How To Easily Migrate Contacts and Calendars from Google to iCloud

Most people today use Google for their cloud computing, email and document storage, and understandably so. With cross-platform capability and a strong team of apps, Google has a lot going for it. What it doesn’t have however, is tight integration with the Mac and iOS devices like iCloud does.

If you’re making the jump from Google to iCloud, you might think your Google data is lost and you need to start fresh. This couldn’t be farther from the truth. You already learned how to export your email from Google over to iCloud, so now we’re going to cover the other two big pieces of data: contacts and calendars.

Follow the steps below to migrate your contacts and calendars from Google to iCloud.

Migrating Google Calendars to iCloud

The first big question here is “Why would I move my calendars to iCloud?” While the calendar app on the Mac and iPhone/iPad does indeed easily show Google calendars, you lose the ability to easily share the calendar from these apps with other iCloud users. Also, having all your calendars inside of iCloud makes for one-click setup of new devices. You add just one account and everything just works.

To get your Google calendar over to iCloud, first head over to Google.com/Calendar and log in using your Google ID. Next, click the Settings button (gear icon) and then the Settings menu item.

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Once here, click the Calendars tab.

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Once on the Calendars page, you’ll see your Google Calendars and under them, you should see an Export Calendars button. Click it. This will save all of your calendars to a ZIP file and automatically download it. Unzip the file somewhere (ideally your desktop) to get the calendars out of it and ready for the import process.

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Now, with the ZIP file downloaded and unzipped, it’s time to head over to the OSX Calendar App. Once there, click on the File menu > Import > Import.

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You’ll need to locate the files you just unzipped and import them one at a time. In the example below, three calendars were exported, so the import process listed above would need run three times.

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Once all your Google Calendars are imported into Apple’s Calendar app, the last step is to make sure you’re syncing calendars with iCloud. Head over to System Preferences > iCloud and make sure Calendars & Reminders are checked. While you’re at it, UN-CHECK (yes, turn it off) Contacts as well, since you’ll be doing those next and you need this off to continue.

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One Time Sync of Your Mac and Google Contacts

With Calendars out of the way, it’s time to finish up the move to iCloud with getting your contacts in order. First things first, make sure Contacts are un-checked in iCloud settings. You’ll turn them back on when the process is complete.

Next, open up Contacts on the Mac and go to Contacts menu > Preferences > Accounts tab. Here, if multiple accounts are available, choose On My Mac and check the Synchronize with Google option. You’ll have to agree to a TOS and enter your Google information to continue.

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With your Google ID info entered, your Google contacts will now sync to your Mac. Head back over to System Preferences > iCloud and check the Contacts option. You will be prompted to merge your contacts with iCloud or not. Choose the Merge option. OSX should then let you know that Google syncing will be turned off, this is OK, as we just needed to grab the contacts from there.

The Test

To test things out and make sure that your contacts and calendars made the move correctly, head over to the iCloud web interface and log in. Click on Calendars first and see if all your information is there. If it is, move over to Contacts and verify they all made the leap and are showing properly.

If everything is OK, you are set to start using iCloud. If you notice any mistakes delete the items and start the process all over again. Make sure to turn off syncing services for iCloud when fixing these errors, to prevent duplicates.

Wrap-Up

Hopefully this wasn’t too technical for you and you now have your Google data out of there and into iCloud. While Google does have some big features that iCloud just doesn’t offer yet, iCloud is making great strides and if you use a Mac or an iOS device like the new iPhone 5S or 5C, it just makes sense to use iCloud thanks to the tight integration it has with all iOS devices.

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