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Can't set alerts/reminder in iCal when using Google calendar

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Can't set alerts/reminder in iCal when using Google calendar tkbalt 12/19/11 8:56 AM
Operating system: Mac 10.7.2
Program I use to access Google Calendar: iCal

I have been using Google calendar with iCal and my iPhone for over a year, and have been quite happy.  Recently, I have been frustrated with Google's decision to turn off the ability to delete calendar items from iCal, but I understand they are working on fixing the underlying bug that caused many people's entire calendars to be deleted.

However, just last week, I stopped being able to set any alerts/reminders in my Google Calendar events through iCal.  It used to be that I could set an alert (even two alerts if I wanted) and they would sync through Google Calendar to my iPhone, so that my iPhone would properly get the alerts.  Now, when I save the calendar item in iCal, the alerts immediately disappear.  I can set Google calendar reminders through the Google calendar web interface, and then get a web-based popup (or email), but I don't have iCal alerts anymore or iPhone alerts, which is frustrating if I'm not at my computer for the reminder.

Any suggestions?  Is this at least a known issue and is hopefully being worked on?

Thanks so much for your help.
Re: Can't set alerts/reminder in iCal when using Google calendar robot.maker 12/20/11 7:40 AM
+1
I'm having the same issue with OS 10.6.8
Re: Can't set alerts/reminder in iCal when using Google calendar san.fran.leatherman 12/20/11 3:08 PM
Same issue is what brought me here looking for help today. 
Re: Can't set alerts/reminder in iCal when using Google calendar Tom SMP 12/21/11 12:09 PM
Same problem here. Thinking about switching to iCloud because of this issue.
Re: Can't set alerts/reminder in iCal when using Google calendar Aaroneas 12/23/11 1:30 PM
+1
Can't set alerts anymore, I live by that feature! 
it makes me so upset that iCal doesn't play with google anymore. 
(the inability to delete, the edits creating a second copy, now this...)
Re: Can't set alerts/reminder in iCal when using Google calendar WJCB 1/4/12 7:52 AM
Same here. It's really annoying that the iCal - Google Calendar CalDAV sync is so unreliable. Seems Google is constantly changing the backend. Problems appear and disappear without any notice. Notifications is the worst. There has been a time that every event always had two notifications no matter what I tried. Now we have this problem that notifications cannot be set in iCal and notifications set in Google Calendar or on my iPhone are not visible in iCal. I don't understand why my iPhone, that also uses CalDAV sync, has no problem with notifications but iCal has.
Re: Can't set alerts/reminder in iCal when using Google calendar inearlygaveup 1/4/12 10:42 AM
Same problem with my android 2.2.1 alerts stopped on this phone, revert back to bog standard little old mobile and they work again....
Re: Can't set alerts/reminder in iCal when using Google calendar juther 1/6/12 7:29 AM
+1. Hard to depend on the calendar when notifications don't work.
Re: Can't set alerts/reminder in iCal when using Google calendar inearlygaveup 1/6/12 8:57 AM
I bet Google may be dropping text alerts
Re: Can't set alerts/reminder in iCal when using Google calendar hildybacon 1/8/12 6:44 PM
Same issue here. Hoping for a solution/fix soon.
Re: Can't set alerts/reminder in iCal when using Google calendar dshanah 1/8/12 9:57 PM
+1 I have the same issue all of a sudden on Mac OS X 10.7.2 with iCal alerts/notificantions. You can enter the alert in iCal as normal but when it updates the Google calendar the alert disappears! Same thing happens if you try to add alerts to events in the iOS 5.0.1 Calendar app. It used to work until a few weeks ago, not sure exactly when it broke but maybe 2-4 weeks ago?

This is a giant pain, if Google can't fix it soon I'm going to have to switch to iCloud's calendar.
Re: Can't set alerts/reminder in iCal when using Google calendar macguy34 1/9/12 9:28 AM
Ok, so I found a work around for now and this is Mac only, you can try PC if you want.  Anyway. . . .use your existing gmail account to create an iCloud account.  Go to iCal and export your existing Gmail calendar to your desktop.  Go into iCal and and add an account, enter your new iCloud account.  Once it's set up import your Gmail calendar into that calendar.  Go back to accounts and make your gmail calendar inactive.  Now you have a calendar with reminders again.  Once gmail figure this out you can export your iCloud calendar and import it back to gmail.  Hope this helps. . . .this has been very frustrating and I couldn't deal with it anymore.
Re: Can't set alerts/reminder in iCal when using Google calendar guttbinderconsulting 1/13/12 4:41 AM
I believe I have found a solution! It seems that Google's settings are overriding iCal's settings when it "Updates" (the process that occurs after you finish creating an event). The fix is to create the default reminder on Google in the calendar (and/or the delegate calendar) you are using! 

