How to subscribe to and manage public calendars in iOS 15


Public calendar feeds let you find and subscribe to events that vary by topic. Learn how to find a calendar, then subscribe to or remove it from your device in iOS 15.

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There is a treasure trove of publicly available calendars in iOS 15 that you can subscribe to for events like national holidays, book releases, business events, conference schedules and more. These public calendars are typically read-only and let you get notifications for specific events on your mobile devices and computers; however, many don’t know about these features or how to use them in their workflows.

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In this tutorial, we’ll look at how you can subscribe to a public calendar feed, remove them when they’re no longer needed, and where to find public calendars that may interest you.

We will be showing you how to subscribe and manage the public calendars through the built-in iOS implementation, but if you have a favorite third-party calendar app, then the majority of these calendar feeds will work with other apps as well.

How to subscribe to public calendars on iOS 15

Many public calendar feeds come in the “ics” format. This is a standardized calendar format, and the Calendar app built into iOS and macOS can automatically read these feeds and periodically refresh them so they have the latest data published on the calendar feed.

When you find a public calendar you’d like to subscribe to, then copy the link and then head over to the following location:

  1. Open the Calendar app.
  2. Select “Calendars” at the bottom of the main view, then select Add Calendar.
  3. In the popup that appears, select Add Subscription Calendar.
  4. Paste in the link to the public calendar, then tap the Subscribe button, which will pull in the calendar feed and show a preview (Figure A). Optionally, change the title of the calendar, color of the calendar, account that the calendar is used for the subscription, and choose if you wish to receive alerts from the calendar. Tapping Subscription Details will also allow you to remove alerts and attachments, which is on by default, and we recommend keeping enabled.
  5. Tap Save when done.

Figure A

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Subscribing to a public calendar is easy and lets you ensure that you don’t miss important events. Find a calendar that matches your interests and give it a try.

Once you have performed these steps, your public calendar will automatically be fetched and will be shown alongside other events in your calendar. If you added the calendar to an account that is synced between multiple devices, then this new calendar will also show up on other devices and keep in sync between them.

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How to remove public calendars in iOS 15 

If you later decide that you no longer wish to have a specific calendar subscription showing alongside your events (and don’t want to go the route of hiding the calendar), then you can remove the public calendar from your calendar account in iOS.

To remove a public calendar feed subscription from the Calendar app:

  1. Open the Calendar app.
  2. Tap on Calendars at the bottom of the main view.
  3. Select the i (info) button beside the calendar feed from which you wish to unsubscribe.
  4. Tap the Unsubscribe button, then confirm it in the additional dialog that appears (Figure B).

Figure B

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Unsubscribing from a public calendar is quick and easy and will remove it from all devices that the calendar account syncs with when removed like this.

When you unsubscribe from a public calendar that synchronizes with an account, then the calendar will be removed on that account and all of the devices with which the calendar account syncs. The events from the calendar feed will no longer show on your calendar and will be removed for past and future dates as well.

Where to find public calendars

Your workplace may provide public calendars for things like pay schedules, company holidays or who’s out notifications, but there are also websites that compile lists of calendars made publicly available for you to subscribe to as well.

Here are some websites that compile public calendar feeds:

  • iCalShare: This website is one of the originals, launched in 2002 and allows for easy integration with Apple’s iCal application for MacOS X. It is now a prominent place to find and subscribe to thousands of different public calendars for myriad different calendaring systems.
  • OfficeHolidays: This website keeps a large list of holiday calendars for different countries that are pertinent to office settings. There are also several business-specific calendars available.

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