Gmail Two-Way Sync Up and Running ... But Is This It?

By Adam Zeis on 26 May 2010 09:43 am EDT
BIS Login

We've been over the issue of BIS two-way sync for Gmail more than a few times now, each time closer than the last. Well yesterday I noticed that my messages appeared to finally be syncing up between Gmail on the web and my Bold 9700. The only catch? It took over two hours! Yes you read that correctly ... two hours and two-way sync. I did a few tests to verify (I'm using a Bold 9700 on T-Mobile) and I can say for sure that read/unread emails are syncing for Gmail. Mark an item read in Gmail on the web, and it will be marked as read on your device. Mark an item as unread from the web and it will show as unread on your device. So that leaves the question - is this it? I hope that this is just the start of our true two-way syncing. Two hours is an insane amount of time for this process, but I suppose its good to know that at least its working. The good news is I'm down to about 45 minutes today, so maybe things are getting better. Give it a shot for yourself and leave a comment to let us know if its working for you. You may have to remove and re-add your email to your BIS to get things going.

Adam Zeis Adam Zeis "Mobile Nations Content Strategist" 3740 (articles) 2892 (forum posts)

Reader comments

Gmail Two-Way Sync Up and Running ... But Is This It?


I have conducted a few impromptu tests myself and after over an hour waiting, I concluded that it still wasn't working. However, maybe it does when waiting over two hours.

I know that marking a message as read on my device always marks it read in my mailbox; normally only taking a few seconds. However, this has always happened.

I don't know if I am special.. maybe I am not understanding, by mine Syncs up in real time

After reading this post I tried it and it worked. I made a message unread on g mail, then 15 seconds later it showed unread on my BB. Also I also marked something unread on my BB and 15 seconds later it was unread on gmail... I am thinking we are golden!!!!

Ditto, I never really ever noticed this not working since I added my School's Google Apps Account last September.

When I Mark read or unread a mail in my BlackBerry It appears same as well on my gmail account less than 10seconds but while doin' it on my gmail account nothin' changes on my BlackBerry. I have T-Mo 9700 with Turkcell Turkey network.

Someone please enlighten me about this app... What does it offer that we don't have by simply adding our gmail account to the other POP emails we retrieve on the blackberry? I have 6 email accounts tied to my curve, and one of them is a gmail account... ?

I'm in Dominican Republic on Claro and I just did a test and marked an email as unread on my blackberry and after a refreshing my browser the email showed up as unread. So it took seconds.
I tried it the other way around and the email still showed as unread on my blackberry even after a restart of the device.
This was with google apps email.

I have a tour on VZW and it is definitely NOT working for me. I'll try removing the email and re-entering my info to get it working

Some people seems confused on the process still...

Marking unread on the device and it showing up unread via web on PC has always worked...

What the true 2 way sync is now marking a email unread on the web and it showing up unread on the device....

Device to web = always worked...

Web to device = New but now being reported working, but Sloooowww

It wiped out my address book totally and I had to resync with my outlook and yahoo to get them back. So no, it isn't running well.

This is not working 100% for me yet either. The main one that doesn't work is when reading an email online it doesn't mark as read on the device. This is such a pain....

I have removed and re-add it and its working just fine both ways, it took around 2 minutes after i marked it as unread to appear on the browser.

Im in Colombia on COMCEL, with an 8520

Im on T-mobile in NYC and I have yet to have it working. I just removed the email and re-added it and see. So far I marked read on the web and have yet to see it read on my phone.

I'm on Sprint and it takes forever for me too. If I hit 'reconcile now' it's a bit quicker but it still takes time. RIM missed the boat on this. When the Evo comes out I'm jumping ship to Android. I use Google for everything anyway, my phone might as well integrate seamlessly.

Ever since the upgrade to BIS 3.0 my Gmail has been two way syncing flawlessly. In fact it has even caused a few problems. I work at a Wireless Zone and I have had customers lose all of their contacts because Gmail synced the phone with its own contact list which was empty.

Every email I compose through Gmail online shows up in my sent messages on my phone. No delays whatsoever.

