Common Problems with Google Calendar

Why are the Summary and Description fields missing?

If the calendar doesn't belong to you or hasn't been shared with you, Google will not provide the Summary or Description fields. To fix this, have the owner share the calendar with you (even if it's already public).

Why aren't repeated events triggering?

Repeated events in Google Calendar aren't supported with the New Event trigger in Zapier. A repeated event would cause an infinite amount of Tasks to occur since when created they have no end date by default. To trigger off a repeated event, use the Event Starts trigger.

My events are being created for the wrong date and/or time

There are a few reasons why events might be created for the wrong time or date by a Zap.

Are you creating an all-day event?

All-day events in Google Calendar end at midnight on the last day, so they're exclusive of the end date. For example, an event created via Zapier for August 10 - August 15 will appear to span August 10 - August 14 in Google Calendar, because the event will end at 12:00:00 on August 15.

To fix this:

  • Update your trigger data so that it lasts for an extra day.
  • Or, modify the end date in your Zap directly by adjusting the date/time to include +1d. This will cause the event to last for an extra day.

Are your timezone settings correct?

Check the timezone setting of both the trigger and action apps, and in Zapier. When the timezones don't match between apps, this can cause the event not to be created on the expected date and time. To fix this:

  • Change your timezone in your Zap settings
  • Check your Google Calendar timezone settings.
  • Refer to the help documentation of any other app in your Zap, to check the timezone on that app. You may also want to check that app's help pages on Zapier to see if there are any known limitations or restrictions for date/time fields.

Is the event created on the wrong date, specifically with the month and day switched?

Regardless of the settings in your Google Calendar, data sent through their API (as Zapier does) must be in MM/DD/YYYY format. So, if you try to send an event for April 7, 2021 as 07/04/2021, Google Calendar will interpret that as July 4, 2021. The dates need to be in MM/DD/YYYY format to ensure Google Calendar adds the event to the correct date(s). If your trigger is sending the data in DD/MM format, you can use a Formatter step to reformat the date.

Are you using the "Quick Add Event" action?

If you're using the Quick Add Event action instead of the Create Detailed Event action, there are some specific guidelines that must be followed to make sure that Google Calendar can interpret the date and time correctly.

Is your detailed event appearing in the calendar for the same time the Zap ran?

This may happen if the start and end time/date are invalid. Events created with an invalid start or end date will be created for the time your Zap runs.

None of these describes my problem

If none of these steps addresses your problem, try to use Formatter by Zapier or date/time modifications to correct any date differences between apps.

The "New Event Matching Search" trigger is firing too often or on old events

If older events in Google Calendar are updated, this can cause the Zap to trigger on them. When checking for events on Google Calendar, Zapier looks at the last updated date and gets any events updated in the last three days, regardless of when they were created.

To avoid this, you can add a Filter step, to check if the Created at date is after a certain date, such as the Zap's creation date, and avoid old events triggering the Zap.

My events aren't showing up in Google Calendar, but the Zap says it was successful

If you set the start and end date/time to the exact same time you might not see the event in Google Calendar in some views. If you click on agenda view in Google Calendar you will see the event show up. Google Calendar doesn't show events with a length of 0 minutes in some of their view options.

If you need your event to show up in other views in Google Calendar use the Zapier date/time modifiers to adjust the end date/time. Adding at least 15 minutes to the end date/time will ensure it's displayed in other views.

Some events are missed by the "Event Start" trigger

This can happen if you set the field Time Before for an interval shorter than what your plan allows. Event Start is a polling trigger, so the interval depends on the plan. The Free plan, for example, check for updates in the trigger app every 15 minutes. This means you'll need to set the Time Before field to 16 minutes or more, or the Zap might miss some events.

With the "New Event" trigger, events on a calendar I subscribe to do not trigger the Zap

For the New Event trigger, Zapier has some logic in place to filter out old events. On calendars that you subscribe to, however, Google does not send an accurate creation date, and uses a default date of Jan 1, 1900. This causes the events to be filtered out.

