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.┬áRemember 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.

Image courtesy of


  1. Ben on October 14, 2011 at 11:28 pm

    Well done, sir. Same issue here.

  2. Matt Brandon on October 15, 2011 at 1:48 am

    Thanks! This was exactly what I was looking for. This iCloud merge has been confusing and not all that intuitive for an Apple product. One reviewer calls it “iHal” lol

    • Jordan on October 15, 2011 at 8:57 am

      You’re welcome! It certainly was confusing and unintuitive. At the very least, they provided accurate instructions throughout and things *do* work after the migration… it’s just those of us that like to know what’s going on behind the scenes that run into how weird the configuration is.

      That said, if they don’t migrate calendars for us (or give us the option to) before the MobileMe service is discontinued next year, I will have to take that back :)

  3. Damian on October 15, 2011 at 2:31 pm

    Thank you very much! This helped greatly.

    • Jordan on October 15, 2011 at 2:42 pm

      Glad to hear it!

  4. Greg on October 16, 2011 at 5:59 pm

    Thank you for taking the time to post this. It has been worrying me since I upgraded. Now I’m not worried any more

  5. Barnaby on October 17, 2011 at 5:45 am

    Excellent post!! I was trying so many different things with no luck. Thank you very much, this completely solved the problem.

    • Jordan on October 17, 2011 at 10:41 am

      Glad I could help!

  6. Localboy on October 17, 2011 at 7:34 pm

    Thanks for the article, Jordan – your instructions were impeccable! Everything transferred perfectly except my old To Do’s were moved into a new list called Reminders in iCloud which I had to reassign in each reminder to in order to see them in iCloud calendar. Now everything but mail and notes is in my primary iCloud file.

    FWIW – Apple has a support page [] on the topic but the link to the instructions for moving data between iCloud accounts comes up with a document not found error. I submitted the problem to Apple but it hasn’t been fixed yet. Actually, all they would have to do is link to your article.

    • Jordan on October 27, 2011 at 11:12 pm

      And hilariously enough, the link still doesn’t work, 11 days later.

  7. Andy on October 29, 2011 at 7:54 pm

    I am sooooo dizzy from running between two iMac’s and two iPhones trying to get all four in sync after being in Mobilme and upgrading to Lion and iCloud and then finally talking to Apple two days for a total of about 8 hours and it’s STILL not right!

    I should have done a Google search sooner and ended up here and got most of it done in an hour or so.

    When I get my iMac working right and then the other iMac can’t hook up with my iCal on my iCloud or Suggestions??

    • Jordan on November 2, 2011 at 5:53 pm

      Is it possible you have a third, completely separate account?

      Make sure that you’re only using one Apple ID on all the devices (and of course your MobileMe account, but it should automatically set that up for you)

      I suggest signing out of the iCloud account on the device that isn’t synchronizing properly, then logging back in to see if it’s simply not grabbing the data properly from the iCloud server.

  8. Andrew on November 2, 2011 at 3:20 pm

    You are a superstar my friend

  9. connie on December 30, 2011 at 9:54 am

    Thank you so much! This switch over was a pain, but I think I finally have all three devices synced after following your directions. Fingers crossed!

    • Jordan on December 30, 2011 at 11:08 am

      You’re welcome! I’m glad I could help.

  10. binda on January 25, 2012 at 11:05 am

    Thank you!! I’ve been banging my head against a wall trying to figure this out. I even spent over an hour with six different Apple geniuses trying to get this right.

    … now all I need to do is figure out why my address books are not synching right. Sigh.

  11. Missy on February 19, 2012 at 2:40 pm

    Thank you so much! Your instructions were very helpful and, quite frankly, the only ones I could find that actually made sense! Thanks again!

    • Jordan on February 27, 2012 at 1:22 pm

      You’re welcome!

  12. Peter on April 20, 2012 at 11:26 pm

    Thank you very much for making the effort in writing all of this down. It’s not easy to say the least and although it makes sense having done it I’m surprised Apple hadn’t made this more obvious in their notes or tech board.
    Cheers Peter in Sydney

  13. Esther on May 24, 2012 at 5:19 pm

    Hi jordan,

    Great help- thanks! I have just one confusing issue. I have multiple computers, and I have two open right now, both to iCal, both using iCloud to sync, both showing identical information. But when I click on the Calendars tab to see the bnames of calendars, on one computer they are listed under iCloud while the other has exactly the same names, yet listed under my mobile me email name.

    Can you think of any reason why this will be a problem in the long run? I have done tests where I made an event on one machine in a specific calendar and it did sync immediately to the other under the same calendar, so they seem the same, yet why the different headings?

    Thanks for any insight!

    • Jordan on May 24, 2012 at 5:24 pm

      Hi Esther!

      If the calendars under MobileMe are still syncing properly, then I’d bet the name of the account simply needs to be changed (for clarity). You should be able to find this under preferences > account settings.

      Hope this helps!


  14. Eliz on June 24, 2012 at 6:46 pm

    Thanks for the calendar tip!

  15. Rasmus on November 23, 2012 at 7:10 pm

    thanks for your help, you saved me a few hours of frustration.

    • Jordan on November 24, 2012 at 10:35 am

      My pleasure!

  16. Tracy on December 17, 2012 at 7:22 pm

    So VERY helpful! You’d think Apple could do this without the runaround, but apparently upgrades aren’t necessarily that.

    • Jordan on December 18, 2012 at 12:11 am

      I’m glad it helped!

  17. Mahas on March 2, 2013 at 9:31 am

    Excellent !! THX a lot. I have been tired of using two iCloud accounts when is no longer useful except calendars . You have saved my nerves :-)

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