You can import a static snapshot of a Google Calendar into Microsoft Outlook to avoid missed appointments or scheduling errors.
It’s common to use a third-party calendar like Google Calendar, even if you’re also using Microsoft Outlook’s Calendar feature. One can use Outlook on your PC and Google Calendar on mobile devices. With two different calendars, you may want to see events from Google and Outlook on the same calendar to avoid scheduling errors. Fortunately, it is possible.
In this tutorial, I will show you how to import Google Calendar files into Microsoft Outlook. In a future article, I will show you how to subscribe to Google Calendar with Microsoft Outlook.
I am using Microsoft Outlook desktop and Google Calendar with Edge on a Windows 10 64 bit system. You can use older versions through Outlook 2013. Don’t worry if your steps don’t match the article perfectly. If you encounter a difference, it should be slight.
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What is the difference between import and subscribe?
When importing a Google calendar (.ics) file, you get a single static image of existing events that you can then overlay with your Microsoft Outlook calendars. Keep in mind that Google and Outlook do not sync. Anything you add to Google Calendar after importing will not appear in Microsoft Outlook.
Subscribing to Google Calendar creates a connection between the two calendar apps, so adding an event to Google Calendar will show up in your Outlook calendar. It is important to note that the connection only goes one way – from Google to Outlook. Any events you add to the Outlook calendar will never appear in Google Calendar over this connection, but you can.
How to import a google calendar file
You might be wondering why you would want to import a static display of events from Google Calendar. If you move everything from Google Calendar to Microsoft Outlook, there will be no more events to see, so you won’t need a dynamic connection to your Google Calendar. If such an occasion arises, you can import a Google calendar into Microsoft Outlook as follows:
- Using your favorite browser, open Google Drive and choose Calendar. You can also open your Gmail account using your favorite browser to access your calendar.
- Select My Calendars in the left pane, then choose Settings from the gear icon in the top right (Figure A).
- Select Import and Export from the left pane, then click Export from the drop-down list. At the top of the resulting pane, you can import. Click Export, as shown in Figure Bwhich is under the import options.
- When prompted by your browser, save the calendar file. Depending on your browser settings, it may automatically save the file to the Downloads folder. If prompted by the browser, select a location to save the exported file. Be sure to write down the location so you don’t forget it, especially if you’re not going to import it right away. Google will upload a file using your email address in the name.
- Find the exported file. Right-click and choose Extract All.
- Choose a location, as shown in Figure C, and then click Extract. Since these are temporary files, there is no reason to change the default location. To see the extracted files, check the Show extracted files when done option. If you have multiple Google Calendars, you will have an .ics file for each. Two Google Calendar files are displayed in Figure D.
After exporting the Google Calendar file(s), import one into Microsoft Outlook as follows:
- Open the Microsoft Outlook desktop and navigate to the Calendar window.
- Click the File tab and select Open and Export from the left pane.
- Choose Import/Export to launch the import and export wizard.
- Choose Import an iCalendar (.ics) or vCalendar file, then click Next.
- Navigate to the extracted Google files (Figure E).
- Select a calendar file and click Open. You can only import one .ics file at a time.
- Click OK, then choose Open as New or Import, as shown in Figure F, to import calendar events. This choice is yours. If you import it as a new calendar, you can view them together as shown in G-figureor overlay them to combine events in a single view.
At this point, you should see all of the events stored on your Google calendar in Microsoft Outlook. Remember that this is a single snapshot. If you add or remove events from your Google Calendar after importing, the new events will not appear in Microsoft Outlook.
How to import into Outlook.com
There are Microsoft Outlook accounts that fail to import from Outlook calendar. This is usually a server error that you cannot resolve yourself. If this should happen to you, consider using Outlook.com’s calendar as a workaround.
To sync Outlook.com and Google Calendars, follow these steps:
- Open Google Calendars using your browser.
- Copy the URL to the Windows clipboard.
- Open Outlook.com and click Add Calendar in the left pane.
- Click Upload from File in the left pane.
- In the resulting window, click Browse and locate the same file you imported in the section above.
- Click Import.
After importing the calendar into Outlook.com, Google Calendar events may appear in Outlook.com Calendar and in Outlook Desktop under Other Calendars. This technique is unpredictable and may not work. It can display a new calendar, but not existing events. It’s worth a try.
Now that you know how to import a Google calendar file into Microsoft Outlook Desktop, you might realize that’s not what you need. If you want to continue using Google Calendar and see new events in Microsoft Outlook, subscribe to Calendar.
In a future post, I’ll show you how to subscribe to Google Calendar so you can continue to use both calendars and see events from both in Microsoft Outlook.
To learn how to overlay Microsoft Outlook calendars, read How to view multiple calendars at the same time in Outlook.