UPDATE: Since this post has been written and widely read, Google has disabled this fix. TechCrunch reported on that here. I added the newer, easier way to get this fixed below.
I ignore Google+/G+/Google Plus, but no matter how much I avoid it, Google finds a way to cram it down my throat with increasingly terrible integrations.
Today’s example is a part of Google Calendar, an otherwise wonderful product. When looking at appointments today I saw a birthday appointment for someone I barely knew. Strange. I’d already deactivated iCal and Facebook birthday calendars (which pull data from Address Book and Facebook Friends’).
But today, there was a new calendar in my Gmail group called “Birthdays”. (I recently upgraded Google Calendar. I guess this was released a few weeks ago.)
Upon further investigation, I learned that the Birthday calendar provides the following utility:
Displays birthdays of people in your Google+ circles and Google Contacts. Also displays anniversary and other event dates from Google Contacts, if applicable.
Lovely! A calendar that lists the birthdays of people I’ve emailed once or people I’m connected to on a social network that I wouldn’t use if Google didn’t force me to register for to do practically anything on Google.
Without hesitation, I set out to remove it.
My failed journey
I clicked the expander and noticed there was an option missing that most of the other calendars had: “Hide this calendar from the list.”
Okay, that must be in the “Calendar Settings” area, so I clicked into there to discover the maddening fact that the “Delete calendar” section was missing.
You see, in most calendars, this is at the bottom:
But not in the amazing Birthday’s calendar. Nope, that one is for keeps.
After this disappointment, I tried one more thing: the Settings area of my Google Calendar account. Surely here I can have some control. But again, nope.
As almost expected at this point, Google gave me no controls for the stupid fucking birthday calendar.
So I started Googleing, but most of the articles just had hacks to hide it, not to get rid of it:
- How to Delete the Birthdays Calendar from Your Google Calendar
- Is there a way to delete the birthday calendar?
Finally, I came across this Reddit thread that explained the totally convoluted way to do this.
How to remove the Google Birthday calendar
They’ve made it so much easier. How nice of them!
Click Settings > Calendars
Click the gear symbol at https://calendar.google.com to get to settings. Then click the Calendars tab (should be the second one).
Find “Birthday” and uncheck “SHOW IN LIST”
Well, that was easier. For fun, read below to see how hard this used to be.
[Old Method] How to remove the Google Birthday calendar for realz
Click Settings > Calendars
Like I mentioned above, I got this far, but didn’t see any options related to the Birthday Calendar
Click “Browse interesting calendars”
What? Yes, there is a small link on the right side of the page under the My Calendars section that actually says “Browse interesting calendars”. Click that.
I know what you’re thinking: How could there be any more interesting calendars than what you’re already seeing? Or, what you are probably thinking: Why the hell would the obnoxious birthday calendar be in this terrible corner of the web?
Find “Birthday” and click “Unsubscribe”
Salvation! Clicking that magic button will rid you of this stupid calendar forever (or until Google obnoxiously adds it manually again).
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