Moving your calendars from MobileMe to iCloud

If you recently completed the great move of 2011, from MobileMe to iCloud and your Apple ID uses a different email address than your MobileMe email, then you’ve likely now discovered the odd duality that is your new iCloud account. Following the transition, I was left with two iCloud accounts:

  1. The primary iCloud account appropriately named “iCloud” which has synchronization for all options but Mail enabled (or at least the rest can be optionally enabled – Mail cannot).
  2. A secondary iCloud account named which only has Mail, Contacts and Calendars enabled. This account has no storage associated with it and my Mac’s prefpane tells me that it is not my primary account.

I assumed that the move included iCloud automatically importing my calendars and contacts from MobileMe and that for whatever reason Apple couldn’t associate my account with my usual Apple ID, so it set up two different accounts. Although contacts transferred without any problems, my Calendars only existed in my MobileMe secondary iCloud account.

The oddest part is the inconsistency between the two accounts. Contacts are available in both (duplicates), while Mail and calendars are only available in the MobileMe iCloud account. Even more confusing is that in Apple Mail on Lion 10.7.2, my MobileMe account was renamed to iCloud, but in iCal, the account is still called MobileMe (in actual fact you see both MobileMe and iCloud calendars – two separate CalDAV accounts). Talk about confusing!

My objective became simplification by attempting to move everything I could to the primary iCloud account. Since moving mail over is up to Apple, and Contacts were already in place, I simply disabled contacts on the secondary account. But calendars are a different story. Here’s how to move them:

NOTE: you must use iCal on a Mac to do this. If you’re using Windows or only have iOS devices, this guide will not help you.

To begin, backup all of your calendars. Choose File > Export > iCal Archive.

To transition all of your calendars to your primary iCloud account, you need to create a new calendar on iCloud for each one you have on MobileMe. As an example, I’ll use the calendar “Personal” here.

  1. File > New Calendar > iCloud
  2. Right / Context click on the Untitled calendar under ICLOUD and choose Get Info. Make the Name “Personal” and change the colour to match the calendar on MobileMe then choose OK
  3. Right / Context click on “Personal” under MOBILEME and choose Export.¬†Remember where you’re saving it since you’ll probably want to remove it later, then choose the Export button
  4. Choose File > Import > Import and select the file you just exported from MobileMe
  5. It will then request that you choose witch calendar to import into. Select “Personal” under ICLOUD

You should now see duplicates of the calendar events. Uncheck Personal under MOBILEME to get rid of the duplicates.

Repeat these steps for each of your calendars if you have more than one. If you had any shared calendars before, you will need to reshare them by right / context clicking on them and choosing Share Calendar. If you’re comfortable with the changes, then you can go ahead and remove the MobileMe Calendars from your devices. For Mac OS X 10.7.2 here’s how:

  1. Go to Apple Menu > System Preferences > Mail Contacts and Calendars
  2. Select your MobileMe account in the list (it will have an iCloud icon, but should show your account as the name).
  3. Uncheck Calendars.

The process is similar for iOS:

  1. Go to the Settings app and choose Mail, Contacts, Calendars
  2. Select your MobileMe account (it will be titled with your address)
  3. Turn the switch to “OFF” beside Calendars

Be sure that your actual iCloud account has Calendars set to “ON” otherwise your calendars will no longer appear on the iOS device.

I hope this guide manages to help others who also wish to simplify this odd duality of iCloud accounts that Apple has created for the ‘devoted’ MobileMe crowd.

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