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Birthday calendar bizarre repetitions and other issues

11935 Views 19 Replies Latest reply: Jul 23, 2013 4:40 PM by jlehrer RSS
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jsml Level 1 Level 1 (15 points)
Currently Being Moderated
Oct 22, 2012 7:04 PM

I have the STRANGEST things happening with birthdays on both my iPhone (5, 32GB, white, iOS 6) and iPad (32GB, iOS 6, white).


I'm posting it here in the iPhone forum, assuming more people may be able to help.



First of all, I sync a Google Apps calendar with my iPhone and iPad via CalDAV. I also sync my Google Contacts with my address book (including birthdays), which syncs via my MacBook on OS 10.6.8 using the sync icon in the system tray. (I hesitate to call it MobileMe, even though that's what the System Preferences calls it, because it really has nothing to do with MobileMe -- it does not sync via MobileMe [I do not have an account], it just syncs my Address Book with Google with my phone or iPad when hooked up. It is through a WIRED connection that it does the final sync to the device.)


So, my birthdays from my address/contact books and my Google contacts DO sync and they DO show up on both my iOS devices in the fancy Birthday calendar with the cute cake symbol, as well as in my Google calendar.





  1. Sometime recently, my birthdays were getting repeated. But oddly, enough they are a different amount on the two iOS devices. I have 18 copies of all birthdays (on the same day) in my iPhone calendar and 68 (YES, SIXTY-EIGHT COPIES) in my iPad of every birthday.

  2. My Google calendar shows NO SUCH ERRONEOUS copies.

  3. The crazier thing is that the copies of the birthdays are NOT on the birthday calendar. In fact, IT'S AS IF THEY JUMP AROUND ON DIFFERENT CALENDARS. They show up all one color, but some random color. They will appear or disappear only SOMETIMES if I turn "off" some calendars or others (for example, once they would go away if I hid a "Personal" calendar, another if I hid a calendar I subscribe to via Google but sync via CalDAV from Weather Underground, and another calendar that is a Google calendar but also my "default calendar" in the iOS settings). And this is all within minutes.

  4. When I go into an instance of the repeated calendar event, it will actually say it belongs to my default calendar, regardless of what was hiding or showing it before.

  5. When I try to "edit" the birthday just to see what happens, it crashes the app.




WHAT. THE. ______???





Here's what already I've tried:


  1. Searching the internet for someone with a similar problem. NADA.

  2. Turning off the option to sync my Google birthday calendar via the Google sync page (I think it's actually unnecessary anyway, since iOS pulls from the contact book, anyway). That did nothing.

  3. Hiding all calendars and then selecting them to show one at a time to figure out which calendar was causing the problem, but as I mentioned above, it is not consistent.

  4. Re-syncing my devices with iTunes.

  5. Searching for and merging duplicate contacts in Google contacts.

  6. Turning off the iOS birthday calendar.

  7. Killing and re-starting the calendar app.

  8. Re-starting my iOS devices.

  9. Re-syncing my contact book with my devices.




Someone. Please. Tell me you're having this problem and that you have the solution? I'm going crazy over here! I can't remember anything that may have triggered this to happen.

  • Tgara Level 4 Level 4 (3,540 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Oct 22, 2012 7:06 PM (in response to jsml)

    I didn't read your whole post (too long), but your problem is that you are syncing too many calendars with the same birthdays.  Sync only one calendar with birthdays and you should be fine.

  • sfri Calculating status...
    Currently Being Moderated
    Oct 23, 2012 11:21 AM (in response to jsml)

    I have the same problem.


    Deleted all my Accounts. After that there are two Calenders left, The Calender and the contacts birthdays (but I hav no contacts, deleted them all). As soon as I show both the birthday duplicates appear again.

  • gboysun Calculating status...
    Currently Being Moderated
    Oct 23, 2012 1:52 PM (in response to sfri)

    I have this problem too. It doesn't matter which calendar I add, rather it's when it gets up to a certain number of calendars displayed, it then shows the bazillion occurrence event. Regardless of calendar. Same exact behavior as jmsl is describing.

  • pollprod Calculating status...
    Currently Being Moderated
    Oct 23, 2012 2:33 PM (in response to jsml)

    I have the exact same problem, 68 birthday calendar events of my own birthday... No solution yet. Help.

  • iGust Calculating status...
    Currently Being Moderated
    Oct 23, 2012 8:18 PM (in response to jsml)

    Hi, all.

    Should this solve ur problem with duplicating bday cal. But this is not a system-fixed, this is just a small trick.


    I notice the duplicate bday cal shows up when we put the cal on "Show All Calendars". So what we need to do is sync one calendar (empty recommended) from any email that u're not intended to use in cal apps.


    For ex: I have three active calendars (Gmail, Fb, iPhone as in birthday). Then i add n sync one more cal, say from my Hotmail which is empty cal. What i have to do next is just hide that Hotmail cal. Voila! It works. There's no more duplicate on bday cal, which is so annoying.


    Hope this helps,


  • christina44 Calculating status...
    Currently Being Moderated
    Oct 23, 2012 8:59 PM (in response to jsml)

    I think this is another program problem on the new update.iOS6 My phone iOS 4 this morning repeated birthdays and the dates where wrong and i only have 1 calander that i had before this update and had no problems with my calander before.