  1. Simply go to your online web portal for your calendar (calendar.google.com or google.com/a/YOURDOMAIN.com and then go to the calendar section)
  2. Go to your calendar section 
  3. Click calendar settings (from the gear in the upper right hand corner once you're in calendar)
  4. Click the calendars tab
  5. Click Notifications for the calendar(s) you want a default notification for
  6. Click Add a Reminder
  7. Choose Email, popup, or both (by adding multiple reminders)
  8. Then click save.

Let me know how it works out!

Seems like you won't be able to make any more reminders outside of the default now... but I think the default reminder is the real big issue here. 
Re: Can't set alerts/reminder in iCal when using Google calendar cdlenfert 1/13/12 9:49 AM
The tip above from guttbinderconsulting got me thinking about this a little differently and I discovered the following:

If you set the default reminder in your google calendar preferences, when you add an event in ical, the default reminder shows up.
In google I selected "pop-up" for my default reminder type.
When you look at the type of reminder that is set in ical, if you had selected "pop-up" in google, you'll see ical calls it "message".

I've always preferred to use the "message with sound" option in ical. So I tried changing my default alarm within ical. 
The reminder/notification/alarm disappeared when I changed it to "message with sound".

When I added a new reminder that was just a message, it showed up, and didn't instantly dissapear. It also synced with my google calendar as expected.

I can live without the "boink" sound when my alerts pop up on screen, so long as they're popping up and not disappearing. Hope this helps some, at least until it starts working like it used to.
Re: Can't set alerts/reminder in iCal when using Google calendar tonythetech 1/13/12 10:57 AM
Brilliant!

  cdlenfert's solution works for me. Still using iCal on snow leopard (10.6.8).
Re: Can't set alerts/reminder in iCal when using Google calendar drewmedia 1/17/12 8:40 AM
I'm also having this problem now. I've previously had no problem syncing reminders set on iCal. Now, Google Apps is deleting those reminders. The "message only" / "set reminders on the Google side" workaround doesn't work for me. I need audio reminders, and I change my reminders depending on the specific event—it's not feasible to have to manage calendar invitations in two places.
Re: Can't set alerts/reminder in iCal when using Google calendar skra 1/19/12 1:04 PM
+1 Until today everything worked fine with iCal. Now new invites or new events I've created do no longer have an alert set. Alerts only work when Google Calendar assigns a default reminder. However, then I will only get a message and no sound. For me Google Calendar is now completely unusable since I'll miss customer appointments when no alert sound is played anymore...
Re: Can't set alerts/reminder in iCal when using Google calendar leetncamp 1/23/12 12:20 PM
This is the best solution so far.
Re: Can't set alerts/reminder in iCal when using Google calendar timmb 1/25/12 11:15 AM
Same problem here. Massive stack of library fines now!

Makes you realise how much you let all this crap run your life. Guess there will be no one else to blame when the machines rise up against us.
Re: Can't set alerts/reminder in iCal when using Google calendar Philsen 2/2/12 8:18 AM
same here....

come on google fix it....!!!
Re: Can't set alerts/reminder in iCal when using Google calendar tomahsmith 2/2/12 8:24 AM
I bet they won't. Well at least someone else has the issue.

All my events are on Gmail Calander.com, but when syncing with S Planner, only contacts birthday's appear. I have some subscription calendars.

 Is this the same for you?

Do you think its an issue with S Planner?
Re: Can't set alerts/reminder in iCal when using Google calendar babbling 2/12/12 5:44 PM
Well, I have found a (messy!) solution because I, like skra, need the audible reminders.

If you set up Google to receive SMS notifications, you can then receive SMS on your phone with the accompanying audible tone.

However, you can't set this up in iCal; therefore after creating the event, you have to go into Google Calendar and set up the reminder for those events. Not a great solution by any means, but for me there are only some events that I need audible reminders for, so this should work for me.

(I'm not sure who is paying for the SMS...in Australia we only pay for outgoing calls/texts.)
Re: Can't set alerts/reminder in iCal when using Google calendar BEX1304 3/3/12 2:30 PM
Guys, thanks for your help - your discussion brought me on the right track, but I believe the issue is a different one. At least the one that I experienced.

Situation: syncing via CalDAV google calendar with iCal 
Mac OS 10.7.3

When I downloaded from the web .ics files of events that i wanted to include in my calendars, the entry appeared for a couple of seconds and then disappeared (but only in iCal, it did neither, in fact, disappear in google calendar nor on my android phone's synced calendar).

