[Windows 8] How to add Google Calendar to Windows 8 Calendar app [2nd Edition]

In the original version of this article (shown below), I showed you how to add Google Calendar to Windows 8 Calendar app. However, since Jan 30, 2013, Google has dropped support for Exchange ActiveSync (EAS) connections, which helps you sync email, calendar, and contacts across multiple devices. Therefore, since that day, you have not able to sync Google contents with your Windows 8/RT computer or table. In this article, I will provide you some important information and solutions on this issue.

WHAT YOU SHOULD KNOW

Fortunately, this change doesn’t affect you if you’ve already connected your Google account to Windows 8/RT device before Jan. 30, 2013. That means you don’t need to do anything.

If you want to add a Google account at this time (in the other word, after Jan. 30), you will face the painful result of Google’s decision because Google calendar now stops syncing with Calendar app in Windows 8/RT. There is no official solution for this problem but I am going to show you the solution in the next part of this article. However, if you just need to use Mail app to view email from Gmail, you can do following steps.

  • Open Mail app then press Windows + I hotkey or swipe from the right edge (if you are using a tablet) and choose “Settings.”
  • After that, select “Accounts” then click/tap the line “Add an account.”
  • Next, you should choose “Google.” In the dialog, you have to enter your Google account information and the most important part is that not check the box “Include your Google contacts and calendars.
  • Then you are done.

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HOW TO ADD GOOGLE CALENDAR WINDOWS 8/RT CALENDAR APP INDRECTLY

At the time this article is being written, there is no way that helps you to sync directly Google Calendar to Windows 8/RT Calendar like before. We had Microsoft confirmed that it is working on CalDAV and CardDAV support for Windows Phone but there is no word about Windows 8/RT. So that, I will show you how to view Google Calendar in Windows 8/RT Calendar. Before we start, I want you to know that this method only allow you to view events from your Google Calendar, that means you cannot add or edit calendar items by using Windows 8/RT Calendar app. Additionally, it updates very slow; you can’t see the new added Google Calendar item in Calendar app immediately. However, you should do these steps below to do this trick.

  • First, you need to sign in to your Google Calendar. On the left panel, you can see the list of your calendars. For which one you want to view by Calendar app, you need to hover the mouse over its name to make it show the small arrow then click that arrow. For those who are using a tablet, I recommend to zoom in the webpage so that you can tap the arrow easier. After that, you have to choose “Calendar Settings” in the menu.

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  • In the next page, you should scroll the whole way down then you will see “Private Address” part. What you have to do next is choosing the green button “ICAL.”
  • There will be a dialog that provides a link which you have to copy it for the next step.

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  • Now, you need to go to Windows Live Calendar by the link: http://calendar.live.com then sign in with the Microsoft account that you use to sign into your Windows 8/RT device.
  • On the top of the calendar in Windows Live Calendar page, you have to choose “Subscribe.”

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  • In the Subscribe page, choosing “Subscribe to a public calendar” and pasting the copied link from Google Calendar to the box “Calendar URL.”
  • Then you can enter a name for your Google Calendar to show in Windows Live Calendar. Next, pressing Subscribe to calendar to finish.

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  • Now, you can go to Windows 8/RT Calendar app to see that your Google Calendar’s events now are appeared.
  • And that’s it! A little many steps but now you at least can see Google Calendar in Windows 8/RT Calendar app.

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CONCLUSION

Hopefully, Microsoft will resolve this big problem in the next update for their apps. If you have other solutions for this, please feel free to share in the comments.


The following is now deprecated but left here for reference!

Nowadays, many people are using online calendars to manage their time and schedules. There are a ton of calendar web apps you can choose. Google Calendar is one of the more popular ones. The issue with Google Calendar is it is online only — you need an active Internet connection to access it, which may not be possible for some people in some situations. So using an offline app to sync Google Calendar data is typically a good idea, so you can access your calendar when you are not connected to the Internet. If you are using Windows 8, there is a pre-loaded Windows Store app called “Calendar” to help you sync calendar from many services. In this article, I will show you how to add/use Google Calendar in the Windows 8 Calendar app.

