Apple tip: Setting up Gmail with Google Calendar and Contacts on a MacBook Pro

So, you’ve got a brand spanking new MacBook and you want to configure the default apps to connect to your Gmail account and other Google services like calendar and contacts? Step this way, I’m going to show you how.

iPhone & iPad Users: You might be tempted to try the Microsoft Exchange trick that your iOS device can do which seamlessly connects Mail, Calendar and Contacts with Google automatically. This will not work on a MacBook!

Getting Started

Ready? Let’s get started. Follow these steps:

  1. Fire up your System Preferences app and browse to Mail, Calendar and Contacts (it’s under Internet & Wireless)
  2. You may already have an entry for iCloud. That’s fine. Click the little + button at the bottom to add a new account.
  3. Click Gmail to continue, then fill in your Gmail account details. Also, make sure your display name is configured properly, because that’s what’ll appear on your emails when you send them out.
  4. Click OK to continue and you’ll be prompted to select the Google service you want to synch with. I chose Mail, Calendars and Reminders and Messages (I mean, what the hell is notes anyway?)

Verifying It

You’ll want to verify that this has worked. Open up the Mail app and the Calendar app and you should see messages start to filter through. On your calendar you should see an entry for your Google calendar. Cool.

Power user tip: If you’ve got access to other people’s calendars in Google Calendars, you can also view those in the MacBook calendar app. Simply browse to the app’s Preferences dialog, select Accounts, then Google and click on the Delegation tab. You should see any extra calendars you have access to and be able to switch them on.

Syncing your contacts

Finally, for whatever reason, Contacts don’t seem to automatically be synchronised. Never mind. There’s a quick fix for this.

  1. Open your Contacts app.
  2. Browse to Preferences, then click Accounts. Click the option that says On My Mac.
  3. Check the box that says Synchronize with Google, then enter your Gmail address and password when prompted.
  4. Synchronization will take a few seconds, then you’re done. Hooray!

Et voila! You should now have all your major apps synchronized to Google, giving you the power of local apps with the resilience of Google’s cloud-based data storage!

8 thoughts on “Apple tip: Setting up Gmail with Google Calendar and Contacts on a MacBook Pro

  1. Lauree

    I followed the steps to synch my contacts (iphone to computer) and still not happening – one or two only?
    I don’t know what else to do or check.
    Help is appreciated

  2. Stella Fair

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  3. Ron Lepow

    My wife just got a new iphone 4s. Our set up was working fine on the old one. We share a contact list on Google through Microsoft Exchange. When I copy the set up to add the account on her iphone, it appears to work fine, but when I look in the contact groups screen, the group called “Contacts” is not there. That is the group that is checked on my phone and it works. Can anybody help?

  4. Thomas Roy Mulholland

    Thank you so much, I just changed over to Mac and struggled with this and tried a few other suggestions, yours was fast,simple and it worked great.

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