calendar spam

How to Fight Calendar Spam

I wrote a few days ago about the increasing amount of calendar spam. I'm not alone as I received a lot of email asking how to fix this. I woke up to these little beauties this morning and decided it was time to take action.

A Little More About Calendar Spam

Most of the calendar spam I’ve seen has originated from China. Somebody has a big list of email addresses and sends out calendar invites with spammy links embedded. By default, the Mac looks at these invites and gives them to you via the calendar app along with a notification. 

Historically, I’ve really liked this feature. My family uses multiple calendars and we routinely send each other invites. If I need to drive my daughter to a particular event, she sets the event in her calendar and sends me an invite. (We also have a shared family calendar but that includes everyone and in this case it would just be me and my daughter.)

This is what makes me so pissed about calendar spam. It’s taking something I use often and corrupting it. My guess is this is only going to get worse and I really hope Apple intervenes. In the meantime, there are a few steps you can take.

Step 1 - Never Accept OR Decline

While it seems like pressing the “Decline” button is your way of giving the finger to these calendar spammers, all you are doing is confirming that there is a human at the other end of that email and encouraging them to send even more.

Step 2 - Move and Delete

This stack exchange thread has a good idea. Move the offending invites into a separate calendar. (I named mine “Spam”. ) Then delete the newly created calendar with the calendar spam in it. Make sure to select the “Delete and Don’t Notify” when doing so. The crappy part of this is that you’ll need to repeat this process if this becomes a thing, which it will.

Step 3 - Move to Email Notifications

If the problem continues, the best solution is to go into the Calendar screen of your iCloud.com account and throw the lever to move calendar invitations from the calendar app to email. Then you can delete emails before these things ever hit your calendar. The below gallery walks you through the steps to do so. 

The crappy part about this is that the next time my daughter sends me an invite to drive her somewhere, I won’t see it until I get to email. Like I said, Apple needs to give us a better way to deal with this.

If you’re looking for more resources on this, I'd recommend this Apple Support thread, this Stack Exchange thread, this piece by Aaron Douglas, and Gabe Weatherhead weighed in too.