Did you lose Gmail over Exchange when you upgraded to a new iPhone 5s or iPhone 5c? Here are your alternatives... such as they are...

Did you lose Gmail over Exchange when you upgraded to a new iPhone 5s or iPhone 5c? Here are your alternatives... such as they are...

Earlier this year, Google decided to ditch their Exchange ActiveSync-licensed GoogleSync service for free Gmail accounts. Paid Google Accounts still enjoy full support, and existing setups were grandfathered in, but any new, free account setups, like those necessitated by a new iPhone 5s or iPhone 5c means - poof - no more Gmail over Exchange. So, what's left for you to do? If you don't want to pony up for a paid account, or forward to a push service like iCloud or Outlook.com, you can use Google's eccentric IMAP service, which works with Apple's Mail app and allows for a unifed inbox with other, non-Gmail accounts, and the Gmail app, which is excellent but is a silo unto itself, and a few other options. Here they are, such as they are...

How to set up Gmail in Google's Gmail app

Google's Gmail app is outstanding, supporting both push email, multiple accounts, and all the unique Gmail features like stars and labels, of course. You even get easy access to vacation responders and other options. If you only use Gmail for your email, it's absolutely the best way to go. If you use multiple email providers, but don't mind accessing them via separate apps, it's also a great choice. Sadly, you can't set third party apps as default in iOS, so you'll probably need to set up your account in Apple's iOS Mail app as well, for convenience sake. (See below.)

  1. Download the Gmail app from the App Store.
  2. Tap Open once Gmail finishes downloading, or if you've left the App Store, tap the Gmail icon on your Home screen.
  3. Enter your Gmail or Google Apps email address and password.
  4. Tap sign in.

If you don't like the official Gmail app, you can also try third-party apps like Mailbox.

How to setup Gmail in Apple's Mail app

Gmail is one of the main email setup options in Apple's built-in iOS Mail app. It uses IMAP to receive email, but due to Google's non-standard configuration, and Apple's lack of specific support for that non-standard configuration, you won't get push email, and you won't have access to stars, labels, and other Gmail-specific conventions. Sadly, it also doesn't automagically include contact sync, so you'll have to set that up separately.

You will, however, have your Gmail included in the unified inbox, which is incredibly convenient if you also have other, non-Google email accounts (like iCloud, Exchange, Hotmail, etc.) You also get the new design and new, gesture-based navigation of the iOS 7 Mail app, which is very nice.

  1. Launch Settings from your Home screen.
  2. Tap Mail, Contacts, Calendars.
  3. Tap Add Account...
  4. Tap Gmail.
  5. Enter your name, Gmail email address, password, and a descriptive name (like Gmail, or Personal, so you can identify it later).
  6. Select which services you want to leave on for sync, Mail, Calendars, and Notes. (You probably want all of them on.)
  7. Tap Save.

How to set up Gmail's 2-step verification

If you're a high value target and worried about your Gmail security, you can also setup and use Gmail 2-step verification on your iPhone, iPod touch, or iPad. For most people, it's probably more trouble than it's worth, but it's there for those who really need it.

More options

Again, you can switch to a paid Google Account, forward to iCloud or Outlook.com, or investigate alternate apps like Mailbox. That and shake your tiny Vader fists and yell "Nooooooooo!" in Google's general direction. If you come up with anything else, though, we loved to hear about it!

Rene Ritchie

Editor-in-Chief of iMore, co-host of Iterate, Debug, ZEN and TECH, MacBreak Weekly. Cook, grappler, photon wrangler. Follow him on Twitter, App.net, Google+.

More Posts



← Previously

Future update to Google Search for iOS to include cross platform notifications

Next up →

BBC releases new iPlayer desktop application for offline content

There are 54 comments. Add yours.

SnapThrow says:

Unless I am seeing things Gmail contact sync is now part of the default IMAP setup for Gmail within iOS, it was a pleasant surprise that I noticed and allowed me to delete the Google CardDAV setup that was there purely for contacts

Stevenojobs says:

I always wondered if after all these years and since you are one of the most read blog, do you have any special contacts with apple ? Like Kevin had with RIM sometimes on CrackBerry (i remember he went to waterloo etc..)

Sushil Sansal says:

Problem with the gmail in the iOS mail is that it doesn't support push settings, only fetch and manual are the options. Means you have to wait at least 15 minutes to get your new emails.

