How to sync between Google calendar and Apple calendar in Mavericks OS 10.9


Apple has changed the way calendars sync in Mavericks. Here’s how to sync your Apple Calendar App with an existing Google calendar.

You can’t use an iCloud based calendar to sync with Google.  You need to start from Google and go the other way.  Apple can see the gmail calendar but not the other way round.


You might be wondering why someone would want to even use a Google calendar now that Apple Calendar does everything…  You can share your Apple Calendar with other people.  You can subscribe to other people’s Apple Calendars. You can even allow other people to edit your calendars.   So why would you even bother with a Google calendar any more?

Well… The Apple calendar does not allow you to embed a calendar in a website. (Like I have done  for our church calendar here.)  So if you ‘publish’ your calendar,  the other person has to view your calendar from within their Apple calendar app. They cannot look at it in a web browser.

The simplest way to have a calendar published on a website but editable in Apple Calendar is to use a Google calendar. Using this method the calendar info is hosted by Google, not Apple, but the calendar is viewable and editable in Apple Calendar.

Adding a google calendar to Apple calendar is the easy in OS X Mavericks.  There are no .ics files or messy webcal:// addresses needed. All you need is your google email address and password.


1. If you don’t already have a Google calendar,  this  previous article of mine describes how to set up a Google calendar.  You can then embed that Google Calendar in any website according to Google’s instructions here.


Here’s how to add the Google calendar to Apple calendar app. A number of people can do this so that they can all edit the same calendar if you want.

1. On your Macintosh go to ‘System Preferences’ and Click on ‘Internet Accounts’.

(This is different to previous versions of OSX where you did it from within Calendar settings. )

in System Preferences find 'Internet Accounts'
2. In System Preferences find ‘Internet Accounts’

2. Click on ‘Google’ to add your Google account.

Google Account

3. Enter your Gmail settings for the account that has the Google calendar. You will need your Google email address and password. (The ‘Name:’ can be anything.)

4. Click ‘Set Up’ and then make sure ‘calendars’ is selected.


All the calendars from that Gmail account will now appear in your Apple Calendar.  You can ‘connect’ to multiple Gmail accounts and multiple calendars. You can turn them on and off by checking or un-checking the checkbox next to the calendar.

The Gmail calendars will now appear alongside your iCloud calendars.
The Gmail calendars will now appear alongside your iCloud calendars – toggle their visibility with the checkbox.

If you do not see this window, click on the ‘Calendars’ button on the top left of your Calendar app window.

When you edit your Gmail calendar in the Apple calendar app the changes will automatically be uploaded to the Google account calendar. If the Google calendar is published on a website, the changes will automatically go from the Apple Calendar to the Google calendar and then to the website.


39 responses to “How to sync between Google calendar and Apple calendar in Mavericks OS 10.9”

  1. jean christophe

    Yes, very née, but the account in pref keeps saying “a secure connection hash”t been able to be established”… And nothing happened !

    Thanks to help !

    1. Annoyed

      Same thing, on 10.9.2

    2. D

      Did you ever figure out how to setup your google calendar on your mac? Mine also kept saying “a secure connection hasn’t been able to be established” :-/

      1. Sarah

        I had this problem. I fixed it by going to my Gmail account, Security settings and changing Account permissions: Access for less secure apps to “Enabled” – hope that helps!

      2. sahar

        hi I have forgotten my google password where do I go to reset

  2. Nice article. Your method works well. Have you been able to get your iCloud calendars to sync up to a Google calendar?

    Imagine you have two iCloud Calendars, Two Exchange Calendars and you manage all of them using the desktop app Apple Calendar. You also have all of them synced up to your iPhone and iPad. Now all you want is to display all of them on a web page so folks can see your availability…. This use to be possible pre-Mavericks by publishing each of the calendars to Google and then publishing the Google calendar to the web.

    If you can solve that you’ll make a lot of folks happy.

    1. No I haven’t found a way to do this. I did look long and hard. Hence this solution I described where you have the master calendar in Google, and you can share this to the web and to iCloud. But iCloud won’t share to Google. Apple doesn’t have much love for Google.

