I'm using Lion's iCal and Mail.app, and I've started working in a company where everyone uses MS Exchange. I haven't connected iCal to Exchange. When I receive an event invitation (sent with Outlook) by email in Mail.app, I get the normal options of Maybe/Decline/Accept. When I click Accept, the sender is notified and the email is moved to the Trash. But the event itself does not show up in iCal.

I've poked around a little already. The entire invitation email is base64 encoded and has a vCal attachment with the event. When I manually base64-decode the attachment and put it into a file, I can double-click it, and it gets imported into iCal.

But I guess this is supposed to work automatically when I click Accept. Of course, in Mail.app's prefs, the "Add invitations to iCal" setting is set to "Automatically".

Is there a way to make this work properly?

  • I'm seeing this same situation. It appears to have something to do with Outlook. When I send myself calendar invites from my Google and Yahoo calendars, clicking Accept in the email puts the event in my iCal.
    – user12036
    Commented Oct 14, 2011 at 17:59
  • I have a similar workflow but I added the exchange server to iCal. My accepted invites now appear in iCal.
    – bg2011
    Commented Dec 12, 2011 at 9:31
  • Yes indded, thank you bg2011. I had exchange setup only in Mail. Now when I have set it up in iCal as well, all calenders show up!
    – user14910
    Commented Dec 13, 2011 at 10:54
  • Are you using Exchange 2010? or 2003? It matters. 2010 works fine. Do you have an account in iCal for Exchange? !enter image description here
    – Robert
    Commented Mar 27, 2012 at 21:33

1 Answer 1


Some time ago I wrote a script to fix the problem that Exchange had with incorrect time zone data. The script will import Exchange events into iCal. There are several post on my blog concerning the script and how it functions.

Go to my blog, Surgical Diversions, and search for iCal. You'll see at least 3 posts regarding the script.

This solution is for those without an Exchange account and/or who don't want to set one up. The simplest solution is to create an Exchange account within iCal.

  • Are you saying that incorrect time zone data will prevent the appointment from showing up on iCal and that your scripts will fix the problem the OP is experiencing? Right now your posts seems to be beating around the bush about whether what you're talking about is likely the explanation and solution to this particular issue.
    – Adam Davis
    Commented Mar 27, 2012 at 15:04
  • Yes, I'm saying my script will correctly import base64 encode Exchange invites. At least it does for me. If it doesn't in this instance I'm more than willing to see if I can make the script work in this case. Unless the questioner actually installs, adjusts and tries the script we won't know. Also, it's probably easier to get an Exchange account and set it up in iCal.
    – afragen
    Commented Mar 27, 2012 at 21:23

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