How to Sync Multiple Calendars to the iPad With Google Sync


Yes, we’ve covered Apple’s iPad (s aapl) quite a bit this week. While there are other happenings in the mobile tech world, this was a big one — besides, I haven’t blogged much about it just yet. Oh, I will — I’ve been spending time with the device in bits and pieces over this holiday weekend — but I wanted to let the dust settle in terms of coverage. However, there’s one tidbit I wanted to share now, simply because it solves a problem for Google Calendar (s goog) users that want to sync events with their iPad using Google Sync.

The problem is — using a Microsoft Exchange (s msft) setup for Google accounts currently works for one single calendar on the iPad. I can’t have that, so I scoured the web for a workaround, found one in a MacRumors forum, and used it successfully. Here’s the method to use until Google addresses the issue for Apple’s iPad — you’ll need to use the Safari browser, although this might work with user agent string spoofing on other browsers too:

  • Open Safari and 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.
  • In the Safari menu bar, you should now see a Develop menu option. Select it, choose the User Agent option and pick “Mobile Safari 3.1.3 — 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 and sign in if needed. Normally you’d do this on your mobile device, but Google isn’t yet recognizing the iPad properly. If you try to configure Google Sync from the iPad, it will say “Sorry, Google Sync is not supported on this device.”
  • Now go to the Develop menu in Safari and choose to Disable JavaScript as shown by the check mark below.
  • Still in Safari, choose to manage your iPad. In my list, it’s the most recent device, but if you use Google Sync across multiple devices, it could appear anywhere in the list.
  • 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 now allows multiple calendar selections. For instance, I chose three primary calendars and three shared calendars, offering both work and family events in one single view.
    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 iPad, here’s what the result looks like less than a minute after I ran through these steps:

[digg=]I’m sure Google will address the one calendar limitation with Google Sync, but until they do, you can easily work around the issue in just a few minutes. Hopefully that helps — and now I’m off for some more iPad playtime so I can share all my thoughts soon.

Related iPad Content from GigaOM Pro (sub req’d)



Thank you very much! Took me some time to get this to work, though.

Since I’m in The Netherlands I had to add ?hl=en so the Google Sync url would read Otherwise the message (in Dutch) would be “device not supported”. I love my iPad even more now.


Do the color match what you have on your Mac? I’m having trouble getting them to work correctly. The calendars match but not the color scheme.

Pat Patterson

I found that I was able to use my iPhone to go to and manage the iPad’s calendars – no browser impersonation required!


Hey Kevin,

this actually also works from the iPad:

go to
If it says that there’s no service available or the device isn’t supported, make sure you have English (US) selected as language.
select the appropriate device (iPad) as shown on your 4th screenshot and then you can select the calendars as well :)


Best comment ever! Thank you. I could not quite get it to work. Went to on my ipad, selected my ipad, and clicked on my wife’s calendar. When to my iCal and the little “calendar” button finally showed up in the top left corner and everything worked! Yay! Before, I tried to follow directions, but it just would not work for me even though I did find a screen where I was allowed to choose her calendar. Oh well. All’s good now.


Perfect!! It work! Much simple way. So i change m’y language from french to english and it work, thank you

Felton Brown

Thanks for the insightful post. For some reason my ipad isnt showing up in my sync list. The only thing I see is a very old iphone sync from september 09′. Please advise.



IPad returns that I can only set up one Microsoft exchange account. As I already have my office email account through MS exchange I am not able to set up the Google account. Anyone a solution?

Kevin C. Tofel

Laeven, that’s a limitation to the iPhone OS and there’s no workaround. Same problem would appear on iPhone or iPod Touch as a result. However, with iPhone OS 4, due to hit the iPad in the fall, you’ll have the ability to use multiple Microsoft Exchange accounts.

Joe Easterly

My only concern is why Google disabled syncing with more than one Calendar. Their sync system often seems less than reliable (I’ve been burned many, many times by contact sync screwups), and perhaps this limitation was to protect your calendar data. Just because you can trick their calendar sync doesn’t mean you should.


Thanks Kevin, great stuff! However, it worked for me without disabling JavaScript.


i’m confused so excuse my ignorance. Do you have to do this on the computer that the Ipad is synched to? Because I cant find any of the safari options you talk about above on my ipad…and I synch to a windows 7 computer – is that going to be an issue?


