A colleague at work today had some questions regarding Google Calendar that I attempted to assist him with. In the process I ran into some things that didn’t make a lot of sense to me so I wanted to point out some of the issues I found with importing Calendar Events into Google Calendar. Below I will explain the error I received and how I worked around the error and was able to successfully import the items I had been having an issue with.
Error: Failed to import events. Could not upload your events because you do not have sufficient access on the target calendar.
Google Calendar Error:
Attempt To Import iCalendar Event Received In Thunderbird:
The way I received the above error was by receiving a calendar item into a Gmail account set up in Thunderbird. After receiving the email I would copy the entire portion of the iCalendar message and post it into Notepad to make sure it didn’t bring along any formatting. I would then save the file as a .ics file and attempt to upload the event via the Import Calendar method on Google Calendar. No matter what I did I would receive that error.
Attempt To Import iCalendar Event Received In Yahoo Mail:
Then I decided that maybe there was an issue with the way Thunderbird handled the iCalendar message and sure enough I forwarded the same email with the same calendar event to a Yahoo account. Once received in the Yahoo account I copied the text just as I had from Thunderbird, opened Notepad and pasted the text in a new file, and then saved the file as a .ics file just as I had before. I attempted to upload to Google Calendar again using the Import Calendar method and this time it worked without issue producing the below message instead of the error.
Resolve Any Formatting Issues To Successfully Import Calendar Items:
In this scenario Thunderbird was definitely the problem by probably adding some sort of behind the scenes formatting that I was unable to find at first. When staring at the ICS calendar item that imported fine next to the ICS calendar item that would not import they looked exactly the same. I decided to open the two files up in WinMerge and that is when I finally found the issue. The iCalendar text being copied out of Thunderbird was indenting the lines that had spaces at the beginning but the text being copied out of Yahoo Mail was not. To prove this I opened up the file that would not import into Google Calendar and every line that was indented I replaced the tab indention with 4 spaces and saved the file. I then attempted to import the .ICS file into my Google Calendar and it worked without issue this time. Below I highlighted the lines of an iCalendar event that I replaced the indention with 4 spaces.
iCalendar Event Prepping For Import Into Google Calendar:
- PRODID:-//Microsoft Corporation//Outlook 12.0 MIMEDIR//EN
- DESCRIPTION:When: Tuesday\, January 12\, 2010 2:30 PM-3:00 PM (UTC-05:00) E
- astern Time (US & Canada).\nWhere: TEST13\n\nNote: The GMT offset above do
- es not reflect daylight saving time adjustments.\n\n*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*\n\
- ORGANIZER;CN="Calendar User":mailto:email@example.com
- X-ALT-DESC;FMTTYPE=text/html:<!DOCTYPE HTML PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 3.2//E
- N">\n<HTML>\n<HEAD>\n<META NAME="Generator" CONTENT="MS Exchange Server ve
- rsion 08.00.0681.000">\n<TITLE></TITLE>\n</HEAD>\n<BODY>\n<!-- Converted f
- rom text/rtf format -->\n\n<P DIR=LTR><SPAN LANG="en-us"><FONT FACE="Calib
- ri">When: Tuesday\, January 12\, 2010 2:30 PM-3:00 PM (UTC-05:00) Eastern
- Time (US &amp\; Canada).</FONT></SPAN></P>\n\n<P DIR=LTR><SPAN LANG="en-us
- "><FONT FACE="Calibri">Where: TEST13</FONT></SPAN></P>\n\n<P DIR=LTR><SPAN
- LANG="en-us"><FONT FACE="Calibri">Note: The GMT offset above does not ref
- lect daylight saving time adjustments.</FONT></SPAN></P>\n\n<P DIR=LTR><SP
- AN LANG="en-us"><FONT FACE="Calibri">*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*</FONT></SPAN></P>
- \n\n<P DIR=LTR><SPAN LANG="en-us"><FONT FACE="Calibri">TEST13</FONT></SPAN
- ><SPAN LANG="en-us"></SPAN></P>\n\n</BODY>\n</HTML>
- X-MS-OLK-SENDER;CN="Calendar User":mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org
Google Calendar Calendar Item Import Error Conclusion:
The error provided by Google in this scenario is generic and does not even point you in the right direction to resolution so I imagine that this error pops up for tons of different reasons. I would bet though that the majority of these reasons are related to formatting and even more specifically related to Thunderbird users who receive Outlook Calendar items from people at work and attempt to import them into Google Calendar. The good thing is the error is fairly easy to fix though it is a bit of a thorn in a process that is already a pain when most of the time the Calendar Event is something simple enough you could just type it manually into Google Calendar. I do however receive some Calender Items that this process would be easier than retyping all of the contents of the event.