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Publish iCal to Google Calendar

Published in Article, Google, Howto, Technology, Web  |  59 Comments


Let me attempt to redeem my prior remarks about Google Calendar by offering this bit of how to publish your iCal (via iCal or Mozilla Sunbird) to Google. This was inspired by How to subscribe to Google Calendar in iCal.

Create your calendar

You have numerous options for creating your calendar: iCal (Mac), Mozilla Sunbird (Mac, Windows, Linux), Outlook2iCal (Windows), etc.

Setup a public server to host your calendar

You have several options to publish your iCal calendar:

Publish your calendar

Using one of the prescribed methods above, you will then want to actually publish your calendar to the host (or upload via FTP/SSH/SFTP/carrier pigeon on 5.25″ floppy disk). You can turn on “Publish Changes Automatically” to have your changes on your computer automatically uploaded to Google Calendar.

Subscribe to your calendar in Google Calendar

Do the following:

  1. Manage Calendars
  2. then under “Other Calendars”, click “Add calendar”
  3. Fill in the URL of your published calendar – this is probably supplied by the hosting server (like iCal Exchange, .Mac, or you can figure it out for your own server)
  4. Click “Ok” and wait a little bit for it to be uploaded

Add Calendar

Subscribe to the Calendar

Bask in the warming, glowing warmth…

You’re now done and have a Google Calendar version of your local iCal calendar. Unfortunately, at this point, Google Calendar doesn’t let you edit this “public” calendar, though you can add events from this calendar to one of your Google Calendar calendars (if that makes sense, you’re astute). Now you can just publish when you’ll be available to stop at the local pub for a brew!

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Responses

  1. logicnazi says:

    April 13th, 2006 at 7:34 pm (#)

    Your link over at tuaw seems to not be working

  2. Ben says:

    April 13th, 2006 at 8:48 pm (#)

    You know, as much as I try, Google just does not want to display the calendar!

    Trying to link it up to a public calendar published by a friend on icalx. Nothing shows up. Is quite dissapointing.

  3. Andrew says:

    April 13th, 2006 at 9:38 pm (#)

    Logicnazi – I know, Tuaw blocked the html.

    Ben – what is happening? Worked for me. The calendar is there but no events? Can you see the events if you load the ical in a web-browser (as a text file)?

  4. Colin says:

    April 14th, 2006 at 9:12 am (#)

    I was able to subscribe to my own published iCal calendars, but for some reason when I change them in iCal and they are republished (I made sure they were), the changes are not reflected in the Google Calendar version. Perhaps this is a bug, or maybe they are updated only periodically.

    Does anyone else have this problem?

  5. Mike says:

    April 14th, 2006 at 9:12 am (#)

    Thanks for the tutorial. I had to add my WebDav cal a few times, but eventually Google Calendar grabbed it and is displaying the events.

  6. Ariel says:

    April 14th, 2006 at 9:41 am (#)

    I have the same problem as Colin, running Mac OS 10.4.6 and iCal 2.0.3. The calendar publishes fine and Google Calendar displays the events, but it doesn’t seem to refresh the feed when the ICS file is updated with changes from iCal. It would be great if there were an automatic refresh button.

    One problem I can think of with “auto-updating” or refreshing the ICS file is that Google Calendar will constantly be checking for an updated version, increasing the load on whatever server one uses to publish the ICS file. For instance I use icalx.com, and if thousands and thousands of requests are constantly coming from Google Calendar trying to refresh the ICS file, icalx.com will probably not be able to keep up with the demand (it’s free… and I don’t want to shut them down!).

    Maybe Google can offer to host the published ICS file itself? (Not the same as importing, because then you miss out on the auto-updates to reflect changes in your iCal calendar).

    Thanks for the great tutorial, Andrew!

  7. Andrew says:

    April 17th, 2006 at 1:10 pm (#)

    Good point Ariel – though this kind of problem is commonly addressed by sites like Technorati, FeedBurner, etc. with RSS feeds in general. Google could accept a “ping” by a webdav server whenever the iCal has been updated. At that point, it would refresh its cache of your iCal.

