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Display your Google Calendar in Windows Calendar

Windows Vista includes a built-in calendar application that’s pretty slick, but as an addict to Google Calendar, I’d like to just view my Google calendar in a desktop client. This is where Vista’s “Subscribe” to calendar feature works out pretty well.

To subscribe to your Google Calendar, you’ll first need to get the iCal link to your calendar. In Google Calendar, go to Settings \ Calendars and then click on your calendar in the list.

You should see a “Private Address” section:

Right click on the ICAL link, and choose Copy Shortcut to copy the link to the clipboard.

Now open Windows Calendar, and click the Subscribe buttton on the toolbar:

Paste the URL into the textbox, and hit the Next button:

After what seems like far too long, you’ll see the next screen:

The key thing that you’ll want to choose on this screen is the Update interval, which will keep the calendar automatically sync’d up. I also chose a friendlier name.

That’s all there is to it. Notice the blue appointments are the ones that came from Google Calendar:

Lowell Heddings, better known online as the How-To Geek, spends all his free time bringing you fresh geekery on a daily basis. You can follow him on if you'd like.

  • Published 01/2/07

Comments (28)

  1. Paul

    Nice, feature. But remember: this is view-only! There’s no sync-back to Gcalender whatsoever! And that makes this a bit useless. We need 2-way sync!

  2. Martin

    Does anyone know how two 2 way sync windows calendar with google calendar?

  3. Russ

    HELP!!!! I tryed doing this with another ICAL publishing site. iclx.com which alows you to password protect your private calendars. I made a mistake when entering my assword in windows calendar, and had the check box to save my password, an now it won’t allow me to edit my password to corect the problem. How can i fix this?

  4. Dennis Bjørn Petersen

    Thank you for this guide. Very easy and simple. Now if only I could sync Lotus Notes with Google Calendar ;)

  5. Krishna

    How to publish the calendar?

  6. Gabby

    Thank you for the guide. l would have never figured this out on my own.

  7. Jenn

    Totally sweet – thank you very much.

    It works just as well with Outlook. (Calendar. Tools -> Account Settings -> Internet calendars -> New

  8. Jonathan

    Again – does anyone know how to to do 2-way synch. Without that it is useless. I’d be better off leaving a copy of Gcal opened up. I want a single calendar no matter where I go. I guess just keep it on the net is the best we got so far but in case of network failure, it sure would be nice to have a local calendar I can look at and make appointments on and when the network came back up, it would upload it to the net again. It’s a shame because it seems this is so nice and so close to perfect. All that would have to be done is for windows cal to ask me for my login credentials for GCal. Maybe this will someday happen through a common gateway that is ICalendar. Who knows? Anybody got a solution for online/offline calendar solution Google or otherwise????

  9. TalkCafe del Mar

    Jonathan!

    If it does not matter what calendar software you use for that purpose, then I recommend to look at Mozilla Sunbird or Calgoo. Both are free for personal use (Sunbird for commercial too, az I know), but Calgoo only give use manual sync with gCal and caches the calendar for offline use. Sunbird requires a plug-in (free to download from the web too) for two way sync gCal calendars automatically, and it works. One problem for me is, if network connections goes, gCal events goes too :(
    Maybe it is possible to tell Sunbird to cache, but I didn’t found out how, jet.
    If you can do this, please, let me know.

    And, if somebody can tell, how to two way sync gCal with Windows Calendar, it would make me very happy :)

    buy-bye

  10. TalkCafe del Mar

    Ohh… almost forgot to tell.
    The are several other option.
    If you use Google Desktop Sidebar, there is a simple gCal applet for that too.
    I use Yahoo Widgets and lot of calendar widget available for that, several ot hem can sync with gCal as well.
    And if my information is correct, oggsync can sync gCal to Outlook’s calendar, but I’m not sure it is free.

  11. TalkCafe del Mar

    Sorry for the many posts, but I have the answer…

    http://gcaldaemon.sourceforge.net

    This should help. (Requires Java 1.5 or above.)
    I’m not sure Windows Calendar will like it if it’s changes the calendar file under it when it’s running, but give it a try.

    Bye for now.

  12. Alisha

    I use Rainlendar for syncing. It’s my favorite desktop calendar because it actually sits on the desktop. I can add an event in Rainlendar and it will publish it onto Google Calendar. It will also show me the events in Google Calendar. It’s not perfect in that sometimes it gives an error, but I think that’s the fault of Google Calendar.

    Rainlendar for those of you interested: http://www.rainlendar.net

  13. Rikki

    See this is exactly the problem with having only iCal as a commond calendar standard. It’s essentially the IMAP or POP of calendar standards. However, without an equivalent of SMTP, it’s pretty much useless! What’s the equivalent of SMTP for calendars? How do you ‘send’ a new appointment to your calendar?

