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I use gmail through the web interface, but have Apple Calendar synchronising with google's calendar. I don't want to use Apple Mail for anything at all. Every time the calendar synchronises with Google, Apple Mail opens and asks me to set up an account. How do I stop Apple Mail from doing this?

I have Mac OS 10.8.3. In System Preferences, under Mail, Contacts & Calendars, I have my Google account specified, but with "Calendars & Reminders" checked and the remaining options (Mail, Messages and Notes) unchecked.

EDIT: after some poking around, it seems the problem is that Calendar wants to open Apple Mail to send me reminders about my events. Can I stop it from doing that?

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up vote 2 down vote accepted

In short, you don't. Calendar needs mail to send and receive appointments.

Have you tried simply telling Calendar to not use Mail for automatically retrieving CalDAV appointment requests via Mail?

Wanting to use Calendar for OS X implies you must use Apple's Mail for CalDAV appointment invitations as things stand today on Mountain Lion. You could either forego the Mail integration or select another Calendar like Fantastical or BusyCal.

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I have told Calendar not to use Mail for retrieving CalDAV appointment requests, but this doesn't seem to change anything. I'll investigate the alternative calendars you propose, thank you. – Sam Lisi May 2 '13 at 13:59
Yes - even if you uncheck that mark, Apple's Calendar wants to open Apple's Mail. I'd file a bug with Apple to fix that (and it might never get fixed) and dig into alternatives in the mean time. Sorry I don't have a simple workaround. – bmike May 2 '13 at 15:49

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