How to Move Google Calendars to iCloud

I’ve been really happy with Google calendars for a few years. Until recently.

Within the last year, either Google or Apple or both did something that was causing me more work (and aggravation) than I will allow. Either something works or it doesn’t and when it doesn’t, I get rid of it. I’m speaking of technology, of course. ūüôā

I had been using BusySync¬†for a number of years with my 11 Google calendars (brought over from my Palm days) up until recently. They were working just perfectly until some time this year (2012). Then, I would change an event in my iCal on my Mac, and a new calendar would appear, “BusySync Conflicts”. OK, I found out if I made the change on my Mac, in iCal as opposed to doing it with the Google Calendar interface through a web browser, I would have this problem. It got to the point where I really couldn’t use iCal because I’d forget and the stupid ‘BusySync Conflicts’ would show up.

I resigned I would have to stop using iCal, except for reference, and start doing everything through the browser interface. Then, a new glitch. I would log in to my Google Calendars and a number of them would be turned off indiscriminately. By the time iCloud was released full blown, around late July, I had had it. I queried business associates who likely were using iCloud, members of the ACN, and felt comfortable I could leave my frustrations behind by switching to iCloud.

Here’s how I did it, make sure your Google calendars are the most up-to-date as these are the files we’ll be working with. This is¬†very important! Do not proceed if this is not the case. Shortly, you’ll be deleting most of your iCal calendars.¬†By the way, this tutorial assumes you are only using Google and the iCal/Calendar app for calendars. If you are also using any other calendars, including iCloud,¬†STOP!¬†This tutorial is not for you and I won’t be dealing with how to deal with that situation.

First, I logged into my Google Calendars. Once there, on the right side I clicked on the gear and selected Settings. Then clicked on Calendars on the upper left under the ‘Calendar Settings’ header. Once there, I scrolled about 2/3 down to find the Export Calendars link. Click that, and all your calendars will download as ‘your google account name’.ical.zip. If you’re using Safari, as I was, it will unzip the folder in your user account Downloads folder and trash the zip file. OK. That’s the beginning.

This is the part you might get nervous about. Open iCal on your Mac. First, just in case, select the File menu then choose Export and finally iCal archive. (If you’re using Lion or Mountain Lion, substitute Calendar for iCal as this is the new calendar in Mac OS X.) Now that you’ve got a backup of all your calendars, it’s time to delete them. You can delete all but one. You might possibly want to create a new Calendar called Calendar and delete all the calendars but that one. We’ll delete that calendar later. Your iCal or Calendar should now be clean of all calendar info.

From the iCal/Calendar menu on that app on your Mac, choose Preferences, then Accounts. Now you’ll create your iCloud account. If using Lion or Mountain Lion, you’ll click the + sign below the sidebar. The Add an Account window will open. From the Account type window, select iCloud and fill out the appropriate information for your iCloud account. You should now have an iCloud calendar on your Mac. (If you’re still using Snow Leopard, See the post,¬†How to get Calendar & Address Book with iCloud on Snow Leopard¬†to create your iCloud account on your Mac.) Once you have your iCloud calendars setup in iCal/Calendar, you can delete any other calendar (such as the one called Calendar, suggested earlier) which you don’t want to keep.

Now, you’ll go into the folder which you downloaded from your Google calendars and under the iCloud calendars which appear in your iCal/Calendar you’ll create calendars with names to match the names of the calendars you had on Google. (You don’t¬†have¬†to name the calendars the same, it’s just a suggestion.)

After you’ve created the additional calendars, you can use the Import function from the File menu in iCal/Calendar to bring your data from the Google calendars in.

With the calendars now in iCal/Calendar and linked to iCloud, you will now have calendars which can sync with your iPhone/iPad/Mac by using iCloud.

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