First, my basic question:

If I have an iPhone and it is using a local calendar ("On This Phone", I think), and my backup is to iCloud, does that backup include the local calendar?

Edit: to be clear, the backup I'm referring to is:

iCloud.com > Settings > (Advanced section) > Restore Calendars and Reminders

Second, and the reason for my question:

I've performed a series of steps that's left me in a mess with migrating a local calendar to an iCloud calendar whilst also (around the same time) sharing iCloud calendars between two users...

The sequence has been something close to this (unfortunately I didn't note them down 100% as I was going):

  • iPhone A and iPhone B, separate Apple IDs, both backing up to iCloud
  • iPhone A uses iCloud calendars, only
  • iPhone B uses a local calendar, but also has an iCloud calendar containing some events that were invites from iPhone A
  • iPhone A shares an iCloud calendar with iPhone B. It all works as expected. The calendar is name "Calendar"
  • iPhone B considers sharing a calendar with iPhone A, but realises they're using a local calendar, so goes through the process of merging/migrating that local data to be in an iCloud calendar
  • (I think, this was achieved by turning on the Calendar option in the iCloud settings, then answering "yes" to "do you want to keep local calendar data?")
  • iPhone B now has iCloud calendars only; the iPhone B user checks on their Mac and they now see the iCloud calendar on their, too. Yay!
  • iPhone B now shares their iCloud calendar with iPhone A. The calendar is named "Calendar"
  • This time, the sharing from iPhone B to iPhone A only kinda works. New events on iPhone B are immediately propagated to iPhone A. However, existing events on iPhone B are not seen on iPhone A (this was not the case when iPhone A was shared to iPhone B)
  • Upon seeing this, the users of iPhone A and iPhone B tried things like: un-sharing and re-sharing, re-naming calendars, re-synching... None of which worked.
  • Unfortunately, a side effect of the above was that (and I'm not sure at what point it happened) - the existing events on iPhone B became readonly on iPhone B. New events on iPhone B went into the re-named calendar. So, the calendar on iPhone B was renamed from "Calendar" to "Ciara". Existing events were listed as being under "Calender" and new events were listed as being in "Ciara"...
  • Further un-sharing and showing/hiding calendars resulted in the pre-existing events on iPhone B disappearing completely...


  • Unfortunately, I did not export any of the calendars before doing this (I know, I should have)

What I've tried:

  • I've tried un-sharing all calendars, then using iCloud.com for iPhone B's account to restore a calendar (only) from before any of the above was started
  • It did not work
  • However, at the time of that backup, the Calendar option in Settings -> iCloud was turned off. When trying to restore the calendar via iCloud.com, the Calendar option is still turned on

What I'd like to try:

  • Turn that setting off, so iPhone B is not using iCloud calendars
  • Restore a calendar backup from iCloud.com
  • If it works, and I see the pre-existing events, first do an export, and second try to migrate to iCloud calendars on iPhone B before doing any sharing

The reason for this question:

  • iPhone B belongs to my wife ;)
  • I've already lost a whole load of her events; I don't want to mess it up further ;)
  • I'll try the above, if I know that the older iCloud calendar backups will have contained the local, calendar data...


1 Answer 1


Following some trial and error, and additional reasoning, I can partially answer my own question:

(1) The events from a local calendar, on an iPhone ("On This Phone", I think it is referred to), are not backed up to the calendar-specfic area in iCloud. Here:

iCloud.com > Settings > (Advanced section) > Restore Calendars and Reminders

Although it doesn't say so explicitly, it makes sense that these iCloud calendar backups cover a user's iCloud calendars. (Plus, my attempt to restore such backups with a hope to see pre-merged, local calendars, failed).

Screen shot from iCloud.com:

enter image description here

(2) The iPhone backup (the complete backup of the whole phone), which in my case was being backed up to iCloud (rather than iTunes), would, I presume, include the local calendars and their events.

However, by time I'd got to looking at this, my oldest 'complete' iCloud backup was just a day old... which was after I merged the local calendars into iCloud calendars.

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