My solution: 
1) download the .ics file as usual
2) click on "open with ..." > TextEdit
3) Delete the line that starts with "UID:"
4) make sure you dont leave an empty row
5) close the TextEdit File
6) double click on the .ics so it adds the entry into iCal
7) it should now stay there and not disappear

Now I feel like a pro, even though I didnt code for over 5 years (and only learnt some matlab & C++ in school).
Olé
Re: Can't set alerts/reminder in iCal when using Google calendar BEX1304 3/3/12 2:35 PM
By the way: if this solution works for you, make sure you only use it if its extremely unlikely that hte event changes, since UID is used for updating critical information of the appointment such as date, time and venue.

olé
Re: Can't set alerts/reminder in iCal when using Google calendar jcb23 3/6/12 9:47 AM
I'm having the same issue and creating a default reminder in Google calendars doesn't help me as that just creates the same reminder for every event I create.  Some things I put into the calendar I don't want a reminder for at all and I need the ability to customize how I'm reminded for each event.  I'm guessing I'm not alone here--there have to be other people that have events they're more likely to forget completely about and will need a few day reminder and events that they can just be reminded about an hour beforehand.  I just switched all my calendar info over to my google calendar so that it would update everywhere when I made a change--very frustrated to find now that this means I won't be able to use reminders in iCal and will have to try to go to Google Calendar to put them in.  Especially since I, like others in the forum prefer the reminder with sound which is not an option.
Re: Can't set alerts/reminder in iCal when using Google calendar sijitsma 3/6/12 9:41 PM
cdlenfert's solution is spot-on.

In iCal, set your Alert to "Message", don't select "Message with Sound".  Once I set it to just Message, the Alerts get saved and stay.

-sijitsma
Re: Can't set alerts/reminder in iCal when using Google calendar timmb 3/7/12 4:27 AM
Still doesn't work for me - with or without sound, it silently deletes the alert as soon as it updates (OS X 10.7)
Re: Can't set alerts/reminder in iCal when using Google calendar FJJJR 3/7/12 3:17 PM
Confirmed...this solution does not work. C'mon, Google! I keep finding more and more reasons not to use your product!! Sheesh! Fix it!
Re: Can't set alerts/reminder in iCal when using Google calendar FJJJR 3/7/12 3:26 PM
I have tried this fix, and it worked for me. What I don't understand is why this issue just started popping up for me in the last few days...?? The fix was posted nearly two months ago, and I am certain it wasn't a problem for me until just recently...Google is driving me off!
Re: Can't set alerts/reminder in iCal when using Google calendar skuddes 3/9/12 6:15 PM
PLEASE FIX THIS GOOGLE!  I am running my business by syncing iCal with Google Calendar and I MUST be able to use my reminders on iCal!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Re: Can't set alerts/reminder in iCal when using Google calendar skuddes 3/9/12 6:35 PM
I CANNOT do any reminders on All day events...PERIOD!  

When I try to set up a reminder for anything other than an all day event I can OCCASIONALLY (as far as I can tell its totally random) do a reminder with just a "message" (cannot use "message with a sound").  Even when I am able to occasionally get the "message" reminder to work I CANNOT customize when I want the reminder to pop up.  If I try to set the reminder for 15, 18, 9 days before, etc. for some reason it always makes the reminder 14 or 7 days before.

C'mon Google...This is BAD...REALLY BAD! 

Re: Can't set alerts/reminder in iCal when using Google calendar jcb23 3/10/12 9:47 AM
This doesn't work for me either.  Even if I just select "Message" the alert is still automatically deleted.  I seem to be able to set alerts from my ipod, but not from iCal on my Macbook (which is where I'm more likely to set alerts).  It looks like if I put the alert in on Google it then pops up through iCal (meaning the message pops up at the time I specified), but the alert itself does not show up when I click to view the details of the event in iCal.  So when I look at the event it looks like there is no alert set, but when it actually comes time for the reminder to pop up it does work.  Again this is only when I set the alert through Google though.  I'm still not able to get anything to work when I try to add an alert through iCal.  I also agree that this just started happening in the last week or so.  There was a point in the recent past when I was able to set up alerts through iCal and they synced to Google with no problem whatsoever.
Re: Can't set alerts/reminder in iCal when using Google calendar timmb 3/10/12 10:40 AM
Strange, it definitely started for me in January.

And none of these little type of reminder tricks work either. Maybe there are a number of different problems going on.

