Setup Google Apps Sync for Outlook with Office 365 on Surface Pro/2

surface laptop

If you’re a Google Apps for Business or Google Apps for Education user, you’ve probably been upset that you can no longer set up Google Apps Sync for Outlook (GAS) with Office 365 – same goes for click to run versions of Office 2013 (which is just about all of them are).

Well, we have a tested workaround to let you use GAS on your Surface Pro with either the downloaded version of Office 365 or a Click to Run version of Office 2013 without seeing this annoying little guy when you’re trying to set it up.

Unfortunately, there are a few caveats:

  • If you’re a standard Gmail user this procedure will not work. It only works with Google apps for Business or Google Apps for Education.
  • This won’t work for Office RT on the Surface RT/2 tablets. If for no other reason than you can’t install Google Apps Sync. However, we have these instructions on setting up Office RT so you can use mail normally and see your calendar in read only mode.

This process is a bit time consuming (after all, in a sense, we’re trying to trick Google into working with Microsoft even though they’re very much like oil and water right now) but it’s not overly difficult. If you are comfortable doing installs and uninstalls of software, you’ll be just fine.

For this set of instructions, we’ll be configuring a download copy of Office 365 but the process works with other version of Office 2013 as well.

Setup Google Apps Sync for Outlook: Install Outlook 2013 Trial Version

First thing we’re going to do is install a trial version of Outlook 2013. This is because the trial version of Outlook 2013 will let us setup Google Apps Sync for Outlook without erroring out.

Here’s how you do it.

  • Make sure you’re logged in with admin rights and a good network connection.
  • You may get a User Account Control message. Tap Yes.
  • Next you’ll be asked to accept the license terms. Check the box and tap Continue.
  • Tap the Customize button.

  • Next, configure the installation to install only Outlook by tapping on each of the other options and setting them to “Not Available” (so they have a little red “x” next to them). Make sure you scroll down to get all of the components.

  • Configure Outlook to “Run all from my computer” in the same manner. It should look like this when you’re done.

  • Start the actual install by tapping the Install Now button. The installation will take a while to complete. When it finishes, tap Close.

Setup Google apps sync for outlook: Install GAS

Now, we’re going to setup GAS using the trial version of Outlook 2013 to trick it into installing.

  • When it finishes, you’ll be asked to sign into your Google account. Do so, then tap Continue.

  • Next, you’ll get a popup telling you that setup will need to open a web browser to continue. Tap Continue.

  • A web page will appear telling you that GAS would like to have a lot of access to your Google account. This is OK, scroll down to the bottom and tap Accept. (The screenshot below is a (very) shortened list.

  • The following will appear in your web browser, switch back to the setup application.

  • Assuming you don’t have a PST to import, tap Create Profile. If you have a PST, make sure the “Import data from and existing profile is checked.

  • After it finishes, it will start Outlook and you’ll see the “Choose Profile” window. Tap OK and Outlook will start.

  • After Outlook starts, you will see the Google Synchronization Status window appear. Go ahead and close it and Outlook.

Setup Google Apps Sync for Outlook: Install Outlook 365

Next, we’ll install Office 365 (or Office 2013) to your Surface.

  • Open Internet Explorer and go to https://portal.microsoftonline.com.
  • Login using your Office 365 credentials.
  • From the Admin screen, tap on the settings icon (the gear) in the upper right hand corner.

  • Select Office 365 Settings.

  • Select Software.

  • Scroll down a bit and tap the Install button.

  • You’ll be asked if you want to run or save this really long filename, tap Run.

  • You’ll probably get a User Access Control message again. Click through it.
  • The Office 365 install will start downloading.

  • After the files are downloaded, you’ll get a “Welcome” screen. Tap Next.

  • You’ll then be offered the chance to send product improvement information to Microsoft. Your choice but I always choose “No Thanks”. Make your choice then tap Accept.
  • A little intro movie will start. Go ahead and close it by tapping the “x” in the upper right corner.
  • Now the actual office install will happen in the background. You’ll see this popup. Be patient, it can take a while.

  • When it’s done, go ahead and start Outlook to verify GAS is still working.

That’s it. You should be good to go. When you install Outlook 365 it overwrites the trial version of Outlook we installed and still works with the GAS install.

Setup Google Apps Sync for Outlook: Optional Steps

If you do the above steps, everything should work just fine for you. However, there are a couple of optional steps you can do to clean up your Office installation.

Namely, uninstalling the trial version of Outlook 2013 and doing a repair installation of Office365. This will remove the remaining traces of the trial install of Outlook.

It’s up to you if you want to do it. I’m not writing out explicit directions here but can send you some if you contact me for them.

So, I hope this write-up is useful to you and, as usual, if you have any questions or problems, please let me know.

Tim

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