Windows 8.1 Breaks Google Calendar Sync on Surface RT

After the Win 8.1 Update to your Surface RT, what happens to sync between MS and Google Calendars?

Yes, ladies and gentlemen it is official: it will break it! That’s right, Windows 8.1 breaks Google Calendar sync to the Calendar app.

As I reported in my last post on this subject: Sync Google Mail/Calendar/Contacts to Surface RT, Microsoft and Google are in a standoff on the issue of using Google Calendar in MS Calendar app.

I’m sad to report, that for those of you (like myself) that were lucky enough to be able to sync your Google Calendar to the MS Calendar app on the Surface RT, this option is gone after the Windows 8.1 update.

In this post you will find:

  1. My experience with how Windows 8.1 breaks Google Calendar Sync.
  2. Options we are left with.
  3. Outlook 2013 RT work-around (imperfect but better than nothing).

My Experience:

After I installed Win 8.1 update on my Surface RT and got familiar with how it works, see Tim’s post Win 8.1 Update Quick Guide for MS Surface, the very next thing I did is check on my MS Calendar syncing with Google Calendar. I got the unpleasant, if not totally unexpected, surprise of a “Unable to sync account” message. I looked at my Calendar settings and the message “Exchange Active sync is no longer supported by Google” was there in red along with “Account needs attention”.

So, I switched to the Mail app. In there, all my mail accounts were healthy EXCEPT the Google account I use for calendar. It also happens to be a Google Apps account, not one of the free ones.

Grrr….S#*&# and F%#$#%.

It said “Account needs attention”. Awesome. I clicked on it and it told me that I need to re-enter my credentials. So, I typed in my login name and password. It went through and fixed itself – seriously?! Cool.

I happily switched back to Calendar app and to my huge disappointment all of the appointments were gone!


Even the cached stuff was gone! I went to settings to re-add the Google account and guess what?

That option is now gone too!!!

The only types of accounts you can now add are: and Exchange.

Thanks Microsoft and Google!!!!

So, it’s official, I can no longer sync my work Google Calendar with the MS Calendar app.

So, now what?

You now have only these options:

  1. Import Google Calendar to your Live Mail or Outlook accounts – this is not an option for me as I only use Google Calendar in my day job and don’t want to move it to my personal account. If you do want to do this, here is how: Import Google Calendar to Outlook.
  2. Check all your accounts (including Google Calendar/Mail) separately – since I have 5 accounts: personal, business, day job, etc., this is not a good option for me. I’d rather go to one place to check them all.
  3. Set up Outlook to view (and only view) your Google Calendar but make any edits by logging into Google Calendar online. I like that the Win 8.1 update brought Outlook to Surface RT. I can set up all my email accounts in Outlook, so I will only need to go to Google for my day job calendar edits. At least it’s mostly in one place then. So, I guess I’m going with this option.

Outlook 2013 RT work-around:

  • Set up all of your email accounts in Outlook via IMAP or POP or Active Sync. This includes your Gmail. The setup of Gmail is a little tricky but doable as long as you have the right settings information. I will cover this in my next post.
  • Set up Google Calendar (view only) in Outlook. This requires setting up an Internet Calendar. It’s fairly easy but again a bit complicated on the settings. I will also cover this in the next post.

Update: As promised, here is the walk-through on how to set up Google Mail-Calendar in Outlook.

So, there you have it:

Windows 8.1 breaks Google Calendar sync to MS Calendar on Surface RT.

Surprise! or NOT. The Outlook work-around is the best free thing I’ve found. It is not perfect because you still have to go to the Google Calendar online for edits to your calendar but at least you can view it all in one place. Next up will be a post with specific instructions on how to set up the Outlook work-around.

You may also like our posts on: Microsoft Surface Accessories and Surface 2 RT Improvements.


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