Anyway, I don't really see any reason for it to be more likely an issue on Google's side than Apple's side. Though they're both as crap as each other at responding to problem reports.
Re: Can't set alerts/reminder in iCal when using Google calendar matt11v28 3/29/12 10:24 AM
cdlenfert's solution partly works for me.  It has to be like this:

1.  Set up the default alert in iCal preferences.
2.  When you create a new event, click on the alert settings in the event BEFORE iCal has a chance to sync it with G-cal.
3.  Set the alert to message.

(If I wait too long before clicking on the alert settings, the default alert disappears and if I try to add one afterwards it just disappears.)
Re: Can't set alerts/reminder in iCal when using Google calendar jcb23 3/30/12 5:58 AM
This worked for me!  The only problem I had is that iCal would start to sync the event immediately when I created it even though I set the refresh settings for the account to "Manually."  So I found that I had to take all accounts offline while I created the event and then once the event was all set up I could put the accounts back online and when it refreshed it didn't delete the alert.  When I added the event this way I didn't even have to have a default alert set up I could just add one when I created the event.  I set up shortcuts for "Go Offline" and "Go Online" in settings so it's actually pretty quick to take the accounts on and offline which makes this a decent solution.  Much better than having to go online to my google calendar to add reminders.  I did confirm that it has to be just a message; the message with sound alerts still get deleted.
Re: Can't set alerts/reminder in iCal when using Google calendar jeff-gmail-corp-user 4/9/12 11:13 AM
iCal is not playing well with Google for me either. I've found that if I receive a meeting invitation that if I respond to it, then change the calendar to my iCloud calendar, I can set the alert. It's not very convenient, but at least the person sending the invitation gets a response, and I get a reminder. When I'm creating a calendar event for a meeting, I unfortunately have to create the event online in order to set an alert.
Re: Can't set alerts/reminder in iCal when using Google calendar Tazron 4/15/12 8:32 AM
I tried that and it does not work at least now it does not work.

Google definitely needs to fix this - this is a major feature that should not have been left out.

Very surprising for a company like Google to leave out a no brainer feature like this.

Google if you want to compete against the major players you have to provide common sense features like this.
Re: Can't set alerts/reminder in iCal when using Google calendar brazilianx 4/17/12 5:27 AM
You got me worried about the cost of SMS texts sent by Google Calendar notifications.


Google Calendar is a free product and Google doesn't charge you to receive notifications. Please keep in mind that if you're in the US or Canada, your mobile service provider's standard rate for receiving text messages may apply.

See here: Cost of SMS messages

Re: Can't set alerts/reminder in iCal when using Google calendar gg_ 4/30/12 6:38 AM
I have the same problem. Alerts (of any kink) set in iCal are accepted only occasionaly but mostly deleted upon the first sync.
Even if I set a default reminder on google calendar, any (most..) modifications done in the mac are rejected...too bad.
Is there at least an acknowledgement of the issue by Apple or Google somewhere?

Mac OS 10.7.3
Re: Can't set alerts/reminder in iCal when using Google calendar perfectbrilliant 7/9/12 5:57 AM
Two things are going on here:

a) Reminder does have to be "message" not "message with sound" 

b) Google will not update a reminder set in iCal, IF that is the ONLY change that has been made to the calendar event. 

FIX: Set a "message" reminder and then make a small change to another field, like if the event is "Take Cat to Vet" change it to "Take Cat to Vet." (period added) 

You can just add or remove a space, also you can change other fields like location, note etc. If something else besides just reminder changes in iCal, google will accept the reminder update.
Re: Can't set alerts/reminder in iCal when using Google calendar itai-macuser 7/24/12 1:09 PM
I have been having this same issue and have found a strange (and partial solution):

I'm using Mac OS X 10.7.4, google sync on my iPhone and iCal with CalDAV on my Mac

I set google calendar for automatic pop up alerts 60 minutes before an event
I set iCal for automatic message alerts 60 minutes before an event

if i double click on a time in iCal and create a quick event it will immediately delete the auto alert when it updates with Google. (My iPhone will not register the alert and if I add an alert on my iPhone iCal does not register it although it will keep in the iPhone)

