I did a clean install of El Capitan and would like to retrieve my Reminders from my Time Machine backup. Which files exactly do I need to restore? I have read reminders are stored in ~/Library/Calendars, but restoring that folder does not recreate the Reminders and also makes my Calendar completely blank. Where do I need to look?


I did find that reminders reside in ~/Library/Calendars/<UUID>.calendar/Events/<UUID2>.ics, but simply copying the entire ~/Library/Calendars and ~/Library/Containers/com.apple.reminders/ directories does not help.

  • Just to be clear, isn't Reminders working with iCloud account?
    – rwzdoorn
    Jul 11, 2016 at 9:14
  • @rwzdoorn No, I have not connected reminders with iCloud.
    – oarfish
    Jul 11, 2016 at 9:16
  • Have you attempted to restore anything else under ~/Library? /Users/username/Library/Containers/com.apple.reminders looks like a candidate.
    – ephsmith
    Jul 11, 2016 at 9:48
  • @ephsmith There does not seem to be anything of relevance in there. Copying the directory does nothing.
    – oarfish
    Jul 11, 2016 at 10:39
  • Unfortunately, tracing file activity with Instruments does not work with Reminders while System Integrity Protection is enabled.
    – oarfish
    Jul 11, 2016 at 10:46

3 Answers 3


While simply copying the directories mentioned in the question does not help (presumably, there is some database somewhere containing the uuids to the calendars and one has to copy that as well), it is possible to manually import the *.ics files by simply opening them.


It seems that copying the folders and then rebooting actually does restore the reminders (or probably logout-login will suffice).


When I go through the back-up folders; whether through the Time-Machine or through the folders neither ~/Library/Calendars nor /Library/Containers/ show up.

My oldest reachable back-up dates June2019.

Are there any other folders that I need to look?


I restored the events the slow, dirty but effective way:

  1. Don't open Time Machine, but go to the Time Machine folder to the date you would like to restore.
  2. Open the folder ~/Library/Calendars.
  3. Open the subfolders in this directory. Open the events folder.
  4. In each events folder highlight the .ics files, double-click.
  5. Confirm for each .ics event the import into the Reminders app.
  6. In the Reminders app you can then sort the events into folders if you want.

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