I have finally resolved an issue with my Mac OS X 10.5.7 iCal calendar that has been annoying me since I converted from PC to Mac almost exactly one year ago. For some reason I could not delete my birthday! Because I’m now using Address Book birthdays — instead of having unique iCal “events” for everyone’s birthday — I went into iCal and deleted all the “events” that were imported from Outlook when I imported my calendar. This worked fine for everyone’s birthday … except mine.
My birthday was a recurring event. (This is actually true. It happens every year on June 26th.) The problem was that because my birthday is set in the Address Book “card” that is tagged as “My Card”, it was displaying twice: once for the recurring event imported from Outlook and once for the Address Book birthday. I would delete the event and it would reappear as soon as I changed anything. I would right-click it and “Stop Recurrence” and delete it, and it would reappear. I’d go to the Day view and delete five or six copies of it until it was gone, switch to Month view, and it would reappear. I would delete it from my iPhone and synchronize and it would reappear.
A few days ago I decided to Google this problem. I was not surprised to see hundreds of other people complaining about the same sort of issue. Almost all of the “solutions” involved either executing esoteric sudo commands in the Terminal window or some form of archiving and re-importing of calendars (that looked like the process would take forever). I started digging into the username/Library/Calendars/ folder (where username is my username) and I saw that there were multiple copies of a file named Calendar Cache.
I know enough about computers to understand that 99.9% of the time a cache of anything can be deleted with no disastrous results. (This is not a hard and fast rule, though! Don’t delete a cache file unless you are certain you don’t need it!) Almost always if you delete a cache the only thing that happens is that the computer has to recreate it.
So I deleted all the Calendar Cache files — after making sure to Quit iCal first — and then I ran iCal. It took about three minutes to rebuild its cache, but once it was done my recurring birthday even was gone. Now I can sleep comfortably knowing that my computer will only remind me about my birthday once each year.
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