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Mike
Mike, Mac Medic
Category: Mac
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Experience:  Over 20 years IT experience with Apple computers in publishing, marketing and design.
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We are having a problem with our "Shared" Google Calendar.

Customer Question

We are having a problem with our "Shared" Google Calendar. Previously, shared calendars merged and events showed up on the daily calendar exactly when the event was scheduled to occur.This allowed for us to see the shared events correctly calendared where they belong (i.e. a Monday Noon "Shared" Appointment event showed up on my Monday Calendar during the "Noon" hour.However, recently Google changed something, and now ALL Shared events show up in the blank "uncalendared" header at the top of Monday. This is stupid and useless as it doesn't show up in my hourly appointments.What/Why did Google change and how do we get Google Calendar to properly display shared calendar events where they belong?
Submitted: 2 months ago.
Category: Mac
Expert:  Bruce Wilner replied 2 months ago.

Hello. It is my pleasure to assist you with your problem.

Google does make changes from time to time, but something else may be going on here. Could you please provide a bit more detail about how you use the calendars, and under which accounts and groups they have been set up? I would also like to discuss your calendar settings in detail.

Thank you for your cooperation. We will get to the bottom of this!

Customer: replied 2 months ago.
Thanks.The problem is, in the past, shared calendars were merged or integrated into our calendar. This means that a shared calender Monday appointment from 1 to 3 p.m. on XYZ's calendar would show up properly in my calendar as a blocked in appointment from 1 to 3 p.m. Monday.Now Google is classifying ALL shared calendar items as "All Day Events" and dumping them uselessly into the "All Day Events" header at the top of each day. To make matters worse, these falsely labeled "All Day Events" aren't even listed in chronological order.We have searched everywhere and cannot find a settings item to change on our end to make our calendar display shared items correctly in their actual timeframe, and not dumped into the "All Day Events" header.Meanwhile, the shared items show up correctly on the origin's calendar.
Expert:  Bruce Wilner replied 2 months ago.

I have a peculiar suggestion that will help diagnose: can you swap one of the "shared" calendars with the "merged" calendar--make that shared the merged, and the merged a shared--and see if the problem recurs, but changes places? This will pinpoint whether the problem actually lies with SETTINGS.

Customer: replied 2 months ago.
I don't know the difference between a "shared" and "merged" calendar.We've always had "shared" calendars that were merged.How do we tell the difference?
Expert:  Bruce Wilner replied 2 months ago.

". . . in the past, shared calendars were merged or integrated into our calendar. This means that a shared calendar Monday appointment from 1 to 3 p.m. on XYZ's calendar would show up properly in my calendar"

That sounds to me like you have various calendars (GOK why) that are serving as "inputs" to others: people are inputting data into calendars X, Y, and Z, and you are rolling those up into calendar Q. That's what I'M getting from your description.

If you have "A" automatically being reflected in "B"--but not the other way around--I am suggesting that you momentarily swap the "roles" of A and B and see if the same behavior is evidenced, but just switches places. This would indicate a problem with calendar settings, plain and simple, rather than something either more mysterious or handily to be blamed on "changes made by Google."

Customer: replied 2 months ago.
No changes have been made by any party.Meanwhile, I have no control over the other calendars. I am simply "invited" to share their calendar. Once I accept, there calendar was properly rendered in my calendar, but color coded.How do you propose that I reverse rolls with another party's calendar?As to my "handily" blaming this on Google. Who else is to blame when no changes were made by either myself or the other party.Meanwhile, I asked you a question which you failed to answer so I'll ask it again. What is the difference between a "shared" and "merged" calendar. In the past, X's calendar was shared, and once I accepted, it was "merged" into my calendar.Once you explain the difference between merged and shared (as you indicated that these were apparently 2 different types of calendars, then I would appreciate if you would review the settings in Google Calendar and explain what needs to be changed.Ultimately, if we changed no settings, and the other party changed no settings, then the only logical conclusion is Google has changed the sharing protocol, and no longer displays shared events properly.Please advise.
Expert:  Bruce Wilner replied 2 months ago.

