How to Sync Email, Contacts and Calendar with iCloud

The new iCloud replaces MobileMe, Apple’s previous tool for syncing personal information data like email, contacts and calendars. While I would recommend using something more feature-rich like Google Apps, which has all three and adds Google Docs and much more, you still might want to use the new iCloud feature to have a second copy of the content. Who wants to be beholden to one company with this very important data? You might also prefer to use iCloud because you don’t want another account and you get iCloud as part of the Apple ecosystem.

To set up iCloud sync you only have to set up iCloud and be sure to turn the features I mentioned on in Settings. Let’s start with your Mac computer.

Mac iCloud Sync

To take advantage of this feature you will have to update to the latest version of OS X Lion 10.7.2. Download the update from the Software Update menu item under the Apple Menu. Once you download and update your computer, you can find a new iCloud item in Settings.

iCloud is in Settings

If you haven’t already, it will ask you to create a new account or move your MobileMe account over to an iCloud account. You will no longer have access to your MobileMe account after making the move, so think carefully. The good news: you get an extension of your MobileMe account until June 30, 2012.

The first three items on the list of functions in the iCloud Settings handle these three functions. Make sure they are checked and you’re good to go!

iCloud Settings

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You will now have a new account in iCal, Mail and Address Book. Go into the Preferences of each application to rank your iCloud first to make it the preferred account for each.

Windows iCloud Sync

To setup iCloud on a Windows PC you will need to install the latest version of iTunes 10.5 and the iCloud Control Panel. Once installed, the iCloud Control Panel will ask for your iCloud user name and password.

iCloud Sign In

Next it opens the actual Control Panel where you can choose which elements to sync. Before you actually start checking boxes and hit Apply, be sure to run Outlook at least once so you have it setup. If you don’t, iCloud Control Panel will not work.

iCloud Control Panel

The Control Panel will sync your iCloud Mail, Contacts and Calendars & Tasks with Outlook. You can also sync other things, like Photo Stream (read How to Get iCloud’s Photo Stream Working on a Windows PC) and your bookmarks with Internet Explorer.

iOS 5 iCloud Sync

The steps work similarly on your iOS device, if you have iOS 5. Open the Settings app and choose iCloud. If you haven’t already enter your iCloud credentials or set them up and then turn on the first three items on the list.

After doing the above, you will have a new Mail, Contacts and Calendars account.

iCloud Settings in iOS 5

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Parts of this article was also contributed by Sumocat.

Comments

  1. Jean says

    I currently have in iPad which I upgraded to iOS 5.

    My goal is to use iCloud to keep my Outlook calendar and contacts in sync with the iPad.

    If I use this utility, will it allow me to sync the contacts and Calendar in Outlook (on my Windows PC) to iCloud and then sync the iPad with iCloud?  Will this then allow contacts and appointments that are entered into the iPad to be kept in sync with those in Outlook?  And viseversa?

    • Doug says

      Jean, you are correct and when set up properly, all IOS devices will stay sync’ed. Simply install icloud on your PC. Then turn on the iCloud features you want managed on all your devices. If you have an address book in Outlook you will no longer really need it. Make sure one of your IOS devices has an up to date contact list. When you turn on iCloud you will see an iCloud contacts list in Outlook as well as an iCloud calendar. Make a change to one and all other devices will be updated. I do not sync mail. It really does not sync mail anyway across different providers.

      • Anonymous says

        On Windows 7,  you need Outlook 10 or 11 and
        iCloud Control Panel for Windows(http://support.apple.com/kb/DL1455), 

        1. Open Outlook.2. From the Tools menu,
        choose Account Settings.3. In the Email tab, click New.4. Select the “Manually
        configure server settings or additional server types” checkbox, then
        click Next.5. Choose Internet E-mail, then
        click Next.6. In the Your Name field, enter
        what you would like your recipients to see when they open a message from
        you, such as your full name, company name, or even a nickname. Below that,
        enter your full me.com address or mac.com email address.7. For Account Type, choose IMAP.
        Then, enter p06-imap.mail.me.com as your Incoming mail server (IMAP).8. The Outgoing mail server (SMTP)
        is p06-smtp.mail.me.com.9. The User Name field should
        already be filled with the first part of your email address (before the @
        symbol).10. Enter your password below.11. Click More Settings.12. Click the Outgoing Server tab
        and enable the “My outgoing server (SMTP) requires
        authentication” option. “Use same settings as my incoming mail
        server” should also be selected.13. Click the Advanced tab.14. If you would like to use a
        secure connection to the me.com or mac.com servers, enable both of the
        options for “This server requires a SSL-secured connection.” The
        Incoming server (IMAP) port number automatically changes from 143 to 993,
        but you will need to manually change the Outgoing server (SMTP) from 25 to 587. If you are configuring the account as POP, the Incoming server
        changes from 110 to 995.15. Click OK.16. Click Next.17. Click Finish.
        Good luck.

