How to Do Ad Hoc Backups of Your Calendar, Reminders and Contacts Data on Your Mac

| How-To

Part 2 - Archiving Your Calendars and Reminders Data

Scenario 1: If you use Apple’s Calendar app, you can export your events and other calendar data into one Calendar Archive file. You can then take the resulting file and manually back it up to external storage. It’s important to note that if you also use the Reminders app on your Mac, your reminders data is included in the Calendar Archive file, since lists and reminders are incorporated into the overall calendaring function. 

The File menu in the Calendar app

You can export a Calendar Archive file via the File menu

In Calendar, go to File > Export > Calendar Archive. You will be prompted to name the archive file, which ends with a .icbu extension. This is an Apple-proprietary iCal Back Up file.

The suggested file name on an American english system will follow the format: “Calendars and Reminders mm.dd.yy,”. For me, this file name has everything I need to describe it perfectly, so I leave it be. You can save the .icbu file to any storage location you wish. Of course, the amount of time the Calendar takes to create the archive file will be directly proportional to how much data is dispersed throughout your various calendars and reminders databases, so let it do its thing!

By the way, the other option you find under File > Export is to have the calendar data exported to an .ics file. This is an iCalendar Exchange file - not to be confused with the old Apple iCal. This is a computer file format that is widely supported by many platforms and applications. It allows Internet users to transfer or share events, meeting requests and tasks to other Internet users.

Scenario 2: If you DO NOT use the Calendar app, but DO use Reminders, you can still archive your reminders data. While in Reminders, go to File > Export to create a “To Do.ics” file that you can move anywhere. I suggest you add a date to the file name.

Next: Archiving Your Contacts Data

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Doesn’t Time Machine back up these files?

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