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iCloud: Manually importing data from Calendar or iCal to iCloud Calendar

In addition to the automatic merging of calendar data that occurs when you first set up iCloud Calendar in OS X, there are other ways of getting local calendar data into iCloud. 

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If you have already set up Calendar or iCal for iCloud but you have some local calendars or events that you would like to upload to iCloud, the methods discussed in this article can help. Review the steps below and choose the method which is most appropriate for your situation and needs.

Notes:

  • It is not necessary to follow the steps in this article if you have already configured Calendar for OS X Mountain Lion or iCal for iCloud Calendars and your calendar data is properly updating between your Mac, the iCloud website, and your iOS devices.
  • If you've already attempted to get your calendar data from Calendar or iCal to iCloud but you're having issues, see this troubleshooting article.

Importing and merging local Calendars from Calender into iCloud 

Method 1: Manually uploading calendars to iCloud

In most cases this method should not be necessary. However, you may wish to follow these steps if:

  • You have some calendar data on your computer that you have not moved to iCloud, such as calendar backups or calendars from another device or computer not connected to iCloud. 
  • You've received evites or other events in an ICS format that did not automatically import into Calendar. 

To manually upload local Calendars to iCloud:

  1. Make sure that your computer is properly configured for iCloud calendar:
    1. Choose System Preferences from the Apple () menu, and then click iCloud.
    2. Verify that you are signed in to the iCloud preferences pane and that Calendars is enabled.
      • If you are not signed in to the iCloud preferences pane, or if Calendars is not enabled, you should follow the standard steps for setting up iCloud instead of continuing with these steps.
    3. Quit System Preferences.
  2. Open Calendar and select File > Import > Import. Locate the ICS calendar or event file that you want to add to Calendar. Click Import. Note: Also you can double-click an ICS file to open and import it into Calendar.
  3. Select the calendar name that you would like to add these events to, and click OK. You can also select New Calendar as the destination from the menu.

Method 2: Merging Calendars during iCloud setup a second time

As with the first method discussed, these steps should not be necessary for most users. However, if you have local calendars in Calendar that have not moved to iCloud, or if you choose to restore your calendars from a backup, you might need to resync that data with iCloud. The steps below repeat the merge process that normally occurs when you first set up iCloud on your computer. This process assumes that you are not currently signed into iCloud Calendars. 

Preparing to merge calendars to iCloud: backup

It is strongly recommended that you back up your important calendar data before uploading your Calendars to iCloud. To back up your Calendars:

  1. Open Calendar.
  2. Select one of the calendars in the Calendar list.
  3. Choose File > Export > Export.
  4. Save the file to a safe backup location.
  5. Repeat for every calendar you want to back up.

Merge Calendars to iCloud

  1. After backing up your calendars as described in the section above, you should have a folder containing ICS files for each calendar you have.
  2. Quit Calendar.
  3. Open System Preferences.
  4. Click iCloud.
  5. Select the checkbox next to Calendars.
  6. When prompted to merge calendars with iCloud, choose Merge.
  7. Close System Preferences.
  8. Open Calendar.
  9. While Calendar is uploading your calendar data to the servers, the text Calendar Updating will appear in the title bar. You can also monitor the update process by viewing the progress indicator in the Calendar list. When both these indicators are no longer active, your calendar data should be successfully uploaded to the iCloud Calendar servers.
         

Importing and merging local Calendars from iCal into iCloud

Preparing to add calendars to iCloud: backup

It is strongly recommended that you back up your important calendar data before uploading your iCal calendars to iCloud. To back up your Calendars:

  1. Open iCal.
  2. Select one of the calendars in the Calendar list.
  3. Choose File > Export > Export.
  4. Save the file to a safe backup location.
  5. Repeat for every calendar you want to back up.

For information on backing up your important data that is already on iCloud, see this article

Method 1: Manually uploading calendars to iCloud

In most cases this method should not be necessary. However, you may wish to follow these steps if:

  • You still have some calendar data on your computer that you have not moved to iCloud.

