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Ask LH: How Can I Sync All My Calendars On My iPhone?

Dear Lifehacker, I’m looking for a way to sync my iPhone, Outlook and Gmail calendars all together, so when I make a change on one all of the other calendars update to the changes automatically. I have tried to use the iCloud control panel in Windows, without much luck. Even when I can set my iCloud and Gmail calendars as internet calendars on Outlook they show as read-only calendars and I can’t add appointments. Please help. Thanks, Calendar Clod

Dear Calendar Clod

What you’re trying to do should theoretically work but isn’t as easy as it should be. The problem is that while both Google and Outlook are solid calendar clients, they’re not made to serve their calendars to each other. Here’s how I get around it.

Based on your call for help, I’m assuming you have a GMail account and an Exchange account and that you want to access and edit both accounts from your iPhone. What’s making it come complex, is that I think you want to be able to edit your calendars from multiple places.

The good news is that you can write to all your calendars at the same time. Assuming that you’ve added your accounts correctly to your iPhone, it can be used as a central point for updating both calendars. Updates made in Outlook and Google calendar will appear on the iPhone and the iPhone can be used to update either calendar.

Essentially, you create a hub and spoke system with the iPhone at the centre. It can talk to both calendars but they can’t talk directly to each other.

However, it could possible to get Outlook to access your Google calendars using Google Calendar Sync. It’s not a real-time sync but you can set it to sync – either one-way or two-way – between Outlook and Google Calendar.

Assuming you’re running Microsoft Outlook 2003, 2007 or 2010 on either Windows XP, Windows Vista or Windows 7 that might be a way forward.