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Syncing Google Calendar with Entourage 2008

Since I’ve made the switch from Thunderbird to Entourage 2008, one of my missing features is the ability to sync with Google calendar.

I tried using Plaxo, but they sync to your main Google calendar and not any others. This may work well if you only have one Google calendar to sync with, but that wasn’t my case.

I thought about some of the tools like Spanning Sync and gSync but Spanning says it doesn’t work right with Entourage and gSync doesn’t say anything. You’d think that since Entourage syncs with iCal, that it wouldn’t be that hard.

So I’ve come up with two work arounds.

  1. Update my Google Calendar manually with my Entourage 2008 events. Manual I know, but it works.
  2. Use Sunbird and Provider to sync to the Google calendar to my desktop. Then, once a week or so, select all events in my Sunbird calendar, delete them and import the ics file I export from iCal. This is almost a good solution. Still a bit manual, but you can do multiple calendar events at the same time. The downside here is that Entourage creates items in the ics file that Google and Sunbird don’t understand which cause the import to fail. Google Calendar gives me a error and line number though so I just search for the issue in the ics file and manually fix it.

The conclusion? Nothing that I’ve found automatically syncs well. 🙁

I haven’t tried GCALDaemon yet though. It may be a solution. If you try it, let me know. If you find other solutions, I’m all ears!

29 Responses

  1. ptackbar says:

    I would try setting Entourage to sync events and tasks with iCal (Preferences -> General Preferences -> Sync Services) and then use Spanning Sync to synchronize iCal with Google Calendar.

    I’ve been using Spanning Sync (with just iCal and Google Calendar) for a while and it works very well.

  2. Charlie Wood says:

    You’re right–it should “just work” to set Entourage to sync with iCal and then use Spanning Sync to sync iCal with Google Calendar. However, Entourage 2004 had a bug that could cause database corruption when used in this configuration.

    We have several users using Spanning Sync with Entourage 2008 and none of them have yet run into this problem, so hopefully it’s fixed, but we can’t be sure. If you decide to try this, please back up your data first, and let us know how it goes.

    Spanning Sync

  3. Thomas says:

    Charlie, if everything is fixed with Entourage 2008, I may just purchase it. However, I want to be sure before I do so I think I’ll hold out a bit longer. Is Spanning Sync doing any official testing?

  4. Charlie Wood says:


    We haven’t done any testing ourselves against Entourage 2008, but we plan to once we get Spanning Sync v1.2 out the door (which should be very soon). Watch the Spanning Sync Blog ( for updates.


  5. Paul Barnard says:

    Spaning sync, ical and entourage 2008 do not play nice together. The Sync services gets corrupted and then nothing will sync after that. I strongly advise against trying this combination. I have down graded entourage to 2004 (and that was not easy…) and all is well in the Syncing world.

  6. Thomas says:

    Sounds like my manual method is the best bet for now.

  7. Dan says:

    I tried the spanning sync to keep google calendars in sync with entourage 2004, via the entourage/ical sync services. It works for awhile, but then things get corrupted. For now I have given up and gave up using entourage calendar in favor of google calendar and ical – for now. The whole reason I use entourage calendar is that I lease an exchange server slot with a service company, keep my data there, and then it gets pushed/sync’d with my windows mobile device automatically, wirelessly, and in real time. Sadly, I have to give that up for now.

  8. Marc Stress says:

    Hi Thomas ::

    I’m interested to know why you dropped Thunderbird/Sunbird/Lightning in favor of Entourage.

    We’ve recently adopted Google Apps at my office, and are thinking of going the other direction so we can have shared calendars on our desktop.

    I’m just wishing the folks at Mailplane would add gCal functionality to thier app. I think that would be the killer Mac app!

  9. Thomas says:

    Hi Marc, check out:

    Also it’s good to note I came back to Thunderbird.

  10. Piermé says:


    I have Entourage et Google Agenda. I sync between Ical and Entourage (normal function) et between Ical et G’Agenda. It do fine.

    See you.


  11. Spanning Sync has a new post on their blog that with the latest update to Entourage everything is working smoothly now using Spanning Sync:

    Plus, the new Spanning Sync 2.0 Beta is now available to the public, and includes 2-way contact synchronization between google and your address book.

  12. NeilT says:

    If you can sync to ical, you can add your Google account to ical, using the tip here:

  13. David says:

    I am very curious as to how you used Plaxo to sync your Google Calendar. I too thought this process would be easy but it is proving difficult. I only have one Google Calendar so it may work for me, I’m just curious how you did that.


  14. Thomas says:

    Hi David. Back when I used Plaxo, I just logged in and it had the option to add services to sync. One was Google and one was iCal. I’m not sure about how it’s setup now.

  15. Paul Barnard says:

    In case anyone finds this discussion and things there is still a problem I though I would add an update.

    Entourage 2008 synced to iCal then using SpanningSync to sync iCal with Google works perfectly now

    • Floris says:

      Hello Paul,

      could you please tell me how you got entourage 2008 syncing with iCal? it still does not work, they see each others folders, but they do not sync. what is the trick?
      hope you can tell me what you have found out.


  16. Paul Barnard says:


    Entourage 2008 to iCal works fine. In Entourage Preferences select the Sync Services option then enable Synchronise events and tasks with iCal. Use the pull down menu to select which calendar you want entourage to sync with in iCal. That it. From there it should now just work.

    Your comment you make about seeing folders confuses me. AFAIK the calendar facility in Entourage is flat, i.e does not have folders.

    Hope this helps


    • blakeatfixswift says:

      Hi Paul,

      I don’t see the option to select which calendar to sync to in iCal. Entourage just creates a calendar called “Entourage” in i cal, which in turn makes funny faces at the Google one but of course doesn’t synchronize with it. There something i’m missing?

      • Paul Barnard says:


        You make the connection at the other end. In SpanningSync select which google calendar you want to sync with the Entourage calendar that Entourage created in iCal.

  17. aussieaubs says:

    you might want to look at CALGOO – a free sync for osx and syncing google calendars with the mac.

  18. Dylan says:

    I do not understand why everyone is so excited about Entourage. Google apps is an outcome for businesses who used to work with Exchange.. At our company we are using the combination of iphones and macbooks with Apple Mail, iCal and Adress Book..

    • James says:

      Not everyone has the power to change what their company (or in my case, University) is doing. I can’t tell the business school to drop Exchange.

      Well, I could. And they would laugh and laugh and laugh.

  19. Matt says:

    I’m having the complete opposite problem. My Entourage on Exchange won’t stop syncing with my google calendar. I set them up to sync by setting Entourage to sync with ical and then setting ical to sync with google. That way I could enter events on my iPhone, desktop, or Google and have them all use the same calendar. Thought it was working for a while but now I want to stop the syncing and I can’t. All my work meetings show up on my google calendar.

  20. Dave M says:

    I just set up a company that has a couple Macs yesterday with Google Apps. Following Google’s instructions, I was able to get iCal to sync just fine with the Google calendar:

    and then use sync services in Entourage to keep it up to date with Entourage:

  21. Zach says:

    This is just another reason NOT to use said macs….I’ve been on macs for years now and they always have compatibility issues with EVERYTHING. goto ubuntu if you’re freaked out about viruses and are scared of unix. t-bird, g-apps all work there…goto windows if you want syncing to work. leave the macs where they belong: pretty in the apple store window.

  1. 2/22/2008

    […] Syncing up with Google is another issue in itself. […]

  2. 3/11/2008

    […] up iCal and it’d ask me which even was right; the one in iCal or Entourage? Then, trying to update my Google calendar online was another issue in […]

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