HOWEVER! If I click the + button in iCal and create an event that way, it will keep the alert! I have verified it on my iPhone and it works. This means that when using iCal, I can only create alerts with the + button.  Not ideal but not terrible either.
itai-macuser 7/24/12 1:09 PM <This message has been deleted.>
Re: Can't set alerts/reminder in iCal when using Google calendar JI_PMD 8/20/12 7:06 AM
guttbinderconsulting - this seems to have worked for me.  Thanks.
Re: Can't set alerts/reminder in iCal when using Google calendar erindory 9/11/12 5:04 PM
I use Google Apps so I am able to navigate to my settings per guttbinderconsulting recommendation, but I can't find the place to change notifications.... I have not gearbox in my control panel. 
Any ideas? 
Re: Can't set alerts/reminder in iCal when using Google calendar Robert Burns OB 11/6/12 11:59 AM
Your instructions are erroneous.  Nowhere in Settings for a Google Calendar is the word "Reminder" to be found.
Re: Can't set alerts/reminder in iCal when using Google calendar Robert Burns OB 11/6/12 12:07 PM
Obviously, Google Calendar is crap or belligerent towards iCal.  Has anyone tried a sync between GCal and Outlook (which by itself works for people in the real world who have to have professional notifications)?
Re: Can't set alerts/reminder in iCal when using Google calendar bickerdyke 11/6/12 2:52 PM
they may be called "notifications"
Re: Can't set alerts/reminder in iCal when using Google calendar Robert Burns OB 11/6/12 5:24 PM
Under "Calendar Settings/Labs", I just disabled this nerdy gobbledygooked junk in hopes that things will improve:
Do you like pop-up reminders but hate how they rudely interrupt whatever you're doing? This feature replaces Calendar's pop-ups: when you get a reminder, the title of the Google Calendar window or tab will happily blink in the background and you will hear a pleasant sound. Alternatively, you can choose to use desktop notifications in Chrome.
I also find this similarly incompetent garbage under "Calendar Settings/General":
Gentle reminders (labs):
  Dismiss gentle reminder when event ends
  Play a sound notification together with reminders (requires Flash)
  Show floating desktop notifications
You have not allowed Chrome Notifications for Google Calendar, so you will see regular gentle reminders in this browser.Allow Chrome desktop notifications

I also find this information under "Calendar Settings/Calendar/Reminders and Notifications" none of which relates to sound on a computer:

y Calendars
   Calendars I can view and modify
CALENDAR SHOW IN LIST
all  none NOTIFICATIONS SHARING  
Robert Burns
Reminders and notifications Share this calendar Delete
Tasks
 

Re: Can't set alerts/reminder in iCal when using Google calendar bickerdyke 11/7/12 6:44 AM
That stuff in the Labs is in Labs, because it is experimental. If you have problems understanding the description. leave it turned OFF.

The second one is close. click on reminders and notifications (... that IS there as you'd now have to admit...) and on the top of that page you can add reminders to use unless stated otherwise in the event itself.

I'm not sure if those defaults indeed overwrite specific settings coming from an iSomething, but I'd trust guttbinderconsulting enough to try it.
Re: Can't set alerts/reminder in iCal when using Google calendar Robert Burns OB 11/7/12 9:17 AM
OK.  I now have disabled all Labs options.

As for reminders, what's the point?  Only pop-up messages and E-mails are options.  I need SOUND.  I already have pop-ups enabled.
Re: Can't set alerts/reminder in iCal when using Google calendar bickerdyke 11/7/12 1:58 PM
Sound is not available for the online notifications, which is one of the reasons why I'm not using them. (I use SMS and phone alerts instead)

You might want to give some external tool as gminder a try.
Re: Can't set alerts/reminder in iCal when using Google calendar Robert Burns OB 11/7/12 4:08 PM
That needs to change and is clearly viewed by posters here as inexcusable.  I view it as a dumbing down by those who have little or no experience in the business/professional world.  Anyway, my IT guy claims that he'll fix it tomorrow.
Re: Can't set alerts/reminder in iCal when using Google calendar bickerdyke 11/8/12 12:53 AM
Perhaps. But I think those two guys who are running google might gain a bit experience as soon as they expand that google-business out of their parents basments and move into their first real office... Then they might join and learn a bit about the business/professional world.
Re: Can't set alerts/reminder in iCal when using Google calendar La.te 11/8/12 3:30 AM
I noticed the same. Also, it looks like reminders set before the event works. If I set reminder 0 minutes before or at the time of event in iCal (OS X) it doesn't work. 1 minute before works.

So far I haven't been successful to set reminder to an event in iPhone that would pop-up in iCal.

I use iPhone iOS 6.0.1 and Mountain Lion.
Re: Can't set alerts/reminder in iCal when using Google calendar Robert Burns OB 11/10/12 9:27 AM
Damn it!  I understand there to be a fix via Spanning Sync 3 but the software is no longer being sold thanks to Apple's parroting of Google's misbehavior:  http://blog.spanningsync.com/2012/07/end-of-the-line-for-spanning-sync.html
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