How to Fix Persistent Apple Calendar Entries
Meetings, appointments, reminders—if you’ve put Apple’s iCloud Calendar to good use for awhile, you probably have lots of old Calendar events, maybe years, maybe decades of old events. You are paying for that storage with your money, and for the processor overhead with your time. And…do you really want the NSA to have access to all this? You should clean it up. It’s the past. Let it go! But how?
🙈 The iCloud Ostrich Method
Stop Making Sense—Warning: If you manually delete appointments ONE at a time, iCloud will try to send “updates” to all the meeting recipients of those old meetings. You may have hundreds or thousands of entries. Imagine the annoyed responses from old friends, lovers, family, and former work associates asking why you are cancelling a meeting in the PAST?? My advice: If you encounter this issue, and get queries, DON’T RESPOND.
Like the Labors of Hercules! The long, tedious, and frankly annoying search propelled as if by a motivational prophecy from the Delphic oracle—that this should be easier, this should be obvious, and if “The Steve” were here, this simply would not be a problem.
- Apple support on Twitter abandoned me because I didn’t “DM” them.
- Apple Support Communities (formerly known as ‘the boards’) had many, many, many posts asking for help on this topic, and virtually NO solutions.
- Books about “Calendar”? There were some books about iCloud but otherwise, not to be found.
- Mac OSX Hints site came closer to a solution by suggesting cool Apple technologies AppleScript, and Automator, but for me, these either worked partially, inconsistently, or not at all. And at last I found…
- “The Golden Link”—to “Advanced Calendar and iCal troubleshooting“, which was: https://support.apple.com/en-us/HT204598. (But, this being the Inkernet, where everything is subject to change, as of this update, March 1, 2022, the Golden Link is a DEAD Link! Fortunately, I summarized most of it.—TW) iCloud: Advanced Calendar and iCal troubleshooting The most common causes for data-based issues with Calendar are:
- Unreadable or incompatible calendar data.
- Reoccurring calendar events that have no end date (such as birthdays).
- Duplicate events.
- An excess of calendar events that happened in the past (especially those that were previously synced from another calendar client).
Any of these conditions could be the cause of your issues with Calendar in OS X (or iCal) and iCloud.
Well thanks Apple! And in that most important (and now disappered) article, Apple explains how to perform all kinds of maintenance on your Calendars, backing up, disconnecting from iCloud and other services, cleaning up, and restoring. I leave that work to you, reader.
…to delete those old entries, here are the two answers:
- Delete Entries in Macintosh Calendar App: In the search bar, type “.“—a single period—and press <Return>. This will produce a search response list of ALL your entries, which you may then select (using the various select options that you know how to use, right?) and <Delete>. (This still has the issue with sending “updates” to recipients, so be careful. Otherwise, go to #2, below.)
[BTW: Can you do this in iCloud? I can’t even find the Search Bar in iCloud. Where is it??]
- Use a 3rd Party Macintosh Calendar Tool: Download a more capable Calendar replacement, or a Calendar utility. These will do the work for you that Apple has abandoned. I recommend BusyCal. You can download the free trial, and use it to batch clean your calendar using their wonderful List View of calendar entries. You may like it so much that you decide to buy it. (I did!)
And there you have it. Peace Out.—TW