync with iCloud. I think if I had an Android phone, I’d probably use Google Exchange.

    • Thanks for yore reply:)
      I have moved my contacts to iCloud, as well as calendar. Just because I love Apple :D
      And I am in China, so Google services are not “legal” and may be shut down any time. Apple’s services are a bit more safe in China.

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