Less than ten minutes for me. First time it worked though. I'm on Telus.

Edit: tried again and after 90 mins and it still hasn't synchronized.

I'm confused. I'm assuming this is just done thru BIS since that's what's shown here but I've never had a gmail sync happen, maybe it's because I'm using an 8310 but if I read an email on my Berry it's still unread hours later on my computer & vice versa. Even in the very rare instances that I've marked items unread it's never shown up on the other device that way, it's only shown up on whichever one I marked it originally. As for erasing & re-adding my gmail account to my phone, I've added too many filters to do all that. Guess I'll just live with it.

i thought it would sync the next time you get a new email and gmail "talks" to your BB--wether that be 45 minutes, 2 hours, or 2 days--just depends on how frequently you get email.

Login to your BIS account and check the settings on that account.

You have some Synch options, check the synch for "deleted items"

Two way sync between GMail and my BB device started right after the downtime for the BIS 3.0 North American upgrade. Yes, for some reason Thailand is service by RIM Canada directly. Right after that downtime I noticed if I created a message on Gmail on the web the sent message immediately appeared on my device. Plus deleted messages and read messages were syncing just as fast. Maybe Thailand was a testbed before this feature was rolled out worldwide. All I can say is it works great here with no delays whatsoever.

I have a Verizon Tour and marking read/unread on the web sync quickly to BB. However, deleted on the web takes forever to delete of the BB! That is what I want, deletion syncing both ways not just from BB to Web...

It's been working for me pretty instantaneously. Messages sent from the online GMail interface show up on my Tour within 30 seconds.

I know read/unread can be synced, and deleted items.

But what happens when archive something in Gmail does it get archived on our BlackBerry?

It's been working very quickly for me for at least a couple of weeks now (I didn't notice when it actually started but I know for sure that 2 weeks ago it hit me that it was happening). GMail messages I send via web show up on my BB within seconds. (AT&T in CT)

I'm always seeing articles about "2 way sync" with gmail. are they referring to normal bb push gmail, or the enhanced gmail plugin? I've always used the gmail plugin, and have had 2 way sync with no problems for a long time. Am I missing something?

I received an email from Blackberry at 10:46 on my Storm with Verizon, and it shows receiving reading it on Gmail at 10:47

so will this sync archive emails too? like if i archive an email inside gmail, will it delete off my phone? that would be nice too. can someone let me know if this works?

my gmail sync has been syncing within a minute consistently for the past 2 weeks. about 40% of those have synced in less than 5 seconds. I'm on VZW.

AT&T Bold 9000...I've noticed mine does not stick to any particular schedule. Some emails sync instantly, other times it take a few hours for things to sync up. It has been this way since 2-way sync went live.

I have also noticed on my AT&T BIS portal that I am back down to having one sync option...that of syncing deleted emails (which was always there). When 2-way sync went live the option to sync contacts was added. That has since gone away. And there was never an option to sync read emails.

I just need it to work, regardless of the time period. I just don't ever want to log into gmail again. Right now, I only log in to mark messages as read.

I have the 9700 on ATT and the sync takes hours or minutes to take place for my GMail, no constancy. One thing that seems to happen almost instantly though, is when I send email from my desktop, the 9700 shows the sent item almost right away. Using 5.0. I got the same results when using my 8310 with 4.5 OS.

A bit confused by this post. My Gmail syncs real time. It takes no more than a few seconds. and its been doing it for at least a few days.

My gmail has reconciled with my device for a while now, I'm talking for months now. As stated in this post though, it usually takes about 2 hours for that reconciliation to happen. When I say "about 2 hours", I mean it could be slightly less or MUCH more. Just my experience though, maybe I should delete my gmail acct on my device and re-enter the info?


There seems to be allot of confusion when it comes to this 2 way Gmail synch. I have used the Gmail app which works perfectly and instantly. What does not work for me is using the email set up on my phone. Phone to web works but as others have stated web to phone does not, even after waiting 2-6 hours. I like using the app, however I want to use the email set up on my phone so that I can also use my calendar to create appointments and invite attendees. Without having my email set up through my phone, I cannot do this. I have the Curve 8530 through Verizon.

