Calendar: The ultimate guide: Everything you need to know about settings up and using calendars on your iPhone, iPod touch, or iPad

Calendar: The ultimate guide

Everything you need to know about settings up and using calendars on your iPhone, iPod touch, or iPad

Calendars help you keep track of what you're doing and when, which is why it's always been one of the core apps on mobile devices from the earliest PDA (personal digital assistants), to the latest iPhones and iPads. That why, when iOS launched in 2007, it included a Calendar app. Whether you simply use Calendar by itself, or whether you sync it via iCloud, Google Calendar, Microsoft, or something else, it's the default way to add and find appointments and events.

Bookmark this page and check back often, because we'll be updating it regularly. And f you already know everything there is to know about calendar on iOS, then forward it on to friends and family who need it. We'll do the heavy support lifting for you!

How to set up Apple iCloud calendar accounts on your iPhone, iPod touch, or iPad

The free iCloud account that comes with your iPhone, iPod touch, and iPad includes equally free push calendar. That means whenever you update an event or appointment on one device, iPhone, iPad, Mac, or Windows, it's immediately updated on all your devices. Typically you set up iCloud calendars, and other services, when you first setup your device. If you didn't, however, you can still set it up at any time via the iOS Settings app, and access the service via the iOS Calendars app. You can also access your calendars via the website from any desktop browser, or through popular mail, calendar, and contacts apps on your Mac or Windows PC.

How to setup Google Calendar accounts on your iPhone, iPod touch, and iPad

How Google went iOS

As of January 30, 2013, Google will no longer allow new iPhones, iPod touches, iPads, or other devices to be setup using Google Sync (their implementation of Microsoft's excellent ActiveSync protocol). While existing Google Sync setups will keep working, the next time you want to add Google Calendar to a device, you'll have to use something else -- namely Google's CalDAV service, which works with Apple's Calendar app.

How to set up Microsoft Exchange, Hotmail, Live Mail, or calendar accounts on your iPhone or iPad

How to set up email on your iPhone or iPad

Microsoft originally bought Hotmail (née HoTMaiL, after HTML) and turned it into their web-based email service, a complement to their corporate Exchange service, which came to use ActiveSync. Eventually Hotmail kinda-sorta became Live Mail. More recently, Microsoft has released, what they consider to be the next-generation of email. And much to their credit, Microsoft have gone above and beyond to make sure you can access all their mail services not only on the web, but from any and all of your devices, including the iPhone, iPod touch, and iPad.

How to setup CalDAV accounts and Calendar subscriptions on your iPhone and iPad

How to add CalDAV accounts and Calendar subscriptions on your iPhone and iPad

While iOS makes it easy to add popular calendar accounts to your iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch, you can also manually add any calendar that supports the open CalDAV standard, and subscribe to any calendar that provides a compatible URL. As long as you have the login information for the CalDAV account, or the link for the subscription, you're good to go.

How to add and delete calendars using your iPhone or iPad

How to create and manage Calendars on your iPhone and iPad

The built-in iOS Calendars app can keep track of all your events and appointments, all in one place. But it doesn't have to keep them all in the same actual calendar. If you prefer to keep your work life and personal life separate, or to have a specific calendar for kids activities, or a special vacation, or for anything else, it's easy to setup. Since each calendar gets its own color, and you have the ability to hide or show individual calendars, it's a great way to stay organized and stay sane at the same time.

How to set default calendars, alert times, sync, and more on iPhone or iPad

How to edit Calendar defaults, alerts, and sync settings on iPhone and iPad

iOS allows you to set not only your default calendar, but the default alert time and sync period as well. Having good defaults can make it much faster to add new events and appointments, especially if you often add events to the same calendar, and with the same alert requirements. You can also set how far back your iPhone and iPad will sync those appointments and events, so you can keep handy just your most recent entries, or entries going back for months. You can toggle automatic time zone shifting, and even turn off alerts if you need a little less notification in your life.

