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Thankfully, the “calendar wars” of Windows 8 How to Sync Your Google Calendar Appointments With Windows 8 How to Sync Your Google Calendar Appointments With Windows 8 Microsoft encourages you to use the Windows 8 default calendar app. We show you how to access Google Calendar in Windows 8 the easy way. Read More have subsided. A dispute between Microsoft and Google had made it difficult for users to view their Google Calendars in the native Windows calendar app. Now it’s once again possible to operate your diary using built-in Windows tools.

But just because you can use the Windows app, it doesn’t mean you should. You have options! Depending on your workflow, some of them might even be preferable to using the default Calendar app.

Here’s a look at seven ways to view Google Calendar on your Windows desktop.

1. Windows Calendar App

Before I discuss alternative methods, let me quickly recap how to add your Google Calendar to the Windows Calendar app.

You’ll find the Calendar app in your Start menu. To add your Google account, click Settings (gear icon, bottom left-hand corner) > Manage Accounts > Add Account.


The app will prompt you to select your account provider. Google is listed as one of the options. Click Google and fill in your credentials. Windows will take care of the rest.

You should now see all your Google Calendars listed under “Gmail” in the left-hand panel of the app’s main screen. You can edit appointments and add new entries in the standard way.

2. Create a Browser Bookmark

Another obvious method is to add a bookmark to your browser.

If you’re using Microsoft Edge, navigate to your Google Calendar, click the Star icon in the address bar, select where you want to save the link, and hit Add.

For easy access, you can make your Favorites Bar visible at all times. Go to Settings > View Favorites Settings > Show Favorites Bar and toggle the switch to On.

If you’re on Chrome, the process is even better. Head to the Chrome Web Store and install the Calendar app. It will let you access your calendar from the Apps link within the browser or the Chrome App Launcher in your taskbar.

3. Create a Shortcut Using Chrome

If you’ve followed the previous steps and installed the Calendar app from the Chrome Web Store, it’s easy to add a link to your Windows desktop or taskbar.

Open Chrome’s app menu by clicking Apps in the Bookmark Bar or typing chrome://apps/ into the address bar. Locate the app, right-click on the icon, and choose Create Shortcuts.

A new window will ask you to confirm your decision. Click Create and return to your desktop. You should now see a shortcut.

If you don’t like a cluttered desktop, you can right-click on the shortcut and select either Pin to Taskbar or Pin to Start. You can then delete the desktop shortcut.

4. Add Your Google Calendar to Outlook 2016

If you have a copy of Outlook 2016 installed The New Is Here: Everything You Should Know The New Is Here: Everything You Should Know Microsoft has overhauled If your account hasn't been migrated yet, it will happen by the end of this year. Have a look at what's new in your inbox. Read More on your machine, you can import your Google Calendars into the app. If done correctly, you’ll never need to use the Google web app.

Note: You need to repeat this process for each individual calendar in your Google account.

Firstly, you need to grab your Google Calendar’s private ICAL web address How to Share Your Google Calendar With Anyone How to Share Your Google Calendar With Anyone We show you three options for sharing your Google Calendar. Using iCal, even Apple Calendar and Outlook users can view your schedule. We also explain how to revoke access to your Google Calendar. Read More . Log into your Google Calendar and navigate to My Calendars > [Calendar Name] > Calendar Settings. Scroll down to Private Calendars and click ICAL.

A new window will pop up containing a link. Copy the link as you’ll need it later.

Next, fire up Outlook 2016 and go to File > Account Settings > Account Settings. In the new window, follow internet Calendars > New and paste the ICAL address from Google.

You’ll now see some subscription options. Give the calendar a suitable name, customize the other choices to suit your requirements, and click OK.

You can find your freshly-added agenda by clicking on the Calendar icon in the bottom right-hand corner of Outlook’s main window.

5. Use the Outlook Web App

If you don’t have the Outlook desktop app and rely on the web app instead Microsoft Outlook Web Vs. Desktop: Which One Is Best for You? Microsoft Outlook Web Vs. Desktop: Which One Is Best for You? is a powerful online email client that comes free with Office Online. But can Outlook on the web compete with its desktop counterpart? Our Outlook comparison will help you decide for yourself. Read More , don’t worry. It’s still possible to add your Google Calendar.

Repeat the above steps until you get your calendar’s private ICAL address. Next, open the web app and go to App Menu (top left-hand corner) > Calendar.

To add your Google Calendar, head to Add Calendar > From internet and paste the copied ICAL address. After a few seconds, you’ll be able to access it via the Other Calendars sub-menu in the left-hand pane.

Third-Party Tools

I’m going to leave you with a couple of third-party tools.

