Previous 1 2 Next 26 Replies Latest reply: Nov 30, 2010 7:52 PM by Cheryl Willis
Tom Wolsky Level 10 Level 10 (112,450 points)
What is it with iCal and duplicates? It simply cannot seem to be able to properly sync iCal, Mobile Calendar, and iPhone. I dread to think what will happen when I add iPad to the mix. I have events that are duplicated, triplicated, and more going back to 2003. The calendar is ridiculous. Is there any way to fix this, a) to dump all the duplicates and triplicates, and b) to stop it from happen all the time?

Thanks very much.

All the best,


15" 2.4G MacBook Pro, Mac OS X (10.6.3)
  • Tom Wolsky Level 10 Level 10 (112,450 points)
    Let me give you some examples of what I'm talking about.

    This is a month with a mass of duplicated items. Some are repeating four times.

    And now calendars are being duplicated

    What is happening now with these duplicate calendars is ridiculous. For instance there are two DMA calendars. Some events are in one DMA calendar and other events are in the other DMA calendar. There is no way to reconcile this that I can see.

    Clearly Steve Jobs does not use iCal nor sync any devices with iCal. He obviously he has secretaries doing this for him, because if he did it whole roomfuls of people would be fired.

    iCal is the worst experience and worst software Apple produces. They should be ashamed of it. The whole calendar syncing experience is an embarrassment.

    If any one knows any way to reconcile this, to fix this mess created by incompetent syncing software and horrible design, please let me know.

    If only Apple would open this up to third party developers and allow them to make a good, efficient calendar that works for business and allows it to sync mobile devices and the cloud it would be fantastic, because clearly the engineers at Apple are incapable of doing this.

    All the best,

  • Tom Wolsky Level 10 Level 10 (112,450 points)
    Look at this

    Quadruple events in one day. Two in one calendar and two in the duplicate calendar.
    What a mess. I'm obviously not going to go back to 2003 to clean this up, and obviously I'll lose a lot of important calendar information dumping duplicate calendars with mismatched events, but there is nothing I can do. I'll clean up this year and going forward, which is going to be fun.

    There is really no excuse for this level of performance in an application.

    If any one has any suggestions for cleaning up this mess I'd really appreciate it.


    All the best,

  • srpope1 Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    I am having the same problem and I don't even sync to an iPhone. My iCal, Entourage and MobileMe all sync and duplicate events over 20 times if I don't go in a manually delete them.
  • sagusta Level 1 Level 1 (10 points)
    I found the following post from another member in another thread, seemed to work for me. Give this a try:

    Just incase anyone has a similar problem. This is the only remedy I found that was quick easy and worked.

    1. On your main machine open your mobile me prefs pane and turn off syncing.
    2. On your main machine go through all your calendars and delete the unwanted alarms. (I know this is a pain but it is easier than other routes I have tried)
    3. On your main machine go back to your mobile me prefs and manually sync your calendar making sure you select the option to overwrite the data on Mobile me (not merge)
    4. On each other machine in turn overwrite its data from mobile me (you do not need to do your phone if you are using mobile me to update it.)
    5. On your main machine open your mobile me prefs pane and turn syncing back on.

    I know this is a pretty basic solution and does not answer why it happens, but it works.
  • Tom Wolsky Level 10 Level 10 (112,450 points)
    Thanks for this sagusta. I'll try it over the weekend when I have time.
  • Tom Wolsky Level 10 Level 10 (112,450 points)
    Just wanted to come back to say that sagusta's technique work. For a while. Then it came back. the cloud seems to randomly decide that floating events need to be duplicated. I cannot see any rime or reason to why this incredibly poor software acts the way it does. iCal is such an embarrassment.
  • Ninja Taka Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    Add me to the list. This is painful! I use this to sync with my assistant and this is horrific!
  • Trent Tucker Level 1 Level 1 (25 points)
    I am now experiencing the same thing and I think it was due to an Apple prescribed fix for another problem. My iPhone used to sync calendars just fine. When I got a new handset, every sync would end in AppleMobileSync application failure. The Apple approved solution from the support forums had me deleting my iSync history and so forth. Bottom line -- my iPhone still won't sync and now I have the same issue with entire calendars duplicated and no rhyme or reason to the # of entries in each calendar.