HOW TO ADD GOOGLE CALENDAR IN CALENDAR APP

The very first time you use the Calendar app, if you are using a local account, you will be asked to sign in to your Microsoft account (Hotmail). If you are already using an online Microsoft account for your Windows 8 device, then you won’t be asked to sign in because you already are signed in.

Unfortunately, you must sign in with your Microsoft account even if you don’t like using Hotmail/Outlook calendar services; if you don’t sign in, you won’t be able to use the Calendar app. If you don’t like using Hotmail/Outlook calendar, you can simply hide the calendar events for that particular calendar via settings. I’ll show you how to do this in the second half of this article.

Once you have setup Calendar by logging in with your Hotmail/Outlook account, you can now Google Calendar. To add Google Calendar to Windows 8′s Calendar app, do the following:

  • Run the Calendar app. You will find the Calendar app on your Start Screen (because it comes installed with Windows).
  • Once Calendar is open, press Windows + I hotkey (or swipe from the right edge of your screen and choose Settings) to show the Settings panel. Then select “Accounts”.
  • Next select “Add an account” and then select “Google”.

  • Finally, you need to enter your Google account information.

Once you are logged into, you are done — Google Calendar is now accessible via Windows 8 Calendar app! Do take note, after the initial login, you may need to wait for Calendar app to sync your Google Calendar data before you see it.

Once synced, you can use Google Calendar via Calendar app — even while offline (although if you are offline your data won’t be synced until you are online again). For example, you can easily create an event in Calendar app and it will be updated automatically to your web Google Calendar account, and vice versa – changes made in your Google Calendar account sync with the Calendar app.

HOW TO HIDE THE EVENTS OF A CALENDAR SOURCE

As I mentioned above, you are forced to log into a Microsoft account to use Calendar app but you don’t have to use Hotmail/Outlook Calendar — you can hide it. To do this, make sure Calendar app is running and bring up the Settings panel by using Windows + I hotkey (or swipe from right edge of your screen and choose Settings). Then select “Options”.

Once in “Options”, you have the ability to show or hide specific calendars. For example, you can hide your Outlook/Hotmail calendar by switching the “Show” toggle to the off position. If you don’t want to turn off a calender service but just want to be able to differentiate between it and others, you can also change the color of each calendar account.

CONCLUSION

With the above simple steps, you can now manage your Google Calendar right from your desktop in Windows 8. Enjoy!

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64 comments

  1. ZBOJAR

    get Google app on your start page W8. 1. open you Google Chrome and an app you want to shortcut to. 2. drag the tab from Chrome to your desktop. 3. Right click the shortcut and select Pin to Start ( I also put the shortcut to the task bar). Now the new “tile” on the start page will appear far right you may need to scroll your Start screen to see it. 4. drag the new app tile to whatever position you desire. FREE TIP: most people are upset about not having easy way to Shut down W8. When you done with your PC and want to shout down (no apps / windows open) hit ALT+F4 > click OK to SHUT DOWN.
    I agree W8 apps are totally “stupid” and useless. MS took the browser app away in W8.1 already. If those guys were just a little smart they would integrate all platforms app to work with each other. Nowadays all users have multiple devices in multiple platforms. We as users have our reasons why we use Andriod for phone, iOS for tablet and Windows for laptop or desktop. Not to mention we usually work at places where we simply can not choose our favorite. Therefor I would not mind a little kind advertisement on Gmail or iCal with my contact list if those were nicely synced with each other. But hey what you expect from programmers? They have very little of common sense and business oriented thinking. And yes I know it is a lot of times the selfish boss above who makes stupid decisions.
    AND PLEASE LET US KNOW HERE IF THIS WAS ANY HELP TO YOU – THANK YOU

  2. Timothy Farner

    When I go to add account, it only gives me the option to choose Outlook or Exchange. No box appears to allow me to type a new account info. I also tried to add it by going online and opening Google Calendar, go to tools, create a desktop and start icon. It worked on desktop, but even when I right click the non-pinned icon, no option to pin to start appears.