Too bad the Contacts Sync totally FUBAR's my contact list, duplicates entries, removes facebook integration (ie contact pics), and fudges up the way addresses are listed (full address in the 'address line 1' field instead of using the city/state/zip fields).

Verizon Tour, no two-way, I'm using IMAP, should it be POP or IMAP?

Also tried deleting and re-adding email on BIS, have the Delete Sync enabled.

Test email sent to my Gmail account marked as read online was marked read on my 9700 in less than an hour. I did not take note of the exact time passed though.

C'mon Google, fix the delay and we will be happy campers!

this still hasn't worked for me. i haven't tried removing and re-adding the email accts. i will try it sometime next week. it would be much more convenient if it were to work as its supposed to but its not big a big deal to check a few emails off and hit the delete button.

this has nothing to do with the app. most people don't use it as it essentially defeats the purpose of having a BB.

I've been running it on a TELUS 9530 Storm OS and DM with no issues. The e-mail sync immediately both ways OTA. In fact, after recently upgrading to Office Pro Plus 2010 on Windows 7 Ultimate and switching to contact sync via BIS and calendar via Google sync all is good but not instant unless forced.

This BB tech-head is very eager to go live with OS 6 and a Bold 9800 Slider when available!

This now makes sense why new messages on my BlackBerry were marked as read after I read them on Gmail! I noticed it last night, though I don't think it took 2 hours. It's unfortunately not 5 minutes either. Let's hope the time gets better!

I just sent an email through the webmail. Within 1 min of sending it, my 9700 was updated with the sent message! Hope it begins working just as quickly for everyone else!

it works for me too, some mails where sinc very quickly other took a bit more time. i think i checks for read mails periodicaly...

I'm really surprised that this is what the hype was all about. I thought that the GMail Sync would sync all messages so that your Berry mirrored what your desktop did. In otherwords, if I sent a message from my desktop, it could show on my Berry (as a sent message) and vice versa... not just if I read the message on either of them, it would show "read." I'm on a IMAP account with our work server, and I use BIS (not BES), and it's always done this "sync" thing GMail is doing now.

Not trying to sound like a hater, cause I'm a huge supporter of BlackBerry... I just thought that with Google being behind it, it was going to be bigger and better than this.

The two-way sync works on Rogers Wireless in Canada. The device-to-web sync is almost immediate, however, the web-to-device sync takes about 2 hours.

I'm on TMO in Colorado. I deleted my Gmail account, added it back, VALIDATED it, checked the two boxes saying "Contact Sync" and "Deleted items", sent the Service books and it is working great! It takes less than a minute to get an email that I sent myself and it takes less than a minute to show it has been read and about the same to delete it from Gmail on the web.

Looks like it is working here!

I had to go back in to my TMO email settings and re-insert my password to validate my account. It looked like it took the password the first time, but when I went back in, the email account had a circle with a cross through it. Clicking on "Edit" had me re-enter my password to validate the account.

But if you have a Yahoo account, it works exactly like BES. Read/unread/deleted messages on the web are updated instantly on your BB, and vice versa.

At least that's been my experience.

Nada so far on my 8330 with Sprint. It's been 4.5 hours since I tested it by sending myself an email from another account and then marking it as read in my regular GMail. BlackBerry's still showing it as an unread message. I have deleted and reset another GMail account, too, and marked some things as unread on my computer, and they still haven't shown up on my BlackBerry, either.


I deleted all my email account, re-added them and resent my service books. The two way sync is working for me nearly instantly.

2 Way sync has worked for a long time ever since Europe changed over a week or so before the US. Seems to work immediately. No lag here.

it makes no sense that it would be working for some and not for others. it also seems like it's random in terms of which carriers its working on.

I am getting mine within a few minutes.. I just sent an email from my gmail account and the sent message showed up on my BB in two to three minutes.

