Google Sync Known Issues with iOS

This article is for Google Apps for Business, Education, and Government users. Other users should visit Sync Gmail, Calendar and Contacts for sync instructions for their iOS device. Learn more.

Google Sync for iOS devices is still in beta. We're constantly working on improvements, but we've listed below some known limitations of Google Sync for iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch.

Known Issues with all iOS versions

Signing in:

  • Invalid Password Prompt. If you see an error message that reads "Invalid Password", it's likely that you'll need to unlock your account by solving a short CAPTCHA. Go to https://www.google.com/accounts/UnlockCaptcha and, if asked to, fill in your email address, password, and the letters in the CAPTCHA box.
    If CAPTCHA issues persist, see these tips:
    • CAPTCHA may be caused if you have multiple devices and one of them is configured with the wrong password. Reset all devices to use the correct password.
    • If the problem continues, make sure you have followed all the steps in the setup article, especially setting Safari to accept cookies from visited sites (the default setting in iOS).
    • CAPTCHA may be caused if you have many changes to your mail, contacts, or calendar. You may need to set your phone to check for updates every 15 minutes. To do so, open Settings > Mail, Contacts, Calendars, set Fetch New Data > Every 15 minutes and turn Push to Off. If you require data to be pushed to your iOS device, consider downloading the Gmail app from Apple's iTunes Store.
  • If you're having difficulty accessing m.google.com, change your language to English (US).

Mail:

  • iOS 5 only: iOS 5 has mailbox folder features not supported by Google Sync. In your Apple Mail client in iOS 5, you can create, delete, rename, and move a mail folder on your iOS device. These actions will only affect folders on your device, and these changes won't sync with your Google Account.

  • We currently don't support editable drafts when composing email.

  • We currently don't support creating new mailboxes (labels) from within Apple Mail. Workaround: create new labels from the Gmail web interface.

  • When using Google Sync, certain actions in Gmail may have a different behavior than you're used to. For instance, if you "delete" a message from your Inbox, the default action is that it will archive the message and not delete it. To delete the message, you need to select Enable "Delete Email As Trash" for this device in your Google Sync settings. See our complete list of how actions taken on your device affect your Gmail interface.

Calendar: Issues with Accepting/Declining events:

  • iOS device can't Accept/Maybe/Decline events from invitation emails received via POP3 polling.

  • Accepting an event invitation from Google Calendar doesn't dismiss the existing event invitation on the device.

  • Secondary calendar events with invites are read-only on iOS devices. The device can't Accept/Maybe/Decline events on secondary calendars.

  • Accept/Maybe/Decline page has a field to Add Comments, but changes in this field will not be synced with Google Calendar.

Calendar: Issues with recurring events

  • Attendee status changes may not sync. Under certain circumstances when you're invited to a series of recurring events, choosing Save for all events after accept/maybe/decline will only apply the change to the one selected event.

  • Imported recurring events may not sync. If you've imported calendar entries from another calendar system into Google Calendar, you may find that only the first occurrence of the event is synchronized, or - in some cases - the event may not be synchronized at all. Events which occur multiple times per month (for example "the first and last Monday of each month") cannot be accurately represented in the Microsoft Exchange ActiveSync protocol. Recurring events created within Google Calendar will sync correctly.

  • Duplicate event created when changes are made across daylight savings time. This issue arises If you edit an instance of the recurring event after the first event and remove the attendee, selecting Save for future events. In some cases, the iOS device doesn't correctly make these changes, and two separate event series are created that overlap a day. This problem often affects events created in the GMT timezone when the series of events spans a Daylight Savings Time boundary.

    Example: If a series of recurring events is created in August and a change is made to an instance of the series in December, the iOS device will show both the original event and the changed instance in the Calendar application.

Other issues

  • Contact field limitations. The iOS device can synchronize up to 3 email addresses. Phone number synchronization is limited to 2 Home numbers, 1 Home Fax, 1 Mobile, 1 Pager, 3 Work (one will be labeled 'Company Main') and one Work Fax number.

  • Incomplete contact information. If you have copied a contact from your domain's Directory to your My Contacts, only the email address of the contact will be synced to your iOS device. On the web, the contacts entries you see are the result of combining both information you have manually entered and information from the contact's Google Profile, a connected profile. The information from these connected profiles does not automatically synchronize to iOS devices through standard contacts sync.

    If you do not see contact information on your iOS device but do see it in the web interface, hover over the data and look at the icon to the right. If the icon is a little building or a Google+ logo, this indicates the information is coming from a connected Google Profile and not your My Contacts. This information won't be synced automatically.

    Connected Profile information is available on iOS 4.0 or higher using Google+ for iOS. If you're not a Google+ user, you can manually enter a contact's connected profile data into your My Contacts. Additionally, you could delete the contact from My Contacts and then copy the contact from the Directory to My Contacts on your iOS device itself, which will move the contact information to the device without issue.

  • Google Apps Issues? Google Apps administrators should see Google Apps Mobile Management.