Migrating Outlook calendars to Mac iCal

The first attempt to migrate data from my old Outlook configuration to Mac failed. I was too impatient and simply tried to export data from Outlook (File -> Import and Export… -> Export to a file) in one of the Comma Separated Values formats presented, just to later import the files on Mac. Neither Calendar nor Address Book did not understand the CSV files properly, and failed with various and strange error messages.

For the second attempt I decided to concentrate on Calendar and be more diligent. So I discovered that the preferred calendar transfer format is the iCalendar format (.ics), apparently well supported by both Microsoft and Apple.


Since Outlook did not present an option to export to .ics in the Import and Export… menu, a different trick was discovered by right-clicking on the Calendar entry: the Save As… command.

Outlook Calendar SaveA

Since the defaults are not ok, press More Options… and select Date Range: Whole calendar, Detail: Full details and in the Advanced section check both Include details and Include attachments.

Outlook SaveAs Options

Press OK, check the proposed file name and location and press Save.

Move the file to Mac, and start iCal. Create a new calendar, for instance Import, and use File -> Import -> Import command to read the Outlook created file. When asked, select the Import calendar:

iCal Import

If everything is fine, the events in you Outlook calendar will appear in the new Import calendar. From here you can move events in the appropriate calendars. For example, I use several calendars, like Home, Work, Anniversaries.

Normally everything will go smoothly and the transfer should be fine, but while moving the events to the appropriate calendars I advise to also check them, for just in case.

iCal Corner

About Liviu Ionescu (ilg)
Hi! My name is Liviu Ionescu (ilg, ilegeul or eunete for colleagues and friends) and I’m a senior IT engineer. Or should I say a real programmer?

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