Do you have 2 or more macs? Don’t wanna pay $100 a year for Mobile Me? Are you slighty techy and looking for a free solution? You’ve come to the right place.

Gotta give 100% props to both ryanburns.me and to howto.wired.com for the below. This is how to sync iCal and Address Book 100% for free. No mobile me. No crappy apps. (Disclaimer: it’s always a good idea to backup your files before deleting or editing. Stop reading and do this now.)

Part I – iCal sync setup

On your main computer, the one where the calendar is good to go, perform these steps:

1. Install Dropbox, Open Terminal, and type in the following in Terminal to put your iCal files on Dropbox:

mv ~/Library/Calendars/ ~/Dropbox/

2. Type the following to redirect your mac so it uses the Dropbox location instead of the default location:

ln -s ~/Dropbox/Calendars/ ~/Library/Calendars

On the secondary computer:

1. Delete the old “Calendar” folder (this is found in Finder>>Your User Name>>Library)

2. Install Dropbox (if you haven’t already) and type the following to redirect your mac so it uses the Dropbox location:

ln -s ~/Dropbox/Calendars/ ~/Library/Calendars

Part II – mac Address Book sync setup

(Very similar to the above. also, I’m assuming you’ve already installed dropbox on both macs. If not, please do so now.)

On your main computer, the one where the address book is complete, perform these steps:

1. Open Terminal, and type in the following in Terminal to put your Address Book files on Dropbox:

mv ~/Library/Application Support/AddressBook ~/Dropbox/

2. Type the following to redirect your mac so it uses the Dropbox location instead of the default location:

ln -s ~/Dropbox/AddressBook/ ~/Library/Application Support/AddressBook

On the secondary computer:

1. Delete the old “Address Book” folder (again, this is found in Finder>>Your User Name>>Library)

2. Type the following to redirect your mac so it uses the Dropbox location:

ln -s ~/Dropbox/AddressBook/ ~/Library/Application Support/AddressBook

Congratulations. You just saved $100 recurring.

Perfect sync. Perfect harmony.

5 thoughts on “sync ical and address book for free

  1. Thank you! Thank you! Thank you!
    When I read it I had to *facepalm* for not thinking about Dropbox. You’re a life saver.

  2. @Antonia:
    Did you follow the steps very carefully? Do you at least see new folders in your Dropbox called “AddressBook” and “Calendars” or whatever you named them in Terminal??
    Please be more specific as to what’s not working or where you’re getting stuck.

  3. I have linked my two Mac’s to dropbox and see the new folders in dropbox for calendars on each of the Mac’s. I managed on the first (primary) Mac to enter the mv command and the the ln command. I then entered the command ln -s ~/Dropbox/Calendars/ ~/Library/Calendars on the second Mac, however when I then call up the ICAL, I still see the “old ” calendar from the second mac and not the calendar from the first Mac . Any ideas? I also did delete the old calendar folder on the second mac. I almost seems like somehow the old file is being restored automatically.

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