How to Import Events Into Google Calendar

Wood-block desk calendar with Google logo

Just about every calendar application allows you to export your calendars, to either back them up or transfer them to a new service. No matter where the calendar came from, as long as you have it in either Apple Calendar or CSV format, Google Calendar will accept it without issue.

Here’s how to import events into Google Calendar from either Apple Calendar format (ICS) or CSV.

Exporting the Calendar or Events

The first step here is obviously having an export file to use as an import. There are a few reasons you might want to make an export file, including:

  • Restoring from backup
  • Moving from one service to another
  • Creating a set of events for multiple people to import

Exporting your existing calendar varies from service to service, but check out this help documentation from Google if you’re exporting from Outlook or Yahoo. Once you have your export file, you can bring it into Google Calendar.

Importing Calendars and Events Into Google Calendar

Log in to your Google Calendar account by heading over to calendar.google.com.

1. Click on the gear icon, then click Settings.

Closeup of Google Calendar gear icon drop-down menu

2. Under Calendar Settings click on the Calendars tab.

Closeup of Google Calendar Settings

Next, decide if you want the imported calendar to be brought into an existing calendar in your account or if it should be in a new calendar.

In other words, do you want the events on the exported calendar merged with existing events, or do you want it placed into its own calendar to aid in sharing and future export?

3. If you want to import the events into a new calendar, click the Create new calendar button.

Create New Calendar button in Google Calendar

4. On the page that comes up, give the new calendar a good descriptive name and a useful explanation. If you plan on making the calendar public, you can list a location as well.

Creating calendar name and description in Google Calendar

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5. If you want to make the calendar public, check the box next to Make this calendar public. If you’d rather only show free/busy and not the event details, check the other box here, too.

Checkbox to make calendar public in Google Calendar

If you leave these unchecked, the calendar will be private. This is the standard way to use calendars. Next, you can share the calendar with anyone specific by entering their information in the box and choosing what permissions you wish them to have.

6. When you’re all done, click the Create Calendar button.

Closeup of Create Calendar button

7. Now that the new calendar is created, you can import your events into it. Click the gear icon again, click Settings, and then the Calendars tab under Calendar Settings. Near the middle of the page, find the Import Calendar link and click on it.

List of calendars and Import Calendar link in Google Calendar

8. Click Choose File and navigate to your export file. The type of file will vary based on where it came from.

9. Choose the calendar you want to import to and click Import.

Import Calendar dialog box

After you click Import, you should get a window stating that you successfully imported your events.

If you received any errors, check the file you tried to import. For example, if you exported a Google Calendar, you would be left with a .ZIP file that would need to be unzipped to get to the .ICS file needed.

Successful calendar import dialog box

10. Click Close to finish up. Your events are now imported and ready to go.

Wrap-Up

The ability to import and export calendars is definitely useful, especially when moving from one service to another. But remember that if you’ve built a calendar of events for a project you can always export it and give it to someone else to import if you’d rather not share yours with them.

Note: If you import a CSV file, any recurring events will not come along for the ride. Only iCal (.ICS) import files carry this information along with them.

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