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Home / Tips and Tricks / How to sync your iPhone reminders in iCloud and other accounts across all your Apple devices «iOS and iPhone :: Gadget Hacks

How to sync your iPhone reminders in iCloud and other accounts across all your Apple devices «iOS and iPhone :: Gadget Hacks



Apple’s iCloud is a great way to make sure all your photos, messages, notes and other important data is backed up and displayed on all your connected devices. However, you may have information such as reminders associated with accounts other than iCloud, which are not displayed when you sign in to iCloud on a new device. Here’s how to get a complete picture of where your memories are stored.

Reminders are far from the only data you can connect to third-party accounts. With services like Yahoo, Microsoft Outlook, Microsoft Exchange, and some AOL accounts, you can use Mail, Contacts, Calendar, Notes and, yes, Reminders to keep your important data connected to the accounts you use the most. That works well if you use those bills, but it can get in the way without you realizing it.

Reasons to move reminder lists to iCloud

What happens if you leave a job but that work account has reminders associated with it? Unless you move them to one of your other accounts before losing access to the work account, you will lose the reminders and all other data associated with them.

The situation doesn̵

7;t have to be that dramatic. You may be deleting an email account to use a new one instead. Or it could just be a hassle or confusing as your iCloud account gives you the impression that all your data is collected in one centralized location, easily accessible with a login on any Apple device. Other accounts complicate things as you need to be signed in all accounts with compatible data to see all your information.

If you can still access the other accounts and you delete them from your iPhone and all your other Apple devices, you won’t see the reminders on your iPhone unless you move them first. However, you can still access them on the platform of the external account. For example, for Outlook, all your reminders are in To Do, and for Yahoo, you can find them as tasks in the calendar accessible through Yahoo Mail (from the web – there is no iOS app for Yahoo Calendar).

Tip 1: Check if multiple accounts are linked to reminders

You can see if your reminders are spread across multiple accounts just by checking the app. Open Reminders and see what the front page looks like. If you only see “My Lists” and the default categories, you only have reminders that are connected to one account (most likely iCloud) or stored directly on your device.

However, if you see your lists separated by account name (eg, iCloud, Outlook, Yahoo, AOL, Gmail), then some of your tasks in Reminders may belong to those accounts and not iCloud.

Multiple accounts (left) versus iCloud only (right).

Of course, this only applies to the accounts you currently have on your iPhone. You may have other reminders associated with accounts that you are not signed in to on your iPhone, or you may have accounts with reminders integration disabled.

Tip 2: Manage your accounts

To really see the full picture of the accounts on your iPhone, you have to go to Settings -> Reminders -> Accounts. Here you can see all the connected accounts you have on your iPhone, even if they are do not support for reminders (eg Google accounts such as Gmail or a work account, some AOL accounts).

If you think one of these accounts should have reminders associated with them, but you don’t see them in the app, it is possible that reminders have been turned off for that account. To check this, tap the account and make sure the switch next to “Reminders” is turned on.

Tip 3: add a new account

If you think there are reminders associated with an account not listed here, you can simply add that account to check it. To do this, tap “Add Account” and then choose the account type from the list. Log into your account when prompted, and make sure that “Reminders” is enabled on the sync screen. If you don’t see a Reminders option, that account doesn’t support the feature. Tap “Save” to complete your account.

Tip 4: Move reminders to different accounts

Let’s say you’ve linked reminders to an Outlook account, but you don’t want them there. Instead, you want them linked to your iCloud account so that everything can be in one convenient location. Here’s how to do that:

Option 1: Transfer individual memories

To start, open the list you want to transfer, tap a reminder you want to move, then tap the info (i) button. Now tap on “List” and then select a list of the account you want to move to. Once you do this, iOS will transfer the reminder and you can repeat the process for as many reminders for that account as you want.

Since your external accounts are synced with Reminders, any reminder you move will disappear from the external account’s platform. For example, if you go to Microsoft To Do, you won’t find it there anymore.

Unfortunately, there is a catch that we must mention; you can move reminders associated with third-party accounts to any list, but you can only move reminders associated with iCloud to other iCloud lists.

Option 2: Transfer multiple reminders at once

First, open the appropriate list, tap the ellipsis (•••) in the top right corner and choose “Select Reminders.” Tap the reminders you want to move. You can also drag two fingers through the list of reminders to select all of them more quickly. Once highlighted, tap the folder icon at the bottom and choose a new folder to send these reminders to.

Again, the reminders disappear from the platforms of the third-party accounts and you can transfer third-party account reminders to any account, but iCloud reminders cannot be broken outside of iCloud.

Unfortunately, it doesn’t seem possible at this point to move entire folders or lists at once. Of course, that would be the most convenient way to manage the reminders on other accounts, but at least it’s easy enough to move reminders individually or in batches.

Tip 5: Make sure new memories get where they should

When you create a new reminder with multiple accounts enabled on your iPhone, iOS puts it in a default list unless you intervene. That default list really acts like a default account as lists belong to accounts. So if your default list is linked to your Yahoo account, new reminders won’t go to iCloud unless you manually change them each time.

If you know you want most of your reminders to go to iCloud, go to Settings -> Reminders -> Default List, then select the list that you think most of your reminders will go to. The next time you create a new reminder, you’ll see that list (and the attached account) as the current destination. You can of course change this yourself by tapping “List” in the details of the reminder and then tapping the list where you want to send that specific reminder.

The exception to this is creating reminders with Siri. Siri puts your reminders in the default list, with no option to change them at the time. Just something to keep in mind!

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Cover image, screenshots and GIFs by Jake Peterson / Gadget Hacks

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