Last week, iCal 3.0.8 running on Mac OSX 10.5.8 stopped importing and sync’ing delegates from shared Google Calendar for 2 of our oldest Macs.
It’s been a while since I’ve posted a problem solving blog. Since I’ve dumped Windows almost 3 years ago, and drifted away from Linux just over a year ago, things have been… easy.
So, my entire office is set up for Google Calendar on which we have 10 different calendars to organise the various aspects of the business. All these calendars are imported locally using Apple Mac’s iCal.
So being Apple, things just work; unless it doesn’t.
Last week, iCal suddenly stopped importing all the shared calendars (sync’ing the delegates) from Google Calendar for 2 of our oldest Macs. Both these Macs are running Mac OSX 10.5.8 and iCal 3.0.8.
The rest of the users, all with higher OS versions, do not have any problems.
I’ve looked into the various solutions, a few that didn’t work and then, the last solution, which did work.
Didn’t Work: Make sure the OS & Software is Up to Date
This should already be true, but just in case, make sure your operating system and software is as current as you can get.
If you can’t / don’t want to upgrade to the next newest operating system (not even an option for the oldest of our Macs), you should at least have all the latest patches for your current system.
To be fair, this has only ever once solved a problem I’ve had. It didn’t work for this problem.
Didn’t Work: Delete and re-add account
Next thing is to try to delete the Google Calendar account from iCal and re-add it.
For me this is not an issue, as everything we use the calendars for are sync’ed on Google.
If you save some stuff only locally, then you might want to skip this option as it will delete local data associated with the account too, and that will be gone for good.
Alas, as the heading suggests, this didn’t work to solve this particular problem either.
Didn’t Work: Reformat the Calendar URL
One of the dated posts I found in a forum suggested changing the formatting of the calendar URL slightly.
In iCal 3.0.8 you have to add the user calendar address like so (where firstname.lastname@example.org is my hypothetical and non-existent user):
The forum post suggested to reformat the URL to like so:
It Worked! Adding 1 iCal Account for each Google Calendar
There are 2 addresses you can add to iCal to sync your Google Calendar.
The easiest is your account’s address (as specified above), which ads your account as a top level calendar, with all your shared calendars under Delegates.
A lesser known method is each calendar’s specific address, which looks similar to this:
By adding this a new account and using this calendar specific address, you can get access to each calendar individually.
Here’s how it works (in my experience this only applies to iCal 3.0.8)
1. In Google Calendar, next to the shared calendar, find and click the drop-down triangle that gives you options for, amongst other things, the Calendar Settings.
2. On the settings page you will see a section called Calendar Address with 3 buttons, 1 each for XML, ICAL and HTML. Next to it, in brackets, is the Calendar ID. Copy that long ugly URL.
3. Go back to iCal 3.0.8 and open the iCal Settings ( Shortcut: CMD+, ) and go to Accounts.
4. Add a new account, and fill in your details. Now where it says Account Url, type this and replace email@example.com with YOUR calendar ID, which you copied in step 2:
5. You’re done! In your calendar list you should now have a top level calendar with whatever description you assigned to it.
A calendar added in this way will NOT appear under your iCal account’s delegates. From forum postings I’ve read, people said they had trouble syncing iCal with an iPhone when the calendars were added like this, but that’s beyond my experience.
I hope this solution was helpful if you also had a problem sync’ing your Google shared calendars with Apple Mac’s iCal 3.0.8.
Let me know your results and if you had a variation on the problem and/or the solution.