Sync iPad Contacts, Calendar, Bookmarks Using Outlook, Gmail, Yahoo or MobileMe

Sync your iPad contacts, bookmarks (safari), or calendar with programs such as Outlook, Gmail or Yahoo.   Want to keep your Gdocs in sync?  Here is your complete guide with some great troubleshooting tips.

If you have an iPad then you know that one of the things you want to do is keep all your important items synchronized such as your calendar, web browser and contacts.  Perhaps you use Outlook, Yahoo!, Gmail or MobileMe.

We will cover how to sync your iPad’s calendar, contacts and bookmarks with MobileMe, your Mac desktop, Outlook, Gmail or Yahoo.

Sync iPad Contacts, Calendar, Bookmarks with MobileMe

To synchronize your calendar, contacts and safari with MobileMe:

If you are using MobileMe then you want to make sure that on your iPad you go to Settings > Mail, Contacts, Calendar > Accounts .Mac >.  Make sure you turn ON the Calendar, Contacts and Bookmarks options.  Now, on your Mac go to System Preferences > Mobile Me > Sync >.  Make sure you check Calendars, Contacts and Bookmarks.  Once this is checked your iPad will begin syncing over wireless/3G.

To synchronize your calendar, contacts and safari with your desktop Mac:

Connect your iPad to your Mac and open iTunes > click the iPad icon > click the Info tab.  Check the programs you want to synchronize with including your iCal, Address Book, and/or Bookmarks.

Warning: If you are using your desktop/laptop to sync with your iPad AND you are using MobileMe there can often be duplicate entries at first, so you can always go back and reset all your data or you can just choose to synchronize with one method or the other.

Tip: If MobileMe is not syncing then you can do the following.  On your iPad go to Settings > Mail, Contacts, Calendar > Accounts .Mac.  Turn OFF all of the sync options (and if they weren’t turned ON this may be the issue).  Reboot the iPad.  Now turn them all back on. This may help.  If it does not, you can then turn them all OFF again, go on your desktop/laptop and go to System Preferences > MobileMe > Sync > Advanced. Reset all your sync data.

To sync your calendar, contacts, and bookmarks with Outlook (2003/2007/Express)

This one is a bit more tricky.  If you are using Outlook 2007 there is a known issue that Apple is working on in regards to syncing the with Outlook 2007.  Before you try to synchronize your Outlook calendar or contacts you may want to do the following in this Apple support document.

Once you have followed the above document you can connect your iPad to your PC and open iTunes > click the iPad icon > click the Info tab.  You can now choose to sync your Outlook contacts and calendar. You can also choose to sync your bookmarks from IE.

Yahoo!, Google Calendar, Windows Contacts

Connect your iPad to your computer.  Once iTunes opens > click the iPad icon > click on the Info tab.  Check the box next to ‘Sync Contacts with‘ and select either Google Contacts, Outlook, Windows Contacts, or Yahoo Address book.

Note: If you sync with Yahoo! Address Book, you only need to click Configure to enter your new login information when you change your Yahoo! ID or password after you’ve set up syncing.

To Sync Your GDocs or Google Docs

If you use Gmail and Google docs then you might be wondering how to synchronize your gdocs with the iPad.  The best way to do that is with an app.  One of the most popular (and highest rated) apps for keeping your Google docs in sync is called GoDocs ($3.99).  GoDocs allows you to do the following:

  • View all your Google docs in one place
  • Download all your Google docs
  • Keep in full sync with your Google docs
  • Use multiple Gdoc accounts
  • View all your documents, spreadsheets, presentations and PDF’s

We hope this guide has been helpful.  If you need any additional help, let us know by reaching us on Twitter (@ipaddaily) or adding a comment at the end of this post.

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Originally posted 2010-07-06 08:18:37.


  1. Les F says:

    Great advice Shane! I was actually wondering how the iPad would work with my Google Contacts.

  2. Shane says:

    You are more than welcome Les – - Next up: the bloggers guide to the ipad!

  3. Danny Frank says:

    Why pay MobileMe? Google now supports iPad… I am syncing everything from Google for free and it's working great… They even sync iCal with Google Calendar.
    CalDAV: CalDAV Calendar Sync
    Sync your Google Calendar with your Apple device (including iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch) and always have your schedule at your fingertips.
    Note: You can also use Google Sync to sync your Calendar and Contacts. It is possible to run CalDAV sync and Google Sync simultaneously.

