six colors

by Jason Snell & Dan Moren

By Dan Moren

Quick Tip: Stop Gmail from auto-importing events to calendar

While I rely heavily upon Google Calendar, thanks to its invaluable shared calendars, I am one of those rare folks who doesn’t use Gmail for my email. I have a Gmail account, because I have a Google account, but I never give out the address and I rarely check the inbox.

This occasionally leads to issues.

Recently I was glancing at my calendar and noticed that at the end of the week was an event for a flight to Bogotá, Colombia. For a moment I thought perhaps my girlfriend, who travels internationally fairly often, had a trip she’d forgotten to mention to me, but upon realizing it was on my personal calendar, not our shared calendar, I scratched my head.

At some point, I had the bright idea to check my Gmail inbox, and sure enough, there was a flight reminder for a trip to Bogotá. Only thing was it wasn’t for me but for a “David Moreno”, who had clearly mistyped his Gmail address. Whoops. Gmail now scans your messages for things like flights and automatically imports them, which is how it ended up on my calendar. Oh well, these things happen: I deleted the event from my calendar and moved on.

Fast forward to today when I noticed another event on my calendar; this time for a flight from Bogotá to Medellín. (Presumably part of the same trip that Mr. Moreno mistakenly gave my email for.) At this point, I started wondering if Gmail’s tendency to auto-import events to my calendar was doing more harm than good. Time to turn it off.

Google Calendar

Fortunately, it’s not very hard to do so: you just have to know where to look. Go to Google Calendar’s web interface, and click on the gear icon in the top right, then choose Settings. Scroll down until you find the Events from Gmail header, and uncheck the “Add Automatically” checkbox.

Granted, while this was merely an annoyance for me, it was probably worse for Mr. Moreno. Here’s hoping he didn’t miss any important flights!

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[Dan Moren is a tech writer, novelist, podcaster, and the Official Dan of Six Colors. You can email him at or find him on Twitter at @dmoren.]