  • You don't want to automatically merge iCal and iCloud data. This is the more hands-on, and technical method.

To manually upload local Calendars to iCloud, you will need to export you local calendars and reimport them as iCloud calendars.

  1. Make sure that your computer is properly configured for iCloud calendar:

    1. Choose System Preferences from the Apple () menu and then click iCloud.
    2. Verify that you are signed in to the iCloud preferences pane and that Calendars is enabled.
      • If you are not signed in to the iCloud preferences pane, or if Calendars is not enabled, you should just follow the standard steps for setting up iCloud instead of continuing with these steps.
    3. Quit System Preferences.
  2. Open iCal and then click Calendars in the top left to display the Calendar list. In the Calendar list you should notice a section labeled ON MY MAC and a section labeled ICLOUD. Your local calendars should appear under the ON MY MAC section. For more information about the various sections in iCal and what they mean, see this article
  3. Select one of the calendars in the ON MY MAC section that you want to move to iCloud Calendar. Choose File > Export > Export and save the file to a safe place.
  4. In the ICLOUD section of iCal, create a new calendar that matches the name of the calendar you exported. Do this by choosing File > New Calendar > iCloud. The new calendar should appear under the ICLOUD section in iCal:
  5. In the Finder, double-click the calendar you exported from iCal.
  6. When prompted, choose to import the calendar data into the newly created calendar in the ICLOUD section.
  7. Repeat steps 3-6 for each calendar listed under ON MY MAC that you would like to move to iCloud.
  8. When done, wait for the iCal Updating text to no longer appear in the iCal title bar. You can also monitor the update process by viewing the progress indicator in the Calendar list. When both these indicators are no longer active, your calendar data should be successfully uploaded to the iCloud Calendar servers.
         

Method 2: Merging Calendars during iCloud setup a second time

As with the first method discussed, these steps should not be necessary for most users. However, if you still have some calendar data on your computer that you have not moved to iCloud and you would like a chance to merge your computer's iCal data with iCloud again, then this method can be used. The steps below repeat the merge process that normally occurs when you first setup iCloud on your computer.

  1. If you have not done so already, back up your calendars as described in the first section of this article. After backing up your calendars you should have a folder containing ICS files for each calendar you have.
  2. Quit iCal.
  3. Choose System Preferences from the Apple () menu.
  4. Click iCloud to open the iCloud preferences pane.
  5. Deselect the checkbox next to Calendars.
  6. When prompted to remove your Calendars & Reminders from your Mac, choose "Delete from Mac."
  7. Close System Preferences, and open iCal.
  8. Click the Calendars button in the top-left corner to open the Calendar list.
  9. Note which calendars currently exist in the ON MY MAC section.
  10. Open the folder of calendar backups (from step one).
  11. Import any Calendars you want to upload to iCloud:
    1. Double-click the first ICS backup file you wish to import into iCal.
    2. When prompted to "Add events" to iCal, choose the option which best suites your needs for the data:
      • If you want to add the events from the ICS file to an existing calendar, choose a Calendar from the pop-up menu.
      • If you want to import the events into a brand new Calendar, choose New Calendar from the pop-up menu.
    3. Click OK.
    4. Repeat steps 1-3 of this section to import each ICS file you wish to bring into iCal.
  12. Open System Preferences.
  13. Click iCloud.
  14. Select the checkbox next to Calendars.
  15. When prompted to merge calendars with iCloud, choose Merge.
  16. Close System Preferences.
  17. Open iCal.
  18. While iCal is uploading your calendar data to the servers, the text iCal Updating will appear in the title bar. You can also monitor the update process by viewing the progress indicator in the Calendar list. When both these indicators are no longer active, your calendar data should be successfully uploaded to the iCloud Calendar servers.
         

Verifying your data is in iCloud Calendar

To verify that your calendar data has been successfully merged or uploaded from iCal to the iCloud servers, visit icloud.com/calendar. Any data that appears there exists on the iCloud servers, and that data should be reflected on all devices that you configured for iCloud.

Last Modified: Aug 20, 2012
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  • Last Modified: Aug 20, 2012
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