I am using the Apple Calendar app on Big Sur (11.4). I connected it to an Exchange account and can see the calendar events. However, I cannot set the default calendar in preferences:


There are no calendars listed:

default calendar

When I add a new event from a .ics file, it gets added to a new calendar:

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Then I end up with my original calendar as well as a new calendar just for the new event:

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Why is that?

  • Do you have more than 1 calendar? If not, what issue are you trying to solve? I have a Mac with 1 exchange calendar and I see the same. Possibly exchange doesn't communicate as well with ical as icloud/google.
    – JBallin
    Jun 14, 2021 at 3:27
  • @JBallin The problem is that new events get added to a new calendar, not to the one Exchange calendar.
    – burger
    Jun 14, 2021 at 23:43
  • Can you give more details about the “new calendar”? Which service is it from
    – JBallin
    Jun 15, 2021 at 0:24
  • Also - you understand that you can just “select” the calendar you want to create new events in, right? This is done in the left drawer when viewing the calendar.
    – JBallin
    Jun 15, 2021 at 15:14
  • It creates a new calendar just for the new event. Then I can edit the event and move it to the original calendar. Then I delete the newly created calendar.
    – burger
    Jun 15, 2021 at 18:34

2 Answers 2


I also had this and was frustrated with it (enough to open an account here just to reply). I only have one CalDAV account as I use IMAP for mail. My work around was to turn iCloud calendar on then minimise it in the left side as well as untick it. Events now get added to my personal account and I can set it as my default while the iCloud calendar sits empty in the background.

I have opened a case with Apple and they have confirmed the bug and submitted it to engineering for review/fixing.

  • Activating iCloud calendar allowed me to select the default calendar in preferences (both iCloud and the Exchange account were listed as options). I am extremely flattered that you opened an account here just to answer my question.
    – burger
    Oct 24, 2021 at 1:11

UPDATE: this answer assumes that turning on iCloud calendar is not an option.

Importing .ics files into an Exchange calendar using Mac's Calendar.app does not appear to be supported (and neither does the "Default Calendar" setting).

You should import the files into Outlook directly.

  • Did this change in Big Sur? It was supported before.
    – burger
    Jun 23, 2021 at 17:41
  • Not sure if it was supported in Big Sur, I’ve always used Outlook for my exchange calendar.
    – JBallin
    Jun 23, 2021 at 17:43

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