How to Sync Google Calendar with the iPad

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iPad Calendar

Google has made some changes this year to how Google Calendar syncs with iOS devices. For years I have just setup Google Sync as an Exchange account in Settings on the iPad and iPhone and it has worked beautifully for me. It had been especially good whenever I got a new iPad or iPhone – as all I had to do was setup that account and within less than a minute all my Calendar info was up-to-date.

Unfortunately, Google Sync was shutdown by Google in January of this year. So when I recently bought a new iPad mini I discovered that Google Sync no longer works for Calendar or Contacts. But … there is still a way to sync Google Calendar and Contacts with the iPad – and both are easy to do once you know how. In this post I’ll outline how to get Google Calendar sync working; I’ll soon write another explaining how to setup Google Contacts sync.

Here’s how to get Google Calendar sync working with the iPad:

— Open the Settings app.

— Select Mail, Contacts, Calendars in the left sidebar

Settings Mail Contacts Calendars

— Tap on ‘Add Account’ on the Mail, Contacts, Calendars page. This will open the Add Account page

Add Account

— Tap on Gmail in the list of account types. This will bring up the Gmail account details page. Fill in the required details there – your name, Gmail address, password, and a description for this account – then tap ‘Next’ at the top right of this page.

Gmail Account

— The next page that comes up will show the GMail services you want to enable on this account – Mail, Calendar, and Notes. Make sure Calendar is set to On.

That’s it. Once you’ve completed those steps, just open the Calendar app on the iPad and it will start syncing automatically.

If, like me, you already have a Gmail account setup you’ll just need to edit it and ensure that Calendar is turned On. I also found that I needed to delete my old Google Sync Exchange account to make calendar sync work smoothly.

Happy calendar syncing.

Patrick Jordan

Founder and Editor in Chief of iPad Insight. Husband, father to a lovely daughter, Commander of the Armies of the North, dog lover (especially Labs), Austinite, former Londoner, IT consultant, huge sports nut, iPad and mobile tech blogger, mobile apps junkie.

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23 thoughts on “How to Sync Google Calendar with the iPad”

  1. Will this setup also push email? It didn’t in the past, which is why I have my gmail account set up as an Exchange account.

  2. Well, if you are just looking for either contacts or calendar sync, you should just use CardDAV or CalDAV. These are on the “Other” screen in the mail account types page.

    To setup CalDAV, for example, you would enter as the server, [email protected] (use your own account here) as the user name, password (use your own password here), and then you can give it a name (i.e., Gmail CalDAV) and then save. It will sync with Google for a minute or two and then if you look in your calendar, your entries will be synced.



  3. One thing that is not mentioned in the article is a bug, or a dubious feature, that adds an alert to the events originating through CalDAV. This means if you create an event on the Google calendar website, and set a reminder to something other than your default calendar reminder, a second alert will be added on the iPad. If you have two iOS devices they will add the default alert back even if you remove it manually. The only solution that I have found is to remove the automatic creation of a default alert from the iOS device. This is a CalDAV bug that does not affect exchange sync, but it does affect CalDAV sync on the Mac.

  4. I’m frustrated by the fact that GC works in UTC. If I sync with my ipad, then want to make a time change on my ipad, the record, in edit mode, is in UTC. Yes, it does display in my time zone, but edits are a PITA. If I create the event on my ipad, then sync, it appears to be ok.

  5. Great straightforward article on how to set up the sync. But what no one seems to know is how to have Googel sync with Ipad while syncing with Icloud. Have you figured out this mystery?

  6. Awesome help! I have been trying the exchange with no luck on my ipad mini but this worked great. Thank you!

  7. I can sync from google calendar to ipad calendar. but if I add an event to my iPad calendar it doesn’t sync to my google calendar. Any ideas?

  8. Hey, thanks for this… there are lots of different methods out there -and this is the only one that worked… it was pretty obvious, but I was trying to apply a method that would synch my contacts and calendar in one go… wasn’t working!

  9. Sharon, I am having the same problem. I have iPhone 4s and 3rd gen iPad, all latest ios, all googlem calender syncing working fine across both ios devices until a couple of days ago, now I can create a calender entry on the iphone or ipad but they don’t show in the google calendar and they don’t sync to either ios device. I have deleted the accounts and set them up again, tried altering the fetch/manual settings, everything I can think of to no avail….HELP!

  10. I am having the same issue as Sharon & Carl. When I make a calender entry in “Google Calender” it shows up on my iMac, iPad & iPhone 5. When I make a Calender entry on the iMac it appears in “GC”, but when I make a calender entry in either the iPad or iPone, they do not show up on Google Calender.
    I have been through 10 different forums and no one has the answer except the basic account setup as per the beginning of this forum.
    Any ideas would be much appreciated.
    Note: Strangely, If I make a calender enrty on the iPad, it shows up on the iPhone (but not Google Calender)

  11. Hello again. Following on from my last post..
    It works!! …and works well! All Macs, iPones & iPads sync. I was doing one thing wrong. When I entered a new event in iCal I was entering it in the “Home” calender and not one of the Calenders created on Google Calender. I hope this simple error helps some people.

  12. i have worked on this issue on/off for a few days and today for 3 hours

    just could not get the calendar to sync back from ipad to PC and now – I can , i need to just select the one calendar and not all

    i could not see which was the default calendar and now found it to be called work !!!!!!!

    how exasperating, i thought I had selected just this one calendar ages ago – and when i tried again, i noticed birthdays was still ticked

    what an arwful setup and no forums , which i have searched for days seem to make this really clear

    so thanks Michael, for making me check again

  13. @ETAF where did you change the calendar type on GC? I can’t find it anywhere.

    It’s really annoying when I’m out and about and can update my calendar on my phone or ipad but it doesn’t sync with calendar on the net. Feels like going backwards slightly!

  14. I’m sorry it didn’t work. When I followed your directions and went to edit it kept saying I already had a calendar and wouldn’t let me go any further. Until the other day, all the dates were still on my original iPad and my new iPhone 5. Any other suggestions. Thank you.

  15. I am having the same issue, all family gmail calendars synced up shared out, but the apple devices receive updates from the online calendars but cannot add events, tried setting up through gmail, iCal etc.. adding events using different calendars, deselecting all of the calendars that I didn’t want to update from, tried making different calendars the primary all with the same result, doh! Any suggestions?

  16. Never mind, just found how to delete Exchange account. In the iPad go to
    Mail, Contacts, Calendar
    -> Exchange Account
    -> Delete account

    Unfortunately, my calendar is stll not syncing. New entries on iPad are not showing up on the Mac desktop calendar… Next suggestion?

  17. I’m having the opposite problem most people mentioned. My calendar used to sync perfectly from my ipad mini back and forth with any desktop. Suddenly, maybe 4 days ago, there is no communication between my google calendar and the app on my mini. I’ve broken down and started accessing my calendar through Safari. It’s not my preferred solution. Any help? I was thinking of deleting my gmail account from the ipad and then re-installing. At exactly the same time I stopped being able to email from within apps… Pages won’t email, Garage Band won’t email. The apps say that they are sending files, but they never show up in anyone’s Inbox.

  18. OMG.
    Forget I even typed anything.
    It suddenly occurred to me that I had changed my google password this week cause all my students had been hacked.
    I tapped “Gmail”, then “account” then re-entered password and magically, all the things I’d been sending myself and others started pouring in. AND all the calendar updates showed up.
    Somehow, I expected to be warned if I needed to re-enter a password.

  19. SOLUTION. When editing event details you can choose which calander to add the event to. Simply select gmail calander.

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