Google Calendar is arguably the easiest, most intuitive and most versatile way to organize your day. The only problem you might encounter is syncing it across all your devices. While this is dead simple when using Android, and easy enough to view in a browser on a PC, syncing with other platforms is not always so obvious.
Here’s how to sync Google Calendar across multiple different platforms.
A Quick History of Sync
Syncing your Google account became more difficult when Google decided to stop supporting Google Sync for standard accounts a few years ago. This service let users sync Google accounts with devices over the Microsoft Exchange ActiveSync protocol. However, Google started to phase out Sync beginning January 30, 2013. The company now relies on a different standard called CalD AV .
This means there’s a ton of now-outdated instructions for syncing with Google Calendar (and other Google services) that are no longer correct. If you start reading a guide to syncing with Google and it recommends selecting Microsoft Exchange in an options menu, move on. That method no longer works for your bog-standard free account.
Except if you’re a user of Google Apps for Business, Government, and Education. These paid services retain Google Sync functionality and, as such, the old instructions remain valid. Subscribers to Google Apps also have access to support documentation with instructions for connecting Google Sync to various platforms.
This article assumes you’re not a user of Google Apps, and thus have few options for syncing your Google Calendar.
Windows 7, 8, 10, and Outlook.com
Prior to the release of Windows 8.1, it was difficult to sync your Google Calendar with the Windows 8 Calendar app .
However, you can view your Google Calendar in Outlook. Open Google Calendar in a browser and then open calendar settings using the drop-down box (screenshot, below).
Find the Calendar you want to see in Windows and click on it, which will open its Settings. Near the bottom you’ll see a “private address” listing which includes XML and ICAL. Click ICAL, then copy the provided URL.
Now, go to Outlook.com and login. Go to your Calendar and click Import, located in the toolbar at the top of the screen.
A menu will open with Import and Subscribe tabs, click Subscribe. In the page that appears enter the ICAL URL you copied under “Calendar URL” and then enter whatever name, color and charm (icon) settings you desire.
This will make your Google Calendar visible in Outlook.com, the Windows 8 Calendar app and Windows Live Mail (which bundles a calendar for Windows 7). The latter two programs won’t show your Google events unless you’ve logged into them with the same Microsoft account you used to subscribe to your Google Calendar’s ICAL URL.
Windows 10 Mobile
Microsoft’s phone platform suffers the same problems as its desktop operating system. You can manually add your Google Calendar to the calendar app in Windows 10 Mobile.
Mac OS X
Syncing Google Calendar is the Mac OS X Calendar app is simple. You simply need to open the Calendar app, go to Preferences, then the Accounts tab. Click on the plus “+” button to add your Google account. You’ll need your login and password or, if you use two-factor authentication , an app password.
Once synced, individual calendars can be managed using the menu bar on the left side of the Calendar app. You can add and edit events much as you would when using Google Calendar in a browser, as the changes are carried over to the server.
However, you must have your Google Calendar selected in the menu when you create an event to sync it with Google. If you instead have iCloud (or some other source) selected at the time the event is created, it will not sync with Google. The OS X Calendar app tries to make this obvious by color-coding your calendar. In my app, for example, Google Calendar is red, which means only red events are synced with Google.
You cannot create a new Google Calendar from the app, you will have to open the service in your web browser to do that.
Setting up Google Calendar with iOS is simple, too. Open Settings and then tap Mail, Contacts, Calendars. Tap Add Account and, in the menu that opens, hit Google.
Enter your login information (once again, you’ll need an app password if you use two-factor authentication) and once you’ve done that make sure Calendars is enabled. You’re done! If things aren’t working as they should, you can troubleshoot Google Calendar and iOS some more.
The rules of the OS X Calendar extend to iOS. Events that you create must be created under your Google Calendar; if they’re created in iCloud or some other source they won’t sync with Google. You also can’t create a new Google Calendar from the iOS app.
