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iCal Alarms Not Working in Leopard

March 16, 2008 by debbie T | Mac Software

I noticed that my iCal alarms were not reliably working after upgrading to Leopard. Sometimes when iCal was open, the alarms would work, and then sometimes they wouldn’t.

Also when deleting multiple events, only one event would delete, not all selected. Very frustrating since I have an alarm set for every morning as a reminder for my medication. So, that means I can’t delete the old events in a batch. I have to delete them one by one.

I found what I think is a solution for the first problem. I googled, and found two discussions. It appears this is a common problem.

First, back up your database (File>Back Up iCal. Save the file somewhere save on your hard drive or an external hard drive. You should be doing this regularly anyway.

Then export each of your calendars. Choose each calendar (from the left column on the workspace) then click File>Export. Export each of your calendars. I keep a folder just for calendars near the database file.

Uninstall and delete all iCal files from your Mac, I used AppZapper to find and remove the files, but you can manually search for each file. Once the files have been deleted, make sure the trash bin is emptied.

AppZapper deletes iCal

Now grab your Leopard install DVD. Click the folder for “Optional Installs” then launch the “Optional Installs.mpkg file. You should find iCal in the Applications.

Leopard optional installs

Once iCal has been reinstalled, launch iCal.

Trash each of the calendars in the left column in the workspace.

To re-import each calender, click File>Import; Navigate to where you exported your calendars earlier. Import each one. If iCal asks to choose a destination calendar, make sure to choose “New Calender” or your events will be added to a previous calendar. iCal also might warn you that there could be unsafe alarms included in your events, but if they are all your alarms, then they are safe.


Hopefully, this will fix the problem, but I will know tomorrow if the alarms are working properly. The issue with deleting multiple events is still bothersome, but I will try to find a solution to that later.

EDIT: My daily alarm is still not working. I have tried deleting it, then adding a new alarm. It will work the first day, and then stop after. Very frustrating. As a whole, Leopard seems to have a lot of bugs. I am a little disappointed.

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