How to Sync Google Calendar With iPhone Calendar

Keep track of your schedule on every device

MacBook Air and iPhone on a table with coffee cup and notebook, each with Google Calendar on its screen

Original Image: Pixabay 

Early in the history of the iPhone, syncing Google Calendar with the iPhone Calendar app was an involved process, but current versions of iOS support Google accounts without any extra fiddling. Adding your Google Calendar events to the iOS Calendar app requires just a handful of taps.

How to Sync Your iPhone Calendar With Your Google Calendar

Apple's iOS operating system supports connections to Google accounts. To sync your iPhone and Google calendars:

  1. On your iPhone or iPad, open the Settings.

  2. Select Passwords & Accounts.

    Earlier versions of iOS called this Accounts & Passwords.

  3. Select Add Account from the bottom of the list.

  4. In the list of officially supported options, select Google.

    Three iOS screens showing Passwords & Accounts, Add Account, and Google account choice
  5. Enter your Google Account email address and password. If you've set up two-factor authentication, you'll need to log into your account to set up an app password and use that as your password when you set up the account in iOS.

  6. Tap Next. You'll see sliders for Mail, Calendar, Contacts, and Notes. If you only want to sync the calendar, deselect everything except Calendar.

    Three iOS screens showing Email or Phone entry, security code entry and Calendars toggle
  7. Tap Save and wait for your calendars to sync with your iPhone. Depending on the size of your calendars and the speed of your connection, this process can take several minutes.

  8. Open the Calendar app.

  9. At the bottom of the screen, tap Calendars to display a list of all calendars to which your iPhone has access. It'll include all of your private, shared, and public calendars linked to your Google Account.

    Two iOS screens showing add Calendar button in Calendar app, and Done button

    Tap the circled red i beside the calendar name to change the default color associated with the calendar or even change its name, then tap Done at the top of the screen.

  10. Select or deselect the individual calendars you want to appear when you're accessing the iOS calendar app.

Limitations

Google Calendar supports several features that do not work on Apple's Calendar app including the room scheduling tool, the creation of new Google calendars, and the transmission of email notifications for events. To use the features, you must access your Google account.

Can You Sync Multiple Google and Apple Calendars?

Got more than one Google account? You can add as many Google accounts as you want to your iPhone. The calendars from each account will be visible in the iOS Calendar app.

Google Calendar and Apple Calendar Bidirectionality

When you sync your Google account with your iPhone, any information you add to it using Apple's Calendar app will flow back to the Google Calendar. Even if you disconnect your Google account from your iPhone, the appointments you created will remain in your Google Calendar. 

Neither Apple nor Google support the merging of calendars, although merging calendars is possible using some workarounds. Because each calendar is separate and has different security requirements, you cannot see any non-Google calendars loaded on your iPhone from within your Google account.

Alternatives for Using Google Calendars on an iPhone

Google does not offer a calendar app for iOS, but several other developers offer iPhone apps that integrate with Google Calendars. For example, the Microsoft Outlook app for iOS integrates with both Gmail and Google Calendar, so it may be a good choice for people who want to access their Google Calendar but prefer to avoid the stock iOS Calendar app.

Tips for Syncing Calendars on Your iPhone

Only sync the calendars you know you'll need on your phone. Calendar items generally don't hog space (unless you've got a ton of attachments in your appointments); however, the more devices that sync to a calendar, the more likely it becomes that you'll run across some sort of syncing collision. Limiting your iPhone to just the necessities reduces the risk that other calendars will incur a sync error.