Google Calendars not showing in iOS7

Google Calendars not showing in iOS7


I had a reasonably frustrating time with this issue this morning, and it took me about 2 hours to finally solve. So here’s hoping the following might save you a few minutes…

Problem: Google Calendars (eg from Google Apps) no longer show in iOS7 Calendar apps. Also Contacts don’t sync with Google contacts.

Solution: You need to completely delete your Google account from your iPhone and re-add it, making sure you use an Application password (if you use Google 2-step verification).

Scenario

My craigbailey.net email, calendar, contacts, etc are all part of Google Apps. For years these have all working seamlessly on my iPhone and iPad as well as my Android devices – a Nexus 7 and and HTC One.

However for the past week or two my calendar hasn’t been syncing on my iPhone. And after a little testing it turns out my Contacts weren’t syncing either.

Googling this, it turns out to be a pretty common issue, but with a variety of scenarios. My scenario is a little cloudy though, but amounts to this:

  • I upgraded my iPhone 4S from iOS6 to iOS7 on 22 September.
  • I backed up my iPhone 4S on 04 October
  • I inherited an iPhone 5 on 04 October – it was running iOS7
  • I did a complete reset of the iPhone 5
  • I restored my iPhone 4S backup to the iPhone 5
  • I realised on 16 October that my iPhone 5 is not syncing my Google calendar
  • Summary: The iPhone 5 is running iOS7 with my backup restored to it

Why mention this timeline? Simply because given how long it took me to realise the issue, I’m not sure whether the issue is due to iOS7 itself, OR to a restore to iOS7. eg I don’t actually know if the Calendar was syncing back when I upgraded my 4S to iOS7.

Why did it take so long to realise? Well, I use the GMail app for all my mail, and that has worked fine. Whereas I don’t actually use the Calendar app that much.

2-step Verification a possible contributor?

One other important item to note: my Google account uses 2 step verification – which I think is likely quite relevant to the issue.

My suspicion is that restoring a backup to iOS7 somehow voids a previous Google application password for the Google account.

Deleting Your Account

I tried various things (people suggested turning off SSL, just deleting the calendars from Settings, using other calendar app, adding a new Google 2-step application password, etc), but in the end I solved the issue by completely removing my Google Account altogether and then re-adding it.

This might sound scary, but actually you won’t lose anything – it’ll all get re-synced down once you add the account again. Here’s the steps I went through (you can click to enlarge any images):

First, go into Settings, and then > Mail, Contacts, Calendars:

Settings

Here’s how it looks before you delete – that’s my craig@craigbailey.net Google account there:

Before I delete my account

Drill into the account. And click the big red ‘Delete Account’ button. You’ll get the scary confirmation screen. Click ‘Delete from My iPhone’. It’s OK, trust me.

See that big Delete Account button - that's the one you click This is the scary message you get - proceed

You may find that after deleting, Settings then bombs out. That’s fine. Go into Settings again. Here’s how it looks after deleting:

Yep, my account is now gone

Adding the Account back in again

Click the Add Account, and you’ll see this screen.

Choose ‘Google’. In days gone by, you probably chose ‘Exchange’ but you don’t need to do that anymore. Choose Google:

Choose the Google option

Start entering your details.

Start entering your Google App details

Here’s the really important part – if your account uses 2-step verification, you need to enter an Application password here. It’ll be a special once off 16 character password you get from your Google account.

You can get it from here:

https://security.google.com/settings/security?pli=1

then choose the 2 Step verification section (or click here: https://accounts.google.com/b/0/IssuedAuthSubTokens?hl=en&hide_authsub=1)

You can see all your current application passwords  here: https://accounts.google.com/b/0/IssuedAuthSubTokens#accesscodes

Generate a new Application password:

Generate a new Application specific password

and then enter it into your iPhone new account setup:

Important - enter your 2-step verification Application password here It will be 16 characters long

Enter the password, and then set the description as you like:

Name it appropriately

Click Next, and the account will verify. You’ll see a confirmation screen with green ticks – but I forgot to take a screenshot of that.

