Stop shared calendar notifications (Google Calendars on iPhone/Mac)

Do you keep receiving alerts from calendars that other people have shared with you on Google Calendars on your iPhone/Mac?

Can’t figure out how to turn them off, without unsubscribing from their calendar completely (which totally defeats the purpose of sharing)?

Well, I believe I have found a solution for this, after a lot of searching and messing around.

The problem is: if someone shares a calendar with you and you subscribe to it in your Google Calendar, your iPhone/Mac thinks it is one of YOUR calendars (i.e. not a “shared” calendar). And Apple doesn’t give you an option to switch off reminders on calendars that are YOURS, so you will receive all of the notifications.

What you can do is: disable the syncing of that calendar and subscribe to it manually.

FIRST, turn off syncing their calendar so that your iPhone/Mac can’t see it anymore:

  1. Go to and uncheck their calendar. This allows you to still see the calendar in the google calendar website, but it will not sync to your iPhone/Mac.

SECOND, THEY send you the private link to their calendar (just for subscription purposes):

  1. They open their Google Calendar ( in their web browser
  2. Open the Settings menu by clicking the little cog icon at the top right of the page, and then click Settings
  3. Click their calendar (their name) on the left hand side of the page
  4. Scroll right down to the bottom of the page and copy the link under “Secret address in iCal format
  5. Email you the link.

FINALLY, YOU add the calendar to your device iPhone/Mac as a Subscribed calendar:

On iPhone/iPod Touch:

  1. Go to Mail and open the message
  2. Press and hold on the link, select “Copy”
  3. Press the Home button to go back to the home screen
  4. Open Settings app
  5. Go to Mail, Contacts, Calendars–>Add Account–>Other–>Add Subscribed Calendar
  6. Tap in the Server field and Paste the link, then press Next
  7. You now get the option to not sync alarms, attachments and also to ignore alerts

On Mac:

  1. Copy the link from your email
  2. Open Calendar app
  3. Go to File–>New Calendar Subscription…
  4. Paste the link and press Subscribe

I’ve only just set this up just now but it seems like it should work. I hope it helps others find peace too!