Mac OS X Troubleshooting iCal

iCal not syncing with MobileMe

Sometimes a gentle nudge is better than using a crowbar. This is the case when you are faced with the issue of one of your Apple devices or Macs iCal not syncing with MobileMe. A recent case I had involved a Mac Pro, iPhone and MacBook Pro syncing iCal over MobileMe. In this case the following worked:

MobileMe <=> MacBook Pro [synced]
MobileMe <=> iPhone [synced]
MobileMe Mac Pro [failed]

Correcting this issue has a few possible fixes. I have ordered the solution based on a escalating troubleshooting path.

Reset your Sync Data

  1. Open System Preferences > MobileMe
  2. Click on the Sync Tab
  3. Click Advanced…
  4. From the Registered Computers select the computer with the problematic iCal.
  5. Click Reset Sync Data…
  6. Choose to replace all your sync info, or select an Application (iCal).
  7. Choose to replace the info on your computer with that of MobileMe; assuming you MobileMe Data is the correct data. You can also replace what is on MobileMe with what is on your Mac. To do either click the arrow that describes what you want to replace.
  8. Click Replace.
  9. Click OK.

If you received the following message or it didn't work.  Try the next step.

If you received the following message or it didn't work. Try the next step.

Toggle your MobileMe Username and Password

  1. Open System Preferences > MobileMe
  2. Click on the Account tab.
  3. If you are already signed in, Click Sign Out…
  4. Sign back in to MobileMe using a false username and password. Accept the rejection and Click OK.
  5. Sign in again with your correct MobileMe username and password.
  6. Click Sync in the MobileMe preference pane.
  7. Click Synchronize with MobileMe. You may get a message: “A computer named “Mac Pro” is already registered with MobileMe synchronization server.”
  8. Click on Enter another name.
  9. Edit the name slightly of the Machine you are attempting to Sync. EX: “Mac Pro2”
  10. Select the application data you would like to Sync.
  11. Click Sync Now.
  12. You will need to Select an Action: Merge all data / Replace Data on computer.
  13. Click Sync.

If you receive the above message again more invasive measures need to be taken.

Trashing the iCal Cache

  1. Go to: Volume/Users/[username]/Library/Calendars/
  2. Locate the Calendar folder and drag it into the Trash.
  3. Open System Preferences > MobileMe
  4. Choose to replace all your sync info, or select an Application (iCal).
  5. Choose to replace the info on your Mac with that of MobileMe.
  6. Click Replace.
  7. Click OK

Resetting MobileMe
If you continue to experience issues you have one final option. Turn off all your devices except the one that you believe to have the most current information in my case the MacBook Pro. Turning off the iPhone and Mac Pro keeps them from Syncing while you make this update. Have the primary device you selected Sync with MobileMe. Next do the following with your primary device.

  1. Open your System Preferences > MobileMe
  2. Click on Sync tab.
  3. Click on Advanced…
  4. Select and Unregister ALL listed devices.
  5. Deselect Synchronize with MobileMe.
  6. Click on Account tab.
  7. Click on Sign Out..
  8. Sign in again with your correct MobileMe username and password.
  9. Click Sync in the MobileMe preference pane.
  10. Click Synchronize with MobileMe.
  11. Click on Advanced
  12. Click on Reset Sync Data
  13. Select All Sync Info.
  14. Click Arrow to refect “On MobileMe with Sync info from this computer.”
  15. Go to the other devices and turn back on. Check their Registration.
  16. Re-Sync all devices.

Subscribe to iCal

Subscribe to an iCal Schedule

I juggle multiple schedules including work, home and my business and need to keep my spouse up-to-date on what’s going on. My spouse on the other hand has her work and our kids’ schedule to manage so we are always trying to find a way of keeping the whole family in sync. The new iCal coupled with MobileMe and an iPhone or iTouch is a great way of staying on top of things and is simple to set up.

Start by selecting the calendar you are intending to share. Then click on Calendar in the top Menu, select Publish and fill out the fields in the dialog that appears. Once done click Publish. iCal then displays a dialog containing a webcal:// or http:// URL for the calendar you have published. For others using Macintosh, iPhone or iTouch applications like iCal you should use the webcal:// address. For those who just want to share an online calendar the http:// is a good choice. Google and Mozilla’s SunBird can take advantage of the webcal:// address as well. Before closing the dialog you can either visit the site that it has been published on or send an email to those with whom you want to share your calendar.

If you are planning export to iCal from another source you will need to use the .ics format. Entrouage and Sunbird both support this in their exports. To export from another application, the Export method is typically located under the File Menu. Entourage accepts incoming .ics but really does not output .ics. There is a complete list of applications with iCalendar support on Wikipedia.

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