Microsoft Outlook (2007 and 2010) and Google calendar both support the iCalendar format, which means you can view your Google calendars in Outlook. This is great if you, for example, want to be able to see your Google Apps personal calendar and Exchange work calendars in one place. It looks like this:
If you’re a regular Gmail user, you may follow the directions at How-To Geek. However, if you’re using Google Apps for your domain/business (or organization, family, or whatever), you would likely run into a couple obstacles with those steps.
Note that this is for just viewing your calendar — you will not be able to add or edit events to your Google Calendar. This might be your best option when other solutions aren’t appropriate, for example:
- you’re not a Premium Edition user and can’t use Google Apps Sync or
- you can’t use Google Apps Sync because you need full use of Exchange at the same time
Here’s what you’ll need to do to add a Google Apps calendar to Outlook, which includes enabling this feature for your domain (needs to be done by an Administrator) and a tiny bit of URL hacking…
1. Allow Private Calendar Access in Google Apps for Domains
If you can’t see the Private Address of your calendar (next step, below), then it hasn’t been enabled for your domain. Your administrator will need to follow these steps:
- Go to the ‘Google Apps control panel’ for your domain, which you can get to by clicking on ‘Manage this domain’ at the top of your email inbox.
- Go to Calendar settings (under Service settings)
- Under ‘Sharing Options’ / ‘Outside [Your Domain name] – set user ability’, choose: “Share all information, and outsiders can change calendars.”
As documented at Google Apps Admin help, this will allow users to share their calendar information with people outside your domain. This includes guest list, location, and description.
2. Get the private iCalendar URL for the calendar you want to add to Outlook
- Click on the down-arrow next to the calendar that you want to Outlook, and choose ‘Calendar settings':
- At the bottom of the page will be a ‘Private Address’ section. Click on ‘ICAL':
- A dialog will appear with the private iCalendar URL that looks like this:
- Copy that URL to your clipboard by right-clicking on it and choosing ‘Copy Shortcut’, ‘Copy Link Location’, or ‘Copy Link Address’
3. Add to Outlook
If you tried to add the calendar to Outlook the regular way (add new Internet Calendar within Outlook), you might have gotten a message like this:
Cannot verify or add the Internet Calendar in Outlook. Verify the link is a valid calendar link:
We need to do a tiny bit of URL hacking and Internet Explorer’s help to add this to Outlook.
- Paste the URL into Internet Explorer. Before pressing Enter or clicking Go, change ‘https’ to ‘webcals’ at the beginning of the URL:
- Press enter or click Go.
- You should get one or two security confirmation dialogs; click ‘Allow’ in both of them
- Outlook will also ask you to confirm that you want to add the calendar. Click ‘Yes':
Now, when you go to your calendar view, you can choose to view your Google Apps calendar at the same time as your Outlook/Exchange calendar by checking the box next to each:
If you want all of your calendar items to show up on one calendar in the Calendar view instead of having several calendars side-by-side (like in the first screenshot at the top of this article), you can use ‘Overlay Mode’. Click on the tab of the calendar that you want to join with the others then choose ‘View in Overlay Mode’ in the ‘View’ menu: