Wirelessly Sync Blackberry with Outlook Calendar for Free

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If you're anything like me, you are addicted to both Outlook Calendar and your Blackberry. I honestly cannot remember how I ever made plans before them. Unfortunately, Outlook and my Blackberry don't love each other. Sure they'll sync when I tether them together via USB, but otherwise they don't talk.

For those lucky users with corporate Blackberries and BES (Blackberry Enterprise Server), this tutorial is not for you. Your calendars are already quite friendly and sync wirelessly. But for those of us with consumer Blackberries using BIS (Blackberry Internet Services), we have to work our own magic to get our calendars to sync.

Don't Pay the Fee...

If you want to take the easy road or have more robust capabilities (such as syncing tasks, memos, and more), there are companies out there that have solved this problem for you. Some of them essentially set up a BES for you and let you transfer your data through it. Others use an application that runs on both your computer and Blackberry to do the wireless sync. Here are just a few you might consider checking out:

  • Link2Exchange - BlackBerry Wireless Sync
  • Nexthaus - SyncJe for Outlook/BlackBerry
  • OfficeCalendar Mobile for BlackBerry
  • Baseline Data Systems - Office Accelerator with Wireless BlackBerry Sync App
  • ExchangeMyMail - Wireless BlackBerry Enterprise Service
  • Syncamatic Live! + Outlook

The major downside to all of those methods is cost. You already bought your phone and continue to pay for your service and data plan. Why would you want to pay an additional monthly fee for wireless data syncing? Fortunately, there is a free way to synchronize your calendars without paying a cent.

...Do It for Free!

Fortunately for us, the folks at Google have provided us with all the tools we need to set up a completely free way to sync our calendars. It involves a two-step process of first syncing Outlook with Google Calendar, then syncing Google Calendar with your Blackberry (and vice versa). While this does introduce a small delay (~15 minutes), it's much faster and more convenient than connecting your phone to your computer.

I'd like to point out that while you must have a Google Account for this to work, you never actually have to access the Google tools after the initial set-up. I personally prefer the additional features of Outlook Calendar so I seldom, if ever, view my calendar through Google. But I guess it's nice to know I have a third location to view the same calendar.

So now that you understand what we need to set up, let's see how it can be done.

Google Calendar Sync

The first step is to download and setup Google Calendar Sync. This is a small application that automatically runs in the system tray of your computer. Once the program is running, you simply need to enter your Google Account information and choose your sync option. Remember, if you don't already have an account, you will have to sign-up with Google.

There are three settings for the sync: 2-way, 1-way from Outlook, and 1-way to Outlook. You will want to choose the 2-way setting to ensure you can add and edit appointments on either Outlook or your Blackberry. You will also want to set the time between syncs to a relatively small number. The minimum is 10 minutes, but anything below 30 minutes should be sufficient.

Google Sync for Mobile

For the second step, you need to configure your Blackberry to also sync with the same Google Calendar. At this step, you actually have two possibilities: configure your Gmail account to also sync your calendar or install the Google Sync app. Despite the ease of simply changing your email settings, I would recommend using the Google Sync app. It is more robust and faster. But both methods will be described below.

BIS Email Settings

If you already have your Gmail account configured in your phone, you can set it up to sync with your Google Calendar. Or, if you just created a Google Account, you will need to add a new email account to your Blackberry. Simply follow these steps:

  1. Go to your "Email Settings"
  2. Choose/Add the appropriate email account
  3. Select "Edit"
  4. Scroll down and expand "Synchronization Options"
  5. Select the box next to "Calendar"
  6. Save and exit

Once these steps have completed, your phone will begin to sync with the Google Calendar and thus your Outlook Calendar. Don't be surprised if the sync is very slow. It varies by carrier, but most people have complained it can take hours for appointments to sync.

Note: if you use multiple Google Calendars, only your main calendar can sync with this method.

Google Sync App

This is the preferred method to sync your Blackberry and Google Calendars. The app will automatically send any changes to the Google servers almost immediately and regularly poll for updates you've made off your phone. Also, the app is capable of syncing with multiple Google Calendars if you have more set up in your account. To use the app, follow these steps:

  1. Navigate to http://m.google.com/sync in the Blackberry browser
  2. Download and install the Google Sync App
  3. Enter your Google Account information
  4. Adjust the synchronization settings and select calendars as desired
  5. Ensure "When To Sync" is set to "Automatic"
  6. Save and exit

That is all you have to do to get your Blackberry and Outlook calendars to sync! If events ever are not showing up properly, you can check the Google Sync App for the last successful sync. Periodically it may be necessary to re-enter your information.

