- File type: iCalendar File, IC Recorder Sound
- Category: Data File.
- File format: Proprietary.
What is an ICS file?
An ICS file is actually a file name extension written out in (.ics) for the “Internet Calendaring and Scheduling Core Object Specification” or otherwise known as “iCalendar”.
ICS files consist of simple text files used in providing recipients with important information on a scheduled calendar event. Such details include;
- a description of the scheduled calendars event including the event title and a summary of the event,
- the starting date and time of the event,
- the ending date and time of the event,
- the location of the scheduled calendar event,
- updates on scheduled calendars events including postponements, rescheduling and/or cancellations.
When there is a need to send individuals requests for meetings, then using the ICS format comes in handy. The .ics format also works perfectly when you want people to subscribe to graduation, birthday, anniversary and even holiday calendars.
Other icalendar formats
Even though the ICS file extension is a very popular one, there are other file extensions under iCalendar files worth mentioning, such as the (.ical), (.ifb), and (.icalendar) file extensions.
The. ifb is an iCalendar file extension that is used in providing recipients with availability information only. However, with ICS files, you have calendar files that are used by a number of calendar programs and emails, such as; Apple Calendar, Google Calendar. Mozilla Sunbird and Microsoft Outlook.
ICS is the universal calendar representation format.
This makes ICS files a more universal and broad-based calendar format that allows you to publish as well as share your calendars data via a private email or to a much wider audience through the web.
These files allow the users to publish or share their calendar data to the general public or friends. Alternatively people can also subscribe to publicy available calendars and transfer the important events from that calendar into their calendar application.
It is the dynamic functionality of ICS files that make them an ideal format for forwarding requests for the attendance of a meeting to a large number of recipients. These invitees can then import the notice to attend a meeting or any other similar event directly to their respective calendars.
Note that ICS files can be converted to other file formats like (.PDF), (.CSV), (.HTML) and (.XLSX) with a downloaded and installed ICS file converter software on your desktop or mobile device.
How to read ICS File Format?
You can use the ICS iCalendar file format in a number of email clients. Some of these email clients include; IBM Notes, Windows Live Mail, Gmail, and Microsoft Outlook.
In addition, ICS files can be used on calendar programs such as Apple Calendar which is designed for Mac OS desktops and iOS mobile devices, Google Calendar, VueMinder, Lightning Calendar by Mozilla Thunderbird, and Yahoo! Calendar.
Let us assume you intend subscribing to a holiday calendar that is similar to that available in Calendar Labs for example.
Read on Microsoft Outlook
If you want to open and read the ICS file on Microsoft Outlook for instance, the entire scheduled calendars event will be imported as a brand new calendar which can be synchronized with the scheduled events of your other known scheduled calendars.
This local calendar may be great for holidays whose schedules remain the same throughout the year.
Alternatively, you may intend sharing a scheduled calendar event with recipients in such a way that whatever alterations that are made by the recipients are immediately reflected in the respective scheduled event calendars of everyone that you shared the event with.
Read in Google Calendar
To achieve this, storing your scheduled event calendar online on a calendar program such as Google Calendar makes it easy and convenient for sharing with a large number of recipients. In addition, your scheduled event calendar can be edited at any time and regardless of where you may be located as well.
Your ICS files may be imported to the Google Calendar program and with an exquisite URL, you will be able to share your scheduled event calendar as well as edit the .ics file extension by updating it with new and fresh events.
With a typical text editor such as a regular Windows Notepad, you can open and read ICS files which are provided in plain text.
Nevertheless, even though the Notepad allows you to read ICS files with every event information viewable and intact, it may be impossible or difficult for you to edit the information and the format that appears on the notepad may not necessarily be that easy to read as well.
However, with IBM Notes, Windows Live Mail, Gmail, Microsoft Outlook, Apple Calendar, Google Calendar, VueMinder, Lightning Calendar by Mozilla Thunderbird, and Yahoo! Calendar, you will be better able to view, read and edit the .ics file extension.
If ICS files come as IronCAD 3D Drawing files for example, then the IronCAD software would be able to open such files.
Where the ICS files come as IC Recorder Sound files, you will be able to open such files using a regular Digital Voice Editor or the Digital Voice Player by Sony.
If you are using a Windows Media Player, you would also be able to open ICS files that come as IC Recorder Sound files provided that you have installed a Sony Player Plug-in.
Programs that Open ICS Files
- Microsoft Windows Media Player with Sony Player Plug-in,
- Sony Digital Voice Player or Editor,
- Mozilla Sunbird,
- Google Calendar
- Mozilla Sunbird
- three-dimensional models or scenes for games
- other similar purposes containing multiple objects,
- lighting effects,
- shading effects
- characters rendered with textures generally by the help of a rendering engine.
How to Import ICS files into Google Calendar?
Using your desktop PC you can import those exported ICS as well as CSV files directly to the Google Calendar program on your PC.
To do so, follow these instructions;
- Open the Google Calendar program.
- Click on the “Settings” drop-down menu which can be located on the top right-hand corner of the Google Calendar program.
