Google Sync and Outlook 2013

outlookvsgmailUPDATE 11/22/13: Google has heard our pleas! Google Sync now works with Click to Run versions of Outlook 2013.  Read more on Google’s support site.

Download Google Apps Sync v. 3.5.365.980 with support for Outlook 2013 Click-to-Run edition.

Google Sync is a powerful product for business: it provides complete email, contact, and calendar synchronization between a Google Apps for Business account, mobile devices, and Outlook…or at least it used to.

Recently, Microsoft began distributing its popular Office software via a new method called “Click to Run.” CTR versions of Office software install from the web and seem to operate partially on the user’s desktop and partially in the cloud. This change makes CTR version of Outlook 2013 incompatible with Google Sync, and Google is hinting that a work-around from them is not likely.

If you search around, you’ll see some goofy solutions to get Outlook 2013 and Google Sync to play together nicely: do tricks with the Outlook Profile, change registry settings, etc. After evaluating these fixes, they all seem to be unreliable and even a bit dangerous. The good news is we’ve found that the full install version of Outlook 2013 does indeed work with Google Sync. Unfortunately Microsoft has made the full install version very difficult to get (some are saying you actually have to buy the Enterprise version of Office 2013 in order to get a physical DVD!).

So, the easiest solution we’ve found is to install the Office Professional Plus 2013 trial software. Microsoft posted a portal on their TechNet site that allows you to download a full version trial of Office 2013. Installing this version will allow you to use Google Sync with Outlook. Granted you’ll need to purchase a license for Office Professional Plus, but this solution does work. Be aware this setup requires a blank DVD and a DVD burner.

These are the steps you’ll follow:

  1. Download Office Professional Plus 2013. You’ll have to log in with a Microsoft account. If you don’t have one, you can create one for free.
  2. The file comes down in the form of a DVD Image file. Burn this image to a DVD.
  3. Uninstall any copies of Office 2013 currently installed.
  4. Install the version from your DVD.
  5. When prompted to enter a license key, use your existing Office Professional Plus 2013 license.
  6. Once registered, install Google Sync.

The license keys from the Click to Run version of Office and the direct install versions are interchangeable (Home & Student and Home & Business editions will not work).

As Microsoft and Google seem to be pulling away from each other, we may be seeing the end of Outlook support for Google services in the coming years. Google has been spending a lot of time revamping its webmail interface, causing many people to skip Outlook all together and use their mail strictly from the web interface. The benefit of no software costs, no settings to worry about, and seeing the same information on any device is becoming more and more appealing. If you haven’t logged into your Google webmail recently, you may want to take another look!

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2 thoughts on “Google Sync and Outlook 2013

    1. Trev,

      Google surprised everyone with this fix- it does indeed correct the incompatibility between CTR Outlook 2013 and Google Sync. I’m sure this news is going to put a smile on a lot of IT people’s faces.

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