WARNING

Do NOT attempt to use both of these methods at the same time. If you want to try the other, ensure the original one is completely disabled. Otherwise you will get an endless loop of calendar entries being added and re-added.

Also, use the "Contact Sync" options in both methods at your own risk. In my experience I have had it generate endless duplicate entries that were a pain to delete.

And That's It!

With the easy two step process, your calendars will finally be synced whether you are on your computer or out and about on your Blackberry.

If you have any troubles, questions, or alternative suggestions, let me know in the comments below!

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Comments 51 comments

Ms Dee profile image

Ms Dee 6 years ago from Texas, USA

I'm glad to have found your hub to learn about thi! Trying it now :) Thanks!


LoganG profile image

LoganG 6 years ago from Florida Author

You're welcome, Ms Dee! Let me know if you have any trouble!


jorgefrankon 6 years ago

Hi LoganG,

Your Wirelessly Sync Blackberry with Outlook Calendar66

was very helpful for me. I have recently installed it and it seems to work in my BB8310. May be I will need a further help from you if you accept it. Best regards from Buenos Aires, Argentina.


LoganG profile image

LoganG 6 years ago from Florida Author

jorgefrankon, I'm glad you found it helpful. Glad to see it works in Argentina! Let me know what kind of help you need, and I'll see what I can do :).


jorgefrankon 6 years ago

Here again, LoganG. Just a question. If I have two Gmail Accounts, both also installed in my PC in Outlook. Do you believe I can Sync both of them in my BB8310 following your steps with Google Sync App?

Many thanks! Jorge


jorgefrankon 6 years ago

Many thanks for your wellcome!


LoganG profile image

LoganG 6 years ago from Florida Author

Jorge, unfortunately the Google Sync App will only allow you to log into one account directly. However, you have two options on your BB:

1) Share your calendars with the one account you use in the Google Sync App and select all of them to show up on your Blackberry.

2) Use the method described in "Email Settings" above which allows many Gmail accounts to be added.

Keep in mind that while you can use many Google accounts on your Blackberry, you will only be able to use one account with Google Calendar Sync for Outlook. To use more then one account, you're going to have to look into the paid options mentioned above.


jorgefrankon 6 years ago

Many thanks LoganG. Very clear, and as I really trust in the Google Sync App I will use option 1).

It's fine for me. Many thanks! Jorge.


LoganG profile image

LoganG 6 years ago from Florida Author

You're welcome, Jorge! Good luck.


JohnDuffy 6 years ago

thank you so much Logan for your straight up directions on wireless sync of bb and microsoft outlook. works like a charm.


LoganG profile image

LoganG 6 years ago from Florida Author

Thanks JohnDuffy! I'm glad you found my directions useful!


John Duffy 6 years ago

Logan, quick question. I have two calanders on my blackberry under each of my two email address.only one appears to sync to my new google calander and therefore to my outlook calander. Is it possible to have both bb calanders sync through my google account?

thanks much.


LoganG profile image

LoganG 6 years ago from Florida Author

John Duffy, am I correct in understanding you want the same data to show up on both calendars? If both email accounts are set up using Gmail, you could share the calendars through Google Calendar with the other account and sync at least one account using the BIS Email Settings directions above. Unfortunately, as far as I know you can only use the Google Sync for Mobile app with one email account at a time.


john duffy 6 years ago

Thanks Logan. My two blackberry calender's are (by default i think) set up under my two blackberry email accounts. Neither of which are Gmail. One is an optonline.net account and the other a .com with Godaddy. Only the .com calander syncs from my bb to the google calender and my outlook calander. hope this explains my issue a little better.


LoganG profile image

LoganG 6 years ago from Florida Author

Thanks for the clarification, john duffy. Unfortunately Google Sync for Mobile can only sync with the Default calendar on your BlackBerry. If you want to change the default, you can go to Options > Advanced Options > Default Services. You might have to look at some of the paid options listed above to sync two separate BlackBerry Calendars. Sorry!


john duffy 6 years ago

Thanks so much LoganG. You really are the best. You have an exceptional ability to explain things in plain English for us not so savvy IT folk.


LoganG profile image

LoganG 6 years ago from Florida Author

Thanks for the kind words, john duffy! I'm glad I can be of assistance!


dave 5 years ago

Thanks! Calendar is working!