Using a Bold 9700 with TMO in Puerto Rico. Not that bad, but not what we expect. Google, please, keep lowering that time period!!!

Its been 3 hours and 8 minutes, and nothing yet. It threw the sent message on my phone pretty quick, but the email is still marked as unread on my phone (I did everything from the web) I'm a google app user, not sure if that makes any diff. This is my number 1 complaint. When my 22 months are up, I'll be looking at Android...

i had he option to sync the contacts with gmail but it screwed my contact list, duplicates, contacts merged, etc. I hope they solve this soon.

This messed up my contacts beyond belief! It is going to take me hours to clean up!!! It may be because I had google sync running :P. Not cool

I don't understand why there are so many inconsistencies with the reports related to Gmail two-way-sync. Unless those who are reporting "almost immediate" sync are referring to the copy of the sent item on their BB.??

Deletes and read/unread updates take several hours for me.


I happen to agree with you. There's no way it would be enabled immediately for some and not for others.

WHAT IS IMMEDIATE FOR ALL USERS (and has been active for a long time):
- Read on the BB, marked as read on the web
- Deleted on the BB, deleted on the web
- Sent on the web, appears on the BB

WHAT IS TAKING UP TO 6 HOURS (and is the new feature):
- Read on the web, marked as read on the BB
- Deleted on the web, deleted on the BB

Can someone truly confirm that if you read a message on the web, it immediately (and consistently) gets marked as read on your BB, and the same for deleting messages?

when people are saying they have 'Instant' syncing they're not talking about marking a mail as unread on their PC and it instantly gets marked unread on the BB.


it's instant only on new mail (push technology).
looking back at the old items (pull technology) usualy doesn't work. if it does it might take up to 1 day to sync...

THANK YOU! Finally someone who gets what two-way sync should be doing. This is really crackberry's fault for not giving us a definition of what the feature should do in this story, and now we have all kinds of crap with wrong info.

So again, Verizon Tour- NOT WORKING.

Using the official 5.0 from Linc.

I marked a read email on my phone as unread and a read email on the web as unread then sent an email to myself.

Result: The marked unread from the handheld showed on the web as unread. The marked unread from the web did not change in the bb. Not sure if I needed to wait the 45 minutes, 2 hours, or 6 hours, but I did leave it as unread on the web. Hopefully it'll sync within 6 hours. LoL.

I can tell you this much with ATT if you have it sync your contacts I hope you have a back up. Its Fook'd up my contacts ROYALLY twice! It either makes a ton of duplicates, had it change the name of some contacts giving one name the name of the duplicate. I also found that it doesnt like if you have only the Company name for a contact and not the First/Last name fields populated. For now i just sync mail.

but how do you keep it from mangling your contacts? ive tried this before when i switched back from my droid to my tour and it took me a week to unmangle all 300 of my contacts!

I had a buddy send me a test email at 10:42am that I read online via my laptop. It's now 10:44pm and the test email is still showing as new on my Sprint 8330. So much for "up to 6hrs"...

UPDATE: Sync took place as I received another email to my Gmail account from SB44 Limited at 1:32am this morning.

Has been working consistently since Two way sync got put up. Running a 9700 on Fido, works within seconds

I'll tell you why there's such varied experiences.

- Half these people don't understand the sync that's in question here.

Blackberry Bold 9000

Takes me three hours on Rogers.

PLEASE see the above thread by dtenberge before posting your experience!

This post DOES NOT refer to:
-syncing with the Gmail App
-read above again
-sending an e-mail from web and seeing it on the BB
-receiving an e-mail at the same time on both web/bb
-deleting/reading e-mail on BB and looking on web

This post DOES refer to:
-gmail accounts set up through BIS
-marking read on web, getting marked on BB
-deleting on web, getting deleted on BB

Nope... not working, at least not after 4+ hours.

I've tried both of these today:

1) Read e-mail on device, still shows unread in Gmail 4+ hours later

2) Read e-mail on gmail, still shows unread on device 4+ hours later

What a joke. I do love my BB, but I hate the e-mail on it, which is why I thought BB's were supposed to be so great.