  3. jim

    [@Hans Roeper]

    I agree. This is the best solution. Basically, use the Google software ecosystem and relegate Windows only to be used to interface with your hardware and for file management.

    In light of poor windows store app showings and global dominance of android (Google) for phones, and Apple dominance with the iPad, this is ideal. Thanks for writing this.

    BTW, Microsoft doesn’t really care since they make money off of windows and office. Once Google releases their own OS, Microsoft will primarily be “that company which makes Office”, which they do well, to their credit.

  4. Hans Roeper

    [@someguy]

    A am not familiar with the word ‘trolling’, when you mean fooling around, no I am not! Indeed, this time, and only this time, Google is the malefactor. But still, after working with all new ideas from Microsoft, and some alternatives, the combination I use now is the best. And that tip I wanted to post.

  5. Hans Roeper

    Why accept all problems with Windows 8? I quit using Calendar, Persons and Mail app! Just use Google Calendar, Contacts and Gmail. For each I have made their own Window 8 Tile, works great wit iPad and Android phone.
    When using Chrome, you also can enter these programs directly from your Browser.
    60% of my tiles are NOT METRO!!!!!
    The only way to work with Windows 8 on a laptop.

  6. Ryan

    [@Chris]

    Yeah, per my comment just above yours, I haven’t (yet) tested ongoing updates. Almost everything in my GCal is recurring, so it simply may have imported all that. Between some server outages and unintended updates to Win7 at work, I haven’t had the time to test non-work-related items, yet.

  7. James Mack

    Thanks for the information, Ryan. I performed the workaround yesterday, and subscribed to my google calendar. All the events from the google calendar showed up on my windows 8 calendar app. However, the subscribed calendar hasn’t updated since yesterday morning, so events I’ve added to my google calendar sincd the subscription aren’t showing up, either on my windows 8 calendar app or on outlook.com calendar…

  8. notebene

    [@Ryan]

    Well that was weird, I just looked again and they all finally showed up. You weren’t kidding that it takes a long time. I suppose it’s a good ‘better than nothing’ quick reference. I suppose I’m going to have to concentrate on my google calendar directly for the time being.

  9. notebene

    [@Ryan]

    Yes, all the subscriptions are in my live calendar (under the same login I use on the PC). That account is setup on the calendar, and I see the ‘base’ 3 items (my calendar, birthdays, us holidays), but it never seemed to pull down the 4-5 subs I added several hours ago.

  10. Ryan

    [@Leona]

    Leona, it’s not about when it was purchased. At first, it was about when it was configured – before January 30th, it was allowed. After Jan 30th, it was not.

    However, the mail app was updated this week, which cuts off even existing active connections, according to the news article I read.

  11. Ryan

    [@Mahnas92]

    Google’s already gone on record stating that they won’t do that. The best I’ve got for you is using Chrome with a couple of extensions. If you’re a chrome user, let me know, and I can show you an alternate way.

  12. Leona

    This was very helpful. Not sure what happened but earlier and since Dec 2012 I was able to access my email and calendar and just like that I couldn’t.

    BUT this helped ALLOT and now works great!

    Thank you for putting this together.

  13. Mahnas92

    This workaround makes my calendars public, which I don’t want!
    Also, this works as a subscription – I will not be able to add/remove/edit google-calendar posts within the Windows 8 app!

    Aren’t there ANY (good, stable) app for Google Calendars?
    I use outlook for mail, but google is outstanding when comes to calendars, and I am willing to drop the standard calendar app for another, google calendar-supporting 3rd party app!

  14. Swami

    Thanks for this post. I have added my google calender to my windows 8. But one problem, if i added an event to my google calender, it updates my calender in my windows 8 Calender with in few minutes, but when i delete an event in my google calender, windows 8 calender will not update the changes.

  15. Robert Trance

    You have no idea how thankful I am for the simple workaround! Thank you, this site is really useful, exactly when it needed to be!

