Calendar no longer showing past events in search?

This started a couple of days ago. Normally I can enter in a . in the search on the calendar and I can see in the list all the past items. I can scroll clear to the beginning.

Now all I see are things from the past year. Yet if I move the valendar main view I can verify that there are events in the earlier calendars. If I search for something specific that I can see but it’s at a time prior to one year ago search cannot find it even whem I am looking at that day and clearly see the event there.

I’ve verified that Spotlight is not ignoring anything which is the only fix I’ve seen anywhere.

Any other ideas?

Try searching with one double quote symbol ( " ). On my calendar . takes me back to 2007, but " takes me back to 2001.

In my case it’s only a few additional entries but, as I recall, your calendar is the stuff of legends. :smile:

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Nope same results. I only get stuff back to the beginning of 2019. I’ve got stuff back quite a bit further.

I don’t have my calendars in iCloud. They exist entirely on my mac.

Any chance you have hit the 50,000 event limit on your calendar?

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Are we talking about the Calendar App on Mac accessing local calendars or online calendars (icloud, gmail, etc)?

I use calendar app and access gmail and outlook calendars. Interestingly, i get different results using a single period (.) vs a double quote ("). Quick compare is that the double quote (") shows all day events and the single period (.) does not

@OogieM said “I don’t have my calendars in iClioud. They exist entirely on my Mac.”

Thanks for the info, I can use that myself.

That appears only to affect iCloud calendars.
I could have hit it beofre I started my policy of cleaning out things. But a BOE (back of envelope) estimate is that I am at somewhere around 15,000-16,000 events now which is down a lot. That’s only 2 years worth. From when I had calendar problems before I was keeping 10+ years in calendar and I had estimated that each year had around 7500-8000 events.

Calendar app on Mac accessing calendars that exist only on my Mac. No cloud sync at all.

Here are some thoughts:

  • Did you have any recent software updates?
  • Is calendar search broken? Maybe try searching in spotlight or use houdahspot?
  • Is the spotlight index broken? Maybe re-index spotlight?


Search doesn’t work. When I first tried spotlight I got no results. I have already followed the procedure to force a rebuild of the Spotlight index but that didn’t help the calendar problem although it did fix the spotlight not searching problem.

Don’t have Houdahspot

As I said I’m getting searches and lists in the search back to the beginning of 2019 but not back into 2018 no matter what I use.

For some reason I was thinking 50K was also the limit on In any event, until you solve this problem, if you need to search for older entries here’s one really crude way to do it.

Create an export (File/Export/Calendar Archive) of your calendar data. Once this is done remove the .icbu extension from the archive and you will be left with a standard folder containing one subfolder for each calendar.

An Events subfolder, under each calendar, contains individual .ics files for each event. The desired event be searched for using Spotlight and read with Preview by pressing the Spacebar. The total number of events can be seen in the Status Bar, if you have it visible.


The .ics file can be opened by Bbedit or your text editor of choice to view full details.

Screen Shot 2021-01-02 at 4.11.18 PM

(Caution, for any that may not know: clicking on an .icbu archive will replace everything in your Calendar - after a warning)

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Seems like a spotlight index problem if you’re not getting anything prior to 2018. I wonder if spotlight is done indexing?

How to tell if Spotlight is indexing I don’t know if this works for Big Sur

I’m no on Big Sur, still on Catalina and I just checked and nothing going on with that process but it is present.

It very well could be but I shouldn’t be at it with this calendar now. Thanks for the how to search outside Calendar

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