My weird iCal/Leopard problems: Help!

I love iCal, but it’s driving me crazy lately. Help!

As you might have guessed, I’m a pretty busy person. If I didn’t have a good electronic calendar program, with alerts and reliable backup, I’d be totally lost. That’s why I’ve been a devoted user of Apple’s iCal program for about 10 years.

A few months ago, when I upgraded to a Macbook Pro with the Leopard OS (original install, not a Leopard upgrade), iCal started getting weird on me. I’ve been to the Genius Bar at my local Apple Store twice about it, and have yet to find a problem. But I’m getting concerned, because I depend so heavily on this program. If it totally flames out on me, moving to a new solution will be a big hassle.

So I’m hoping some of my readers, or someone in the iCal support forums, is smarter or luckier than me and the folks at my local Apple Genius Bar.

Here are the iCal problems I’m experiencing, and what I’ve tried (unsuccessfully, so far) to diagnose and fix it. Your ideas and suggestions for further measures are most welcome…


I upgraded to a Macbook (Tiger OS) to a Macbook Pro (Leopard OS) about three months ago. Apple’s migration assistant had a problem copying my iCal data over automatically, so we (Tom Vilot was helping out) transfered that data manually into iCal.

Initially I had a problem with my calendar alerts not working. The first visit to the Genius bar fixed that.

Remaining iCal problems:

  • Export not working. This problem is new, just started about a month ago — but it’s the one that concerns me most. Periodically, I had been exporting data from my main iCal calendar and uploading it to Google Calendar as a backup. Now, when I try to export that calendar, iCal just freezes on me and I have to force quit the program. (Yes, I am using Time Machine to back up all my data, but still…)
  • Long delay to switch views. When I try to switch from, say, month view to week view, or from one month to the next, it takes iCal about 15 seconds to complete the switch. I also see a long switch when I try to turn my main calendar off and on in the left sidebar. That’s more annoying than worrisome, but I’d like to fix it.

  • Can’t delete old events. I’ve tried several time in the iCal advanced preferences to have iCal delete all events older than 30 days. It looks like it accepts that choice, but then never actually deletes the old events.

I’m pretty sure my problem has something to do with some corruption or problem with my main calendar file. I say this because these attempted solutions had no result (the problems remained):

  • Creating a new user account with a clean iCal, then sharing my main calendar file over to that user account.
  • Reinstalling the entire Leopard OS from the discs supplied with my Macbook. (There’s no separate iCal installer, you have to reinstall Leopard to reinstall iCal.)

So: What can I try next to diagnose or fix this problem? Is anyone else having similar problems? Your suggestions are welcome, please comment below. I’m also posting this to the iCal support forum.

3 thoughts on My weird iCal/Leopard problems: Help!

  1. Basically the only fix was to have a geek friend manually edit my iCal file to get rid of items older than 30 days, Wipe iCal clean, and reinstall with that file. It was a hassle.

  2. Hi there, I have the same problem and some more: when I add more events, most of them disappear if I quit iCal for some reason and then launch it again, witch means that I can’t reboot my MacBook Pro without losing information. Another problem is the birthday’s from the Address Book, more than half simply don’t appear. I’m from Portugal and we have no Apple Stores here so I can’t go to a Genius Bar… Have you resolved your problems? Please give me some feedback. Thanks.

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