    Awesome, my calendar synced again with GCalendar!

  16. someguy

    [@Ryan]

    Aye. If google had offered an option for say $10-$20 a year to continue the service for private individuals, I almost certainly would have paid into it.

    I played around with setting up an outlook.com account to handle all emails, and calendars, and it got a bit out of hand.

    Here’s what I ended up doing.

    Granted, I’m not a business so this works for me but may be too much of an issue for many others.

    1. I set up an outlook.com account, to be my primary calendar account.

    2. I removed the gmail accounts I initially connected to it (it was getting flooded with gvoice as well as emails from years ago, and got out of control).

    3. I set up my gmail accounts as purely email on my phone, laptop, tablet, and desktop.

    4. I set up my devices to use MS exchange for contacts and calendar, and exported/imported from google to do so. That was pretty painless actually. All of my calendars and contacts carried over without much more than a quick search on how to do so.

    5. I can now forward any relevant calendar invites from gmail to outlook and they work fine (at least for personal use). I can also send invites to google users who also have no problem with it syncing per usual.

    6. I’m happy again. Outlook.com will handle my calendar events, and contacts, and my gmail will take a back seat but still be easily accessed through windows, android, or whatever.

    // I should say that I use a windows based phone, so making the transition just kind of made sense. I use an android tablet, had no issues getting it synced up for calendar through exchange, and I run win 8 on my laptop/convertible and my desktop. Everything just works again, and I’m actually liking outlook’s calendar better than google’s, so that was a plus from the trouble. I’d have stuck with google calendar if it were not for the change, but overall I’m just as functional now. I may actually start using the outlook.com email as a primary account now, because I like the way it sorts pictures, docs, and package tracking automatically.

  17. Ryan

    [@someguy]

    As GApps still supports EAS, I imagine that will still work. But as it’s not available for free any longer, I suspect it will mostly be companies that will be able to directly use contact/calendar sync with the Windows 8 mail app. Granted, most of those will simply use it all online or via Outlook, so who knows.

    Hopefully the update will allow for more sync options than EAS. I’m not a fan of my workaround, but I do use it because I’m LESS of a fan of not having it at all.

  18. someguy

    MS is releasing updates to the main apps (very soon), that will take care of the confusion.

    From what I read, when the mail and calendar apps update, they will no longer give you the option to sync calendar/contacts if you use the standard google account setup option. I would expect that if your company has EAS support through google you could just set it up manually.

    At least people won’t get a weird user/password error when setting up their email. I’m going to use the outlook.com trick from now on. I honestly just may set up all my email accounts to forward there, just to simply things anyways.

  19. Ryan

    [@jameyjamey]

    Jamey,

    Did you use an online account (i.e., email address login) when setting up Windows 8? If you did, then you have an outlook.com address. Try it: go to outlook.com and log in with your Windows8 credentials.

    Now, if you used a LOCAL account, then you’re unfortunately out of luck for the work around. Until either Google again supports EAS for non-GApps users, or Microsoft supports CalDAV/iCal, there’s not much to be done.

  20. Ryan

    [@Jamey]

    Jamey,

    Make sure you have your Google Calendar syncing with your outlook.com calendar. Once that’s done, it will sync with Windows8 automatically (through Outlook.com).

    You do not directly add Google Calendar in Windows 8 mail app.

    However, to get your GMAIL on to Windows 8, you need to be sure you DO NOT check “Include Google Contacts and Calendars” – this is the part that’s breaking.

    And it’s on Google’s end to fix at this point, but I doubt they will. I suppose Microsoft could support CalDAV, but I doubt they will.

  21. Jamey

    Ok. I am not computer savvy and don’t understand all the computer lingo. I have tried to follow the directions to get my gmail calendars on windows 8. I tried to login when it gave me option to add my google account. Keeps telling me either my email or password are wrong but yet I can go to internet and sign in to gmail, so I know my gmail account name and password are correct. Can anyone help with this??

