Sync Multiple Google Calendars on iPhone: Finally Figured it Out! [en]

[fr] Instructions pour synchroniser plus d'un calendrier Google avec son iPhone.

This is something that has been annoying the hell out of me for some time, now. I use at least half a dozen different Google calendars to keep track of my stuff, but when adding a Google account to iCal, all it does is add the main calendar.

I had come upon a hack which consisted in adding each Google calendar in iCal on the computer separately, rather than using delegation. A few weeks ago I was doing some digital housekeeping, and forgot why I had initially done that, and switched back to normal delegation. There went all my lovely syncing.

Let me explain things a bit more clearly:

  1. I have a bunch of Google calendars.
  2. I prefer using the iCal application on the computer and on my iPhone rather than the web interface.
  3. I want everything to sync.

Now, getting Google calendar to sync with iCal on the computer is quite straightforward: add a Google calendar account to iCal following these instructions, and under the “delegation” tab, include any secondary calendars you may have.

It gets tricky with the iPhone. You might think that now that you have your Google calendars in iCal, you will find them on your iPhone if you configure your iPhone to sync calendars with your computer. But no. iCloud or no iCloud, that’s not how it works.

So, you can add a Google account to your iPhone under Settings > Mail, Contacts, Calendars > Add Account… > Google Mail. That’s fine if you have only one calendar, but not if you have more than one, because there isn’t anything like the “delegation” function you had in iCal.

So, if you have more than one like I do, here’s what you need to do:

  1. Add your Google account as a Microsoft Exchange account as described here.
  2. Head over to, select your iPhone (or other device), and choose which calendars you want to sync.

It’s pretty straightforward, but (a) you have to know about it and (b) do not forget the trailing slash in the URL above. I kept getting “device not supported” and 404 errors which were driving me batty until I figured out what was the cause. Almost gave up!

Thanks a lot to @zecege who patiently tweeted to and fro with me while I figured out all this!

50 thoughts on “Sync Multiple Google Calendars on iPhone: Finally Figured it Out! [en]

  1. Finally!!!
    Wow you are a genius, thank you so much!
    I was looking for this for so long!

  2. Right, so the annoying thing is that Google Calendar does not seem to be getting correct “delete” orders from iCal on the computer. So deleted events keep coming back. Now, is that just due to sucky iCal, or is it because the events actually get deleted, but come back through the iPhone? Mystery.

  3. Thanks you very much Stephanie!!! Lots of hours googling for a solution and finally found it with your instructions!!!

  4. Stephanie, you probably know this by now, but that event deletion thing (iCal) was something that Google intentionally disabled for a while (due to iCloud integration issues), but now appears to be back in play (they’re deleting properly on my end again). I, too, use Google calendars extensively. I just now stumbled upon your blog as I was actually searching to see if anyone is doing multiple calendars with multiple domains (Exchange accounts) on iPhone, as I now have need for this. I’m a hired gun for several places at a time and need WAY too many calendars…sigh. Anyway, I guess I’ll just try it and see if Google’s iPhone sync will support multiple instances. Thanks for the post; this stuff can be a little elusive for people sometimes. Oh, and by the way…if Google did full on synching with Mac Address Book (permissions & groups) it would officially be the holy grail.

  5. Thanks Stephanie. I had been looking forever for a way to include some additional calendars from Google on my iPhone. Now I can follow the calendars I have been following through Google Calendar on my iPhone too. Merci 🙂

  6. thx so much for this! it worked! so grateful since i was getting fed up with slow sync times with 3rd party apps. you’re a genius!

  7. Awesome! I spent an hour doing everything else (with no luck), and then I found this post! Thank you for fixing my calendars – very much appreciated!

  8. Thanks so much for this! This was really annoying me as well and could not find anyplace where it was clearly explained! Awesome!

  9. Thank you thank you! I’ve been trying to figure this out for months!!!

  10. Hi, thanks for this. Saved my life! I was trying to get the public holiday calendars on to my iphone. But what does the Enable “Send Mail As” option do?

