How can I subscribe to shared Google calendars from MacOS and iOS?
May 8, 2020 9:11 AM   Subscribe

Two organizations I belong to publish Google calendars of events. I would like to subscribe to these from my Macintosh and iPhone, so they appear on the calendars I look at every day. I don't want to change which calendar apps I use. How can I do this most easily?

On the Macintosh I use Apple's calendar app. On the iPhone I use Fantastical (which is just accessing the same calendar data that Apple's iOS calendar uses).

The shared calendars I want to access have not been made available in ical format. Is there any way I can subscribe to them from my Mac and iPhone?

More details follow:

I also have a Google calendar which I do not use except when I am forced to by other aspects of the Google ecosystem (e.g. Google Meet invitations).

The shared Google calendars I want to see are not public. They relate to kid things so they can't be public. I've been invited to join these calendars. When I click the invitation link they get added to my Google calendar. So when I go to calendar.google.com I see my own Google calendar, and I also see that I am subscribed to these other calendars and I see their events in their own colors.

I have subscribed to my Google calendar from my Macintosh and my iPhone by adding my Google account to those devices. However, that only brings in the events from my own Google calendar. It doesn't transitively bring in the calendars that I'm subscribed to via my Google calendar. Is there a way I can make it do that?

I would rather not ask the calendar owners to make changes to their calendars, but I will if that's the only way to get these calendars onto my Mac and iPhone. If that's necessary, what should I tell them to do? I don't want to ask them for an iCal link, because then they would have to manually retrieve and send out that link to everyone wha wants it. Ideally they'd be adding iCal capability to the calendar so that anyone with access could subscribe to it that way.

So many people use Google calendars and so many people have iPhones and Macs, I'm really hoping this is possible.
posted by Winnie the Proust to Computers & Internet (4 answers total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
 
There is a setting within your phone to select all the calendars you want to see. I can't remember exactly where it is but this article might help.

There should be a setting like this in Fantastical too, where you can show or hide multiple calendars.

https://connect4consulting.com/blog/sync-multiple-google-calendars-iphone-ipad/
posted by Brittanie at 9:33 AM on May 8, 2020


I have subscribed to my Google calendar from my Macintosh and my iPhone by adding my Google account to those devices. However, that only brings in the events from my own Google calendar. It doesn't transitively bring in the calendars that I'm subscribed to via my Google calendar. Is there a way I can make it do that?

Yes. First you have to go to a somewhat-hidden preference page on the web to tell Google Calendar that you want it to include those shared/private/special calendars in the feed it provides to apps. I have no idea why this isn't on by default. From a web browser where you're logged into the correct Gmail account, you need to visit:

https://www.google.com/calendar/syncselect

Turn on the checkboxes for any/all of the calendars there and hit the Save button (it's in the lower right corner and sometimes depending on the browser you'll have to scroll to see it). Give it a few minutes to propagate and maybe restart your calendar apps to make sure they notice the change.

Since you already have your Google account added on your iPhone & Mac you may have to make the new calendars visible:

In Calendar on an iPhone you do this by tapping "Calendars" down at the bottom of the Calendar app and then checking on whatever checkboxes you need to.

In Fantastical on an iPhone you tap the little box icon near the top left corner of the screen, then Settings, then Calendars.

In Calendar on a Mac you might have to hit "Calendars" near the top of the menu bar to show the Calendars sidebar if it isn't already showing, and then you can check on whatever checkboxes you need.
posted by bcwinters at 10:41 AM on May 8, 2020 [2 favorites]


I had issues adding a shared Google Calendar to my iOS calendar. The syncing was spotty and sometimes just did not happen at all for days or weeks. I tried a lot of things and finally stopped using the iOS calendar app at all. I know that is not a solution for you, but this is just a warning to not assume everything added to the Google calendar will show up in your iOS app.
posted by soelo at 10:58 AM on May 8, 2020


bcwinters, you are amazing. Thank you. I never would have found that because it is not in included in Google calendar settings. That is bizarre, but I'm glad it's solved.

Marking this one resolved.
posted by Winnie the Proust at 11:09 AM on May 8, 2020


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