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Summary:

While I like many aspects of the new Microsoft Windows Phone 7.5, or Mango, software, one key issue I have is lack of support for showing multiple calendars from a single Gmail account. Here’s a simple workaround to fix the problem for your Windows Phone device.

Windows Phone 7.5

While I like many aspects of the new Microsoft Windows Phone 7.5, or Mango, software, one key issue I have is lack of support for showing multiple calendars from a single Gmail account. As it stands now, my HTC HD7 phone is running WP 7.5 with two Gmail accounts: one for personal use and one for work. So I do get the main calendars for each of those accounts on my Microsoft-powered smartphone. But there’s a problem: I don’t have access to all of the shared Gmail calendars that my wife and kids use.

It’s actually not too difficult of a workaround to get multiple Gmail calendars on a Windows Phone device, and the solution is nearly identical to the one I found when the first Apple iPad was launched. Back then, I had to do a similar little trick. Normally, you can configure Google Sync, a service that sends mail, calendar and contact information to non-Google devices, right on your handset. In the case of a Microsoft Windows Phone device, that standard method doesn’t work. Here’s the step-by-step process to get multiple Gmail calendars on a Windows Phone by using Safari on the desktop.

1. Open Safari, then view its Preferences pane. In Preferences, go to the Advanced tab and check “Show Develop menu in menu bar.” If you already have this checked, you can skip this step. Close the Preferences.

2. In the Safari menu bar, you should now see a Develop menu option. Select it, choose the User Agent option and pick “Mobile Safari 4.3.3 — iPhone”. This tells web sites that you’re using the iPhone’s browser. You need to do this to open up the mobile site for the Google Sync service.


In Safari, browse to http://m.google.com/sync, and sign in if needed.

3. Now go to the Develop menu in Safari and choose to Disable JavaScript as shown by the check mark below.

4. Still in Safari, choose to manage your Windows Phone.

5. In the next window, you’ll see that Google says you can sync up to one calendar to your device. Ignore that message because the workaround allows multiple calendar selections. For instance, I chose the calendars for my wife and children.

6. Once you’ve made your selections, click the Save button. That should do it, so don’t forget to undo the User Agent change and re-enable JavaScript in Safari. On the Windows Phone handse,t you may not see results immediately. To speed up the process and see the new calendars, just go into Settings, Email + Accounts, and tap/hold on your GMail account. Choose the Sync option.

Here’s a before and after look on my own phone: All the shared Gmail calendars I need are on my Windows Phone.

 

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  1. One caveat here… you may have to make sure Safari is logged in as you before you change the user agent and what not. That was a necessary first step for me. I’m using Google Apps for Your Domain, if that even matters.

  2. i notice you are still on iOS 4.3.3.

    i assume that is because you always wait for tethered jailbreak before upgrading?

    1. This has nothing to do with iOS. It’s just changing the user agent that desktop Safari sends.

  3. This is awesome!! Thank you so much!! Now I can give Windows phone a fair trial before deciding whether to stick with iPhones. The whole calendar is one of my biggest grips. I still hate that I need a separate app for the week view (why wouldn’t they have this? it’s standard on outlook!!) but now that I can see all of our calendars (sync’d between hubby, kids, work, etc.) I can tolerate the lack of week view better. Thank you again!!

  4. Thank you so much for posting these instructions! Now I can give Windows phone a fair try before deciding whether to go back to iPhone. I was already not happy about the lack of week view without a separate app (what is up with that?! Week view is standard in outlook!) then to think that I couldn’t see all our calendars, I was just about to send the phone back! But now, thanks to you, no need! They need to look at pocket informant from iphone app to see how to do the calendar properly! Thanks again!

  5. Although I have all the settings described above, I cannot access the page where you manage your devices. can anyone send me the direct link to the configuration site for WP7?
    I can acces the config site for iPhone (https://www.google.com/calendar/iphoneselect) and hope that it also works for WP
    thanks

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