How to Sync Mac OS X Calendar With Outlook

by Michael Cox

    The primary calendar applications for Windows and Mac OS, Outlook and iCal, work very well within their native operating systems. Unfortunately, communication between the two isn't so easy, as Microsoft has been slow to adopt the WebDAV or CalDAV standards. In turn, Microsoft claims that with OS X 10.8 "Mountain Lion," Apple is deprecating Sync Services, although Apple has not made an official statement. With direct sync problematic, the easiest solution is Google, whose online Calendar service and Google Calendar Sync utility can connect Outlook and iCal.

    Step 1

    Sign up for a free Google account if you don't already have one. Click the "Sign Up" button on the Google Calendar page (see link in Resources) and complete the required information.

    Step 2

    Download and install Google Calendar Sync to your Windows PC (see link in Resources). During installation, you'll need to enter your Google account credentials, and choose the sync option you prefer: "1-way: Google Calendar to Microsoft Outlook Calendar," "1-way: Microsoft Outlook Calendar to Google Calendar" or "2-way Sync." Enter your desired sync interval, click Save and Google Calendar Sync will automatically begin to sync with Outlook.

    Step 3

    Choose "System Preferences" from the Apple menu on your Mac, click "Mail, Contacts and Calendars" and click "Add Account." Check "Calendars" to enable calendar sync. iCal will now sync automatically with Google Calendar. After a few minutes, depending on the number of calendar entries, iCal, Google Calendar and Outlook will be synchronized.

    Tips

    • If you use an Exchange account for your email and calendar on your Windows PC, you should sync directly by connecting both iCal and Outlook with the Exchange server instead of syncing through Google Calendar. Contact your Exchange administrator for details.

    About the Author

    Michael Cox writes about lifestyle issues, popular culture, sports and technology. In a career spanning more than 10 years, he has contributed to dozens of magazines, books and websites, including MSN.com and "Adobe Magazine." Cox holds a professional certificate in technical communications from the University of Washington.