How to Sync Outlook Calendars - 2024 Guide

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If you use multiple Outlook Calendars and would like to sync them, streamlining the availability and avoiding confusion between team members, this article is for you.

In this article, we’ll explain the issues of managing multiple Outlook Calendars, why publishing and importing Outlook Calendars don’t ultimately sync them, and the actual solution to sync Outlook Calendars.

Prefer video? Here is our step-by-step tutorial on syncing Outlook Calendars in real time.

What does syncing Outlook Calendars solve?

The main problem we face when managing multiple Outlook Calendars is that colleagues don’t know your availability when scheduling meetings through your work calendars.

Assume you’re a consultant at Wayne Enterprises and Acme Inc.; Colleagues at Acme Inc. don’t know when you’re busy at Wayne Enterprises and vice versa.

Example of managing two Outlook Calendars

Example: Martha from Wayne Enterprises booked a meeting with you, but she doesn’t know that you’ve got a booking at Acme Inc. at the same time. This means that you’re double booked and will have to go back and forth with Martha to reschedule the meeting.

Example of a double booking in Outlook

If your Outlook Calendars were synchronized, Martha would see that you’re busy at that time and would find another time slot to book with you.

Syncing Outlook Calendars via Calendar Sharing Feature

Outlook offers a way to publish a Calendar and import it into another account. This doesn’t mean that the calendars are synced, publishing a calendar and importing it into another account is just a means for you to view multiple Outlook calendars under one Outlook account, but ultimately, the calendars are separate.

You’re the only one who sees all calendars in one view; if your team members book time through your work calendars, they won’t be able to see events in imported Outlook Calendars.⁠

Sharing Outlook Calendars Example

Pros of sharing Outlook Calendars

Even though the sharing feature on Outlook Calendar doesn't sync the calendars, it has some benefits:

  • You can view multiple calendars in one account: If you manage multiple Outlook calendars in separate accounts, you can share and import them into a single account, eliminating the need to juggle between accounts

Downsides of sharing Outlook Calendars

  • Sharing doesn't sync Outlook calendars: As mentioned above, sharing only makes it easier for you to view all your calendars in one account and view, but ultimately, the calendars are still separate. If team members book a time with you in one calendar, they won't be able to see that you're booked in your imported/shared calendars.
  • Updates take up to 24 hours to propagate: It's worth noting that updates from a shared calendar might take up to 24 hours to propagate.
    For example, you imported Acme Inc. into Wayne Enterprises Outlook Account. If someone books a meeting in Acme Inc., it might take a while for that meeting to be propagated into the imported Acme Inc. in Wayne Enterprises Account.
  • Limited sharing options: When publishing an Outlook Calendar, you can either choose to view all event details or none, there is no in-between. When selecting the option to view all event details, your calendar becomes public, and anyone who has the URL can view your events.

How to Sync Outlook Calendars automatically?

To truly sync the events between two Outlook Calendars (or more), you have to use a Calendar sync tool like OneCal.

OneCal syncs multiple Outlook Calendars in real-time, so your Outlook Calendars reflect availability and don’t get double booked.

With OneCal, you can:

  • Two-way sync of multiple Outlook Calendars
  • Customize event cloning settings and adjust your privacy preferences
  • Sync as many calendars as you want

To automatically sync two (or more) Outlook Calendars in real time, follow these steps:

1. Sign Up for OneCal (for free)

OneCal Signup Page

You can create a free OneCal account for free, without the need for a credit card. You can delete your account at any time, there are no strings attached.

2. Connect your Outlook calendars

OneCal Connect your Outlook Calendars

OneCal allows you to connect as many Outlook calendars as you want. We use official Outlook APIs to connect with your calendars and never store event details. You can revoke the access to OneCal at any time.

After authorizing your Outlook Account, you can choose to connect the calendars that belong to that account:

OneCal Connected Calendars

3. Click ‘Start New Sync’

OneCal - Click start sync

After you connect your calendars, you’re redirected to the Calendar Sync feature. You can click the ‘Start New Sync’ button to initiate a calendar sync between your calendars.

4. Name the sync and choose the sync direction

OneCal Calendar Sync Direction Screen

OneCal offers one-way and multi-way syncs.

One-way syncs allow you to clone events from a calendar to one or more calendars. This is useful when you want to sync your personal calendar with your work calendar by only sending personal events to your work calendar and not vice versa.

Multi-way syncs keep multiple calendars in sync in real-time. For example, if you have two Outlook Calendars, you can select multi-way sync, and OneCal keeps both calendars in sync. As soon as an event is created or updated in any of the Outlook Calendars, OneCal syncs it to the other calendar.

For the purpose of this article, we’ll sync two Outlook Calendars, and we want to keep them in sync, so we choose the ‘Multi-way’ sync.

5. Choose which Outlook Calendars to sync

OneCal - Choose which Outlook Calendar to sync

OneCal allows you to sync multiple calendars at the same time without the need to create multiple configurations. To sync two Outlook Calendars, we’ll select the two Outlook Calendars we connected to OneCal and click ‘Next’.

6. Choose what event properties to sync

OneCal - Choose which event properties to sync

The most powerful OneCal feature is the flexibility it offers regarding calendar syncing. You can sync all event details or none of them or choose the properties individually.

If you want complete privacy, you can add a custom title to clone events (such as ‘Busy’), so you block the time on all your calendars by not exposing other details.

Your Outlook Calendars are synced 🥳

Two synced Outlook Calendars

All your Outlook Calendars are now a mirror of each other, in this example, the two Outlook Calendars we choose to sync. If a coworker books a time with you, you’re sure that you won’t be double booked, as the calendar has events from all the other calendars.

You can also leverage the OneCal Calendar view to view your synced Outlook Calendars in one view:

OneCal Calendar View

What are the benefits of using OneCal to sync Outlook Calendars?

  1. Seamless Real-Time Synchronization Between Outlook Calendars. Once you've established this synchronization, you can have complete confidence that your events will consistently and reliably transfer without any concerns.
  2. Privacy-focused syncs. This synchronization guarantees your control over the privacy of the calendars you sync. It's important to note that workspace administrators won't have access to view events or calendar details that are replicated by OneCal.
  3. Real-time, reliable Outlook calendars sync. When attempting manual synchronization through the import method, you have to go through a 13-step process to sync one Outlook calendar with another Outlook Calendar. After following these steps, the sync might fail, and the changes don't happen in real-time. With OneCal, your calendars stay in sync automatically, and you can sync multiple Outlook calendars in one go.

Automatically Sync Multiple Outlook Calendars Using OneCal

OneCal is the most reliable calendar sync platform in the market, offering seamless Outlook Calendar sync and advanced privacy options.

With OneCal, you can sync two or more Outlook Calendars in minutes and never have to worry about double bookings and confusion between coworkers.

Sign Up for OneCal for free to experience real-time Outlook Calendar sync and leverage other features like Scheduling Links, Calendar View, and more.