  3. Pete

    Wayne – amazing! Who’d of thought I’d find you.
    Anyway – maybe you can help. I’ve just upgraded to Mavericks, and have lost all my iCal data, now that they have put me on to Calendar. Do you know of any way I can get it back, and then import it into Calendar?

  4. Chawn Crawley


    Great write-up and thanks for getting it out there!
    I’ve been using Google calendar for quite some time in order to keep track of work and family. Honestly, my usage isn’t terribly elaborate or complex, but I’m still working to simplify things more. Currently, I’m using Fantastical to punch in fast entries from my mobile devices and things are just fine there.

    Only trouble I have is figuring out what app I should be running on the OSX side. Fantastical is there but it only works in the menu bar.

    Since I’ve no use (that I’m aware of now) for posting my calendar to my website, do you recommend sticking with Google or maybe rolling back to a strait iCal system?



  5. Thanks for the article. I’m not sure if I’m understanding this correctly but here’s what I want to do:
    My wife uses iCal and has our whole family’s schedule in there and it’s synced with my iCal. Works great. However, I’ve just switched to Android and have begun using Google Calendar. I want all our activities to sync from her iCal to my Google Calendar. How do I go about this? If I can’t see my family’s activities in my Google Calendar I’m pretty well screwed. Help!!

  6. Joanne Scott

    I have the exact same issue with my husbands android syncing to our iCal on our Mac at home. Hope someone can help us out with this…

    1. Joanne Scott

      My husband just uploaded an app called “smooth sync” for cloud calendar for $1.99 and he can now view all of our family iCalendars!

  7. Doro Schmitt

    As in the other websites, too: THIS IS NOT A SYNC!!!!!!

    This is how i can use my google calender in my iphone. A sync would be having the same data in both calendars.
    I openend 1000 sites now where everybody talks from syncing but it’s all shit

    1. TH


      This is not synching. Updating the calendar on my iPhone and having the update show up on my Google calendar is synching.

      1. You can update the calendar on your iPhone and the update shows up on the Google calendar. I’m not sure how that’s not a sync. And if you want more than one calendar, just make another Google calendar. I guess what this post is attempting to describe is a work-around for the fact that Apple prevent you from syncing with Google calendar.

        You can’t use an iCloud based calendar to sync because Apple don’t want to play nicely with Google. You need to start from Google and go the other way They are doing to Google what Microsoft did to Apple in the 90’s when Apple could read PC floppy disks but Microsoft wouldn’t read Apple disks. It’s a shame Apple didn’t learn from that experience! Thankfully Google try to play nicely with everyone.

  8. AG

    It isn’t syncing because all you’re doing is updating a Google calendar on an iDevice. Syncing would be updating an iCal and having those changes appear on a Google calendar either on the same device or on another.

    My wife uses iCal on her iPhone, while I now use Google calendar on Android. Changes on one do not appear on the other. I wish they did.

  9. Jeromy

    I have tired the google calendar settings to allow less secure apps, but still no dice on getting my gmail calendar to work on Ical. anyone have any other ideas?

  10. H25

    I was able to sync the two by adding the account through iCal preferences and syncing my Gmail account as indicated above. My appointments made in Google Calendar showed up, but there were some “triangle + !” error messages that were annoying. I went through google help and followed this link — my correct info was already selected so I just saved it and the errors went away! My google calendar events all show up in iCal now–but as posters said, not the other way around. It seems like you have to export/import iCal into Google Calendar, but I haven’t fully looked into that.

  11. Llind a

    Nice idea but I do not have an Internet accounts button on my System preferences file or on my IMAC. Now What?

  12. Caro

    Thanks a lot for the advice! That is exactly what I need it.