Tom Whiting says:

that and if you have folders upon folders (I do), then you're kind of, well, screwed, since the iPhone and IMAP don't do folders well (together). This is a huge, huge problem for me. Time to find a cheap exchange provider and migrate it all over I guess

Xxorn says:

Yep I have Gmail contact sync as part of the default IMAP setup as well. I just got my new iPhone and I was wondering why the Exchange wasn't working but saw I could now do contacts through gmail and was very happy!

ethanwc says:

My sync still works when I transferred to my 5s.

EPJS says:

I've never used Exchange, and I don't understand the obsession. I've always just used Gmail through the default mail app via IMAP.

SnapThrow says:

The "obsession" was true push/pull mail and contact/calendar sync. Albeit both largely solved with the current IMAP implementation... other than the push email part

Sent from the iMore App

parabel says:

Is it only Gmail's IMAP that doesn't do push on the iPhone, or IMAP in general? So that means eMails are only fetched in intervals or when I open the Mail app? :s
Wow, I didn't know about this change. Good thing my Exchange Gmail is still set up.

Recently, all I can say to Google is: F*** you! There's this, then the fact that no master password can be set in Chrome to prevent passwords from being displayed in plain text; then the fact that they try to force G+ on my YouTube account; YouTube sometimes temporarily forgets about half of my subscriptions so I still have to search for my subscribed channels manually; the fact that the new iOS Google Maps app doesn't access the address book (so I can't get directions to contacts without entering the address manually); their Google Wallett app is still not available in my country; gMusic still doesn't work with half my music formats and doesn't recognize whenever I delete something from my library and keeps everything I ever had; and I have to use an outdated Google Desktop because they discontinued it even though it was great... :(

Racer X says:

Gmail 2-step verification is very easy to set up, and is well worth it.

Artiste212 says:

It seems that there is no push notification with Gmail and the Mail app. What is needed are simply notifications. The solution? Turn OFF all notifications in the Mail app. Download and set up the Google Mail app to notify of new email. Then open the Apple Mail app to see the unified inbox, send messages, and have more flexibility opening attachments. Works like a charm, for free.

ericesque says:

This is a rather clever solution. The only downside I see is that you can't use a notification to take you directly to the Mail app.

Xytal says:

Or, setup Gmail as described here and then check your e-mail a lot.

Let iOS 7's new multitasking do the work for you. =D

It's not perfect, and it doesn't always seem to work, but I've had my e-mail sound go off and no notification and then looked to see the e-mail there.

Mileage will vary, I presume.

GeniusUnleashed says:

Is it no longer possible to have multiple emails to send from using Gmail in the Mail.app?

SnapThrow says:

I have two Gmail accounts setup -- one personal, one for work... so yes, you can have multiple Gmail accounts in mail.app

Sent from the iMore App

GeniusUnleashed says:

Nah, that's not what I meant.

PrezJobs says:

You need to go with a third configuration option, which was not covered in this post:

Choose "Other" account type, rather than Gmail, when setting up your mail account. Provide your actual Gmail address when setting it up, using imap.gmail.com and smtp.gmail.com for the server names (make sure to specify your Gmail email address and password for the SMTP server connection also).

After saving the account, you can go back in and configure any sending address that you've already established within the Gmail website's settings for your account.

This is one advantage "Other" IMAP accounts have over both the "Gmail" account type and the "Exchange" account type... full control over what address you're sending from, within the native account settings.

Even for Exchange accounts, you always had to go to the clumsy m.google.com/sync page after getting a new phone, and configuring the "Enable Send Mail As" option, as well as what calendars you wanted to sync up. (Google: why not integrate these settings within the Gmail Settings area?!)

NOTE: Although CalDAV lets you decide which calendars you want to sync, right on the phone (unlike Exchange accounts), you may still need to visit a webpage to control which calendars appear here, especially shared calendars, which never seem to be visible on the iPhone CalDAV calendar settings by default. Go here: https://www.google.com/calendar/syncselect

GeniusUnleashed says:

That's what I've done for years, but it stopped working for me with iOS7. Is it working for you now?

PrezJobs says:

It's actually better for me in iOS 7. Previously you would have to go with a comma-separated list of sender addresses, sort of a hack. Now in iOS 7, on IMAP accounts, you can actually setup the additional sender addresses in a normal iOS-style interface. And it seems smarter about using them. If you reply to a specific person with a secondary address, the next time you reply to them, it uses that same sender address.

GeniusUnleashed says:

Nice, I just saw that. I must have been brain farting and trying that technique under the Gmail tab instead of Other.