  11. Even easier yet (perhaps this is new since the above article)

    Pick your calendars you want to synch.
    You’re done (wait 5-10 minutes for your phone to synch up)

  12. Wow thanks Stephanie. We’ve just started using Google Apps at school and your article has helped me synch all of our calendars.

  13. Me and my wife have been looking like crazy for a solution to this. (Im on android and shes on iphone) We’ve wanted to sync calendars for two years 😀
    And now we can thanks to you!! Thank you!

  14. THIS WORKS. Great job, hun. You’re helping people all around the world.


  15. Hello,

    My iphone was set up as you suggested and everything was fine until I sync an Outlook calender with google recently. By default, my outlook info appears in my personal calender in google. I have add another calender in my google account to solve this and it works very well in google. But in ical on my phone, I am not seeing this new calendar. I went back to the address (,) and the new calendar doesn’t appeared, so I cannot checked it.

    Can somebody help with that! I am almost there. Hope I am clear.

  16. I’m so in love with this info. I have 4 synced calendars for different workplaces and they were all working fine on my iphone until 3 weeks ago? changes in the cloud maybe? then they all disappeared and I have missed appointments, double booked myself aarrrgghhhh!! and now I have finally fixed it xxx

  17. GENIUS! Been scouring google for hours trying to figure this out, it having been bugging me for two years. Couldn’t have been more simple, once I knew how… amazing.

  18. I knew the answer was out there somewhere. Finally I found you. Thank you so much. 16 calendars now show up on my phone!

  19. Super helpful. I’ve been trying to figure this out for a very long time. THANKS!!

  20. Heads up if you’ve enabled 2-step verification on your Google account. I had to create and then enter for the server an application-specific password to verify my account via this guidance

  21. Thanks so much! This was bugging me for a while and now I can get my work AND personal calendar on my phone. Thanks again.

  22. THANK YOU! You are a life – slash – time saver. Much appreciated information.

  23. Hugely helpful advice. I’ve set up half a dozen phone, iPod touches and iPads fine over the past couple of years but having just upgraded to a newer phone couldn’t for the life of me get this to work. And NONE of half a dozen other how-to sites on line gave this crucial part of the set up or got it right. Thanks, and well done!

  24. Oh my lord, I’d been trying to sync my delegate calendars for HOURS to no avail. I seriously want to kiss you right now!!! Thanks with eleventyone included!!!!!!!111!!!!

  25. You are an angel! yes some of the comments were more precise but this was the lead to the end and this has been bugging me for a long time. Great fix for iPhone 5 and iOS6 to use a synced iCal instead of the now unusable Google App.

  26. Thanks Stephanie, it worked!
    It was required to access the address on the iphone, not on my PC. Maybe worth mentioning + include a QR 🙂

  27. Okay, this rocks. I found the other page linked to several places (the one that ends in /iphoneselect) and while I could see check boxes that apparently would work, none did. the link in your article is the good one.

  28. Hello!

    Followed your instructions but still have issues. For example – on iphone, changing an event from one calendar (google) to another (google) only creates two events (one in each calendar) on my computer… SO FRUSTRATED.

  29. Thanks saved me hours. People that have had multiple devices, this URL is CRUCIAL. bookmarked. Thanks.

  30. This little line solved all my problems when changing to iPhone 6 and loosing all but one synced calendar in a google account:

    I had tried many different suggestions (including all found on googles sites) for hours when you finally made my day. Thank you very much!

  31. I have beat my head against a wall for months trying to get my calendar on my wifes iPhone. Tried 100 different google/sync sites, none of them worked. Finally this one worked!! Maybe now my wife will stop double booking me =).

    (Gives Stephanie a digital high-five). Thank you.

  32. I did all of this and it worked perfectly. Then my wife changed her gmail password and the sync stopped working on iCal even though I entered the correct password in my phone settings and all of the other settings are still there and still correct. Anyone have a fix for this. By the way this has happened to us before but I can’t remember I fixed it. Very frustrated — please help!

  33. Thank you so much! I’ve been googling like crazy to find a way to make this work and was getting nowhere. With your help it works perfectly on my iphone 5 with ios 7.

  34. Genius. All the other advice about using select sync address did not work. Many thanks

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