Can we wirelessly and automatically sync contacts?


LoganG profile image

LoganG 5 years ago from Florida Author

Glad to hear, Dave! You are most welcome.

Both methods above will let you sync with your Google Contacts. But unfortunately there is no easy way to sync Outlook contacts with Google.


vardoz 5 years ago

Logan, I've succeeded in syncing my desktop Google and Outlook calendars, but it doesn't do me much good if I can't sync my Contacts between Outlook and Google (and my BB, which I currently sync with Outlook). I'm thinking to abandon Outlook and just use Google for everything. Am I missing something that would be able to link my BB with my desktop, and a mini laptop, all with the same data? Doesn't seem like it should be this difficult. I know most people think Outlook is the most efficient way to manage email, calendar and contacts, but I'm beginning to have my doubts. Any light you can shed would be most welcome. Thanks.


LoganG profile image

LoganG 5 years ago from Florida Author

Hi Vardoz, thanks for the comment. Indeed you are correct that this method is pretty useless for syncing contacts. I know of no free solutions to sync Outlook contacts with Google Contacts at all. I have either done it through my phone or exported and imported manually.

I don't know about you, but I only add a handful of contacts each month. So I generally just plug my phone in to sync its contacts with Outlook. My calendar is the one constantly changing so it needs the wireless sync. And there are no limits to the number of computers that use the Google Calendar Sync option.

You certainly can do it all through Google if wireless sync is your only desire. But I personally prefer all of the additional features and options Outlook provides. For example, I can't even categorize items on a Google Calendar or list an item as "tentative." Little things, yes. But this is how I manage my life and these little things make a big difference.

If you don't mind losing the functionality, give Google a shot. But if you want to continue to use all the tools you've been offered, you may consider checking out one of the paid options above to see if they'll do what you want.


ITcare 5 years ago

LoganG, you are excellent!

I am searching online for Blackberry, Outlook and Google sync. I have not tried your way yet, but just thought a question:

I don't want to use gmail account. I want to use Google Apps standard edition (free) with my own domain name. Is there any free way to sync Blackberry, Outlook and Google Apps standard edition?

Appreciate it.


LoganG profile image

LoganG 5 years ago from Florida Author

Thanks for the compliment, ITcare. To be honest, I'm not entirely sure how Google Apps fits into the whole Google Account thing. Are they treated the same, it's just a different email account? Or are they different servers, functionality, etc. My suggestions would be to just give it a shot. If it doesn't let you log in, you might have to try some of the paid options, unfortunately.


case12 5 years ago

I tried the google sync app and when it trys to sync I get "sync failed Server problem. Please try again later" Will this persist, and what can I do to make it work after going this far?


LoganG profile image

LoganG 5 years ago from Florida Author

Case12, there are a very few times where I have seen a similar error. I found that if I removed and re-added the sync, it would work fine. Hope that helps!


case12 5 years ago

That worked. Thank you.

Now for the new question: Two computers, Two outlook calenders. I want to merge the two into one calendar to be sent to my blackberry - including sync between the calendars and the blackberry. Could


LoganG profile image

LoganG 5 years ago from Florida Author

I think your question got cut off, but yes if you install the sync on two different computers but link them to the same account, all calendars will be synchronized. That's exactly what I do!


case12 5 years ago

Hi, what do you mean by 'link them to the same account'?

I also meant to add that I am trying to do the above wirelessly 2-way. Hope that was clear.

Thank you for your help. Searching the web has been draining with no simple answers.


LoganG profile image

LoganG 5 years ago from Florida Author

Just make sure the Blackberry sync app as well as any Google Calendar Sync for Outlook all sync to the same Google Calendar. Then all of your calendars will stay in sync with each other.


case12 5 years ago

Hello, I have sync both computers to the same google email account. I get Last Sync Failed. Another sync client has been adding events to the BlackBerry calendar. To avoid duplicates Google sync will not keep these events up to date.

Then it says - please try again later, if the problem persists try signing out of sync and signing in again

(all in red text).

Thoughts?


LoganG profile image

LoganG 5 years ago from Florida Author

That's another error I've heard of and seen resolved naturally over time or by signing out and signing back in. It may be worth double checking to make sure your BIS email settings are not set up to sync your calendars. Sorry if that doesn't help!


case12 5 years ago

Wow. I got myself in a world of trouble. I eventually deleted everything on both computers and the blackberry and started over with just one computer. Everything in the downloads on the computer and blackberry seemed normal. But now the calendar just for one computer no longer works. What happens is that if I send an invite or receive an invite and accept, I get the red X and the message is not sent. My brain is huring - I would appreciate any guideance.


case12 5 years ago

I am crawling my way back. I ran into this, but it does not seem to be addressed:

Can you outlook (or BB) invites and accept them?


