Change the Default Event Duration for New iCal Events


iCal sets the default duration for new events you create to one hour. Perhaps a different default is more suitable for you. Here’s how to change the default event length.

Let's Begin:

icon of a desktop calendar used by Mac OS XBy default, new events you create in iCal are set to a length of one hour. This is a reasonable default for Mac OS X to use since most business meetings are scheduled for a one hour duration.  But what if you find a different default duration to be more typical for your work schedule?  Perusing through the iCal Preferences pane shows no obvious way to change this default.  There is, however, a non-obvious way to change the default length of time for new iCal events. Setting this requires a trip to the Terminal app (see Using the Terminal App if you’re not familiar with this).  Here’s what you need to do:

Step 1: Quit iCal if it’s already running.

Step 2: In the Terminal window, copy and paste the following command:

defaults write com.apple.iCal ‘Default duration in minutes for new event’ 15

You can change the 15 at the end to whatever number of minutes you want to use for the default iCal event duration. Make sure you have the spacing and capitalization correct or this command won’t work.

Step 3: Launch iCal and it will now create new events with the default event length you specified above.

If you ever decide you want to go back to the Mac OS default of 1 hour for new events, then you can delete this setting in the Terminal app with:

defaults delete com.apple.iCal ‘Default duration in minutes for new event’
Hope you enjoyed this quick tip.

Category: Apple iCal