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 invitation alerts if you need a little less notification in your life.

How to disable new invitation alerts on your iPhone and iPad

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  • Launch the Settings app from the Home screen of your iPhone or iPad.
  • Tap on Mail, Contacts, Calendar.
  • Toggle New Invitation Alerts to OFF
  • To re-enable new invitation alerts, simply repeat the procedure and toggle the setting back to ON.

    How to change the time zone for calendar alerts on your iPhone and iPad

    By default, your iPhone or iPad will automatically change time zones and assume your events should change as well. Say you fly from New York to Las Vegas. Your Calendar app will automatically change to the given time zone which means an alert set at 9:30am will go off at that time in the new time zone, not your home time zone.

    If you don't like this behavior, you can easily change this setting within your iPhone or iPad's settings panel.

    1. Launch the Settings app from the Home screen of your iPhone or iPad.
    2. Tap on Mail, Contacts, Calendars.
    3. Now tap on Time Zone Support.
    4. At the top, turn the Time Zone Support option to Off.
    5. Now tap on the Time Zone option underneath it.
    6. Search for and choose the time zone you'd like your calendar to abide by.
    7. Your calendar will now alert you and abide by the time zone you've told it to instead of automatically changing when you enter a different time zone.

    How to change event sync settings for calendar entries on iPhone and iPad

    By default, your iPhone or iPad will only sync so many events. If you need to be able to access events and appointments in the past for reference at any given time, you may want your calendar to always store all your events. If you don't tend to look back at past events, a shorter time period is a better option.

    1. Launch the Settings app from the Home screen of your iPhone or iPad.
    2. Tap on Mail, Contacts, Calendars.
    3. Scroll down almost to the bottom and then tap on Sync.
    4. Here you can choose how many events you'd like to sync. You can choose in increments of 2 weeks, 1 month, 3 months, 6 months, or all events.
    5. Tap on the one you'd like to choose and that's all there is to it.

    How to change default alert times for calendar events on iPhone and iPad

    Alert times are when your calendar alerts you that you have an upcoming event or appointment. You can easily change the setting for when your Calendar app on your iPhone or iPad will alert you of an event.

    1. Launch the Settings app from the Home screen of your iPhone or iPad.
    2. Tap on Mail, Contacts, Calendars.
    3. Scroll down almost to the bottom and then tap on Default Alert Times.
    4. Here you can change the default alert time for birthdays, events, and all day events.
    5. Change any settings you'd like to change and they'll automatically take affect.

    How to set a default calendar on your iPhone and iPad

    If you create a lot of events in one particular calendar on your iPhone or iPad, it can be beneficial to set that calendar as your default one. For most users, this will probably be their work calendar but regardless, the calendar you use most should be your default.

    1. Launch the Settings app from the Home screen of your iPhone or iPad.
    2. Tap on Mail, Contacts, Calendars.
    3. Scroll down almost to the bottom and then tap on Default Calendar.
    4. Tap on the name of the calendar that you'd like to be the default calendar when you create new events and appointments.
    5. That's it. Your iPhone or iPad will remember and always default to that calendar for newly created events.

    Allyson Kazmucha

    Editor for iMore, Potter pundit, and the ninja in your iOS

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    There are 4 comments. Add yours.

    Mazon says:

    I had to abandon the apple built in calender a couple months ago because it stopped syncing
    between my iPhone , 3 iPads and desktop.

    After a lot of searching and testing, I found Calenders and google calender not only worked GREAT but sync almost instantaneous.

    emjayess says:

    I haven't found anything better than the stock/native iOS Calendar app. All then fancy third-party apps don't get the one feature I must have: the visual-spacial representation of the events throughout the day (the "Day" view). Unbelievable. And even if they did, I still don't see any big advantage to any of them. Go figure.

    Kaitokomauri says:

    For me the default iphone Calendar app is also the best solution. I only use third-party apps to help me edit the Calendar app on my computer as I find the iPhone screen too small to do any advanced editions - iPad is fine though. Here is what I use to edit the events on my iphone:

    http://www.copytrans.net/copytranscontacts-notes-sms.php

    Tonya Kubis says:

    I have two iPhone synced to the same tunes account which I wanted to do. On my husbands calendar I have deselected my work calendar, but he still revived an alert reminder from it. Any advice?