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How to add an iCal event (.ics file) to your Google calendar

by Josh Kirschner on January 27, 2020

If you’re a Google Calendar user, you may have had issues adding events to your calendar when someone sends them to you attached to an email in iCal format (the files usually looks like “invite.ics”). The attachment is there and you can download it, but it doesn’t import automatically. Certain websites may also use the iCal format to allow you to download scheduling details to your calendar, as some airlines do with flight information, for example.

Since simply downloading the .ics file from an email invite or the web won’t get it into your Google Calendar – you’ll need to take a few steps to import it.

1. Download the .ics file to your computer

Save or download the .ics file to your computer. It doesn’t really matter where you put it, so save it in downloads or wherever you'll easily find it.

2. Open your Google Calendar settings

Open Google Calendar in your web browser and click on the gear icon in the upper right corner of the window, then select “Settings”.

where to find Google Calendar settings

3. Select Import & export

In the left navigation menu, select the option to “Import & export”.

Google Calendar import

4. Import your .ics file to your calendar

Select the .ics file you downloaded and choose which calendar to add it to. Then press the “Import” button to save it to your Google Calendar.

Google Calendar import file

If all goes well, you will get a confirmation popup that Google has imported your event and it should now be in your calendar. However, some people have reported getting an error message on import, "Oops, we couldn't import this file. Please try again in a few minutes." The issue seems to be caused by certain invites causing a conflict with Chrome, and many people have said using another browser – Firefox, Edge – to access your calendar and import the event fixes the problem.

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Discussion loading


From Frank Arnzen on November 11, 2021 :: 10:31 am

Thanks for the tip.



From Cory on November 23, 2021 :: 12:13 pm

Any tips on doing this for many events at once? I am switching platforms due to job change, & need all meetings moved over.



From Jim on December 05, 2021 :: 5:24 pm

Just tried it and it isn’t working today. After clicking import of the.ics file the popup says it imported 0 of 0 files.



From Elizabeth on April 26, 2023 :: 12:07 am

I’ve wasted so much time recreating events in my google calendar because I thought I couldn’t import ical docs. I just tried your method and it worked perfectly. Thank you!



From Josh Kirschner on April 26, 2023 :: 10:51 am

Glad it worked well for you! This is one of those stories that started out as a problem we were experiencing ourselves, so we knew other people must be struggling with it.



From Karen Carabio on November 30, 2023 :: 4:39 pm

So frustrating.  Save, remember where you saved, import, don’t forget how to do it, then it doesn’t work.  Why do these even exist? I detest ics files for reasons above; would rather just copy paste date & time right into my google or outlook calendar.  What a pain!



From stpops on April 10, 2024 :: 3:04 pm

Cannot import because I do not have permissions to my calendar.  Permissions is greyed out.  Absolutely insane.  AI is going to eat what?


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