    • DougRencher says

      Using Windows 7 and Outlook 2010, I found the “Address Book” push button on the top ribbon of Calendar and Contacts window.     Opening up the “Address Book” window I find a drop down list push button (upper right corner)     From this list I can select the Address  Book associated with the “iCloud –> Contacts - iCloud” group (a group moved from my now empty My Contacts -> Contacts -Outlook group .

    • Debbie says

      Agree! Synch not working on my outlook either but looks like its random…some works, some does not….

  2. Calpoet says

    I’m having trouble getting I Cloud mail with the Apple mail icon.  It’s listed as an account, but when I check mail it only checks the g mail account.  I’m running Mac OX 10.7.2   Any ideas?

  3. Desertbruin says

    Just uploaded iCloud. Love the new features in Mail, especially when it separates the ADS from my people contact emails. Thank you

  4. CDE says

    My iCloud worked to sync my calendar from Outlook to both my MacBook iCal and iPhone clendars last week, but will not work this week.  Nothing has changed – very frustrating.  Any suggestions?

    I am running Lion, have an iPhone 4s and new pc, running Outlook 2010.  iCloud for Windows is installed and running on the PC and it is open and running on both my MacBook and iPhone.

    Any help is appreciated.

    Chad

  5. Alan says

    I recently bought my first iphone, a 4S.  I use a PC with Windows 2007 & Office 2010.  After spending about two days sifting through my Outlook contacts I finally got them onto my phone as I wanted them together with my email accounts, but I have tried repeatedly to sync my calendar without success.  Even after 3.5 hours on the phone with Apple customer service including with a senior technician and still without sucess I was told to take my phone and laptop to an Apple store to sort it!!!  This does not impress me at all and I still don’t have my calendar on my phone after trying itunes and icloud.  Anyone else had this problem?  

  6. Nevadajohns says

    I cannot sync my calander on my Ipad with my PC …Vista. My calander and contacts sync fine, but not the calander.

  7. Alan Harrison26 says

    I am still having difficulties in syncing my calendar onto my iPhone 4S. 
    I took delivery of the phone on 7th November 2011. I also have a Nokia mobile phone which I can sync without any problems. 
     
    Initially, using iTunes I was able to sync my email accounts onto the iPhone as well as my contacts with Microsoft Outlook.   After discovering that the majority of them were duplicated two or three times, I spent nearly two days sorting these out. 
     
    I then tried repeatedly to sync my calendar via USB without success.  I therefore rang the Apple support line for advice.  After spending an hour on the phone with a male adviser, making adjustments to the settings on my computer and trying to sync via iCloud I was no nearer a solution.  I was given a case number.
     
    A day later I again contacted Apple support for help.  This time I spent two and a half hours on the phone with a young lady in Cork as well as about half an hour with a senior technician trying to sort out the issue.  Again making what I considered radical changes to my computer.  But without any resolution.  At the end of all this time I was asked to take my iphone and laptop  to an Apple store to sort out the issue.
     
    I therefore made an appointment with the Genius bar at the nearest store at Meadowhall, Sheffield and attended there on Monday 5th December at 09.40.  When I spoke to the technician and explained my problem he told me he had no knowledge of Microsoft  Outlook and that the iPhone was not compatible with Microsoft programmes!!!!  However with the assistance of a colleague we did manage to sync my Outlook calendar with the phone via USB on that one occasion but this was more by good luck than good management as he did not know how and could not explain to me how it had been done. 
     
    We then tried to carry out the sync via iCloud, which was unsuccessful.  They said I had too many entries (about 1700No) in the calendar and that the iCloud remote server did not have the capacity to cope with this and that it was unlikely to be able to do so in the foreseeable future.  I asked if this could be remedied and was told I could try deleting some of the entries but would have to do this manually!  So my problem was still not resolved.  I returned home, after a round trip of about 65 miles and practically another day wasted and very annoyed and frustrated.
     
    Since then I have tried syncing at home via itunes and icloud but still without success.
     
    This iPhone is claimed to be the best mobile on the market and yet it will not do a basic function I need.  If the phone is not compatible with Microsoft software then this should be made clear in the advertising. 
     
    I have spent many many hours trying to get this issue resolved and believe I deserve some compensation and a resolution to the problem or at least an explanation of why it cannot be done.
     
    I am now at a loss as to how it can be done.  I wish I had never bought the phone.

    • Kitty Lynn says

      I agree. I have always been a outlook calendar-sync fan on my iphone. Icloud has ruined it, and I am considering deleting the whole icloud mess, and getting another brand of phone when my phone renewal comes up. My issue is that now, after lots of help with a level 1 expert from Apple, my calendar sync worked for a day or so, but now it closes if I just work one entry after opening it. I will call him again to see if he can help. Then if not, I will ask him to help me get rid of it.

  8. SH says

    My iPad2 only syncs the names of my contacts with iCloud, but none of their information.  That side of the page is completely blank. is there a fix?

  9. Nikki Hilliard says

    i have a new 4s which worked fine in syncing with my Outlook 2007 without iCloud for my contacts and calendar.  After iCloud installed, it no longer syncs properly with my Contacts or Calendars from Outlook.  Also, in iTunes it doesn’t show microsoft outlook as a choice.  How do I fix this?

