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Sunday, September 13, 2009

iPhone: How to Sync Multiple Calendars and Computers Easily

Need to sync your iPhone with different computers and multiple calendars, but still want to keep them separate?

Ashley was struggling to get this working properly with her iPhone 3GS 32GB and it was consistently frustrating her. She would plug in here iPhone at work through iTunes, and all of her work appointments would sync correctly. Then she would come home and plug here iPhone in and iTunes would sync all the calendar events, appointments, and recurring items over from her home computer and iTunes would rewrite them.

She tried renaming the calendars, no luck. Tried flagging and saving the events differently, no luck. All she wanted to do was be able to keep here personal and professional life separate on the computers (no work appointments on the home calendar, and no personal appointments on her work calendar) -- was it so hard?

Well, apparently it is...because iTunes won't be able to help you out.

And Apple's MobileMe might be able to help, but it's $99/year pricing does not make it real cost effective.

Isn't there an easier and better yet, free way to do it?

Yes, of course there is. With just a little bit of help from Google and Idea Excursion, I was able to get the calendars to sync properly with the iPhone 3GS for free! All it takes is a quick installation, and about 15 minutes of your time to get it setup and working properly.

Here's how you can do it.

1. Head to Google and make sure you have a Google Calendar account.

2. Download the Google Calendar Sync Application by clicking here.

3. Now, configure Google Sync to work with your Microsoft Outlook by entering your Google Account information; being sure to select 1-way: Microsoft Outlook Calendar to Google Calendar. This will make sure your computer and Outlook files will remain separate, and specify how often you want to update your Google Calendar via the sync program. Just follow the picture below. (Of course, there is the alternative to use the two-way if you want to keep all the machines in sync with one total calendar.)

Sync iPhone with multiple outlook calendars computers google sync

4. Now all you need to do if configure your iPhone to use the CalDAV protocol settings to sync the Google Calendar to your iPhone Calendar.

5. Open up the Settings menu on your iPhone from the main screen.

6. Scroll down and select the option for “Mail, Contacts, Calendars”.

7. Scroll down to the bottom of your lists and and select “Add Account...”

8. CalDAV calendars are not under any of the built-in accounts, so choose “Other”.

9. Scroll down to the bottom of the Other type screen and select “Add CalDAV Account”.

10. Now, enter the credentials for your Google Calendar, which include:


11. The iPhone will now verify your account and auto-discover any additional settings and then start synchronizing your calendar information.

12. Head back to your settings menu, and click on "Mail, Contacts, and Calendars".

13. Click on the "Fetch New Data".

14. Under Fetch, select the "Every 15 Minutes" option to make sure your data stay up to date, or a similar frequency to what you choose with Google's Calendar Sync.

Repeat the process for the Google Calendar Sync (steps 2 & 3) for any additional calendars you want to sync to your iPhone. That's it, it is easy!


stevewhite said...

Hi This looks great and I'll give it a try. Do you know of any way I can do this with iTunes itself, and/or/photos ?