  22. Ryan

    [@someguy]

    It appears that Google dropped EAS support, but didn’t cut off any existing connections. But any new connections (even for accounts that are connected elsewhere) are not being allowed. From my research, their focusing on iCal sync options.

    Now, if you have a paid Google Apps account (which your school may, as do many other businesses), EAS is still supported, as to do otherwise would break a LOT of employee calendar support.

    So as of this last July 30th, most of us are left without a direct sync, and will need to use the work-around I posted above.

  23. Hoàng Tú
    Author/

    Dear guys,
    Sorry for being late in responding. I don’t know exactly what game Google is playing with us, but it’s weird that my Windows Phone works well with my Google account, which I’ve just added minutes ago to test, but my Windows 8 doesn’t. Maybe we can wait for the next big update for core apps (Mail, Calendar, Music, Bing apps, etc.) from Microsoft (as I read the news this morning, it’s coming).
    BTW, I will edit the article if the update works or when I can find a solution for this problem.

    Thank you everyone for the information about dropping EAS.

  24. someguy

    [@Ryan]

    I missed your comment. Good information. Thank you for sharing it.

    That’s an excellent workaround.

    I still can’t sort out why my school gmail account transfers the calendar without doing that.

    My laptop had the email/calendar added prior to them pulling the plug, and still receives both my university calendar and my private one.

    My desktop gets my university calendar, but not my private one. It worked fine before I recently re-installed.

    I can’t find anything in the google account related to either the laptop or the desktop, and I don’t use the 2nd authorization requirement.

    It’s very odd how they dropped support for EAS, and yet one device still works like nothing changed, and one device works ok for one account but not the others.

    What the heck was google thinking? I may actually start using outlook.com to simplify things.

  25. someguy

    ******** THIS NO LONGER WORKS *********

    You should update the article.

    Google pulled the support for this. If you hadn’t set up the calendar with google in Windows already, you cannot do so anymore.

    I figured it out after re-installing Windows 8 recently. It still works on my laptop running 8, but the desktop that I re-installed to does not. There is an interesting oddity though. It works for my campus calendar, which uses google mail directly, but not for the others. I’m not sure why this is. I checked all of the manual settings, and they are identical, and use m.google.com. For whatever reason that one is ok for syncing calendar and contacts, but my other gmail accounts can only sync gmail. Anyways, I hope that helps if you’re trying this and wondering why it doesn’t work like the article claims.

  26. Carola

    Cuando quiero agregar las cuentas de gmail después de tener la de hotmail me da un error, me dice que los datos ingresados no son correctos, sin embargo con esos datos entro a mis cuentas google por la web.

  27. Ryan

    [@Hasseno]

    I spent days trying to figure this one out, and I just now did. But it’s bad news.

    Google dropped support for EAS for calendars and contacts. So, we won’t be getting direct Google calendars on to the Win8 app.

    My work-around was this: I used the private calendar sharing option (iCal from under Calendar Settings). Copied the URL from there, and used it my Live.com calendar. I could do this for each calendar, not just the “main” one.

    After I had that set up, Win8′s calendar app was showing me all my events, not just the main, and not just MS’s stuff.

  28. zbojar

    well it did not work for me. I think due to higher level of security on my google account (that I don’t like anyway) SMS verification is accually good but application specific password and somewhere a I set up passphrase that prevents sync when log in to google from a new computer and so on. Just my stupidity. If I just knew how to reset it all.

  29. Tim

    @Hoàng:
    This is a very good article, thank you very much!
    I have added Google calendar to the Win 8 calendar and all my entries in Google appear in the Windows calendar.

    However, is your statement correct that this works in the other direction as well? New entries added to the Windows app do not show up on my Google calendar..

    Best, Tim

  30. Tom

    AFAIK, the approach described by this article will only retrieve your primary Google account calendar. That’s pretty limiting. If you’re like me, and have several different calendars (school, work, play, family) under your Google account, only your primary account is synced. If someone has shared a calendar with you, that isn’t available through the Win8 calendar app.

    FWIW, you access Google Calendar offline with the Chrome browser.