6. GMinder

GMinder is an open source app that runs quietly in your system tray. It has one purpose: to remind you about upcoming events from your Google Calendar.

Unlike the methods I’ve already discussed, GMinder does not require you to share your calendar with another app. Just download the installer, input your login details, and let the app take care of the rest.

Every time you’ve got an upcoming event, the app will send you a notification via the Action Centre.

7. Calendar Sync

The previous approaches all leave your Google Calendar and your Outlook calendar as separate entities, even if they’re both accessible via the same app. The free Calendar Sync tool can merge your Outlook and Google Calendars together, thus giving you one unified agenda.

You choose a one-way sync or a two-way sync and determine how often you want the sync process to run.

The free version will only keep events for 30 days. The $10 pro version will keep your appointments forever and adds extra features such as multiple profiles, a way to skip reminders, multi-calendar syncing, and synchronized categories.

How Do You Access Google Calendar?

I’ve shown you seven ways to access your Google Calendar from your Windows desktop How to Sync Your Google Calendar with the Windows 10 Taskbar How to Sync Your Google Calendar with the Windows 10 Taskbar Sync your Google Calendar with the Windows Calendar app wasn't always possible. Since the Windows 10 Anniversary Update, you can even manage your Google, iCloud, and Outlook calendars from the Taskbar. We show you how. Read More , but the list is not exhaustive.

I would love to know how you access your Google Calendar. Do you rely on one of the methods I’ve outlined in this article, or do you have an alternative approach you can share with your fellow readers?

As always, you can leave your tips and suggestions in the comments box below.

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  1. Chris Hickman
    September 11, 2017 at 3:53 am

    Rainlendar is excellent and cross platform. runs on your desktop and is always there.

  2. Tuttle
    August 29, 2017 at 5:24 pm

    A previous MUO articles tells me how to make gmail act like a desktop app. I loved it.... Until i saw silly calendar viewer. How could I add Google Calendar as a tab feature to that now desktop app gmail? (Be it tab, or even better a larger view pane on gmail.)

    Like Thunderbird does. (Screen shoot of how thunderbird created tab.

    Thank you these MUO articles have been helpful thus far.

  3. Peter
    August 18, 2017 at 12:38 am

    Often getting "simple" suggestions / instructions re windows 8.1 which would be fine if steps were accurate.
    First step above was to add an account to windows calendar - guess what? No "Settings" icon on the calendar program, right click does not bring this option at all. No place to start, no place to go. :(

  4. Edward Cray
    July 31, 2017 at 4:14 pm

    This is an excellent read thank you so much! Exactly what I was looking for and has sorted all my problems

  5. Lala
    May 16, 2017 at 9:36 am

    Excellent! Just what I needed. Thank you :)

  6. Graham
    April 20, 2017 at 3:40 pm

    I couldn't figure out how to do it.

    My google calendar already had 3 calendars in there, but I wanted to add another gmail one from another android phone. Couldn't figure it out, maybe you can tell us?


  7. Sue
    February 12, 2017 at 3:50 pm

    On my desktop I use Clean Google Calendar. Since my work uses Outlook, I sync Outlook and Google with Outlook4Gmail.

    • Tina Sieber
      February 15, 2017 at 9:55 am

      Thanks for mentioning Clean Google Calendar, Sue. Looks like a useful Chrome extension.

      Why did you need to purchase Outlook4Gmail? Can't you access Gmail via POP or IMAP in Outlook? When you add your Gmail account, it should also add your Google Calendar to Outlook. Not sure about contacts, though.

  8. Bob Martin
    February 5, 2017 at 10:29 am

    Good article. I found parts of it very useful.

    • Tina Sieber
      February 15, 2017 at 9:52 am

      Now I'm curious which parts you found most useful, Bob. Thanks for your comment!

  9. Kai
    February 2, 2017 at 10:41 am

    I use gSyncit - meanwhile since years without any problems!

    • Tina Sieber
      February 15, 2017 at 9:51 am

      Thank you for sharing gSyncit for Outlook, Kai. Unfortunately, it's not a free app.

  10. Lucid thinker
    February 2, 2017 at 5:48 am

    I use Miracal,a windows desktop app. It is simple solution that allows viewing and creating entries into Google calendars. I can't believe you did not include it.

  11. Chris Stewart
    February 1, 2017 at 10:01 pm

    Very poor advice to have users punch their Google login details into a shady freeware app!

    • Tina Sieber
      February 15, 2017 at 9:49 am

      Chris, which app do you mean? GMinder, Calendar Sync, or both?

  12. citizen erased
    February 1, 2017 at 8:12 pm

    Great article. I use the Windows app but am always looking for alternatives.