    I'm trying BusyCal for their free 30-day trial to see if their solution works. It can't be any worse than the Apple iCal / MobileMe "solution".
  • WXman Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    I'm sad Tom and others are having so much problem with iCal. I don't experience any of these things, and I sync two Mac, an iTouch, MobileMe, and Outlook on a PC, and don't have any trouble. I even do something "outside the box" by creating my own calendar from the office's work schedule, and importing this into iCal. I really like iCal, although I wish it also incorporated to-dos and journaling. I believe there is a solution to this problem (below).

    On the iTough, most appointments show twice because in Preferences, I have it showing appts from both MobileMe and "From my Mac", but I can turn off one or the other. But I don't think this is the problem being described.

    Apple's calendaring is based on the iCalendar standard, so I believe the problem exists within these files. Perhaps they are corrupt. I am not on a Mac at this moment so I cannot tell you where to find them, but perhaps a spotlight search on ".ics" will reveal something. If so, you can view/edit these files as they are just ASCII text files. Try editing your smallest calendar file first. remove any duplicates, and relaunch iCal. If duplicates eventually resurface in that calendar, then I'd suspect that the header/footer information in that file are corrupt.

    Another approach might be to create a new calendar, and drag appointments from the corrupt calendar to the new calendar. If the new calendar starts duplicating events also, then try moving off all .ics files to a safe place and create some new calendars. If even the new calendars start duplicating, then I'm out of ideas. But if not, then the problem is corruption in one of your calendar files... Finding out which one might be painful. Add them in one at a time until the duplicating starts again. The last one added was probably the culprit.
  • JacquelineTrainer Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    This thread is starred as answered. Why? I seem to have similar problems with quadruple calendar events. I don't see an answer in this thread.

    One thing I noticed with the quadruple events, is that they are supposed to be set up as recurring; such as yearly holidays, but they are set as non-recurring holidays every year. Which means I have 4 Christmas holidays shown for every December 25th until infinity. How am I going to go through every year and clean these out?

    I sync with a Blackberry Storm and I wonder if that might be part of the issue.

    Please help!
  • JAD123 Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    this question is not answered, and now add me to the list. Been using ical for 2 years, now it decides it going to duplicate and reduplicate with every synce. I have 12 repeats now. HELP!
  • globalmom Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    I agree this issue is not answered. I have noticed and questioned previously the issue of Mobile asks to sync the calendar with additions and modifications, it only gives the option of "sync" or "sync later". There should be a "Cancel sync" or "Do not make this change" option.

    Instead I have hit "sync later" only to have a pop up menu every two minutes. My calendars are now a mess.
  • 20yearMacUser Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    Yes, this is still not answered for me either. This appears to be a problem with events I create in iCal on one of my Macs, as I never see duplications of events that originate from Entourage, and I don't have any duplicates on my iPhone. From time to time my computers also give me a sync message that dozens of calendar items need to be updated when I have not made any changes to them myself (and many are from years ago). I have to use Entourage for work as our institution is using an older version of Exchange.
  • macwally09 Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    Oh dear, why are none of these threads being answered by the expert dudes? I've been having the same duplication problems as other people appear to have in iCal - seems like since I upgraded my 2nd Gen iPod Touch to iOS4 and I also signed up for the trial MobileMe. Anyway, something weird has happened to my stuff over the last month. I can delete calendar items now (after I have stopped all syncing with MobileMe) only to have them reappear in the same place moments later! What's going on? Any kind of help would be great, thanks!! - can't see much point in MobileMe if the synchronising doesn't work properly...
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