How to share or make an iCloud calendar public using your iPhone or iPad

How to publicly share a calendar on your iPhone and iPad

If you use Apple's free iCloud service, and you've added calendars to better organize your events, you may want to make one public or share it completely. For example, if you manage a club or league, and want other members to be able to view it as well, but not edit it like they could a shared calendar, a public calendar is the way to go. If you're planning a trip or maintaining a work schedule, and want other people to be able to not only view, but add and edit events, then a shared calendar is the way to go.

How to create, view, update, and cancel calendar events using Siri

Since Siri is meant to be your personal assistant, it only makes sense to have it schedule and manage your meetings and events on your iPhone 5, iPhone 4S, iPod touch 5, iPad 4, iPad 3, or iPad mini. Asking Siri to create a Calendar event only takes a few seconds and is much faster than creating them manually and entering all the data yourself. Whether you need Siri to schedule a meeting, tell you what's on the agenda for the day, or move an existing meeting to another time to make room for a conference call or a power nap, Siri will help make sure your schedule is set.

How to create, edit, and delete Calendar events on your iPhone or iPad

How to create, edit, and delete Calendar events on your iPhone or iPad

The built-in iOS Calendar app on the iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch provides a great way to keep track of all your appointments and events. While it's faster to use Siri to create basic events, if you need more precise control, or if you want to edit existing event details, you can also do it the old fashioned way -- by tapping your way through the Calendar app's multitouch interface!

How to quickly change or move a meeting time in the Calendar app for iPhone and iPad

How to quickly change or move a meeting time in the Calendar app for iPhone and iPad

If you need to move a Calendar event or appointment around on your iPhone, iPod touch, or iPad, you can do it by tapping the event and editing it the old fashioned way. However, iOS also provides a quick and easy gesture shortcut to make it even faster and more visual.

How to send calendar event invitations using the iPhone or iPad

How to create and accept Calendar invitations on your iPhone and iPad

When you're creating an event or appointment in the built-in Calendar app for iPhone, iPod touch, and iPad, you might want to add other people to it, and alert them about it. That's where invitations come in. If you're using a calendar service that supports it, like Apple's iCloud or Microsoft's Exchange, all you need are the email addresses you want to invite, and a few simple screen taps.

How to switch Calendar views on your iPhone or iPad

How to change Calendar view options on your iPhone and iPad

The built-in Calendar app on the iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch offers several different ways to view your events and appointments. The default view is Month, but you can also switch to List and Day view, and on the iPad, Year view. This lets you easily see everything at a glance, or drill down to one specific hour.

Alternative Calendar apps for iPhone and iPad

Fantastical comes to iPhone, makes appointment entry ridiculously easy

If the built-in iOS Calendar app just doesn't suit your tastes or workflow, there are a variety of third-party calendar apps you can try instead. Many of them are excellent, yet each excels in a different way.

How to get more help with calendars on iPhone and iPad

Did we forget anything? If you have corrections or additions, let us know in the comments! And if you need extra help, or have questions you'd like answered, head on over to the iMore forums and we'll help you out!

Rene Ritchie

Editor-in-Chief of iMore, co-host of Iterate, Debug, ZEN and TECH, MacBreak Weekly. Cook, grappler, photon wrangler. Follow him on Twitter,, Google+.

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There are 2 comments. Add yours.

sweetstyle says:

One really brilliant feature that Apple doesn't seem to mention anywhere is dragging docs, pdf's etc into my iCloud Calender events. Give it a try it can be very useful. I look forward to the day you can add the attachments to contacts. I currently use the "Contacts Journal App" for this which is fantastic and it would be really worth you doing a feature on sometime.

paulthefencer says:

This is all great information. But I'd be curious to know if there's a way to sync one of my iOS calendars on my iPad/iPod with the Google calendars on my Windows laptop. Maybe it's just me but I can't seem to figure out a way to have appointments I've made on my iPad,on any of the calendars that I have, appear on Google calendars on my laptop. I suppose If I had a Mac computer, there would be some associated calendar that would sync through the iCloud, but I have a Windows laptop.