If you’ve recently received offers or invitations on your Apple device from someone you don’t know, then you’re not alone — thousands have received these unwanted calendar notifications. Apple has yet to issue a fix for the problem, but in the meantime here are four temporary workarounds.
In the run up to Black Friday especially, users of Apple Macs, iPhones and iPads started receiving emails and event notifications purporting to offer major discounts on designer brands. A quick look at the names of the senders (usually from a Chinese address) made it clear that the offers were not legitimate, so it’s unlikely that tech-savvy Mac and iPhone users were sucked in by the offers, but this doesn’t mean these repeated invitations aren’t incredibly annoying.
Apple has yet to put out a solution to the problem, but thankfully there are a number of quick and easy workarounds for these unwanted invitations.
1. Don’t Decline
The first thing to note is that, when one of these too-good-to-be-true invitations pops up, you should not hit Decline. Because of the way iCloud works, clicking either Accept or Decline on the invitation (sadly, there is no “Ignore” option) tells the spammer that your account is active and should, therefore, be contacted again and again. Instead of declining the invitation, then, you should follow the next step.
2. Move and Delete
It’s possible to have multiple calendars within the Apple calendar application. Use this to your advantage by creating a new calendar specifically for notifications of the spammy kind. (Feel free to give this calendar a name with a swear word of your choice in it — it won’t stop the spam arriving, but it might make you feel better.) With your new calendar ready to go, when you get an offer for 50% off Ray-bans, iPads, or performance-enhancing drugs, you can send it directly to this separate calendar. You can then safely delete said calendar entirely or, if you anticipate getting more of this kind of junk mail, keep it around to send future spam invitations to.
(Note: if you’ve already dealt with notifications of this kind, access your main calendar, open your Inbox, and then browse your “Replied” notifications. From here, you can tap on any of the items to send them to your new “spam” calendar for deletion.)
3. Change Notification Preferences
It’s possible to tell your phone to send notifications directly to your email address rather than having them pop up on your screen and populate your calendar. To do this, log in to your iCloud account, select Calendar, enter Preferences by using the little gear icon in the bottom corner, and then hop into “Advanced”. On this screen, you can turn on “Enable Email” to direct invitations to your inbox rather than your phone’s home screen. Why would you want to send spam to your inbox instead? Because most email applications will filter these messages out and send them directly to your junk mail folder — you’ll never have to delete them or even be made aware of their existence.
Turning “Calendars” off in your iCloud settings is the simplest solution
4. Go Nuclear
Finally, if all that sounds like too much hassle, there’s always the option of just deactivating Calendar notifications completely. With the number of complaints Apple is receiving about calendar spam, they’re sure to be working on a fix. Until the problem is solved, you might want to just save yourself the trouble and make it so that your Calendar won’t receive messages from iCloud to begin with. Simply head into your phone’s Settings menu, select iCloud, and then switch the Calendars slider off (see above). Just be aware that you may be missing out on legitimate invitations by doing this.