Paul 4 years ago

unfortunatelly for us Windows 7 user with a 64 bit architecture, google calendar sync is not supported which really is a pity

any workaround?


LoganG profile image

LoganG 4 years ago from Florida Author

Hi Paul. I use 64-bit Windows 7 with my Google Calendar Sync, so I would say the workaround is to just go for it. Did you have specific problems trying to run it?


JEggers 4 years ago

Thanks a million for very clear instructions. You are a huge help. I may just start showing up where I'm supposed be on the right day! Thanks for doing this!


LoganG profile image

LoganG 4 years ago from Florida Author

Thanks, JEggers! Glad you'll be getting places on time! :)


barbarajh 4 years ago

I am just looking at buying a new phone and really need to have it linked to Outlook, so your article has convinced me that a Blackberry would be fine.

I have both a home desktop and a laptop that I take to work with me. Will I be able to sync to both? Also, will I have to leave them turned on all the time (when I go out of town for example) in order for the sync to work?.

Sorry these are probably dumb questions...


LoganG profile image

LoganG 4 years ago from Florida Author

Hey barbarajh, glad I can aid in your decision.

The number of computers doesn't matter (I have both a desktop and laptop syncing) though it is important for them to have an Internet connection. And you certainly don't need to leave them on all the time (Google is the only one that needs to do that!), but you'll have to wait a couple minutes for your calendar to resync once you turn your computers on again.

Hope that helps!


barbarajh 4 years ago

Another question for you...

I have my blackberry now. I have synced my desktop Outlook with Google calendar. That works fine. Now I am trying to set up my Blackberry. When I follow the instructions to download Google Sync App, it goes fine but it does not ask for account information. It just does the download, install and then instructs me to reboot the device. I did that - but then what? It should be asking me for account information but that hasn't happened. Any suggestions? Thanks.


barbarajh 4 years ago

Okay - I figured it out. The sync icon was on my BB desktop and I could set it up from there. Just ignore my question! Thanks for your help. Your instructions were great.


jmilano 4 years ago

Are you kidding me!! Thank you so much. How can I make you my personal tech mentor. I almost switched to Andriod (and I still may) because I was losing faith in BB. How can I ask you direct questions since my phone contract is up and Im not sure what to look at?


LoganG profile image

LoganG 4 years ago from Florida Author

Hi Jmilano! Glad I could help you restore faith in BB. Unfortunately I can't really do personal communications as I am extremely busy these days. But best of luck to you! I am sure you can find other great resources online.


maria 4 years ago

hello

thank you so much

you have resolverd my trouble

im so happy

you haved helped me a lot with this


LoganG profile image

LoganG 4 years ago from Florida Author

You're welcome, maria. Glad it helped!


sarjah 4 years ago

Does the desktop that my outlook is on have to remain on (and outlook open) for everything to sync while I'm out and about?


sarjah 4 years ago

Nevermind. Just read the previous posts and the answer is there. Thanks for all your help. Great information!


LoganG profile image

LoganG 4 years ago from Florida Author

Hi sarjah! Glad you got the information you needed!


sylvie27 4 years ago

Hi All:

I just discovered Google Calendars and the whole syncing process with Blackberry. I was extatic, until I just found out Google Sync for Blackberry will no longer work after September 1, 2012. What now? What alternative services are you using that are free or who charge a small fee to do the same?


LoganG profile image

LoganG 4 years ago from Florida Author

I guess it really depends on your needs. If you're only syncing a single calendar, you have the option to sync a single calendar with your email address (in fact you had to disable this to allow the Google Sync for Blackberry to function correctly). But if you need multiple calendar sync, I'm not sure the best way. You can try some of the paid apps above. Or if you don't mind the hassle, you could probably create new Google accounts, share the multiple calendars across them, and use a different account sync for each one. I have not tried that, it is only speculative.


Mark 2 years ago

These are great instructions and it has been working great for the last year but unfortunately i have had an e-mail from The Calendar Team telling me that the Calendar sync will no longer work after 1st August 2014. Bad times!! Anybody any ideas of a new way of getting my Blackberry to remote sync with my Outlook Calendar?

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