I spend a lot of time on the Google Calendar support forum and have noticed some questions just keep getting asked over and over. So, I thought why not put those questions (and their answers!) together in a blog post just in case some of you have the same questions?
So in no particular order here are the 10 most commonly asked Google Calendar questions that I’ve seen during my time on the forum.
1. I want my invited guests to receive the same notification for an event as I have set for myself
This question relates to events where the event organiser has set up a reminder for an event on their own calendar and want all the invited guests to automatically have that same reminder set for them – for example 1 hour before the event, they will get a notification.
In Google Calendar, each user can set their own notifications to suit their own schedules and preferences – I for example like to get two reminders for really important events, whilst someone else might prefer only one reminder or even a series of reminders spaced out over a period of hours / days. So, regardless of whether you are the event organiser or not, you can’t force a particular notification onto your guests.
2. Why is the Android app not syncing the Calendar entries beyond 12 months?
I have no idea why this is so, but for some reason Google does not sync events older than 12 months or more than 12 months into the future to the Google Calendar Android app. The events are still available on the desktop but not via the app.
If you want to see these events on your mobile device then you need to use the mobile browser to visit the Google Calendar internet site.
3. When I add an event on my desktop, it shows on my mobile, but when I add an event on my mobile, it doesn’t show on the desktop
This usually happens if you’re not using the official Google Calendar app. When you use the phone’s in-built calendar app it will default to storing your events in its internal calendar. This doesn’t sync with Google Calendar so you end up with events that are only accessible via your phone.
The best way to stop this from happening is to use the official Google Calendar app but if you really want to use the in-built calendar app make sure you select the correct Google calendar – it is usually called Events or your email address.
4. I’ve renamed my default calendar on the Google Calendar website but it is still called Events on the mobile app.
Again, another decision that I can’t fathom but for some reason Google has decided that regardless of what you call your default calendar on the website, it will always be called ‘Events’ on the mobile app. You can rename your secondary calendars and those new names will be reflected on the mobile app, but not the default calendar.
5. An event appeared on my Calendar that I did not create.
Google Calendar offers a neat little function that allows it to automatically add events to your Calendar that are emailed to you, if you allow it to. Unfortunately what that means is that sometimes spam emails end up in your Calendar and it can look like someone has hacked into your account. This is luckily not the case though it can be very annoying.
There’s only one way to stop it from happening and that is to turn off the “Automatically add invitations to my calendar” functionality. If you want to keep using it though and you are getting these spam events then:
- Open the event invitation on your computer.
- Click on the ‘more actions’ drop down and then click Report as spam
- Once you report it, all events from that particular organiser will be removed from your calendar.
6. How do I copy and paste one event to one day to another?
Although Google Calendar has a pretty robust way to repeat events sometimes you may just want to repeat an event once or on a difficult, irregular schedule. In those cases you can use the ‘More Actions’ functionality.
Simply open the event to the edit screen, click on the ‘More Actions’ drop down arrow in the top right and select ‘Duplicate Event’. All aspects of that event will duplicated (colour, description, notifications, date and time) and you can tweak as necessary – changing the date and time are the most common uses for this functionality.
7. Why does the Calendar mobile app always show 31 and not today’s date?
There’s a very technical reason for this which I never remember. Essentially, it just does and hopefully at some stage Google will change the technical specifications to allow this to happen but in the meantime, the Google Calendar mobile app will always think it is 31 (even in February).
8. I’m getting the following error when importing a calendar file: “We’re sorry. Google Calendar is temporarily unavailable. Please try again in a few minutes. If the problem persists, see our Apps Status Dashboard or visit our Help Center.”
This has got to be one of the most non user-friendly errors ever in my books. What this error message usually means is that in fact the file you are trying to import is too large (over 1MB). If you do get that message then you need to work out a way of making the file smaller before you can successfully import it.
9. I’ve set certain colours for certain events on a shared calendar but I’m the only one that sees them.
This is similar to question 1 – all users have the final say over how a calendar event looks in their system. So even if you’ve shared a calendar with someone else, they can set different colours for both the calendar and the individual events, regardless of what you’ve set in your system.
The only time the other person will see the same colours as you, is if you’ve given them ownership access to the calendar – which basically gives them all the rights to the calendar that you have.
10. I can’t see reminders in my Google Calendar on the web.
I know I say this a lot, but for some unknown reason when Google added Reminders to the Google Calendar on the web, they decided to make it a toggle option between Reminders and Tasks.
So you have the option of either displaying Reminders OR displaying Tasks, but not both at the same time.
If you are not able to see Reminders on the web, then click on the 3 vertical dots to the right of the Tasks calendar and select ‘Switch to Reminders’. To see Tasks, follow the same step but select ‘Switch to Tasks’.