    Syncing via CalDAV is only available for Apple devices running software version 3.0 or above. Learn more about checking the software version on your device.
    Getting Started

    To sync with your device, follow these steps:

    1. Open the Settings application on your device's home screen.
    2. Open Mail, Contacts, Calendars.
    3. Select Add Account…
    4. Select Other.
    5. Select Add CalDAV Account.
    6. Enter your account information:
    * In the Server field, enter [ ]
    * In the Username field, enter your full Google Account or Google Apps email address.
    * In the Password field, enter your Google Account or Google Apps password.
    * In the Description field, enter the name you'd like to appear on the account.
    7. Select Next at the top of your screen.

    After you've completed setup, open the Calendar app on your device and syncing will automatically begin.

    By default only your primary calendar will be synced to your device. You can sync additional calendars by visiting the following page from any web browser:

    (Google Apps users can go to…, replacing 'your_domain' with your actual domain name.)

    Select the calendars you'd like to sync, and click Save. The selected calendars will display on your device at the time of the next sync.

    1. Nancy says:

      This works on the calendar great but how do I sync my gmail contacts from my laptop to my ipad? This has been so frustrating. Thanks so much for any help you can give me.

  4. Shane says:

    Danny – Wow! Thank you for that incredible reply. I agree with you here. I have been using Mobileme for quite some time but with the massive amount of storage i get with google, it is devaluing my $99/year. At some point apple needs to just make this service free. And thank you for providing those instructions!!! I really appreciate it.

  5. Les F says:

    It's great when some one actually reads a post in its entirety and comes back with a well-thought out reply – IMHO

  6. This is fantastic to have a such a nice sync-ipad-contacts-calendar.
    I am exlited to find this site.

  7. Shane says:

    Thank you!! I really appreciate it. And I hope the article did help!

  8. Sully says:

    Thank you! I couldn't remember how I did this with my iPhone. I got my iPad and could not remember how to sync my bookmarks… Wow- simple/stupid!

  9. Shane says:

    You are more than welcome!!

  10. Select the calendars you'd like to sync, and click Save. The selected calendars will display on your device .
    Thx, for your help.

  11. I broken my iPod touch screen..:)

  12. Shane says:

    You are more than welcome! Hope to see you come back again

  13. [...] did a post on how to keep your calendar and contacts in sync. Here is some additional information to help you keep your Firefox bookmarks in sync with your [...]

  14. webcam says:

    I did this, and it worked, however I have several Google Calendars which are also shared and available (and which appear as delegates in iCal on OS X), but none of those calendars appear in the Calendar app on the iPad…

  15. Shane says:

    Interesting. So do you mean that you have several google accounts with calendars or just several under one account? How many do you have?

  16. Norman says:

    Webcam – I can sync them with using exchange to sync… Here is a good article about it

  17. Shahrayr says:

    I just got an iPad yesterday – the wi fi version. I want the ability to bring all my google docs on it and have it auto-sync whenever it is able to get back on the internet. GoDocs will let me do that? What would happen if the doc was updated while you were offline by someone else it was shared with (or even you from a diff computer)

    1. Shane says:

      Hi There Shahrayr,

      Thanks for the comment. I use GoDocs regularly and it does sync when you open up the app so it has the latest version of what is in your Google Docs online. It actually syncs up when you select a document – so it will go check for the latest version and sync and then open up that document. GoDocs does not let you “edit” the documents, it’s just a reader, so all you can do is read documents.

      Were you looking for an app that also let you edit your Google docs too?

      1. Shahrayr says:

        Thanks for the reply. Yes, I am definitely looking for something which lets me edit the google docs that I have downloaded

        1. Shane says:

          Google now lets you edit your docs without an app :)

          Here is an article but I use this method and then I just open up the edited doc in GoDocs when I want to read it (it’s easier than going to the site). But you can use the method in this article can also get Documents To Go which allows for editing of your documents as well as viewing!

  18. Susan Blake says:

    I am having a challenge figuring out how to sync my calendar & contacts on the following:
    1) Outlook on work laptop/pc–without using itunes. Company has itunes and social networking disabled
    2) iPad 2 calendar
    3) HTC Droid Thunderbolt calendar
    4) Google calendar
    5) Home PC

    I have been syncing the droid with my outlook using the HTC sync tool, which seems to work fine. I mainly want to know how to sync my outlook with the ipad without using itunes. I do have a google account, but when I synced it with the droid (which I had already synched with outlook), I got a lot of duplicates. So I guess I would prefer to do it without using google if possible. If anyone can help me, I would greatly appreciate it! :)

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