The recommended workaround is to use the Event Start trigger and set it to look several weeks ahead.

With this trigger, if you set the Time Before field to be 2 weeks, it will trigger on events that start 2 weeks from now. If you then schedule an event that is less than 2 weeks away, it will trigger on those events as well.

Error: 403 Forbidden when adding events

This usually indicates you do not have permissions to edit or add events to the calendar you picked. To fix this, ask the calendar owner to give you editing privileges on Google Calendar, and then reconnect your Google Calendar account in Zapier.

Events on the Google-generated birthday calendar trigger multiple times

Google changes the ID of events on their auto-generated calendar in a way that causes the same event to trigger multiple times. We don't recommend building zaps that trigger on Google-generated calendars.

Error: 400 Bad Request The specified time range is empty

If you have start and end times being sent to Google Calendar, but receive this error, it could be because the start time is after the end time. Check the mapping of your zap to ensure the start and end times are accurate.

My "Quick Add Event" action isn't behaving the way that I expect

The Quick Add Event action requires all details to be available and in a format readable by Google Calendar. In most cases, using the Create Detailed Event action helps prevent issues. To ensure the event is created correctly using the Quick Add Event action, make sure details follow the order: what, where, when.

ratingStar icon Tip
  • If you enter an event with no date, it will be added for the time the Zap runs.
  • If you don't enter a start time, an all-day event will be created.
  • If you don't enter an end time, an hour-long event will be created.

I've added attendees using the Quick Add Event, but they didn't receive invites to the event

With this action, invitees will be added directly to it, and no invitation is sent. If you'd like to send the user an invitation that they can accept/reject, use the Create Detailed Event action instead.

"Event Updated" is triggering multiple times on the same event

If you have a repeated event and you update the series, the Zap will trigger once per event. So if the event repeats 10 times, it will trigger 10 times. There isn't a way around this, as each individual calendar entry in a series is considered its own event.

  • The Event Updated trigger will fire for calendar events autogenerated by Google, such as: birthday calendars, imported .ics files, imported .csv files.
  • The Event Updated trigger will also fire whenever you update a recurring event and choose to update multiple events in the series.

Find Event action isn't finding my event

Google Calendar may not find an event if the name or description contains an underscore _. When trying to find an event that contains an underscore, the Search Term field will only work if it's an exact match, or uses one of the other terms in the title or description field.

actionEdit icon Example

If your event is called "Meeting with zapier_team", the Zap will find it with the following terms:

  • meeting
  • zapier_team

It won't find the event if the search terms are "zapier" or "team".

How does the "Time Before" field work in the "Event Start" trigger?

The Time Before field allows you to decide how in advance of the event start the Zap will trigger.

This field includes events that are created within that time window. For example, if you have Time Before set to 3 days, a new event created for the next day will trigger the Zap in the next time it searches for new information, as that's within the upcoming 3-day period.

I want to book a room for my meeting

You can book resources and rooms by adding them to events as attendees, using their email address. When they receive the invitation, they automatically accept or decline the event based on the availability and permissions of the event creator.

Error: "Object of type datetime is not JSON serializable"

This can happen when the field Repeat Until is used. Ensure that the date on that field is not before the End Time field. You can test this by removing the value in Repeat Until to see if this prevents the error from appearing.

"Update Event" doesn't show the event I want to update

Only events created within the last 7 days will show in the Event dropdown menu. To update events created earlier than this, add a Find Event step to get the Event ID. Then, in the Event dropdown menu for the Update Event step, select Custom and paste in that ID. You can delete the Find Event step after getting the ID.

I am trying to test the "Event Start" trigger, but it doesn't work

When testing an Event Start trigger in Google Calendar, ensure your test event is due to start at least 15 minutes before the current time.

How do I know if an event is Free or Busy?

If an event is Free, a field called Transparency will appear in your data. This field doesn't appear if an event is Busy.

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