Moving your calendar from Google to iCal/iCloud

I decided to stop using Google Calendar today. The simple reason is that for the Nth time, I got hit with Google’s request to transfer my data to a new account as there was some problem with the data not being consistent between my Google Apps account and personal account (which are both under the same sign-in credentials for some weird reason).

First of all, users shouldn’t have gotten into this mess in the first place. It tells me that Google hasn’t had a clue when it comes to the bigger picture what they’d want to do with the accounts – things sort of flow forward with nobody being in charge.

Also, for some weird reason Google’s calendars have begun setting some weird notification error about the address not being correct as I try to add, edit or delete an entry in iCal (to Google’s defense, this is Apple territory and Apple automatically added the calendars based on my e-mail addresses, so it might also be something with Apple). Despite the constant nagging – things work, but it’s annoying as hell.

Nevertheless, the process to transfer your account from Google to iCal (and thus iCloud) is quite easy. I’ve written it down as others might want to look into this in the future as well.

1) Sign in to your Google Calendar account that you want to be moved.

2) Find the right calendar on the side and choose calendar settings (see below).

3) Once you’re into settings, note the Private Address section and right click on ICAL, select to save the file to your desktop, for example.

4) Now switch to iCal (BTW, I’m using the OSX Lion version, so not sure how this would apply to something else, but then again you need the latest version to really take advantage of iCloud). In iCal, goto to the file menu and choose import.

5) Now choose the ICAL file you saved to your desktop (or where ever). iCal prompts you with a window to ask to which calendar you’d like to import the calendar entries to. Choose the calendar and hit ok/import.

6) Done!

After this, iCal starts importing all the files to the calendar view and if you’re connected to the internet – it also begins syncing them to iCloud.

The downside of this is naturally that you lose some of the small benefits of Google Calendars like working with shared calendars, if you’re in an environment that benefits from it. iCal however enables you to share your calendars with other people as well through the iCloud service at

I still have to keep my Google Calendars (only two of them from now on) in sync as I have a shared calendar with my wife as well as my personal calendar which gets synced with the updates from Pipedrive sales tool.

But the advantage of this setup is that I get the speed and benefit of iCloud (and the changes to your calendar are a ton faster compared to Google Calendar) without having to fully let go of the very few advantages of Google Calendar they have today to be honest (not to mention the constant nagging of the dual accounts….grrrr.).

Posted on Wednesday, October 19th, 2011.
  • Andrew Jarvis

    Actually from what I’ve read this is kind of a “feature not a bug” situation – the launch of iCloud caused some Google Calendars to get completely deleted, so Google started denying syncs from iCal until the situation is solved… so, despite unhelpful error messages, and no way of actually knowing this, it was done for your protection.