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Marta Turnbull

Marta Turnbull

Head of Community at MacUpdate

Marta Turnbull is a MacUpdate OG and has written about technology, marketing and brand creativity for over 10 years. She splits her time between Michigan and Ukraine.

How to Sync Your Calendar from Mac to iPhone – MacUpdate Blog

10 May 2018

How to Sync Your Calendar from Mac to iPhone – MacUpdate Blog

We all love keeping things neatly organized and a good calendar app is our best friend in this case. Calendars let us create appointments, set reminders, and in general, stay updated with everything that matters to us. Without it, we would miss important appointments, forget about our special family events or friends’ birthdays, and even fail to complete crucial tasks. 

Luckily, there are dozens of calendar apps available today, not to mention the classic Apple Calendar. This powerful app lets you easily keep your day organized. You can make changes and then they instantly appear across all of your devices where you have enabled Apple Calendar sync in your iCloud settings. For example, if you’ve changed the time of a meeting in your calendar via your iPhone, it will also be automatically changed on your Mac. 

The best part about the Apple Calendar is that you never have to connect your device to your computer to keep your calendars current. But note that to keep all your data current, your calendar should be synced across all your devices. Now that we’ve covered all of that, let’s find out how to sync iPhone and Mac calendars. 

Typically, there are several common ways to sync your calendar from Mac to iPhone and vice versa:

  1. via iCloud and other cloud-based services
  2. via iTunes.
  3. via special third-party software.

How to Sync Your Apple Calendar via iCloud

First, ensure you follow these steps:

  • Upgrade to the latest macOS (currently, it’s High Sierra) and iOS (currently iOS 11.3.1) versions.
  • Ensure that you are using the same iCloud account for your Mac and iPhone. 
  • Check your iCloud settings to ensure that your calendars are set up to sync to iCloud.

To sync, follow these steps:

  1. Enter your Mac’s System Preferences, click on the iCloud icon and log in with your Apple ID.
  2. Set the same default calendar across all of your devices:

For iPhone, iPad/iPod touch:

  • Enter Settings and then choose Calendar. 
  • Tap Default Calendar and specify the default calendar.

For Mac:

  • Click on the magnifying glass in the upper-right corner of the menu bar to launch Spotlight. Type in Calendar and then double-click the item. 
  • Once the Calendar launches, click Calendar in the menu bar, then select Preferences.
  • Specify the default calendar in the General tab.

for iCloud:

  • Go to Calendar > The Gear Icon > Preferences.
  • Specify the default calendar and click Save.

3. Choose the Calendar.

4. Go to your iPhone settings, choose your iCloud account, select iCloud and then turn on your calendar.

5. Manage your events as you would like to. You’re able to create a new event, update it or delete from any device.

For instance, here’s how to add and share calendars:

To create a Private Calendar (it is created by default):

  1. Tap Add Calendar, then give it a name – let’s use Jim for this example. After changing the name, we can then tap Done.
  2. Tap the "i" icon in the Jim calendar.
  3. Tap Add Person in the SHARED WITH field. Here, you have two options to choose from: either manually enter the email of the person you want to share your Calendar with or tap + and select someone from your contacts.
  4. Tap Add and then determine their access privileges (View and Edit/ View Only).
  5. Finally, tap Done.

To create a Public Calendar:

  • Follow steps 1-5.
  • Scroll down until you see Public Calendar, turn it on and wait for a few seconds.
  • Tap Share Link and choose your preferred sharing option: message, mail, etc. Choose More to see all possible options.
  • Tap Done.

Note: the invited individuals automatically get an email invitation with the calendar’s URL. To accept an invitation to view a shared public calendar, your invitees are not required to be iCloud users.

P.S. What to do if your calendar isn’t syncing to your Mac? Quit the Apple Calendar and then launch it again.

How to Transfer Calendars from Mac to iPhone with iTunes

Along with being a great music player, iTunes is also a reliable tool to backup your iPhone to your Mac. Indeed, you can restore all of your iPhones data from an iTunes backup in case any unexpected issues pop up. Just sync data from your Mac to iPhone. Here’s how:

1. Download and launch the latest iTunes version on your Mac. Then, use a USB cable to connect your iPhone to your Mac.

2. Click the iPhone button in iTunes. Choose Info, then select Sync Calendars and choose All Calendars.

3. Click Apply to transfer the calendar from Mac to iPhone with iTunes. Wait until it’s done and that’s it!

Apps for Calendar Syncing

There are special apps for calendar syncing. The most prominent ones are:

  • BusyCal is a powerful application that allows families and workgroups to share calendars with Google Calendar, iCloud, Apple Calendar Server, and other CalDAV Servers. Plus, it syncs easily with Apple Calendar, iPhone, iPad, iPod Touch, and other apps and devices that sync with iCloud or sync services.
  • Informant is a powerful all-access platform app that perfectly integrates calendaring tasks and notes management together. The app syncs with Google Calendar/Tasks, Toodledo, and Evernote and accesses the Mac’s built-in Calendar and Reminders for perfect integration.
  • AnyTrans is a wonderful iOS content management application that helps you instantly transfer your calendar from iPhone (6/7/8/X) to your Mac in a secure way.  

Apple Calendar Alternatives

Apple’s Calendar, which comes with the integration of smart scheduling for meetings, is great, but sometimes it might not be enough. Here are some of other handy calendar apps for you to try:

  • Google Calendar is beautiful. This calendar works brilliantly across all of your devices, even when on the go and it’s a smart choice for avid Gmail users. However, it might take some time to get comfortable with the app.
  • Fantastical 2 is robust. This calendar app keeps you on schedule no matter where you go. It comes with rich functionality and a beautiful interface.
  • Microsoft Outlook is a true all-rounder. This is another solid app which offers a good set of calendar options. It runs on Windows, Mac, Android, iOS.
  • Calendar 366 is smooth. This calendar app has been recently redesigned and it is easy to see why so many people are happy with the update. Today, it comes with a beautiful design and a solid set of useful features.

As most similar calendar apps can only work on a Mac or iPhone without the ability to sync with one another, all of the Apple Calendar alternatives presented above are cross-platform. They are all set when it comes to syncing between your Mac and iPhone. In other words, you can’t go wrong with any of these options!

Key Takeaways

It’s great when your life is neatly organized and you stay-in-the-know with everything happening around you. Having a good calendar app that is synced across all the devices that you are using is a real helper as it basically organizes your life so you don’t miss important events that are happening! Download one today!

Marta Turnbull

Marta Turnbull

Head of Community at MacUpdate

Marta Turnbull is a MacUpdate OG and has written about technology, marketing and brand creativity for over 10 years. She splits her time between Michigan and Ukraine.

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