Does it have push though? And even though I have it set up as threaded, it isn't threading. And a thing I've never liked about the Mail app is that it doesn't show my responses. I love Mailbox.app, threads everything, keeps my replies in the threads as well so I know exactly what's been said in the thread to date.

Henry II says:

I am able to see all 4 of my google calendars through my personal gmail exhchange set up (including 3 calendars that are shared with me). The Exchange calendar also lets you set up the calendar color independent of the color on your google account (whereas through the CalDAV, it uses the closest iPhone color to the one you set in Google Calendar).

However, I do wonder about the sync accuracy - for example, my wife and I share our personal calendars, in addition to a shared "Family" calendar, with each other as readable, but not editable (I cannot create events for her and cannot edit her events). In CalDAV, that restriction is honored and reflected; in Exchange I am able to create an event for my wife (but I am not sure if will actually work since I really don't have that kind of access). So I stick with CalDAV.

ChrisSaraivaDJ says:

Prezjobs thank you for your post as this seems to be a perfect solution for me. The only trouble I am having is adding multiple sending accounts. Can you help me out with this. Thanks in advance.

PrezJobs says:

If you go back into Settings, in Mail, Contact and Calendars, select the account in question, click on "Account" and it will bring up the details view. The "Email" area below your name should be a selectable entry field. When you click on it, it brings up a new view that shows your existing email, with a button below it to "Add Another Email..." which you can use to add more.

Prior to this, you need to configure additional email addresses within the Gmail web interface, and validate them. Those are the only addresses you'll be able to use, AFAIK.

ChrisSaraivaDJ says:

Perfect! All set, I appreciate your help! You have no idea how much aggravation you just saved me.

rdubmu says:

I used to use gmail back when I had an iphone, since 2010 when I made the move back to hotmail I actually find it to be a superior emailing tool. The sweep function is great and I love the EAS support which also lets me use outlook.com in Outlook 2013.

chriseow says:

With the new 'connector' on ios7, yes it is able to sync contacts and calendars. But what i discovered is that I cannot change the calendar colours!

DarranP says:

Just change the calendar colour via your computers web browser instead. I'm guessing you want it to be red like the iOS 7 calendar theme?

ArgonNJ#CB says:

Use Outlook, it's better anyway.

Etios says:

Switching over to outlook is a better long-term option, want to reduce Google ties as much as possible.

pamaf says:

On my Iphone 5s I'm using gmail for email and Outlook.com for calendar and contacts..On my desktop windows live..Happy...

Goodeye says:

How does one switch to a paid account. I looked and it only looks like you can do it if your using your own domain on gmail.

Sent from the iMore App

vinny jr says:

Have my gmail to check every 15 minutes. Works great. If not fast enough use the GMail app. Its free and everyone complains. I think Google has the best apps and they all work great.
Just My Opinion

jmyers1911 says:

I havne an iPhone and an Galaxy S4... I before could add a phone number in my iphone and it would instantly go in my S4... Is there anyway for this to still be done?

djstarion says:

I use mail forwarding right now so I can keep true push and that I don't really send mail from my phone that much. I've been using iCloud right now, but is Outlook a better solution? I didn't realize they offered push too.

trmoney24 says:

yes, add gmail to your iPhone under "mail, contacts, and calendars", then when you see what is available to sync, keep contacts ON.

ame says:

I actually lost it on my Free account when an update to 6 came out in Feb. right around the time they cut it off. But they also cut it off on my Google Apps, and I had to work with them to fix that, and they told me at that time that they'd be cutting it off on ALL free apps in stages with updates.

Stangs55 says:

There's no such thing as "switching to a paid Gmail account" as you are not able to use your current @gmail.com address. Using a paid gmail account that will get your exchange support requires you to setup an entirely new email address...so this isn't exactly an option as you basically are just getting a new email. At that point, you may as well just switch to outlook.com.

garrettzumini says:

I have a good solution. Forward your gmail to iCloud. I keep a copy in gmail and have a copy forwarded, just to have a backup. On your iOS device turn off mail under iCloud. Add a new email account with iCloud as the incoming mail server and gmail as the outgoing. Now you have push notifications and the process is transparent to anyone contacting you.

I have done this for several months now and it works great.

