Sync Outlook or Apple Calendars and Contacts

Many of us access our email contacts and calendar from multiple devices and want to keep all that data in sync so that we are not having to duplicate all our time and efforts maintaining email on every device.  For that to work  seamlessly you need at least 2 devices, IMAP   Sync software and possibly a little cloud space.

IMAP is an email protocol improvement to the older pop3 .   IMAP uses email header information to allow you to sync mail folders, sent items and read/unread data across all your devices with minimal duplication of efforts.    IMAP also means that your email is/ can be backed up on your mail server.  (space permitting).  Some email providers offer both protocols so to convert you just back up and reconfigure your email.  Others charge more for the convenience and extra server storage often associated with IMAP.  What is glaringly missing in IMAP protocol is the ability to sync your calendar and contacts/address book across devices. Most wise smartphone users want to sync that data but the contacts and calendar sync requires supplemental sync applications and cloud storage space to get that working seamlessly.

For many the cloud storage of choice is a GMail account and a Google calendar.  The most popular business email software is MS Outlook.  For others iCloud helps sync Outlook 2007 or newer to your iOS devices.

Outlook, Google Calendar, Gmail Contacts / Android device:

Syncing Outlook Contacts to your phone is easy if you use Go Contact Sync.  For those that experience sync failure we found that those errors were older versions error.  In every case upgrading to the free newest version (3.6) solved the problems.  Get GO Contact Sync Mod here. 

For Outlook 2003,-2010 Google Calendar Sync is a free way that many users sync their mobile calendar to Outlook.  Officially no longer supported or available directly from Google.  You can find Google calendar sync at places like this backup link somebody posted.

As I mentioned the free Google Calendar Sync is no longer officially supported.  Turns out that Google was “generous”  enough to replace the free sync took with a paid service.  (A move that surely endeared Google with thousands of loyal users.  However if you can find the old software it should still work.

Trouble Shooting Google Contact & Calendar Sync Apps

The computing world changes and Google decided to disable thier old free Google Calendar sync August 1 2014.  The likely would like people to conver to the paid Google apps version.  If that is not an option for your domain we would suggest GSyncit. The free version works for one calendar but it also has a couple of annoying nag screen and a 15 second delay when it runs.  If that is too much for you then risk the $20 and upgrade to the paid version.

 Related reading:

How to Sync Google Calendar and Contacts with Thunderbird Google Contacts Syncs Your Google Address Book with Thunderbird

Geek to Live: Sync Google Calendar & Contacts to your Desktop (Thunderbird).

How to Sync Google Contacts to Thunderbird

Access to Google contacts and synchronize them with Thunderbird address books (Thunderbird Add on)

How to sync Google Calendar with Outlook 2010 and 2013

Is it Possible to sync Google Calendar with Microsoft Outlook 2010 and/or

View a Google Calendar within Outlook 2007’s calendar – How-To Geek     Search Outlook iCloud Problems


Outlook, iPhone, iCloud sync:

Sure sure, Everything is easier with Apple.  Just install icloud and iTunes on your PC and your outlook will sync calendar and contacts to your iphone. That works once in a while. except for these cases:

 Search Outlook iCloud Problems   or:

Outlook 2010 Calendar and iCloud syncing one way only (Out)   This issues seams to be tied to corrupted login credentials with iCloud Contril panel. 

Many of Apple’s problem may stems from all the reversals of direction apple has had over the years.  They have abandoned MobileMe and previous apple sync applications and replacing them with iCloud Control Panel 3.1 for Windows.  Since iCloud came out windows users no longer really need iTunes to sync their calendar and contacts to an iOS Device like an iPhone or iPad.

Anyway if your iCloud does not sync here is what to do:

  1. Go to and verify that your know your Apple ID login and password.  If not then   How to find your Apple ID    Apple ID: If you forget your password
  2. Do a fix/repair on the iCloud control panel followed by logging out the apple ID and logging back in.  This is effectively a new configuration setup.  This seems to fix this problem. If that fails then try also going into the Windows Control Panel and look for  Programs and Features  (or Add and Remove Programs).   The look for iCloud Software, Choose the CHANGE option and then choose to FIX  (not Uninstall).  iCloud should REINSTALL and suggest that you log out of iCloud and then Login Again.
  3. Other users report that properly repaired installs sync new calendar entries from iPhone to Outlook after only about 5-10 seconds.

Some like to sync outlook to iOS device with iTunes.  In that case you will need an iOS cable to make the initial connection from iTunes to iOS device.   Next you need to open iTunes in iOS and configure the settings and choose what you want to sync.

Many are frustrated trying to complete this because there seam to be secret steps not stated and and assumptions between the 2 uncooperative companies (Microsoft and Apple) competing for your software dollars.  So a if you get stuck here with no joy here are a couple more tricks to try:

  1. Make sure you have a POP3 account configured in your Outlook.  You do not need to use this account but how apple assumes you have a POP3 account when they make the devices sync.
  2. Convert  both programs shortcuts so that both programs always run as administrators.  Only do this if nothing else works.  Running as an Administrator gives Outlook root access to your computer.  Email virus’s love to exploit root access to Outlook!   Configure Applications to Always Run as an Administrator

See these links:

Shared Google Calendars (Trusted CTO article)

iTunes errors after update 11.1.4  (Trusted CTO article)

OS X Lion: Import Google Calendars to iCloud

Sync Google Calendar with your iOS device

Synchronize Outlook and Apple iPhone or iPod touch contacts

iTunes 10 for Windows: Sync contacts, calendars, and other info with

iTunes: Syncing iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch with MS Outlook .

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