  13. M³

    To the author of this article:
    Are you really that stupid? You’re questioning the use of google calendar.. Every argument you use for using Apple calendar is also available in google calendar. The only difference is that with a google calendar you can do all of those things on EVERY device you want. You can share, view, edit ,… with everyone on every device.
    And now you’re making some workaround because of the incapabilities of the apple calendar… I think it’s time for you to throw away those blinkers…

    1. I’m sorry, I think you’ve completely misunderstood the article (or not read it). It’s not questioning the use of Google calendar at all, it is actually telling you how to use google calendar, step by step.

  14. Mohammed

    Great help, thanks.Is there an easy way to get my ical events to show up in my google calendar?

    1. No way that I know of except to copy them across in Calendar app. Apple can see gmail calendar but not the other way round.

    2. Werner

      Actually, Apple doesn’t have much love for anyone except Apple, and isn’t playing nicely with anyone except Apple. It is not a matter of Apple not learning from that past experience with Microsoft: it is a matter of Apple making every deliberate choice to trap users in an exclusively Apple environnement. The only way to teach them is to go to that conclusion: if you have made a step out of the Apple environnement (to free – as in freemind or freespeach – OS and soft for instance), then do the full walk toward an exclusively not Apple environnement … at least untill they act more friendly to others !!!

      1. jr

        And Google isn’t locking everyone into Google apps to make money off the advertising (even the accounts they promised wouldn’t be checked, e.g., schools, paid business accounts)?
        Once Google claimed to believe in, “[F]irst, do no evil”. Now, not so much.
        IMHO: They’re both after user’s money, however they can get it. The only reason I use either is to avoid M$.

  15. Tracey

    I am trying to import to google calendar from iCal, unfortunately when I do this, nothing happens. I get right to import calendar, and up pops a window once this has been done and a small window appears IMPORT CALENDAR. Nothing has been imported.

    I have also tried to sync in ical, but I cannot find the URL or server settings that is supposed to show under ICal – Preferences – Account Information.

    Does someone have an answer? My Mac computer is a 10. version.

  16. Jody

    Great! Quick and to the point and worked immediately. Other articles were confusing and didn’t offer the right solution. From a new Mac user…thanks!!

  17. Sarah

    This doesn’t work for me. I can “see” my Google calendar, but I can’t switch to it or see any of the events on it. It is blank, essentially.

  18. The quote from Wayne on 27 Feb “Apple can see gmail calendar but not the other way round.” needs to be in bold somewhere in the main article. I have sweated blood trying to get my ical stuff to show in Android……

  19. Jan

    I loathe the Apple calendar!! So hard to add anything, and then it arbitrarily tries to slot what you’ve written into its self-determined time zones.

    I love my Google calendar — so user friendly. But the pc it is on is dying so I’ll have to somehow follow these complicated instructions and set it up on my Mac. I’m actually regretting my decision to get a MacBook. Wish I’d stuck with a new pc but too late now…..

  20. Klaus Sauer

    hi, that works allright if you are working from a mac or ios device, but not if you are accessing your calender through a website.
    regs Klaus

  21. lea

    I tried to do this, I’d edit in ical (under google account) but it wont upload on gmail’s calendar . pls help!

  22. Arnaud Gauthier

    Simply use One Calendar on your Android phone… and setup your icloud account in there… works like a charm. I tried all the other methods… but this is the best.

  23. Mustapha Fawaz

    Thanks for the article. Every even that I create on Google calender appears on my mac. But no event created on my mac appears on google calendar.
    Do you have any idea why?

  24. Mustapha Fawaz

    I finally figured it out.
    You need to select the calendar from the left side. So, first, click on your gmail (email) account, then any even created will be synched with Google calendar.

  25. Trevor Plowman

    Excellent, thanks, stopped working in Safari for some reason, but can now manage all my google calendars from the Mac calendar. Very clear article, thanks.

  26. Toni

    I use Calendar when on my Mac. I have all my appointments on my google calendar, and that is working and syncing just fine. However, when I put in driving time to/from appointments, that time does not show on my google calendar, and as a result, my online calendar that my office and clients can access makes it look like I am available during those times. Any suggestions? I thought about adding the appointment directly into Google calendar but it does not have an option for driving time. Help.

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