Tech

iPhone Calendar Virus? How to Fix Spam Events in Apple’s Calendar


Are you plagued by annoying spam notifications from Apple’s Calendar app on your iPhone? Are your Calendar cells full of notifications and reminders for random events you don’t remember adding yourself?


If so, your iPhone is now a victim of Calendar spam (popularly known as the iPhone Calendar virus); we know what it is, and we’ve listed out how to fix it.

These spam Calendar notifications might transcend just your iPhone and affect other iCloud-enabled Apple devices you own. Here, we’ll show you how to get rid of it on all your devices that may be affected.


How Does the iPhone Calendar Virus Work?

First of all, it’s worth noting that this Calendar spam is not a virus; it’s a rogue calendar account you may have added while visiting a not-so-trustworthy website. You may be tempted to call it a virus because of how it acts.

They usually hide in pop-ups and emails asking you to confirm something, and once you do, you have now unwittingly subscribed to a spam calendar. Calendar subscriptions come as .ics links, so you have to be extra careful with accepting invites with them.

The best thing you can do to avoid getting this annoying spam is to steer clear of shady websites. If you have to visit them at all, you should generally follow ways to avoid phishing scams because the methods perpetrators use to get the Calendar spam on your phone is quite similar to phishing.

However, you could also get invited to spam calendars if scammers manage to get hold of your email address. So, be extra careful of invite messages via email or the Notification Center. If you’re ever invited to one, decline the invitation and report it.

Calendar invite on iPhone

While the spam Calendar event notifications themselves may be directly harmless to your device, the links may pose serious security risks if you tap or click them. And this is why we recommend getting rid of them ASAP.

What Are the Signs of the iPhone Calendar Virus?

The most obvious sign your Calendar has spam is persistent notifications that look like this:

More examples will appear as “💸Get Free Apple Gift Cards By Spinning the Wheel!”, “🔒Protect Your iPhone With These Special Tools,” or other bogus claims.

You can also do some digging and find them in your Calendar options: If you open the Calendar app on your iPhone and tap any day of the month, you will find a list of suspicious-looking events.

Because this spam uses Calendar subscription accounts to make these notifications, you can also check your Calendar subscriptions to find out if there are any subscriptions you didn’t choose.

To do this on your iPhone or iPad, follow these steps:

  1. Open Calendar and tap Calendars at the bottom of the default page.
  2. Look at the Subscribed section to see if there are any odd-looking subscriptions.

If you’re using a Mac, here’s what you need to do:

  1. Launch Calendar by clicking the calendar icon on the Dock.
  2. Check the left pane in Other to see if you’re subscribed to any odd-looking calendars.

How to Get Rid of Calendar Spam on an iPhone or iPad

While you might be tempted to edit the calendar events on your iPhone and delete them one by one, if you want to permanently remove the spam on your device, you can do it in two simple ways.

Remove Calendar Spam From the Settings App

The Settings app lets you quickly get rid of the Calendar spam from your iPhone or iPad. Here’s what you need to do:

  1. Open Settings and navigate to Calendar, and then tap Accounts.
  2. Look for Subscribed Calendars and open it.
  3. Here, you’ll find a list of your calendar subscriptions; select the one you think is suspicious.
  4. Tap Delete Account and confirm when prompted.

Remove the Spam From the Calendar App

Alternatively, by following these simple instructions in the Calendar app, you can permanently remove the Calendar spam from your device:

  1. Launch Calendar on your iPhone.
  2. Tap Calendars at the bottom of the home page.
  3. Tap the i icon next to the suspicious calendar subscription in the Subscribed section,
  4. Now, tap on Unsubscribe at the bottom and when you get the pop-up, choose Unsubscribe and Report Junk.

How to Get Rid of Calendar Spam on a Mac

If your spam Calendar is linked to an account now synced on your iCloud, the problem might also transcend to your Mac. However, it doesn’t seem like subscribed Calendars automatically sync between devices.

So, here’s how to remove any suspicious account from the Calendar app in macOS:

  1. Launch Calendar by clicking the icon in the Dock.
  2. Click Calendar in the menu bar and select Settings from the dropdown.
  3. Head to the Accounts tab.
  4. Find the suspicious account, select it and click the minus (-) button to remove it.

Window for adding or remving Calendar accounts in Mac Calendar settings

In case you have added a spam Calendar on your Mac as well, follow these steps to remove subscriptions:

  1. Open Calendar and check the left pane for the Other category.
  2. Look for the suspect calendar subscription, Control-click it and choose Unsubscribe.

Prevent Future Spam by Blocking Pop-ups in Your Browser

Because this spam attack is due to malicious pop-ups, you should disable them on your iPhone or iPad to prevent it from happening again in the future.

Disable Pop-Ups in Safari

To change browser preferences for Safari, you’ll need to use the iPhone’s Settings app. So, follow these steps:

  1. Launch Settings and scroll down to Safari.
  2. Now, scroll down to the General section and set the Block Pop-ups toggle to enabled.

Disable Pop-Ups in Chrome

If you use Chrome instead of Safari, you can do so from the app itself. Here’s what you need to do:

  1. Launch Chrome and tap on your profile icon in the top-right
  2. In the Settings menu, scroll down and tap on Content Settings.
  3. Now, tap on Block Pop-ups and enable the toggle.

You should also check out more tips to protect yourself when browsing online. Following all of these should add some extra layers of protection and insulate you from future spam.

Keep Calm and Remember the Calendar Spam Isn’t a Virus

Since this spam attack isn’t a virus, there’s no need to panic and try to install an antivirus on your device. Even if you did, it will most likely not work to get rid of it. Follow the tips provided here, and you will remove the spam from your device.

Even if they aren’t immediately harmful, remove them because they are annoying and bothersome, and they could drain your battery with how many notifications your iPhone gets. Take advantage of Apple’s built-in security features and improve your safe browsing practices so you won’t run into this problem again.

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