Forum Question: Deleting calendars in MobileMe

I keep our church’s iMac signed into my MobileMe account so I can transfer files back and forth from my MBA at home. However, I recently realized that all my iCal calendars were copied onto the iMac. I don’t want people using the iMac to have access to personal details about my schedule, so I was going to delete the calendars from the iMac. But if I do this, will it also delete the calendars on my MBA?

Comments: 14 Responses to “Deleting calendars in MobileMe”

    5/15/11 @ 9:49 am

    What you want to do is go into your MobileMe settings on that iMac. System Preferences, MobileMe, Sync. Then uncheck syncing for calendars. Then sync.
    Then, go into iCal’s preferences and look at accounts. Delete the MobileMe account there too.
    I can’t remember whether this deletes the calendars, or leaves the calendar there, orphaned. If so, you may need to then delete it to get rid of the old orphaned calendar data.

      5/16/11 @ 5:39 am

      This did not work at all! I unchecked calendar syncing, even unchecked all syncing completely. However, the calendars were still deleted from both Macs! I used the “undo” feature to bring them all back, however, on my MBA, the calendars returned empty! Now calendars on both Macs are disappearing and reappearing. It’s complete chaos. How do I return to the way it was and get my info back?

        5/16/11 @ 6:36 am

        So you unchecked calendar syncing one one mac and it deleted the calendar from your other mac? But you didn’t try removing the calendar from iCal’s accounts?

          5/16/11 @ 6:41 am

          Sounds to me like your MobileMe syncing preference was overriding your iCal preference. So when you turned off MobileMe syncing iCal lost the calendar, and then obeyed its own preferences and slowly re-synced. The data was always there in MobileMe, it just took iCal a few minutes to re-sync.

          5/16/11 @ 6:46 am

          You’re right. I unchecked syncing in MobileMe preferences. Then I deleted the calendars directly from the list in the iCal sidebar. I did not remove the account in the iCal preferences. I’ve hit “undo” what seems like an infinite number of times, but one of the calendars has not returned. Is there a way to retrieve it using Time Machine?

            5/16/11 @ 6:57 am

            So you turned off MobileMe syncing but left it set up as an iCal account — then deleted the calendar? Yikes. That might have done it. You should have removed the account from that copy of iCal to unlink it before trying to delete it. By leaving that copy of iCal synced to MobileMe, and then commanding it to delete, well…
            So the real test is to log on to MobileMe (web site) and check your calendars there. That is where the calendars really are. If they are still there, then it is just a matter of re-syncing. If they are not at the MobileMe site, then they are gone.
            You can try to restore from Time Machine, but that could make even more of a mess. Search for “restore ical from time machine” and you’ll find some people that have tried. The problem is that the calendar isn’t on your hard drive, it is on the server. But you have a cache on your hard drive. So you can find some data there, but nothing easy to restore unless you really understand how data in iCal works.
            Look in MobileMe first and see what you can find.

              5/16/11 @ 7:19 am

              I searched for “restore ical from time machine” and followed the instructions shared here:

              After completing all the steps, my missing calendar appeared briefly for about 2 seconds, then disappeared again. Is this a case of the MobileMe site overriding my MBA and re-deleting the calendar? If so, how would I get around that?

                5/16/11 @ 7:32 am

                Okay, I tried a different approach. Instead of selecting “Enter Time Machine” from the menu bar drop-down menu, I browsed to the actual back up on my Time Capsule using the finder window. I found the .ics file for my missing calendar, drag and dropped it onto my desktop. I then created a new calendar in my MobileMe list by the same name. Then I opened the .ics file on my desktop and chose the option to add it to the new calendar of the same name. It appears to be syncing (got the spinning wheel). In iCal on my MBA, the calendar is there, although curiously only some of the events have returned. And while the new calendar has appeared on, it is, at the moment, empty. However, I’m hoping it’s just still re-syncing things up. For now, I’m waiting to see.

    5/16/11 @ 6:07 am

    UPDATE: Most of the information has slowly returned with the exception of a few appointments, but now I’m afraid to proceed. Do I need to delete the CalDAV account in iCal preferences to remove the calendars from that Mac only, or will that delete it from all my Macs?

      5/16/11 @ 6:39 am

      Wait. So the information returned, but to both Macs? Did you re-enable syncing on both Macs? Or not?
      I’m confused as to what your current state is.
      For the Mac that you want to remove the calendars: I would turn off syncing and remove the account from iCal. For the Mac that you want to keep the calendar: I would leave both syncing and the iCal account in your iCal preferences.

        5/16/11 @ 7:00 am

        I have unchecked calendar sharing from the other Mac. 4 out of 5 calendars currently appear in iCal (on both Macs). On my MBA, I entered Time Machine and chose to replace iCal with an earlier copy, however, this did not return my 5th and most important calendar. The same calendar is also absent from Does this mean it is permanently unretrievable?

        I have not deleted the account from the other Mac yet for fear this will affect my ability to retrieve my missing calendar.

          5/16/11 @ 7:31 am

          If the calendar isn’t in MobileMe and it isn’t in your backup, then it is probably completely gone. But it is hard to say. You may want to seek first-hand help from a Mac expert in your area or the Genius Bar. There are so many possibilities between your syncing controls and MobileMe.
          How much data are we talking about here? Did you have hundreds of future events in that calendar? Or just a few? If it is just a few, it may be better to just re-create that calendar instead of investing more hours trying to find it.
          I’m not getting the whole picture here. When you say “I have not deleted the account from the other Mac yet” I don’t know what you mean. MobileMe settings or iCal accounts? Did you delete it from the first Mac? Etc.
          You should not be turning anything off or deleting anything from the Mac where you want to keep the calendars. And you should be turning off both MobileMe syncing and iCal account syncing on the Mac where you want to remove the calendars.

            5/16/11 @ 7:55 am

            I have turned off all syncing and deleted all accounts from the other Mac where I don’t want them to be.

            Meanwhile, on my MBA, the calendar I added from backup still appears to be syncing (spinning gear). Some of the events have started showing up on However there are still a number of appointments not showing up in iCal itself. I have checked .ics files from several different dates, but none of them seem to include a number of appointments I had scheduled in June. I’m still waiting and hoping they will suddenly reappear as the syncing continues between my MBA iCal and MobileMe.

    5/16/11 @ 8:32 am

    Everything seems to be back to normal with my calendars with the exception of a slew of appointments over the next couple of months. The good news is that in an effort to coordinate our schedules, my wife entered all my appointments into her physical calendar, so I’ll just need to re-enter the information into iCal. Thanks, Gary, for the links and for pointing me in the right direction. In the context of schedules, you’ve saved my life! :-)

Comments Closed.