    Though the simplest solution is for Google to just ping the iCal for it’s Updated value in the feed. If the value is newer than Google’s cached copy, then it retrieves the entire calendar file. (see If-None-Match)

  8. Geoffrey says:

    April 20th, 2006 at 11:17 am (#)

    I cant get the google calendar to reflect the changes that are made in ical as well. I even went and deleted the calendar and then tried to add it again. Has anyone figured this out?

  9. Felix says:

    April 24th, 2006 at 10:15 am (#)

    Google does not refresh these calendars (I check on my webdav server, google grab them only when whey are subscribed…) but… if one “reader” reloads them (by deleting them and reentering them), then all the readers see the changes (which means that google only keep/cache one copy).

    So it should no be too hard to write a small script to “ask google” to read them everyday or so…. any taker?

  10. Andrew says:

    April 24th, 2006 at 10:43 am (#)

    Felix – so perhaps a small script that logs in as the user and deletes then -readds the iCal calendar? What happens to the Private/Public XML and ICal links that google supplies? Are these kept constant since the iCal calendar GUID should be the same as a calendar that it saw before?

    Also, Google is aware of the problem and addressing it.

  11. Felix says:

    April 26th, 2006 at 1:15 am (#)

    The Private/Public XML and ICal links will most likely change… but this is not the one I “advertise”, I give to other users the original link (the one pointing to my webdav)… amazingly enough, Google only keeps (and cache) one version of this “file/URL”. Another missing feature is the possibility to specify user/password for the webdav access…

  12. ycc2106 says:

    May 19th, 2006 at 1:59 pm (#)

    Very nicely made tutorial, petty there’s no direct facility using Google…that would of been great.
    Thanks :)

  13. carolune says:

    August 3rd, 2006 at 11:17 am (#)

    Is there a way of having private calendars added to Google calendar as well? Google doesn’t seem to provide a field for username and password for password protected calendars but perhaps I am missing something here? No-one seems to have pointed it out.

    Cheers for the tutorial, I didn’t know it was possible.

  14. Joel Selvadurai says:

    August 23rd, 2006 at 11:54 am (#)

    In addition to this you can get iCal to display any gCal events by subscribing to a gCal calendar feed in iCal (if that makes sense). Voila, two way syncronisation!

  15. Andrew says:

    August 24th, 2006 at 8:15 pm (#)

    Joel, the problem is you now have 2 calendars with similar, but not syncronized, data. Events you edit in GoogleCalendar won’t come back to the originating calendar.

    But yes, you can do something similar where you have 2 sets of independent events.

  16. reverse mortage says:

    August 30th, 2006 at 2:24 am (#)

    reverse mortage

  17. Server Colocation says:

    August 31st, 2006 at 7:30 am (#)

    East Coast Hosting providing Server Colocation, Reliable Web Hosting, Colocation Services, Shared Web Hosting, Web Design Service, Web Marketing, Decicated Servers and a complete business solution

  18. paul says:

    October 4th, 2006 at 11:15 pm (#)

    google has now officially answered this question:

    http://www.google.com/support/calendar/bin/answer.py?answer=37247

    Maybe the import functionality was not available when this was blogged, but it is now and as far as I can tell it works perfectly :)

  19. Philip says:

    October 9th, 2006 at 1:19 pm (#)

    Although good option for a one time thing http://www.google.com/support/calendar/bin/answer.py?answer=37247

    this does not answer the two way “sync” wanted from ical to google cal and back.

    Any other ideas??

  20. julien says:

    October 31st, 2006 at 11:27 am (#)

    Any news about this? Are they still trying to fix this or is hope helpless?

  21. julien says:

    November 6th, 2006 at 12:58 pm (#)

    No… :P
    Thats not the answer I wanted to hear ;)

    hmmmm…

    Sitting waiting wishing…

  22. Pascal says:

    December 21st, 2006 at 7:09 pm (#)

    GCALDaemon is an open source application that lets you do a two-way synchronization between Google Calendar and your iCal-compatible calendar program (e.g. Sunbird):

    http://gcaldaemon.sourceforge.net

  23. zephirnl says:

    January 11th, 2007 at 11:05 am (#)

    It seems that google calendat cannot process ical feeds with repeating items. Anyone know how to fix this or should I just wait for google…

  24. Hans says:

    February 2nd, 2007 at 5:40 pm (#)

    Unfortunately I can’t find any Google gadget that will let me view a “subscribed” calendar (or an arbitrary .ics feed) on a personalized Google homepage.

