How to easily sync your Android phone contacts to Gmail

And why you should always be doing so.

How to easily sync your Android phone contacts to Gmail

Did you know that you can sync your Android phone numbers to Gmail? More importantly, do you know why you’d want to do such a thing? For many of you reading this, I know it may come as old news. But with the over 2 BILLION active Android devices on the planet, it should come as no surprise that not everyone knows their way around their smartphone like the back of their hand.

In fact, I just had a friend message me today on Facebook asking me to guide her through the process. It’s simple enough, and she got through without any issues, but I figured it’d be a good idea to put this together as a reference guide for those to whom I’m not available for free tech support.

First, I’ll explain why you can and should be syncing your Android phone contacts with Gmail, and then I’ll show you how to do it. So, if you’re new to the Android platform, or perhaps you just need a refresher, lets put on our learning hats and tackle this tutorial, shall we?

Why sync contacts with Gmail?

Syncing your phone contacts with Gmail allows you to have access to said contacts across all of your devices that you’ve signed into with your Google account. Nearly every Android phone comes with Gmail installed and prompts you to either create a new Google account or log into an existing account during the initial setup.

Also, any changes you make to contacts are automatically saved and available across your devices. No user interaction needed, outside of the obvious of adding/editing contacts. Everything syncs to the cloud in the background, and it doesn’t require much bandwidth or storage space to do so.

Stop losing your phone contacts!

This means, when you buy a new phone, you won’t have to worry about transferring contacts via a cable, or even worse, creating them all again manually. Syncing your contacts with Google and Gmail gives you the peace of mind of having your contacts always available, regardless of where you’re Internetting from.

How to sync contacts with Google

Note: The screenshots in this tutorial were taken with my Samsung Galaxy Note 8 review unit. As such, the UI on your phone may look different than that of which you see here. Have no fear, as the guide should apply to relatively all Android devices, regardless of UI style.

Make sure that you have Gmail installed on your device. (You likely do, but here’s a link just in case.)

Developer: Google LLC
Price: Free
  • Gmail Screenshot
  • Gmail Screenshot
  • Gmail Screenshot
  • Gmail Screenshot
  • Gmail Screenshot

Go to Settings, then go to ‘Accounts’. (On the Galaxy Note 8, you get a second screen with ‘Accounts’; tap it again.

Settings > AccountsSettings > Accounts 2

Select ‘Google’ from the ‘Accounts’ screen.

Settings > Google

Select your Gmail account from the ‘Accounts’ screen.

Settings > Gmail

Make sure that you’ve enabled the ‘Sync Contacts’ option.

Settings > Sync Contacts

That’s it!

You can verify your contacts are properly on the Google Contacts website. They will also show up in Gmail and become available any time you sign into a device with your credentials and enable syncing.

So, as you can see, this is a very simple process that will save you a lot of time if you lose/break/upgrade your phone. I hope you enjoyed it, and I’ll leave you with a parting question. Are you syncing your contacts with Gmail? Let me know why or why not down in the comment thread.

Thanks for the inspiration to write this guide, Brittany!