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galeu Level 1 (0 points)

I accidentally deleted some iCal appointments, does anyone know how I can restore them from Time Machine?  It seems a bit cryptic in the Library files

iCal, Mac OS X (10.7.3)
  • MadisonP Level 5 (4,765 points)



    When you restore your calendars from Time Machine you are restoring the entire set of calendars.  There isn't an easy way to pick and choose specific events as all the events live together.


    1. Open iCal
    2. Go to Calendars > Go Offline
    3. Go to iCal > Quit iCal
    4. Restore your Calendars folder from Time Machine from Home > Library > Calendars from a point in time when the information you wanted was present.  Be aware that any data added after that point in time will be lost.
    5. Open iCal
    6. Highlight each calendar one at a time on the left hand side and go to File > Export > Export and save the resulting calendar to the desktop.
    7. Go to Calendars > Go Online
    8. If the calendars delete themselves (which sometimes happens when syncing is involved) you can reimport them from the ics files on your desktop.



    Hope that helps!

  • galeu Level 1 (0 points)

    It worked !  Many thanks.

  • rahlo Level 1 (0 points)

    MadisonP, thanks so much for taking the time t post those detailed instructions!


    However, when I follow your instructions and restore the Calendar folder, it doesn't result in any info/dates being restored. Any ideas as to why?

  • edMN94 Level 1 (0 points)

    Madison, I am confused.  I made LIB public with terminal.  I just cannot find "go offline" in iCal.


    I already went into TimeMachine and brought front the data from yesterday (MacHD/Users/name/Library/Calendars), but it didn't seem to replace the calendars.  YES it brought forward something like 1200 files on the restore, but no luck.  I want to do a total restore being my calendar is now blank, and other calendars I had don't exist.


    Sorry for jumping this thread.



  • J V S Level 1 (0 points)

    This worked wonderfully for me as well. Thanks!


    I also added a step or two to retrieve just ONE calendar from months ago without losing any data:


    I backed up ical and also saved a copy of the mlost recent 'calendars' folder before restoring the entire old 'calendars' folder from the Time Machine backup. After restoring the old 'calendars' folder and opening ical I exported the single calendar I needed using iCal and then quit again and restored the newest 'calendars' folder. Opened ical and imported the old single calendar I had exported to the desktop.


    Hopefully that might help someone.

  • Peter Best1 Level 1 (40 points)

    This is confusing and depressing me. All events have disappeared from my iCal on the iMac, iPad and iPhone. We're talking thousands of events that I can't afford to lose, stretching forward for years. I have iCloud calendars enabled on all devices but it would seem that iCloud has also erased all trace of events.  I can't find any "go offline" option in iCal. I've searched using spotlight but cannot find "Calendars" in any library on my iMac. If I can't find "Calendars" how can I restore them from Time Machine?

  • Peter Best1 Level 1 (40 points)

    Further to my query, I've found elsewhere that I have to use TERMINAL to reveal the library in my Users folder but how do I then find the file in my time machine backup which has faithfully kept the Library folder hidden?

  • edMN94 Level 1 (0 points)

    chflags nohidden ~/Library/


    Here are comments from my experience with this fiasco.

    when you make lib visible, you'll find the settings folder for iCal.  inside that you'll see however many different calendars you have ONE folder per each.  They are titled something like 002A-HS29-F137-0201  You get the idea.  ANYWAH what you may consider is create however many calendars you have so they are seperated.

    Open the first folder select all, drag and drop into iCal calendar 1.  then drag and drop second folder contents into calendar 2 and so on...


    You don't have to remind me how much of a pain it was!  I regret dumping them into only ONE calendar.


    Sidenote: My iphone/ipodTouch/Apple online STILL have all of my old calendar "sections" that were wiped from my calendar.  Have not addressed that yet but will have to shortly.



  • Peter Best1 Level 1 (40 points)

    Thank you for sharing your chagrin. But how do I find the Library file in a Time Machine back-up which was done when the file on my iMac was invisible? There's no trace of that Library file in my TM back-ups. How can I access it? And if I can't, what can I do? One thing I now realise I must do every day is to back up iCal. How odd that the software doesn't do that automatically.

  • edMN94 Level 1 (0 points)

    That I can't tell you.  I tried in TM first, but because my Lib folder was hidden when the backups were made, I couldn't see it on older backups either.  Maybe others were able to see library in TM and restore it.

  • Peter Best1 Level 1 (40 points)

    Can anyone answer this question? Is it possible to restore files from Time Machine that were backed up when their enclosing folder was invisible?

  • J V S Level 1 (0 points)

    Yes. I did this just today. I 'unhid' the Library folder (within user folder) by doing the Terminal command as mentioned previously. Then I went to my Library folder (Users>'myname'>Library) and then "entered" Time Machine. I was then able to go back to the date and restore the entire 'calendars' folder. Then upon re-opening iCal all calendars were restored as they were on the date I chose.


    Time Machione took a little while to reveal the folder (probably because it was via time capsule - wireless)


    BTW- I believe the 'go ofline' only refers to calendars you have on 'iCloud' etc. I also turned my wifi off when ICal was turned on just to be safe...


    Hope this helps.

  • Peter Best1 Level 1 (40 points)

    Wow! When I loaded Time Machine from the disc icon on the LHS of the screen it did nothing. When I loaded it from the icons at the top of the screen it went to the Library location in Time Machine. There were a few bizarre occurrences in the restore that necessitated me doing it several times but in the end I got my stuff back. Thank you for your help. It would be useful for dopes like me to know that there's a difference in the system's response between the two on-screen manifestations of Time Machine. One presumably refers to the drive itself, the other to the application. Pity I didn't know the difference. May I add a comment on Apple's HELP menus? They're as poorly designed, as clumsy and as useless as any SEARCH functions I've encountered anywhere on the internet. I enter a perfectly simple and unchallenging query and it takes from one minute to three minutes to come up with a response. If the content of the query is not exactly and precisely the same as some entry in the HELP application one gets no response. And even when it gets a response it can take something close to forever, to the point where I resort to Apple HELP only in circumstances of absolutely dire necessity, assuming that the query is pointless anyway. And it almost always is.  Can't Apple do better than this? Maybe they need some help from Google?

  • Appleguy514 Level 1 (25 points)

    I got everything up and running again.  Most of the directions on how to restore files from Time Machine to iCal don't tell you all the steps because between Lion and Mountain Lion, Apple changed where the "Calendars" folder is found. It is hidden in Moutain Lion and can only be found through the "Go" Menu.  Hold down the ALT key (Option key) while looking at the Go Menu and a new Library folder (that will contain all the hidden folders) should appear.  Note: if you go to the Library through clicking on Machintosh HD > Library, you won't see it.


    From there it was easy, just hook up my external backup drive a.k.a. Time Machine, and while looking at the hidden library folder, just click on the Time Machine application and I could see my backup of the folder.  I just went back one day, highlighted the "Calendars" folder and clicked "Restore" at the bottom right.  Then I restarted iCal and it updated for a minute, and "boom" crisis averted.

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