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Can't delete items from Reminders....  



Hi-I have a lovely new XS phone and I use Reminders for my grocery list. I have tried to delete the items that I have in my cart but they reappear. I swipe left and tap on Delete. Is there something I am not doing right? I went from a 6 to the XS and there are certain things I am having to learn how to use so maybe this is one of those things. 

I have upgraded to the latest OS-12.1. Maybe there is a setting on my MBP (running Mojave) that needs to be changed. I don't know. Thank you for any tips! 

7 Answers

OK, so going back to first principles..... 

Are these reminders stored in an online service/account? eg. iCloud?

If so, my first port of call with syncing issues is to log in to the web interface of that account (eg. and check to see which ones are there. In effect by using the browser interface you're looking at the state of play on the central server. Try deleting, or updating, via that interface then see if that change propagates back to the iPhone. Then do vice versa - delete from the phone & see if any update (at least temporarily) can be seen via the browser (ie. on the server). 

If you have any other device, such as your Mac, that is also syncing those reminders try doing the same thing - it might not be the iPhone that is repopulating them and it could possibly be related to a Mojave issue.

All of this is to isolate which device is causing the issue. 

Logging out of the account & back in (if iCloud), or deleting & re-adding the account if another provider might be needed to properly force a full re-sync..... but the caveat with that is you are reverting to the version of the data on the server.

I'm not running Fantastical, but from memory it simply uses the data that is already syncing to the phone, so if you were to check the status of the reminders in the Apple Reminders app I'd assume you'd see the same state of affairs?

Hi Graham-I logged into my iCloud account and went to Reminders and deleted the items on my Food list. They came back. I went to my iPhone and deleted them all and as of now they are all gone! But I can't delete them permanently on iCloud. Some have gone and stayed away but not all. 

Update-a few minutes later. Still gone from the iPhone but there are 5 items that refuse to stay deleted! I think I will delete the Food list and add it again. See if that works....

Ha! I deleted the Food list and deleted one other list I no longer need and the Food list appeared magically all on it's own. With the same 5 items. I don't know how to delete a Reminders list on my iPhone. BTW-the iPhone list is still showing no items. 

I will read the rest of what you posted now but thought I'd try Step 1. Thank you for your patience...

I should mention that I used my Mac to sign into iCloud. And the items on the Food list are back on my iPhone. And my 4th gen iPad. 


Aha! I think I fixed it. No, it didn't fix it... I thought by deleting all the Reminders in Fantasical that would delete them for good but no they repopulate. I don't know if this issue is a Fantasical problem or a Mojave problem. 


It sounds to me like it is having problems syncing to the cloud service of your Reminders account. If your reminders are part of your iCloud account double check that you are fully signed in to iCloud.

Or you might try TOTO - within iCloud settings turn reminders off, then turn on again to prompt a re-sync.

Additionally - because iOS Reminders app has no way of forcing a sync/refresh to the server, I have found that going in to the Calendar app then tapping on the "Calendars" button at bottom then dragging the screen down to request a refresh.... will also refresh Reminders.


Graham McKay..... THANK YOU!! It was the refreshing the calendar that did it. All is well! And now I can add more food to my grocery list! lol

Glad to hear  😀 

Graham.... The items are back this morning in my Reminders list!!! Again, I can’t delete them. I tried refreshing the Calendar but that didn’t fix it. I’m using Fantasical if that makes any difference. 


So, one of your devices/apps is not syncing as expected. Sounds like you’ve got an iPhone plus iPad plus Mac. The next phase of isolation would be to only have one of them turned on (or connected to the internet) at a time.

For example, turn on airplane mode on both the iPhone & iPad and then use the web browser on the Mac to delete those items. See what happens within both the browser and the Reminders app on the Mac. If nothing strange happens reconnect one other device and do some tests, etc.


Ok. I will work on that today. Thank you!



Ok. It's the Mac that's the culprit. I turned on Airplane mode on my iPad and iPhone and logged into iCloud. Deleted the items. They reappeared. 

Tested the iPhone first. Turned off Airplane mode. Deleted the items. They are still deleted even with the wifi turned back on and the wifi turned on on the Mac. 

Same results with the iPad. Items still not appearing even with all iDevices using wifi. EXCEPT for the Mac, the items have reappeared. 


Hi Graham! I thought I would update you about my issue... I don't know exactly how I was able to permanently delete most items from my Reminders list but all but one seem to be gone except for saffron. lol  I think that food 'might' be gone from my food Reminders list. 

I think I was able to delete them from the Reminders in Fantastical... 

Thank you again for your patience with me, Judy

Glad to hear that. (I had one client for whom a particular calendar grouping exhibited similar signs of constant refusal to sync properly no matter what we did. In the end we had to completely move away from even trying to use it.)