Then you should probably set-up your gmail account again. If set up properly, #1 should have been working for you LOOONNNNGGGG before this "2-way sync" became "active".

Tried it yesterday...took about 4 hours to sync. Tried again this morning, and it just over 2 hours. I'm using a 9000 on AT&T. Better than nothing I guess!

After removing and adding the account and after keeping a lot of patience the mails sync WEB delete --> BB delete after LONG LONG ~2 hours. I am on AT&T with Curve 8310. Hope this time goes down to few seconds in near future.


Didn't work before. Now it does.

1) Emails are instant (within 15 seconds worst case from browser) (I had mine set up as IMAP/Gmail so basically I had all the rest of the items, except I had the slow delay in receiving and sent items didn't sync to my phone like they do now)
2) Sent items go to my blackberry within 30 seconds.
3) Delete from Phone, deletes from web in seconds
4) Read from Phone, shows read on web in seconds
5) Read on web, takes hours to show as read on phone
6) Delete on web, takes hours to delete from phone.

Improved yes, but still slow.

So i have a slight problem, I deleted my email account from the email setup and added the gmail address over again. I am recieving emails, but when I check the gmail folder, there are no messages in them except for my new ones. The only ones are in a different folder (either main messages on the home screen, or through 'View Folder').

Is there any way to make my emails go to my previously created folder or am i stuck starting a new folder?

Thanks for your post! I did not know this. The time period that is. I have spent weeks trying to get Gmail Sync to work on my Berry. Resending service books, deleting and re-adding email accounts, wiping the OS, reinstalling a new OS, all to no avail. Sync was only working one way for me. That is, emails read on the Berry were marked as read on the PC, but not vice versa. I would mark an email read on my PC and then would hold my Berry looking for it to change to read. Nothing would happen. Then I came across your post. Yes, I do have 2 way sync. It works!!! Sync from the Berry to the PC is pretty much instant. Sync from the PC to the Berry takes about an hour or so. I didn't know that. Thanks!!!!

Okay. I think I have found a way to speed up the Gmail 2 way sync. More specifically, the sync of emails on the Berry being marked as read once they are read on the PC.

It appears that the sync from the PC to the Berry is done about every 60 minutes for me. But if I send an email from the Berry, the read/unread sync is updated at this time.That is, any messages that were read on my PC are now marked as read on the Berry.

I was wrong. For me, the sync of a read email on my PC being marked as read on the Berry is time based. It takes about 60 minutes.

The PC to Berry sync taking place when I sent an email from the Berry was just a coincidence.

1 hour sync is bogus. This must be a Rogers network setting to save bandwith.

Shows gmail support through POP3 protocol lacks read/unread status sync.

Gmail, however, reccommends IMAP protocol and for that, t-mobile supports device --> mailbox sync (whic works for me). For mailbox-->device it eventually does sync read/unread status, but takes a ridiculously long long that i get irritated and mark them read myself on my bb.

A somewhat related does one identify the version of BIS that they are running?

so it's nearly the end of Sept 2011- any more news on 2 way sync?

I've just come off my iPhone contract on BB and have to say, not impressed with the lack of gmail integration thorugh imap- this is just so retarded!

Orange UK on BB Torch

phone to web del/archive now working and 'read'

web to phone archive/del and 'read' marker- not working at all, not even after 2 hours

I feel like I should have gone Android... :-(

Hi Guys,

I'm on Vodafone Romania and 2 way sync (push - pull) is not working on BIS.

Is there a way to configure something anywhere in order to get it going ?

I'm on a Torch 9810, waiting for X10 :D

Hi, I've got it !!!

Disable POP3 in Gmail but keep IMAP, under Settings --> Forwarding and POP/IMAP. This way it will force sync on IMAP protocol only.

Delete the Gmail account on your BB, restart the handset, and then add the account again.

New items will come near real-time. Status update is hours away, but it works.

Full sync will happen in a couple of hrs.

It annoyed me 1 year, but it took 1 day to find this workaround.