A hammer in search of a nail…

This post is for anyone using the iPhone with an existing (non-Google) calendar who also has Google Calendars they want to sync with.

iPhone Calendar

iPhone with Multiple Calendars

iPhone’s new OS 3.1 includes CalDAV support.  I don’t know all the details, but this feature allows you to add a Google Calendar to your iPhone calendar.  Previously the iPhone allowed you to do this via iCal and Google Sync.  Unfortunately, this method meant replacing your existing calendars with the Google Calendars (up to 25).  I sync my calendar to my work account (Exchange) but wanted to add Google Calendar to the mix.  With OS 3.1, you can now do this.

However, the “standard” approach only allows you to sync with your “default” Google calendar.  If you have multiple calendars, it is a bit trickier to get your calendars added, but there is a way!

How To

To add your “default” Google Calendar on your iPhone, follow the instructions on Google’s site here. Once you have this working and can see your calendar in your iPhone’s Calendar app, you are ready to change this calendar to one of your other Google calendars.  In this example, I am going to change to a subscribed calendar in my “Other Calendars” list called “US Holidays”.

  1. In Google Calendar on your PC, click on the down arrow next to the calendar you want to use and select “Calendar Settings” from the drop-down list.
  2. Look in the “Embed This Calendar” section.  In the text box there where you can “paste this code into your website“, you should see something like the following:

    <iframe src=”http://www.google.com/calendar/embed?src=usa__en%40holiday.calendar.google.com&ctz=…

    Note the text “usa__en%40holiday.calendar.google.com” will be something else uniquely identifying your calendar if you use a different source calendar. Write these characters down.

  3. On your iPhone, go to Settings -> Mail, Contacts, Calendar. Under Accounts, click on the Calendar you added above (by default it will be called “Google”).
  4. In the Description field, change the name to something more specific to match your non-default Calendar (e.g., Google US Holidays).
  5. Click on “Advanced Settings”
  6. Click on “Account URL”.  Note that the default entry here will be something like “https://www.google.com:443/calendar/dav/yourid%40gmail.com/user” where “yourid” is your account ID on Google Calendar.
  7. We want to replace the “yourid%40gmail.com” portion with the text we copied down from above (usa__en%40holiday.calendar.google.com).  So in our example you would end up with:

    https://www.google.com:443/calendar/dav/usa__en%40holiday.calendar.google.com /user

    where the text in blue is what was replaced, so don’t delete the leading “/dav/” or the trailing “/user”.

  8. Click the “back” button at the top of the iPhone screen.
  9. Go to the Calendar App on your iPhone.  Wait a few seconds for the Calendar app to sync with Google.  At the top of your screen you should see a button “Calendars”.  Click on this for a list of your calendars (in our example, this will be your original calendar plus the one called “All Google US Holidays”).  Select your new calendar to only show items from it in the calendar view.  Select “List” at the bottom of the screen and you should see any upcoming calendar entries from your new calendar.
  10. Assuming you are seeing the new calendars entries, click the “Calendars” button again and this time select “All Calendars” at the top to view all of your calendar entries combined.
  11. All Done!

If you want to add another calendar, just add your default again (from the Google site’s directions) and then follow the steps above again to rename it and point to a different calendar.


  • I was able to add 4 Google Calendars (which is all I needed).  Not sure what the limit is.  Google Sync has a limit of 25, so maybe that would be the limit here.  If anyone knows, feel free to leave a comment.
  • Each new calendar is assigned a unique color.  Mine matched my Google Calendar colors, which was quite convenient.  Not sure if there is a way to change the colors.
  • When you add a new calendar entry on your iPhone, you now have the option to select a calendar on the “Add Event” screen.
  • I did notice some “lag” while setting up and syncing.  I will post an update if this continues during my normal usage or just occurred during the initial setup.

Comments on: "Multiple Google Calendars on iPhone with CalDAV" (7)

  1. […] Multiple Google Calendars on iPhone with CalDAV « thelepperts blog thelepperts.wordpress.com/2009/09/21/multiple-google-calendars-on-iphone-with-caldav – view page – cached This post is for anyone using the iPhone with an existing (non-Google) calendar who also has Google Calendars they want to sync with. — From the page […]

  2. I can’t begin to tell you how long I’ve been looking for this solution. I’ve bought 2 iphone apps, 3 free programs, and one paid program. Considering all the time and money I’ve wasted, you have really come thru and have literally hit the nail with the hammer. Thank you !!

  3. Your site is my first resource from now on.

  4. Hey there, I came across your site while looking for a solution and found on the link you posted above on how to setup your default account, a link to a google sync settings page. All you need to do is subscribe to your additional calendars from you default calendar in your browser. Go to the link they provide (https://www.google.com/calendar/iphoneselect) log in with your default calendar account, tick the boxes and save. Now you can sync multiple google calendars in a little less hassle then what you are describing here 😉 Works like a charm 😀
    Nevertheless, great job on this post 🙂

    • Mike Culver said:

      I have been trying to get the iphoneselect screen to show all my calendars. The problem i have is that i had a google calendar account but that account was not associated with a google account. When i created a google account i get an error message when trying to view the calendar associated with the google account saying a google calendar already exists. How do you associate an existing google calendar setup under a domain with a new google account? Hopes this makes sense.

    • robnoxious said:

      Great tutorial. Great help. Thanks. – Rob

  5. Wow! Cumbersome to set up, but it totally works! Thanks so much for the info!

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