  25. Scott says:

    February 23rd, 2007 at 1:28 pm (#)

    To sync an iCal and Google calendar check out http://blog.spanningsync.com/

  26. Eric says:

    May 6th, 2007 at 9:49 pm (#)

    I tried to do this link using icalx and I cannot get it to work. Google calendar cannot not seem to find my published icalx calendar.

  27. Attila says:

    May 11th, 2007 at 3:52 am (#)

    I seem to have the same problem.
    icalx.com seem to be dead from ~ 9 of May.
    :-(

  28. jacob says:

    May 13th, 2007 at 11:19 am (#)

    anyone got the http://gcaldaemon.sourceforge.net deamon running… i dont have the money for the spanning thing… i’m student, broke and working hard ;-)

  29. ojfkhbrcby says:

    June 20th, 2007 at 8:56 pm (#)

    Hello! Good Site! Thanks you! vwykkaipms

  30. Pavel says:

    July 13th, 2007 at 8:05 am (#)

    Perhaps this is place for a small announcement of gSync – a piece of software allowing bidirectional synchronization between Google and iCal calendars.

    Works w/o any service in the middle – just speaking directly to Google using their API. Locally is integrated with iSync – means you may synchronize Google even with your mobile device.

    More at http://www.macness.com

  31. daren says:

    September 17th, 2007 at 8:16 am (#)

    Good to hear. This means the development cycle will be a lot quicker and that’s something we can all look forward to.

    Best wishes,Freeworlddvd.

  32. Punk says:

    October 3rd, 2007 at 5:46 pm (#)

    I tried to do this link using icalx and I cannot get it to work. and I seem to have the same problem.

  33. John Q says:

    October 6th, 2007 at 4:51 pm (#)

    I tried to do this link using icalx and I cannot get it to work. Google calendar cannot not seem to find my published icalx calendar.

  34. Darren S says:

    October 18th, 2007 at 10:16 am (#)

    icalX works fine for me. Google calendar eventually updates changed events, ie: changed one appontment time in iCal from the default of 12am to 8am. Checked google calendar and saw no change… But the next morning it WAS changed. So, if not instant, this method does work as advertised, which sure beats paying Spanning Sync $25/year!

  35. Phil says:

    November 16th, 2007 at 7:19 am (#)

    I can’t get google calendar to see the ics through icalx either – just get an error. Can some one paste a dummy (but correctly formatted) url in a response on this page – just so I (we all) can check against it please.

  36. david petar novakovic: attempted axiomatisation » links for 2007-11-21 says:

    November 21st, 2007 at 6:22 am (#)

    [...] High Earth Orbit » Blog Archive » Publish iCal to Google Calendar (tags: google calendar sync productivity software web) [...]

  37. mandrake says:

    January 24th, 2008 at 6:32 am (#)

    Gret idea!
    Thanx buddy…..

  38. bigbobs bobbits says:

    March 12th, 2008 at 3:17 pm (#)

    Is there an answer to the “auto-updating” of Google calendars?

    Like everyone else I can subscribe to my iCal from google but I when I add something new in iCal my google cal doesn’t update. Any one know the answer?

    Cheers

  39. Kiki says:

    March 14th, 2008 at 12:59 am (#)

    me too! I updated my calendar days ago, and it still hasn’t updated on Google calendar. I publish from iCal to icalx to Google Calendar. Quite frustrating, as I have the calendar displayed on my blog (blogspot, googles free blog site), and events are missing!

  40. Patterns and Pieces » Blog Archive » Syncing iCal to Google Calendar says:

    May 5th, 2008 at 3:25 pm (#)

    [...] I seem to expect open source / free applications and services all the time. So will this work? Andrew Turner’s optimistic posting was followed by the classic “yeah, but”s, which, in the tech world are usually quite [...]