  • iGust Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Oct 24, 2012 8:06 AM (in response to jsml)

    Nice sharing jsml.

    I've tried ur way, over and over again bcos the copies still showing up. Gave up.

    But now all of the sudden it disappeared. Don't know why, just wanna say "Yay!".




  • dotmom61 Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Oct 26, 2012 6:05 AM (in response to jsml)

    I've recently been experiencing the same problem, and it does seem related to Google's Birthday Events that are loaded from your Google Contacts.  Every single birthday was listed about 37 times on Calendar on my iPad (gen 3; iOS 6.0).


    A few things about how I have my calendars set up:


    • I use iCloud
    • I have multiple calendars in iCal and they are all being sync'd via iCloud
    • I also use Google Calendar, and I have subscribed to various Google calendars through iCal.  They show up on my iPad
    • I not only have an iCloud account set up on my iPad, but I had also at some point set up a Gmail account.


    I used the following steps.  All duplicate entries were removed and haven't returned *yet* (it's only be a few minutes )


    1. Deleted my Gmail account from settings -- As far as I know, this is only used by the Mail app, so I'm not sure this is a necessary step, but I wanted to make sure there was no other avenue for the duplicate entries to find their way to my calendar.
    2. Backed up iCal on my MacBook. <-- Please make sure you do this in case anything goes awry!!!!
    3. Made sure all calendars were present at
    4. On the iPad, went to Settings>iCloud and turned Calendars OFF -- when prompted what to do with the data, I chose to delete.
    5. Closed Calendar on the iPad.
    6. Waited a minute or two and turned Calendars back on through Settings>iCloud.
    7. Re-started the Calendar app and all duplicate birthday entries from Google's Contact birthdays were gone!


    I still subscribe to several Google calendars, and everything still seems to be working correctly.


    A few things to note:


    This problem started occurring over the past week or so.  In that week, I've done two things that seem unrelated, but they're the only thing I've changed that affected my calendar.  They are:


    * Linked my Facebook account to the iPad.  Entering your account information when prompted forces you to accept to add Facebook events & friends.  I subsequently went into Settings>Facebook and turned off Calendar and Contacts.


    * Started using Remember the Milk, including subscribing to that list via Google & iCal.  Therefore, that calendar now shows up on my iPad.


    Neither of the actions above *should* have affected anything, but indeed, that's when I started having multiple birthday entries from the Google contacts birthday calendar.


    I hope this helps someone else ... it was a pretty simple solution.  I'll update if the birthdays return!


    Message was edited by: dotmom61

  • Dave Tbar Calculating status...
    Currently Being Moderated
    Nov 13, 2012 5:34 PM (in response to jsml)

    I have tinkered around with this and can reproduce the problem.  I believe it is a bug in iOS with regard to syncing the "Contacts' birthdays and events" calendar through the Gmail account on your device.  When you sync this calendar a new event is added to your device's calendar, but it somehow ends up being associated with the default calendar that you selected in your settings. With each successive sync of that calendar a new event is added and this is why the multiples appear. The number of multiple entries is the same as how many times you've synced the calendar. The same thing can be reproduced with the US Holidays calendar as well, so it seems to be related only to Shared Calendars in Google calendar.


    I haven't found a workaround or fix yet. Right now the only option seems to be to turn off the "Contacts' birthdays and events" at

    Use the inbuilt "Other/Birthdays" calendar instead. I sync contact information between iPhone, Gmail and Facebook using apps like Contacts Sync, so all my Gmail and iPhone contacts are identical and the birthdays are in my iPhone contacts. You can still use iCloud to backup and access your contacts if you use the syncing app.


    Now to remove those multiple entries. Turn off (uncheck) the "Contacts' birthdays and events" at Now on your device go into Settings/Mail, Contacts Calendars, select your Gmail account, turn off the calendars and select "Delete from my iPhone". Now open the calendar app (the multiples are still there), select "Calendars" at top left, click the little blue arrow at the right of On My Phone/Calendar, and select Delete Calendar. Now go back into Settings and turn on the calendars on your Gmail account again.  The duplicates should be gone. You can go and turn on the Other/Birthdays calendar in the calendar app now if you hadn't before. You may also need to set your default calendar again in Settings/Mail, Contacts, Calendars. Let me know how that goes.


    Hopefully apple will come up with a fix for this bug, which seems to have been ongoing for a couple of years now judging from all the posts about it all over the web.

  • d4dammit Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Nov 19, 2012 7:16 PM (in response to jsml)

    This solved my duplicates... lets hope they stay away...

  • denhor Calculating status...

    I got the same problem, which I believed came out after I added Google Contacts account in the Mail, Contacts, Calendar section in the Settings.


    I reviewed the iPod Touch User Guide and found this caveat:


    "Important: Don't sync items in th Info pane of iTunes *such as contacts, calendar, and notes) if you use iCloud to keep that nformation up to date on your devices. Otherwise, you might see duplicate items."


    How relevant is this message to our problem here? I am sorry I cannot easily understand or follow what is being said in that quote. English is not my tounge. :-) Thanks.

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