  14. Kwasi

    thanks for the info – it was very help full

  15. Jenn

    I have been using google’s Calendar Sync recently to sync my google calendar with Outlook. (I also have my Palm set up to sync with outlook.) It seems to work well, and I haven’t had any issues. All 3 of my calendars are now in sync, and stay that way (well, as long as I remember to sync my Palm with Outlook). Being able to view the google calendar in outlook was fine, but I still had to remember to copy the events, which now happens (to use an IBM-ism) automagically.

  16. Installster

    I’m using Mozilla Thunderbird and Lightning add-on, and everything is working normally with synchronization. But only SMS reminder option that can’t be synchronized.

  17. overtext

    thanks for the tutorial!

  18. Dharmin

    Thanks for the easy tutorial…

  19. Risket

    I’ve tried to make the Windows Calendar useful. I really tried. It’s just so useless for me.

    The best thing to do is download the Sunbird calendar software. It’s free at GetSunbird.com. Next go to Mozilla.com and click on “Add-Ons” at the top of the page. On the next page, click on “Other Applications” at the top right corner of the page and click on “Sunbird”. Now you can look for Sunbird add-ons. In the “search for add-ons” box type in “Provider” and when you see “Provider for Google Calendar” click the “Download” link next to it. Save this add-on somewhere you’ll remember.

    After you install Sunbird, open it up. Click on the “Tools” menu and go to “Add-ons”. When the little window opens click on the “Install…” button at the bottom and browse for the “Provider” add-on you downloaded. Another window will pop up confirming you want to install this add-on. Click install. It will need to restart Sunbird. When it loads back up, you’re now ready to sync your Google Calendar with Sunbird. It sounds like a pain in the ass at first but trust me, it’s very simple.

    Now that you’ve prepared Sunbird, go to Google and log in to your calendar. We’ll need to get the direct link to the calendar. This part is easy too, don’t worry. Once you’ve logged in, over on the left side where you can see “My Calendars” click on the arrow next to the calendar you want to sync with (you can sync as many calendars as you want but you have to do this step one at a time). Click that arrow and click on “Calendar Settings”. Scroll down to the bottom and RIGHT-CLICK on the green “ICAL” button under “Private Address” and click “Copy Link Location”. This is the private direct link to your calendar.

    Now go back to your Sunbird program. Click on the File menu and click on “New Calendar”. When the Create New Calendar window pops up click “On The Network” and click next. Then click “Google Calendar” and paste the location you copied into the Location area. You will need to enter your Google log in information. You can then give it a simple name to identify it and give it it’s own color so you can recognize this calendars events.

    Using Sunbird will allow you to view/add/remove events from your Google Calendar without ever needing to go to Google and log in to your calendar. I have this installed on my laptop and three desktop computers at my house so I can access my Google Calendar more efficiently. I can even view and edit my calendar from my phone since Google has a mobile-friendly version of the calendar. It’s the best way to keep all your events/appointments organized. I even have it set up at work with multiple calendars for scheduling Screen Printing, Embroidery, Meetings and employee Vacations/Days Off.

  20. Tracia Langowski

    I think this is very useful cuz I can publish all my google calendar stuff for friends and family, but use my windows calendar for my journaling and private thoughts/events without fear that they will become public by way of my erroneous syncing. Thank you.

  21. peter

    Risket. I also tried Sunbird. Really tried so hard many times. It is useless, full of bugs, non-intuitivie tool with too complicated UI. I love simple things that works. WinCal has some bugs, but I prefer Windows Calendar bugs, than Sunbird bugs. Except Firefox, all Mozilla software still looks and works as unfinished, not worth to put personal data there.

  22. Troutp2

    I have used both of the calendars but it seems (for me at least) that Sunbird suits my purposes better because I can edit my calendar from the desktop without having to sign in. The problem that I have is that when I go offline I can’t add an entry to my Google calender and have it re-sync when I get back on does anyone know how to do that?

  23. Aethra

    Thank you SO MUCH for this quick, easy and to-the-point guide. I don’t have to worry about having calendars on the go. \o/

  24. Sandra

    THANK YOU! I have officially switched over to the Google World! Can’t give up my windows mobilr phone just yet though!

  25. Jay

    This is awesome! Thanks!

  26. Mark

    To Troutp2, you can try Desktop iCalendar, it is a lightweight desktop calendar which supports syncing Google Calendar.

  27. Pandian

    Hey, thats was a useful post. But When I create an entry/appointment in Windows calendar appliation by selecting any Google Calendar. It says read only. any idea?

  28. John

    The solution makes great sense for truly “public” calendars, but the one-way sync from Google Calendar to Windows Live Mail is stopped by Windows 7 because the calendar location is in an “https” site. Eliminating the “s” does not work. Any idea about how to “subscribe” to your Google Calendar so that the Windows calendar is automatically updated by entires in Google Calendar?

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