Disable Pesky Facebook Calendar-App Notifications

internet_accounts

Internet accounts accessible via System Preferences are great.  Everyone’s on board.  E.g.:

internet_accounts2

You can create and maintain calendars in them and they all show up in your Calendar apps on your computer and on your mobile devices.  In most cases, you create events and you create alerts for those events and you get your notifications the way you want them. Except Facebook. Sure, Facebook gives you your events and your notifications… and it even shows you events you’ve been invited to: great! What’s not so great? Your friends can create alerts on their events – events you have no intention of ever going to – events halfway across the world – and those alerts trigger on all your devices as if you created the event and set up the alert notification. Other internet accounts, like Google, draw the distinction between your events and events in others’ calendars you’re subscribed to, but did not create yourself.  There are settings in your Calendar app that allow you to ignore alerts from these subscribed calendars.  You can even choose to ignore alerts from subscribed calendars in your Facebook account’s calendar sync, but it doesn’t do anything because don’t forget, facebook adds your friends’ events to your calendar as if you created them. You’re ignoring nothing. You cannot stop the Facebook calendar notifications without turning off all notifications from every calendar in your Calendar app.

So you go about your day and your calendar alert goes off. You take a quick look and get confused about a meeting without a marked location. Then you start digging and find out it’s some event half way across the country about some distant acquaintance’s pub crawl that you got mass invited to. Then you start seeing these notifications all the time! Pretty soon, you stop looking at the alerts and you miss the reminder for your meeting that you scheduled! So annoying.

Being able to see what’s going on via Facebook events in your Calendar app is convenient when you’re looking for something to do in the context of your own schedule, so you hate to delete the Facebook calendar subscription. Luckily, I found a way to stop those pesky alerts, but still be able to see Facebook events in your Calendar app.  Here’s how it works:

1. Go to your Facebook home and click the Events link on the left side:

facebook_find_eventspage_link

2. Right(or control)-click the “Upcoming Events” link on the lower right side:

facebookeventspage_find_upcomgingevents_link

3. Select “Copy Link”

upcoming_events_right_click

4. Go to the calendar app on your computer and select File->New Calendar Subscription…

calendar_new_subscription

5. Paste your copied link into the Calendar URL field in the resulting sheet:

fb_cal_subscribe_sheet

6. Check “Remove Alerts” and “Ignore alerts” in the resulting sheet and click OK:

fb_cal_settings

Now we can remove the Facebook account’s calendar sync that was causing all the unwanted notifications…

7. In the Calendar app on your computer, right-click the “Facebook Events” calendar that is under its own account (note: there’s no subscription icon to the right of the calendar name).

disable_fb_cal_account

8. Select “Get Info” in the resulting contextual menu:

fb_cal_get_info

9. Click the “Account Info…” button at the bottom left of the resulting sheet:

fb_cal_get_account_info

10. Uncheck the “Enable this account” checkbox (Note: it’s shown checked here):

fb_can_disable

You’re done!  Now you should be able to see Facebook events but no longer get those pesky notifications.

One drawback of doing this is that you will lose past Facebook events, since you’re only subscribing to upcoming events. But it’s a small price to pay to increase the value of your calendar alerts.

Update 8/6/2015:

After having made these updates myself, Calendar’s Facebook events stopped giving me notifications on my computer, but they continued on my phone.  On each device you own, even your various computers, depending on how you’ve synced them, you must eliminate the Facebook account or otherwise disable the calendar portion of your Facebook account.  Here’s how you can do it on your iPhone:

  1. Open the Settings app, scroll down and touch “Facebook”

2. Slide the switch for “Calendars” to off. When it is off, the background of the switch will appear white. In the image below, it is shown as on.

3. Make sure you are syncing your calendars on your computer via iCloud.

If you sync your iCloud calendars with your phone, then the subscribed Facebook calendar (with ignored alerts) should already appear in your iPhone’s Calendar app. If you are not syncing your calendars via iCloud, you will have to set that up on all of your devices, which is an endeavor left to the reader…

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