Synchronize your Mac with Google Apps

This article is for IT administrators with Mac™ users looking for tips on how to sync mail, calendar, and contacts in Google Apps with their Mac. You can find additional resources for users at Google Sync services for Mac.

We recommend that your users use the Gmail web interface for their mail client. It provides a single portal for accessing all of their Google services and requires no additional setup or troubleshooting.

However, some users in your organization might need to use a desktop client on their Mac to access their Google Apps mail, calendar, and contacts while they transition to Gmail. These users can use the tools below to synchronize Google Apps data with desktop clients.

Mail

POP3

With POP3, your users can work entirely from their desktop mail client (like Apple Mail and Eudora).

Important: With POP3, folders in a user's desktop client will not be preserved as labels in Gmail. Also, existing labels in Gmail will not be preserved as folders in your user's desktop client.

Setup

  1. Verify that POP is enabled in your user's Google Apps mail account.
  2. Configure your users' mail client to retrieve mail from Google. For steps, see Set up POP in mail clients.

IMAP

Use IMAP when a user wants to maintain folders/labels in Gmail while still working from a desktop client. This is particularly useful for maintaining mail organization on the go, when your user may not have regular access to their desktop mail client and need to check email remotely or by mobile device. For more information, see Getting started with IMAP for Gmail.

Setup

  1. Make sure IMAP is enabled for your user's Google Apps mail account.
  2. Configure the user's mail client for IMAP. For steps, see Set up IMAP in other mail clients.

Calendar

Google Calendar supports CalDAV, a protocol for sharing calendar access. With CalDAV, your users can view and edit calendar events from Apple iCal clients. For more information, see Sync with iCal. (Please note that CalDav is considered an experimental feature with limited technical assistance available.)

Contacts

Use CardDAV to sync your Google Contacts with your Mac. Note: We support CardDAV on Mac OS X 10.7 and above.

  1. On your Mac, go to Applications > Contacts.
  2. In the Contacts application, go to Contacts > Preferences > Accounts > +
  3. In the window that pops up, enter the following:

  4. Account type: CardDAV
    Username: <Your username at your domain, for example: john@solarmora.com>
    Password: <Your password>
    Server address: google.com

You contacts will now start syncing from your Google account with your Mac. Any new contacts you make on your Mac will sync with your Google account, and any new contacts in your Google account will sync with your Mac.

Third-party tools

Third-party tools are also available from Google Apps partners and on the Google Apps Marketplace.

Need more Mac-specific guidance? See Migration Options for Mac.