Click Save and then you’ll arrive back at the main accounts list, and Ta-Da there’s your account added back in:

Ta Da - it's back

And your account will now show in Calendar again:

Yay - my Calendar is back

The default settings for Calendar syncing is 1 month I think – you can set this to be longer (Eg if you want to see all your calendar appointments from months ago.

Other Options

The reason that most of the calendar apps were affected is because they use the main Account settings from iPhone Settings.

However, you can also use a different app that has Google authentication built in (ie similar to how the GMail app does). One example of this app is Sunrise. So, even if after going through all of the above and you still can’t fix it, you could try installing Sunrise and using that instead. It’s actually a really nice Calendar app.

Lamby

And finally, for no good reason, here’s Lamby:

It's Lamby!

 

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51 Comments

Add yours
  1. 1
    CodingFoodie

    Thanks for posting this, Craig!  I was having this exact same calendar problem with the initial setup of my iPhone 5S today. FYI, I was also upgrading with an iCloud backup of my iPhone4S running iOS7.0.2  Curiously, before I reconfigured with an application password, the Birthday calendar was working, but not the main calendar from the gmail account I was using.
    Cheers!

  2. 2
    kateplane

    I have deleted and reinstated my Google Calendar twice now, and I still have one Google Calendar which is not appearing in my iPhone Calendar – any ideas why this might be? Thanks in advance if you’re able to help!  Kate

  3. 6
    Taharka

    One final step is to head over to http://google.com/calendar/iphoneselect if you want to see your shared calendars.

    Great post.

  4. 13
    Erick Yo

    Thanks Craig for such a clean step to set this up. Now I have a question regarding other calendar that I signed (third party calendar) which is Google call them “Other calendar” are NOT sync (i.e. us holidays etc) , but all google cal is. Is there any extra step to make this happen? it was work so well when we’re still using “exchange” methods. Thank you so much!

  5. 14
    Anne

    Hi Craig, Thanks for the tips. It worked for me but before it did I needed to delete the
    Account, then turn off my phone, wait for a few minutes, then I added the Account back in again with success. All other attempts failed for some reason.

  6. 15
    Juan536

    Hello everyone. I use gmail, but it is through my college. I tried everything from home and it did not work! BUT, SYNC DID WORK WHEN I RETRIED AT SCHOOL, ON THE SCHOOL’S NETWORK. This may be an option for people in organizations.

  7. 17
    HeatherClopton

    @Taharka  THANK YOU! You just put the final touch to end 2 days of hair pulling and frustration with calendar and shared calendar syncing issues. I got it all figured out except getting my shared calendars to show up.

  8. 20
    pheller

    If you are having trouble syncing your iPhone 5s with Google calendars, here is a solution that worked for me. I do not use gmail, so following Google’s instructions did not work. 

    Tap Settings on the Home Screen.

    Go to Mail, Contacts, Calendars.

    Select Add Account.

    Choose Other.
    Tap Add CalDAV Account under Calendars.

    Type “https://www.google.com/calendar/dav/youremail@example.com/user” (substitute your email, and without the quotation marks).

    For user name, enter the email address that you use to sign in to Google.
    Enter your Google Calendar Password.

    Enter “Google Calendar” in the description field.
    Tap Next at the top.

    If you get an SSL error, click Advanced and make sure SSL is On.

    • 21
      ChristyB

      Pheller – thank you so much!!! I have been struggling with this for weeks now and tried everything I read on all the threads and nothing worked completely. I too don’t use gmail for my google calendar, which I’m guessing is why nothing worked before. You have saved me!!!!

    • 22
      Keri

      I tried what you wrote & my Google calendar is still blank……I’ve been working on this all day & no luck. Any more suggestions?

  9. 25
    Kristy

    Thank you so much! Your directions were supremely easy to follow and solved a very silly and frustrating problem. I don’t think Google explains how to use the application password very well at all. You are a lifesaver!

