Though they may still be fierce rivals, Apple and Microsoft are becoming more accommodating of each other’s products these days. That means if you own an iPhone and use Outlook to manage your calendars, you can sync the two with a few quick steps.
That doesn’t mean the process is entirely without its problems, though. Making sure everything lines up correctly depends on what computer you use and the settings you’ve chosen. If you’re unsure what to do, our handy guide will help you out and get you up and running.
Step 1: Get started with auto sync
First, make sure you have Outlook installed on both your computer and your iPhone, then sign in with the same Outlook account on all your devices. Outlook is free on iOS, but the Mac and PC versions require an Office 365 subscription, so make sure you have this before starting.
Microsoft has made syncing your calendars very straightforward. If you’re logged in with the same Outlook account, any changes you make to your calendars will be synced to all your devices. That means if you add a new event or appointment on your PC, for example, a few seconds later it’ll appear on your iPhone. There’s no need to re-sync every time you create a new Outlook calendar event or change an appointment time. Simple.
Step 2: Choose whether to sync all calendars on Windows
By default, all your Outlook calendars are synced from Windows to your iPhone. If you want a bit more control, you can choose which calendars to sync and which to exclude. If you’re syncing between a Windows PC and your iPhone, open the Settings app on your iPhone, tap your Apple ID at the top, then tap iCloud. Here, move the toggle next to Calendars to the left so that it’s switched off.
Next, hook up your iPhone to your computer with a Lightning cable. On Windows, open iTunes and click the iPhone icon in the top-left corner, then click Info in the left-hand column. This opens a screen where you can sync various things to your iPhone. Tick the checkbox next to Sync Calendars with and make sure Outlook is selected in the drop-down menu.
You can now choose whether to sync all your calendars, or just selected ones; choose whichever option you prefer. Below this you can decide whether to skip calendar events that are older than 30 days. Once you’re happy, click Apply.
Step 3: Choose whether to sync all calendars on macOS
Unfortunately, there’s no equivalent way to choose which calendars to sync from Outlook on a Mac to your iPhone. You can only do this with calendars that are stored locally on your Mac; seeing as Outlook syncs your data to the cloud, you can’t pick and choose what to sync this way.
You can, however, hide Outlook calendars. To do this, open Outlook on your iPhone, then tap the calendar icon in the bottom-right corner. Next, tap your account icon in the top-left corner; from here, untick any calendars that you wish to hide.