The way that you sync a BlackBerry with Google Calendar varies depending on its age and the operating system it’s running. If you have an older model running version 5, 6 or 7 of the BlackBerry OS, check out the company’s official instructions on how to sync with Google. This synchronization is two-way, but is limited to a fourteen day window, so you won’t see events that are more than fourteen days in the future. Repeating events are an exception.
If you’re on a newer BlackBerry you can sync by downloading the Calendar Sync app from the BlackBerry World app store. The app is a third-party utility and costs $1.99. You’ll have to enter your Google username and password, of course, which means once again you’ll need to generate an app password if you use two-factor authentication. This app also supports two-way synchronization, meaning you can both view and add events to a calendar.
Google Calendar Synced
This article contains everything you need to know about syncing Google Calendar. If you know a clever trick not cover here, however, let us know in the comments!
How to Sync Multiple Google Calendars to Your Windows Phone
I recently made the switch from Google Android to Windows Phone 7. Although the calendar application (like the rest of the mobile platform) is much slicker and easier to use, the contrast in support for Google integration is noticeable. I should add that Microsoft is not really at fault here. They’ve done as well as they could in providing account integration and synchronization for their competitors’ products. Kudos for that.
Sadly, some things need some additional tweaking to get them to work properly. For me this was the Google Calendar synch. You can add your Google Calendar account to your Windows Phone rather easily. However, by default your Windows Phone does not synchronize multiple calendars. Here’s how to fix this, and enjoy all Google Calendar goodness on your Windows Phone without purchasing any third-party synchronization applications.
Step One: Add Your Google Account
Before we get started, you should add your Google account to your Windows Phone. If you’ve done so already you can skip this step. Otherwise, go to settings and select email+accounts in the System tab.
In the email+account tab, select add an account. Enter your Google username or email address and password and allow your Windows Phone to do an initial Google calendar sync.
Step Two: Sync Your Calendar
With your Google account added, we first need to allow it to synchronize your Windows Phone with Google Calendar. From the email+account overview, select your Google account. If you haven’t renamed this yet, it should simply go by the name ‘Google’.
In your Google account settings, under content to synchronize at the bottom of the page, make sure Calendar is checked. With these preferences, your Windows Phone will already synchronize with Google Calendar. However, if you have more than one calendar associated with your account, only the primary calendar will be synchronized. To rectify this, we need a little help from Google.
Step Three: Google Sync Preferences
Using your Internet Explorer on your Windows Phone, go to “http://m.google.com/sync/“. If all is well, you should see the name of your phone, or simply ‘WindowsPhone’ at the top of the page.
Important: in some cases, you will receive an error message telling you that ‘Google Sync is not supported’ on your phone. Even if you’re using a valid smartphone! If you’re viewing the page in a language other than English, change the language to English (US) for the moment.
After selecting your phone, you’ll be able to specify which calendars you want to synchronize with your Windows Phone, by selecting up to 25 calendars under My Calendars. For all casual and even most professional users, this should suffice.
To view these calendars, your phone should again synchronize with your Google account. You can wait until this happens automatically, or go to the email+accounts page, long press on your Google account and select ‘synchronize’. When it’s finished, all the calendars you previously selected should have appeared in your Calendar app.
What else do you like to do, or would like to be able to do on your Windows Phone? Let us know in the comments below!
GoogleSync: Sync your Mobile Calendar With Google Calendar
Google Sync for Mobile is a service recently launched by Google which lets cellphone users sync their mobile calendar and contacts with the ones in their Google account. The product is in beta and currently works for iPhone, Windows Mobile based phones and for phones that support SyncML (contacts only version). Whether you make changes to your contacts or calendar on web or on your phone, they always remain in sync with this service.
- Free mobile sync service from Google.
- Lets you sync mobile contacts with google.
- Lets you sync phone with google calendar
- Get calendar alerts on phone.
- Customized service depending on the type of phone you have.
- Works for iPhone, Windows Mobile based phones and for phones that support SyncML.
- Note: depending on your mobile plan your carrier might charge you data transfer fees.
Visit GoogleSync for Mobile @ www.google.com/mobile/default/sync.html