iCal + iCloud + iPhone + Google Calendar = a mess

Note: I DID NOT fix the issue. See the last couple lines for remaining list of problems. Help is wanted if you have it!

I have had nothing but problems since iCloud came into existence and I have had a couple friends with the same issue. So, I set out to figure out wtf was going on and how to fix it.

First a little background on what I am running:

  • 3 google apps calendars (untold numbers of sub-calendars)
  • 1 Regular private Google Calendar
  • I moved everything over from my old MBP to the new one
  • I have an iPhone
  • I have an iCloud account, that was graciously thrust upon me by Apple

My problems:

  • Not all of my events show up on my iPhone
  • Some show up from one of my Google Apps accounts, but it is not editable on the iPhone and I can’t add events
  • I have 2-3 versions of some of my calendars on my MBP

Understand, that things may go away and come back – this is part of the process I took. Read the whole thing and decide if these steps are for you. I am not responsible if something weird happens on your computer or iPhone, these are just the steps I took.

Steps I took to configure everything:

  1. Make sure that iCloud is turned on and syncd on my MBP
    1. Preferences > iCloud then login to your Apple ID
    2. Verify that the Calendar option is turned on
  2. Make sure iCloud is on and syncd with the iPhone
    1. Settings > iCloud
    2. Verify the calendar option is turned on
  3. Go to iCal on MBP
    1. Verify that the only account listed is iCloud
    2. Your accounts will come back in the next step (trust me, this confused the hell out of me)
  4. On MBP go to Preferences > Mail, Contacts and Calendars
    1. Make sure all my accounts are listed here (I had to remove some old ones that showed up)
    2. Click the checkboxes next to Mail, Calendars, chat (if you want it)
    3. Make sure all your passwords are correct – it will say “unknown error logging in” if you have a bad password
  5. Open up iTunes & plug in your iPhone
    1. Verify that under “info” none of the checkboxes are checked. This will allow iCloud to work its magic and keep iTunes from duplicating everything.

So far so good.


  • Showing all of one of my calendar’s events.
  • All of my mail accounts are gone.  Annoying. I don’t really want to add these back in as they will then duplicate all my calendars. WTF!?


  • At first, all my calendars were showing twice and my personal calendar was not syncing through iCloud. So I removed all the extra calendars, trying to keep iCloud only.  I figured out that through System > Preferences > Mail and other junk, that my personal email account was not connecting to Google properly. I ended up deleting it and re-adding it, this seems to have solved the problem.
    • iCloud for some reason has chosen to only sync one of my Google account’s calendars. It will not pick up the other ones at all, so far.
  • SparrowMailApp doesn’t seem to be effected by the changes that I made.  I wish I could force mail.app to stop running completely and stop it from popping up whenever iCal has an alert. So annoying.


It seems as if adding the accounts through the System Preferences > Mail and stuff allows iCal to get its information. The problem is that if iCloud has attached to an account that you add a calendar from, your calendar events might be duplicated. So, you have to turn off the second version of the calendar from iCal and your iPhone.

Any tips on how to fix the mail/calendars on my iPhone are appreciated. I would love to have everything route through iCloud so that it was doing what it is supposed to do, but it doesn’t seem possible.


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  • Samantha Favreau

    I don’t know if you are still having this issue or not, but if you are feel free to contact me. I would love to help.
    – Samantha

    • http://mkbernier.com Matt Bernier

      I solved my problem by not using iCloud. After talking with Apple and they said that Google and Apple don’t get along.

      • Samantha Favreau

        Well, I’m glad you’re problem is resolved. I’ve successfully used both for some time now. And have helped many with syncing issues. If you decide you’d like some help, feel free to let me know. Otherwise, I’m glad you found a solution that works for you!