Cure for a corrupt Calendar application

Reader Charles Enns would like to put an end to his Calendar problem. He writes:

When I started my Mac this morning I launched Calendar. Or, I tried to. Its icon bounced briefly in the Dock, my calendar appeared for a second, and then the application quit. I’ve restarted my Mac but this happens every time. It was fine yesterday but today, broken. What can I do?

This isn’t one of those problems that routinely plagues Macs. Rather, it’s an example of The Kind Of Thing That Can Happen, which provides you with the sort of crack-your-knuckles-and-buckle-down-to-it experience that so many troubleshooters enjoy.

Normally in these situations you go after the application’s preference file. Such files can usually be found by holding down the Option key, clicking the Finder’s Go menu, choosing Library, and in the resulting window, opening the Preferences folder (or, if you prefer the path: ~/Library/Preferences). To locate the file just enter the application’s name in the window’s Search field and confine the search to the Preferences folder.

I use “normally” advisedly. Because, in this case, you find no com.apple.Calendar.plist file. Instead, there’s just the com.apple.CalendarAgent.plist, which is for something else entirely. So if not in the Preferences folder, where might Calendar store the file that’s causing your problem?

Take one step back to the Library folder and you’ll find that this application has earned a folder all its own titled, aptly enough, Calendars. The fact that Apple went to the trouble to create an entire folder for one of its applications tells you that magic may lie within.

And how do we separate the dark magic from the light? Simple. Open the folder, choose List view, click the Date Modified heading, and see what floats to the top. In this case, I’ll bet you breakfast that the Calendar Cache file is among the top two items. Drag this file to the Desktop and try launching Calendar again. In addition to breakfast I’ll throw in lunch if the application doesn’t launch as it should, update its database, and then correctly display all the events you’ve synced.

Files like these that change often may be the source of application corruption.

I make this offer not only because I’ve been there and done that, but in cases where something works perfectly one day and then less-so the next (and you’ve eliminated hardware as the cause), it’s always a good idea to cock a keen eye at any files associated with the application that routinely change (such as a preference or cache file). They’re easier to spot when you sort by Date Modified.

Subscribe to the MacWeek Newsletter

Comments