I have the exact same problem. One work-around solution, which really isn't a solution, is to drag the attachment into iCal. Is should then show up. At this point, you can hit Accept/decline IN iCAL and it stays. Otherwise if you hit ACCEPT/DECLINE in Mail, it disappears. I've found invitations in the trash of Mail, but sometimes they disappear all together.
I'm in the banking business. I have a brand new MacBook Pro (my 5th), but my business world lives in the world of PCs (unfortunately). This is a very serious problem for someone that needs to function in both worlds.
APPLE PLEASE HELP
I haven't seen this issue, but I have seen plenty of cases where invitations where I have not accepted nor declined have still gone onto my calendar and sounded the reminder alarms on my iPhone. I have even seen one case where a meeting was declined, and it still went onto my calendar and sounded its alarm.
I have the same problem, and it's driving me (and my Outlook-using colleagues) mad. Is there some solution? It used to be that when I got an Outlook-originated meeting inviation, clicking on the .ics file would automatically create the event in iCal, and I could accept or reject the invitation. Now, I get an email with no text and a ribbon above the header with an iCal logo, some info about the meeting, and Maybe, Decline and Accept buttons. Clicking on any of the buttons sends the email to Trash and does nothing to create an event. How do I change this back to something useful?
Finally! found a thread talking about this problem! I had a fruitless talk with apple support...here's what I figured out if you have that grey colored bar and ical icon with maybe accept delete but no visible attachment to click on:
go into prefs in either/both ical and apple mail
Mail Prefs: General: Add invitations to ical: select never
iCal prefs: Advanced: uncheck "automatically retrieve invites from mail"
this step should get rid of the grey bar and present you with an ics attachment icon, which you can double click and confirm enters into ical.
At this point, you may encounter another PITA: you have no control over the calendar selection the appointment gets added to. AFAIK, it defaults to the topmost calendar you have in ical (on the left hand sidebar).
I also can't confirm at this point if your acceptance results in an email to the inviting party...
post results here...
Well I'm still having the same problem. Each time someone sends me a invitation from outlook I get the gray bar at the top with the Maybe Decline and Accept but no attached file. I just got this new MacBook with Lion on it and this is the first time I have had issue.
The one thing that does work that did not for me in the past is that when I do hit Accept the sender can see it.
I did what lior said but still no luck.
I have managed to solve the problem for me. This may not work for everyone.
The email account that I use to get the messages that have Outlook-originated meeting requests is an Exchange account. I went to iCal>Preferences>Accounts and set up a calendar using that same Exchange account. Now when I click on the Accept button in an email in Mail, the appointment gets set up in that Calendar.
By the way, that solution was pointed out to me by someone at Apple phone support. I went to a local Apple Store genius, who couldn't figure it out and suggested that my only recourse would be to use Outlook for Mac instead of Mail and iCal. Which I didn't want to do
FTR another workaround is to find the attached .ics file (in the Mail folder) using Spotlight (using the event title for example) - then double-click it in the search list. It now opens in Calendar and behaves correctly (that is it offers an entry and accepts/declines as selected).
The trick seems to be to get the file opened directly (in Calendar) rather than getting the gray bar. I assume that the message delete command is in the .ics file and that the Mail app (buit not the Calendar app) obeys this before getting to the entry/response details. Sounds like a bug for Apple to fix....
I just did this for my university exchange account & it worked fine - BUT this also created a new account in Mail (I created it in iCal) and deleted ALL mail in all excange accounts! It also appears to have re-set the prefs for these accounts in Mail.
I am trying to get this back and have got somewhere (as far as a year ago so far). Life is still possible because my iPad seems not affected and behaves normally.
I have always hated IMAP and all exchange systems because of their power to damage/delete files already transferrred to my machine (which should be sacrosanct!) - POP was so much simpler and more reliable! Though I admit that the university's implementation may be bad - gmail seems fine.
Lior's solution does not work in Mavericks as there is no "automatically retrieve invites from mail" option in Calendar.
I managed to solve it by simply selecting "Calendar" as one of my options in System Preferences/Internet Accounts for my exchange account. It then automatically added a calendar called "calendar" under my exchange account name in the application "Calendar". Clicking on accept placed the correct appointment in that Calendar.