It isn't about blame. It is EXTRAORDINARILY UNLIKELY that Google made a sudden change to software purportedly used by millions of people and affecting their daily work, and made no announcement. As little respect as I may have for Google in particular and Californian engineers in general, they DO test their widely distributed ("distributed," so to speak) and heavily used software. Such fundamental bugs as "shared events don't show up" would be immediately recognized and immediately fixed.

Further, people who "made no changes" routinely made changes and don't realize it. All it takes is a stray keystroke, or a moment's distraction while reaching for a cup of tea, or a child, or a cat walking across the keyboard.

Is there a possibility that you could just share ONE calendar with these people? Or do they spend their entire working days fiddling with their calendars?

I didn't say that "merged" and "shared" were two types of calendars, but clearly you have SPECIFIED somewhere that changes to THIS one are to be reflected in THAT one. I call THIS one the merged, and THAT one the shared.

Customer: replied 2 months ago.
We're done here.
Customer: replied 2 months ago.
Customer: replied 2 months ago.
We've been waiting for over 24 hours. Where is the new Support Specialist?
Expert:  Benjamin Larson replied 2 months ago.

Hey Brian!

Just FYI - the way this site works is the all the experts here are indepedant and we just answer questions based on what we feel we can answer and we try to do so as quickly as we can, but there may be a window where someone doesn't pickup your question. Based on the previous exchange you had with the other expert, I might guess that either other experts weren't online, didn't know the issue you were having or were a bit hesitant to get involved with a customer exchange where you seemed unhappy already. See, we only get paid when customers are happy and rate us 3 stars or higher and sometimes people will confuse rating the current expert with the previous one. So I wanted to explain that since it seems like it is confusing to some people.

All that being said, my name is ***** ***** I disagree with the previous expert - I personally have several calendars I share with my wife and I used to share google calendars with my parents and brothers and I find it very useful to have many google calendars shared. Now the situation you describe seems very strange and I want to make sure I understand what's going on so we can figure this out.

You say you have several calendars and you aren't the owner of them, but you have "read only" rights? Can you edit them? They put an event that has a duration such as 1pm to 3pm and on your view of the same calendar it shows up as an all day event? Is that correct?

I will be honest - not sure what the issue you are having is and I haven't heard of it before, but I am very interested in the problem because it seems fun to solve. I think we can get to the bottom of this together.

FYI - I do have a day job so I can't respond immediately, but I've setup my account to get alerts when you respond to this message. Thanks!

Expert:  Benjamin Larson replied 2 months ago.

I did find someone with a similar issue, but not exactly the same - and there was a suggestion to clear cookies and cache - https://support.google.com/accounts/answer/32050?hl=en

Also, try seeing if you have the same issue in incognito mode and/or different browser.

If you have another machine (phone or computer) that might be another good troubleshooting step. Also, does this happen on only one calendar? Only one person? I'm trying to help narrow down the variables for you. I looked in my Google calendar and I couldn't find a way to replicate the problem. I also am using a 3rd party tool to share my Outlook calendar with a 2nd Google account I have and then I share that with my primary Google account and my wife's account so I'm not putting my main Google account's credentials into a 3rd party tool. I have had some sync issues, but not the exact thing you have. I can't figure out how to duplicate your issue either, so if we can narrow it down, that would help us zero in on the issue.

Expert:  Benjamin Larson replied 2 months ago.

Ha, I thought I found someone with similar issue and reached out to them, then I realized it was likely you!

http://googlesystem.blogspot.com/2015/01/change-all-day-event-notifications-in.html

So I guess I haven't found anyone with the same issue you have which is good and bad - means we will have to dig to figure out the problem, but since others aren't having the same problem, we should be able to get it fixed without needing Google to fix their code.