There are a few downsides. If you archive something it only archives it in iCloud and you have to repeat the process in gmail. And labeling doesn't work so well. Not a big deal for me since I rely on search in gmail, but worth noting.

mbj8448 says:

When I set up forwarding in my Gmail account, I actually set a filter instead of using email forwarding. You still need to add a forwarding address (in your case iCloud, which you've already done) but choose "disable forwarding". Then create a filter for "to" and enter your Gmail address. On the next screen, select "Skip the inbox (archive it)", "mark as read", and "forward to" and choose your iCloud address from the dropdown menu. Once this filter is created, any email sent to your Gmail will be forwarded to your iCloud address, marked as read, and archived. That will keep you from having to archive manually in Gmail.

sting7k says:

Gesture based email? I have to tap 3 corners of the screen now to delete one email instead of swiping and then tapping delete.

But my Gmail via Exchange is working just fine. Restore as new did not effect me.

justcallmejo says:

I upgraded my iPhone 5 to iOS7 on Monday and now on Thursday I can receive my email from Gmail through the Apple Mail but can no longer send?? Has anyone else had this problem? Any suggestions? (Already deleted gmail and re-added it on my iPhone). Frustrating!

ChaosShadow says:

I originally tried the forward to icloud option and changed the SMTP info to googles info so if I replied it "sent" from gmail. However I still needed to manage my gmail inbox on the site to delete old crap (I prefer to save as opposed to delete). In the end I just migrated everything to icloud. Very happy that I did.

Sent from the iMore App

Bill McNeal says:

I switched to the mailbox app several months ago and I love it. It's fast, responsive, actually helps me manage my inbox and delete email that I don't need and archive/file the fee items I want to keep. I absolutely love it. My non-techie wife loves it too, she really doesn't care about most things tech related especially apps and whatnot on her phone but even she loves and uses mailbox. Highly recommend it!

RUS_tech_Geek says:

I actually recently switched my email from Gmail to iCloud and haven't looked back. Changed my email address on most services and forward email from my Gmail to iCloud and will eventually change it everywhere. I'm still keeping my gmail login obviously - mostly because of YouTube.

mickeygoldsmith says:

So i kept my Gmail Activesync open using my iPad. But now, when i go to add it into my new 5s, it would allow me to use the Google Activesync....any ideas?

Rodrigo Salfer says:

I think this is a way to Google make the people change from iPhone to Android. Losing the exchange support is a really bad ting for some of us.

JakeBos says:

Doesn't simply enabling GMail 2-Step Verification allow you to continue using your Exchange Push? It fixed mine on my iPhone 5S.

SemiDriven says:

I love Mailbox.

However the send button is greyed out. I can't send any messages!

I've deleted/reinstalled Mailbox as well as fiddled with the SMTP settings.

No go!

joemd60 says:

I set up Gmail on my 5C through Google in the mail settings. I sync, contacts, calendar, and notes, and I left mail off. For that, I downloaded the Gmail app, which I think works pretty well. I get my mail right away, and I like the look of the app.
My only gripe with calendar sync, It never syncs newly added birthday's in my contacts,yet when I go into the calendar on my laptop, they are there, go figure. I just leave birthday's enabled in the stock IOS calendar app, and that fixes the problem.

uncpoole says:

This impacts Google Contacts, as well, right? In other words, previously I could add contacts via Google, then they would sync into my I-Phone. It was an easy cut and paste. You mentioned paid service. This is only for e-mail, not for purchased space from Google, right? Any insight would be appreciated.

QA_Book says:

"Suzumail" also sends gmail push back to your iPhone5s/5c, but its paid $0.99 ... Please consider :) http://bit.ly/18oCyNU

mr4lex says:

As I collect my main Yahoo mail through my Google account on my pc I have always done the same on my pad and iphone with exchange.
I do this because it uses the default mail address set in google which is my yahoo address.
Although I can still collect and send mail using the built in Apple gmail it's not clever enough to use the reply address set with google which happens to be my yahoo address

I've always done this because I had a yahoo address first and like the contacts and calendar functions in gmail so have always just collected my email through google. When I send it simply uses the preferred yahoo reply address . No problem on pc.

Although this works in the gmail app on the iphone it would be nice to use the much neater apple version. After all if I wanted google apps I would have bought an android device.

The exchange system worked perfectly until it was removed. Any suggestions without using external apps greatly appreciated.

Kyle Pettit says:

Hello, I understand from reading this thread that I must now use the gmail app for my gmail accounts. Is there any way to sync my google calendar with my I-phone calendar? I'm new to I-phone, so this is all new to me. I've tried syncing the way the apple forum says to, but receive the " username or password incorrect for imap.gmail.com".

Any help greatly appreciated. Thanks!