  41. Kyle says:

    May 20th, 2008 at 12:28 pm (#)

    I tried uploading my ICS file to my own Web server, and subscribing to it in Google from that URL. It does not work. I get the same error that I got with iCalx, “Can not parse file”.

    I’m thinking that Google Calendar is not setup to accept ICS files from iCal.

  42. frank says:

    September 12th, 2008 at 5:40 pm (#)

    I’ve imported my calendars into google calendar after i’ve published them to http://www.ical-mac.com.
    It worked in one go, ical-mac.com is also free.

  43. Pablo Mac says:

    October 13th, 2008 at 6:50 pm (#)

    frank:

    I signed up and published a calendar via ical-mac.com to send to Google calendar, and it didn’t show up. ical-mac appears to render the calendar the same way the iCal-generated link does, only with ads.

    Hmmm…

  44. Constantine says:

    October 31st, 2008 at 3:28 pm (#)

    Here’s full explaination how to set up two-side iCal/gCal synchronisation via CalDAV – no additional software or services needed, just iCal, google account and a bit of brain (optional)

    http://www.google.com/support/calendar/bin/answer.py?hl=en&answer=99358#

  45. Daily David — davidgagne.net says:

    March 16th, 2009 at 8:03 pm (#)

    [...] Publish iCal to Google Calendar [Mac] [...]

  46. cedric says:

    March 19th, 2009 at 1:07 pm (#)

    @Constantine
    wonderful, many thanks for this
    fyi the app’s name is :
    calaboration
    Calaboration requires OS X 10.5 or later (since iCal does not support CalDAV prior to 10.5).

  47. Herb says:

    April 7th, 2009 at 1:05 am (#)

    When I copy the URL from my private server set up to ‘Add by URL’ in Gcal I get: “Is not a valid URL”.

    Any ideas what the problem is?

    Thanks.

  48. duxx0r says:

    October 16th, 2009 at 2:13 am (#)

    Thanks for that!

    Is it just me, or could that option have been in a far more obvious spot?

  49. Travis says:

    October 21st, 2009 at 5:27 pm (#)

    I figured out how to do it Free, no extra programs just a few downloads save as files and uploads, importing and exporting :D

  50. منتديات says:

    June 26th, 2010 at 4:34 pm (#)

    At present, any solution for this? I read in other sites than netvibes.com can give a similar service for this ?

  51. tsinn says:

    June 30th, 2010 at 3:39 am (#)

    http://www.google.com/support/calendar/bin/answer.py?answer=99358

  52. اعلانات مبوبه says:

    July 7th, 2010 at 11:37 am (#)

    I figured out how to do it Free, no extra programs just a few downloads save as files and uploads, importing and exporting

  53. Reid says:

    July 23rd, 2010 at 2:48 pm (#)

    An easier solution is to export all of your current iCal events to your drive and then import them all into your Google calendar that you have already configured in iCal.

    At this point, delete your calendar (on my Mac) in iCal and only use the Google calendar. This will synch based on your settings (by time or manually).

    I removed my work and home calendars after exporting and then importing into my Google calendar and now everything that is added is also synched to my Google calendar since that is the only calendar I now have in iCal.

  54. Ashlee says:

    September 2nd, 2010 at 10:00 am (#)

    I published my calendar to icalx and the first week loaded just fine, but after the first week it doesn’t show reoccurring events. Any suggestions?

  55. Sweetie Bracelet : says:

    October 31st, 2010 at 11:21 pm (#)

    some big websites and companies give free calendars :

  56. Treating Skin Acne %0A says:

    December 1st, 2010 at 1:54 pm (#)

    i would love to get some free calendars on the internet, are there are sites or company that gives one? “”;

  57. denalisian says:

    January 13th, 2011 at 3:26 pm (#)

    Great idea! Thanks for this information.

  58. studyokan says:

    January 14th, 2011 at 12:15 pm (#)

    I will try it. Thanks for this blog.

  59. Mark says:

    November 16th, 2011 at 3:55 pm (#)

    Does this work with Windows (publishing from iCal to a Windows Google calendar?)