Thanks so much for this. worked like a gem. saved me a ton of time!! merci!!!!


This is great, thank you!!! Worked well, Don’t forget to Disable JavaScript


I carefully followed the instructions but I am unable to select more than one calendar in the settings screen.


I just saw Slayton’s comment with the solution (disabling JavaScript). Now it allows multiple selections. Thx Slayton!


Since nobody has answered this: If you don’t see a list of devices, it’s because you have to setup the iPad to sync with Google Calendars over Exchange first, which is a separate process. Follow the link in the first paragraph to get to Google Sync, then follow the link there for directions for the iphone. Once you go through that process, when you go back to, you will see your iPad there, and then the rest of this article applies.

{WLQ} Photography

I’ve just done this and it works!! Thanks!

To all those questioning why they don’t see it on their version of Safari.. the pictures show a desktop version of the client. Essentially, all you are doing is mimicing the iphone browser (mobile safari) on your desktop and enabling the settings.

Japan Australia

Seemed to be huge buzz for the iPad as always with apple products. There have been some critism of the iPad ranging from Apps to video playback.


I am with you except when you chose to manage your ipad. I dont see that on the safari screen. Where did you see that list with iPad at the top?


when I get to my google sync settings for the ipad it’ll only let me check one box, won’t let me check any others…

anyone else have this problem?


I have the same problem. I tried in Chrome and firefox and I can’t check any of the boxes


had the same problem. key is to ‘disable javascript’ and it’ll allow you to checkmark and save.

Robby Russell

Thanks so much for this. Worked perfectly! :-)

Was really frustrated that I couldn’t get all my calendars to show up on here… but could on my iPhone. :-D

Seriously… thanks!


Kevin I am with you except when you chose to manage your ipad. I dont see that on the safari screen. Where did you see that list with iPad at the top. I don’t see that. Also does this then mean that the calendar will sync over wifi? or only when I physically hook up the ipad to the laptop and sync through itunes? Thank you.


Shoot. Never mind. Got it. Thank you for the great tip. I was working on how to do this when I first saw your write up.



what allows google to see that you now, in fact, own an ipad?

when I put in my browser (after following instructions), I only have the option of altering my iphone calendars.

it seems as though google doesn’t know that I have an ipad yet. I want to tell them really bad, but don’t know how.



Nice find Kevin. On the iPad first day for work use and working great so far. Doing everything I normally do on Netbook. :)


I can confirm that this also works for Google Apps (for your domain) users, although it takes a few extra clicks, and I had to log in twice.

Follow Kevin’s instructions exactly, but after logging in look in the middle of the page where it says:

Google Apps user?
Configure your domain at

Click that link, then you’ll see a page with little buttons for the individual Google services. Below the buttons look for:

Google Apps user?
Tap to configure for your domain

Click that, and a dialog opens at the top of the window prompting you to enter your domain. Enter the domain and press the Go button.

Now, I got a green box at the top of the window showing my domain name and several buttons. Click the “Sync” button.

On the next screen click “Sign in with your Google Apps Account.” Enter your user name and password.

NOW, you will finally see the magic page called “Google Sync – Manage Devices” and your iPad should be listed. Disable javascript and click on the iPad link to see the list of your calendars. Check the calendars you want on your iPad and press the “Save” button on the bottom right.

As soon as I went back to my iPad all of the calendars had magically appeared.

Good luck.

Kevin C. Tofel

Thanks for the Google Apps steps, Robert. I was already signed into Google Apps prior so I didn’t have to run through them, but other surely will. :)


Brilliant. I am a PC guy but I have an iphone.
I managed to do this on my iphone with turning off Java in the settings.
Working like a charm.
Thank you so much.

Rafael espinoza

Thanks a million! This worked great! the functionality of the iPad calendar is now better than my iPod Touch, because I can now toggle off calenders too! Great explanation and walkthrough.

Curtis Carmack


CalDAV works great and is what I used with no problem when I first fired up my iPad. Some users, however, need to be able to send invites, which I’ve heard CalDAV does not support on Google Apps.



Don’t have an iPad, but can you use CalDAV? Works great with iPhone, supports multiple calendars, and even syncs calendar colors between gCal and iPhone! All without Exchange support.

Comments are closed.