  10. 26
    Mac

    Thanks Craig – I had the same issue. Basically I had to do a restore the other day and was wondering why some of my google calendars weren’t appearing. This did the trick!

  11. 28
    Keri

    My Google calendar is blank. I’m trying to import the data from my iphone 5s, ios 7 calendar to Google calendar. I’ve deleted my gmail account from my iphone three times from Mail, Contacts, Calendars settings & re-added. When I tried to generate a new ASP it would not allow me to type in the name box (see below). I also tried suggestions above from pheller and that didn’t work either. Evidently I’m missing something! Any more suggestions?

    Authorized Access to your Google Account

    Application-specific passwords

    An application-specific password can only be created when you are signed up for 2-step verification.

    Some applications that work outside a browser aren’t yet compatible with 2-step verification and cannot ask for verification codes, for example:
    • Apps on smartphones such as Android, BlackBerry, iPhone, etc.
    • Mail clients such as Microsoft Outlook
    • Chat clients such as Google Talk, AIM, etc.
    To use these applications, you first need to generate an application-specific password. Next, enter that in the password field of your application instead of your regular password. You can create a new application-specific password for each application that needs one. Learn more

    Watch the video on application-specific passwords
    Step 1 of 2: Generate new application-specific password
    Enter a name to help you remember what application this is for:

    Name:
    ex: “Bob’s Android”, “Gmail on my iPhone”, “GoogleTalk”, “Outlook – home computer”, “Thunderbird”

  12. 29
    Nicole

    Thanks so much! I just got a new iPhone5s which is loaded a back up from an iPhone 5 onto. I got all of my historical events, but nothing new was syncing. Simply uninstalling and reinstalling did the trick.

  13. 33
    Sabine

    Thanks you! This totally worked and my shared calendars are showing up again. It definitely had to do with restoring a backup to a new phone. My calendars not showing up was driving me nuts. But now all is right again. :)

  14. 34
    Tim

    Thanks! I actually didn’t have to delete my whole account i just flipped the switch for calendars off then on again and it works now!

  15. 39
    Judy

    Thank you for your very helpful and easy advice! This worked like a charm. My calendar is back on my Iphone – what a relief. Much appreciated!

      • 42
        Rick

        Hi Craig – Thanks for your very thorough step by step instructions, however it doesn’t seem to work for me. I have a new iPhone 5S – my wife’s iphone 4S and my iPad 3 all seem to work fine, setup on the old Exchange, but not the new iPhone 5S. I do not have 2 step authentication on my gmail account – could this be the problem? I was scared to death to turn on 2 step authentication and have it mess up my wife’s phone and my iPad3! Between us, we are running 5 different calendars that have always synced quite nicely and continue to do so. It is only this new iPhone 5S that is giving me nightmares – I have only had it for three days and am ready to give it back! I need my calendars to sync on all devices and could use any help you could give! Thank you so much – Rick

  16. 45
    Maarten

    Hmmm. After all these happy reactions here I was quite certain that this was the way to solve my problem. Unfortunately my google calendar still does not show in the calendar app. Thanks anyway for your very clear explanation!

  17. 46
    Nee Nee

    You rock!! I got back phone contacts from previous phone &2 phone crashes. When told by folks at Apple Store there was nothing that could be done to retrieve lost contacts. Well I just retrieved contacts from 7 yrs back. Thank You!

  18. 47
    Dave

    Holy shitballs it worked. This has annoyed me for so long, great share!
    Specifcally what worked: Delete the Gmail Mail account > create App specific Pass in your Google settings > create gmail account again > type app specific password > boom!

    I am running iOS 7.1.2 iPhone 5

  19. 48
    Adie

    I was totally challenged and so swamped with information that was not helpful which led me on a full roundabout journey of annoying crap. That is until I found your site. Just wanted to say thank you so much for helping me to see my calendar on my iphone 4S and love your picture of Lamy.

  20. 49
    Erin

    Thank you!!! After updating today to iOS 8 my Google calendars were just gone. I used your info to get them showing up again which saved my life! Thanks so much!

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