    • Alan Harrison26 says

      See my comments above. I’m sending mine back. Pity as it could be a good phone but most of the emphasis seems to be on music and buying apps but I think there will always be problems while there are conflicts with windows software.
      Alan

  10. Cmkosta says

    New Appointments don’t sync to iCloud from iphone. 

    When I first set it up it worked perfectly for a couple months, now when i put appointments on my phone they don’t update the appoitmnents in Icloud.  I have tried all the apple suggestions. Any thoughts?

    Carol

  11. Jmc350nc says

    I’m trying to use iCloud with Windows 7 and Outlook 2010.  I had MobileMe and gave up on it for the same reasons expressed above.  Once I would get it to work after hours on the phone, it would cease working for no apparent reason.  After many tries, I deleted it from my laptop and cursed the day that I had installed it.  Same with iCloud; I’ll keep usb-syncing until the day that Apple gets it right before they introduce it to great fanfare.

  12. Karen says

    I downloaded iCloud control panel. Went through all the steps and seem to have lost all entries in my Microsoft calendar/contacts. Granted they aare in the cloud but I’d still like them in my desktop calendar too. What do I do now?

    • lee says

      i had to do a restore system to earlier date to get my outlook calendar entries back. Still have not had success synching icloud with outlook 2010 yet. waiting on the geek squad to contact me for further help.

  13. Kristina Keyton says

    Is there any way, just using the add account feature in Outlook 2007 to bring iCloud mail and calendars into Outlook without using the iCloud control panel?  My netbook runs XP, so I cannot put the iCloud control panel on it.  My only reason for wanting to do this is to be able to print out my calendar, so if anyone knows a way (other than printing screen shots) to print my calendar from my iPad2 or from http://www.icloud.com I will appreciate that information just as much!

  14. bing prads says

    How could i sync my calendar on my iphone 4s to my icloud account over icloud.com? i have new entries on my iphone but when I opened my icloud account, these new entries are not visible. But whenever I make new entries on my calendar through icloud.com using my mac, the new entries are automatically reflected on my iphone.

  15. Irish Cookies says

    I do not have Outlook. I have a PC with Windows Vista and Windows Mail. But would like to sync my google calendar with icloud. I have not been able to sync all my calendars

  16. Jaschipf says

    HELP!! I am just getting into all this as we did not have cell service where I live. I got an IPhone 4G for Christmas and just last week updated my IMac computer to IOS Lion. After numerous phone calls to Apple and finally reaching a “senior” tech I discovered that my Hotmail had taken over my calendar so that there is no sync between the phone and the computer.  The tech said it is possible to do but she said she could NOT tell me how to do it. She told me to google it. Can I do it? If I go to Hotmail and turn the calendar off will it do it then? She would not tell me anything.

  17. Al says

    Bottom line, Apple does not support syncing Outlook Calendar and iCloud Calendar on the PC. On the Mac they do. The iCloud PC installed “tool widget” strongly implies that the syncing is possible. Not true. I called Apple and they said “not possible”. Both calendars can coexist inside Outlook but they remain “unconnected”. Not good for syncing Outlook’s calendar to iPad and so on.

    So, what’a guy going to do? Install CodeTwo’s “Sync for iCloud” (free). I was suspicious. How can this work when the mighty Apple says “too hard”, in effect. It worked perfectly and now when I enter a cal event into either calendar both are immediately sync’ed. Amazing, after many hours trying to solve this. Bravo to CodeTwo! Nice work.

  18. Ray says

    I use iCal on my iMac (running OS X Lion,) and a third party software to synch with my Android phone (Missing Sync.) I notice that, after turning on iCloud, all of my calendars are now listed under iCloud and not On My Mac. Consequently, Missing Sync does not recognize them as calendars that can be synced anymore. I would rather sync my iCal with my Android so, how do I move the calendars back into On My Mac? Thanks in advance!

  19. Tina Cincinnati Kenwood says

    Not to sure the genius bar lives up to its name. I have had a problem with my camera. It is hit or miss. No my finger is not over the whole. So I took it to the Kenwood store. He takes one look and says I don,t see a problem. Then offers a new one for a hundred dollars. My battery life is poor. No problem with that.
    I am afraid. The Apple that we once knew, has changed. Let us bow our heads in pray. I don,t think there is even a newer I phone out there.

  20. Karen Bendtsen says

    I have installed iCloud on my Ipad. But I had to create a new account in @me.com.

    My calendar with all my important details is created in hotmail.com and I cannot sync them in icloud.

    What can I do?

  21. Ken Cotton says

    I ran a sync between Outlook on my computer and iCloud last night, now all my contacts and calendar entries are gone from Outlook. Not exacttly the result I was hoping for when I did the sync.

  22. randy k says

    I have two I phones 4 and I pad and a big Mac; iCloud will not sync with these products; why not? This is what it’s suppose to do; iCloud is on for all systems but does not sync. We’ve had nothing but problems from day one with iCloud

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