How to Sync iPhone With Yahoo and Google Contacts

Sync your contacts and deal with duplicates

Businessman sitting outside working on an iPhone

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The more contact information you have on your iPhone, the more useful it is. Whether you use your iPhone for business or for staying in touch with friends and family, having the names, addresses, phone numbers, and email addresses of all the people you contact in one place is convenient.

However, what if your contacts are stored in different locations? Typically, some of our contacts are stored in our computer's address book, while others are in an online account from Google or Yahoo. How do you easily sync all your contacts to your iPhone?

Fortunately, Apple built features into the iOS that make it easy to automatically sync contacts between the iPhone, Google Contacts, and Yahoo Contacts. Set it up one time, and they sync automatically in the future.

This process used to be accomplished via iTunes, but that's no longer the case. Thanks to iCloud and other web-based syncing technologies, the settings you need to sync your address books all exist on your iPhone.

Sync Google Contacts to iPhone

To sync Google Contacts to your iPhone, you first need to make sure your Gmail account is set up on your iPhone.

After you've done that, or if you already had it set up, follow these steps:

  1. Open the Settings app on the iPhone Home screen.

  2. Scroll to Passwords & Accounts.

  3. Tap Gmail.

  4. Move the Contacts slider to On/green.

    Gmail settings on iPhone

You may see a message that says Turning on Contacts. When it disappears, syncing is set up.

Now, any addresses you add to Google Contacts sync to your iPhone. Even better, changes you make to those contacts on your iPhone automatically sync up to your Google Contacts account, too. Syncing of changes doesn't happen instantly, but changes show up in both locations in a minute or two.

If you move the Contacts slider back the Off/white position, your Google Contacts are removed from your iPhone, but any changes to contact details that were made and synced to your Google account are saved.

Sync Yahoo Contact to iPhone

Syncing your Yahoo Contacts to your iPhone requires first setting up your Yahoo email account on your iPhone. After you've done that, follow these steps to set up syncing:

  1. Open the Settings app on the iPhone.

  2. Scroll down to Passwords & Accounts.

  3. Tap Yahoo.

  4. Move the Contacts slider to On/green.

    Yahoo Contacts settings on the iPhone
  5. You may be asked to enter the password for your Yahoo account. If so, enter it.

As with Gmail, you may see a message that says Turning on Contacts.

With that done, syncing between the two accounts is set up. Any addresses you add to your Yahoo Contacts or changes you make to existing contacts are automatically added to your iPhone. Changes aren't synced instantly, but you should see changes show up in a few minutes.

To turn off syncing, move the Contacts slider to Off/white. This deletes your Yahoo contacts from your iPhone, but any changes you made while they were synced are saved in your Yahoo account.

Resolving Conflicts When Syncing Contact Information

In some circumstances, there are sync conflicts or duplicate address book entries. These arise when there are two versions of the same contact entry, and Google Contacts and Yahoo Contacts aren't sure which is correct. 

Resolve Duplicate Contacts in Google Contacts

  1. Go to Google Contacts using the menu icon in the top right corner of Gmail.

    Contacts option in the Gmail menu
  2. Click or press the Duplicates option in the left panel. Hopefully, you see No duplicate contacts.

    Gmail duplicate contacts screen showing no duplicates
  3. If you have duplicates, select Dismiss to skip it or Merge to combine the contacts.

  4. Repeat this process for all duplicates until none are left.

Resolve Duplicate Contacts in Yahoo Contacts

  1. Go to your Yahoo Contacts.

    Location of Yahoo contacts
  2. Log in with your Yahoo account if prompted to do so.

  3. Click or press the Fix Duplicate Contacts button.

    Yahoo Contacts screen showing Fix Duplicate Contacts option
  4. On the next screen, Yahoo Contacts displays all the duplicate contacts in your address book (if any). It also lists where the duplicates are exact (have all the same information) or are similar (same name, but different data).

  5. You can choose Merge All EXACT matches by choosing the button at the bottom of the screen or review each duplicate by selecting it and deciding what you want to merge.

  6. Repeat this process for all the duplicates until none are left.

    Yahoo duplicates screen showing no duplicates.