- Once you have clicked on the “Settings” drop-down menu, you will see the option labelled “Import & Export”, clock on this option.
- Next, click the “Select file” button in order to pick the exported ICS files extension (.ics) directly from your desktop PC.
- You can then pick the calendars that you would want to add the imported scheduled event to. However, your primary calendar is where scheduled calendar events would automatically be imported to by default.
- You can then click on the “Import” button.
- With a ZIP file opener like PeaZIP, Hamster ZIP Archiver, WinZip, WinRAR and 7-Zip, you can open the imported scheduled calendar event on your computer.
As you open the imported scheduled calendar event, you will notice separate ICS files for every one of the calendars. Using a Zip file opener, you can pick individual .ics files from the ZIP file and then import them separately.
How to Create an ICS file?
With the use of the Apple iCalendar software program, it is possible for you to create appointments as well as share them with as many recipients as you like.
With ICS files, you cannot only share with users of the Apple iCalendar software program, but also with users of other known calendars programs like Microsoft Outlook and Google Calendar.
It is this flexibility that makes ICS files a preferred format for sending scheduled calendar events, as people can have access, open and read files regardless of the calendar application that they have.
With an ICS file, calendars information can be transferred from one type of calendar application on a device to another type of program on an entirely different device.
Microsoft Outlook Calendar Software App:
Creating an ICS file on Microsoft Outlook can be done in three basic steps.
- First of all, open the scheduled event that you would like to put in the respective .ICS files.
- Next, open and click on the “Save as” menu. You can get to this menu by clicking the “File” option on the toolbar located at the top of the display screen of Microsoft Outlook app.
- You then need to input a file-name and afterwards choose the .ics file extension from the iCalendar file format option. This can be done by clicking on the “Save as type” option available on the menu bar.
To create an ICS file on iCalendar, you can do so in 3 simple steps.
- The first thing to do is to choose the iCalendar scheduled event that you intend adding in an ICS file.
- You can simply drag and drop the chosen iCalendar scheduled calendar event to the desktop. By so doing, you will create the ICS file automatically.
- Next, attach your ICS file to your email message and you can then send the message with the file to as many recipients as possible.
Google Calendar Program:
You can create an ICS file using your Google Calendar program by doing the following;
- Go to the calendar settings option and open it. You will notice a white colored downward pointing arrow that is placed in a small blue colored box which is located at the far left-hand column beside the name of the scheduled calendar event.
- Select this icon then click the submenu labelled “Calendar settings”.
- You should then select a green colored “ICAL” icon.
- Next, copy out the link that grants you direct access to a fresh ICS file with your scheduled calendars event contained within the file.
How to Open an ICS file with Gmail?
Note that invitations from Google Calendar are actually emails containing some links for recipients to either accept the invitation or decline.
This method can also be found with iCloud owned by Apple. However, Microsoft Outlook Calendar or Hotmail make use of “invite.ics”.
When it comes to Gmail, any invitation email received is automatically included to the recipient’s calendar. The scheduled calendars event invitation can also be viewed using apps like DigiCal or similar Android based apps.
Gmail is clever as it knows how to automatically add an .ics file extension scheduled calendar event straight to your primary calendar. There will be no need to add the extension manually when using Google Calendar.
As mentioned earlier, it is possible for you to import both CSV and ICS files using your desktop PC.
Next, you open the Google Calendar program which is located at the top right corner then click on the “Settings” drop-down menu.
You should then click on the “Import & Export” submenu and then the “Select file” option. Choose the exported file with either a .CSV or .ICS file-name ending.
The calendar you wish to add an imported scheduled calendar event should also be chosen. Afterwards, click the “Import” button.
There are situations where you receive an iCal format “invite.ics” email attachment and you are unable to add scheduled calendar events directly to your respective calendars if you use Google Calendar.
How to add it to google calendar
You can see the email attachment and you can even download the file. However the event does not automatically import. To resolve this issue, follow the following steps below;
- First, have the .ics file either downloaded or saved to your desktop PC.
- Secondly, open the settings menu of Google Calendar program on your computer system.
- You can also have Google Calendar opened on a web browser.
- Then you click a gear shaped icon. You will find it at the top right-hand corner of the window.
- After this select the “Settings” option.
- Thirdly, select the “Import & Export” option located in the navigation menu.
- You then have to import the .ics file to your respective calendar.
- Next, choose the downloaded file and then select the calendar you would like to add the file to.
- To save the .ics file to your Google Calendar, click on the button labelled “Import”.
- With any luck, a confirmation message will display on the screen.
- It will indicate that the scheduled event has been imported by Google. And it is now available in your primary calendar.
Where you encounter an error message stating – “Oops, we couldn’t import this file. Please try again in a few minutes.”
Note that the error could be as a result of certain types of invitations creating conflicts with your Chrome browser. If this is the browser you are using. One way to resolve this issue is to change your browser.
You can use either Edge or Firefox in accessing your calendar. You can then import the scheduled event afterwards as the issue should be resolved at this point in time.