Free/busy not working on Google Calendar

Because Google Calendar shares all appointments set up in EM Client with full details (even though I shared my Google Calendar as “free/busy only”), I need a way to mark all past and future appointments with the “Private” attribute. Going to the Agenda view and selecting all appointments does not provide a way to change appointments to Private. Is there a way to do this all at once (I have over 3000 appointments to change)?

I am sorry, but as far as I know it is not possible.

I developed a partial solution over the last few hours: Export the calendar to an “.ics” file. Make a copy of the .ics file (just in case anything goes wrong) and open the copy in a word processor. Find and replace all instances of “Class:Public” with “Class:Private” then save the file in the same text format as the original .ics file. Now, delete all appointments in your calendar and then import the altered .ics file. There will still be some events that have not changed (they do not have a “Class” attribute), but the vast majority of events will be altered. This isn’t perfect, but it took care of most of my problem.

Additional solution information: After doing the above, I exported the calendar a second time and it appears that every event now has a “Class” attribute. This made it easy to change them all (using the word processor as described above). Now, every one of my 3400 events has the proper Class attribute and when shared in Google Calendar with the “free/busy only” sharing technique, no one can see my event details. Finally, a full solution.

Yes, that is a possible solution - I would post it here too, but you did it first :slight_smile:

Can someone please update as to whether events in eM Client will mirror the Free/Busy settings in Google Calendar?

Running eM version 5.0.18661.0

When sharing a Google Calendar, Google asks you if you want to 1) share all details or 2) share free/busy times. But what it’s really asking you is do you want to 1) share all details or 2) share busy times on “Private” events and full details on “Public” events. The “Public” or “Private” attribute of each individual event will determine how much information is shared by Google, regardless of the misnomer “free/busy” that Google uses.

Across the three platforms I use (eM, Google Calendar, and iPhone), there are three possible choices for the free/busy attribute: “Public,” “Private,” and “Default” (which is the same as not having this attribute set) If you create an event in eM, it will make that event “Public” by default. There’s no way to change the default in eM. If you create an event in Google Calendar, it will follow the settings in your Google Calendar account. For my Google account, it defaults to “Default.” On the iPhone, it doesn’t set this parameter at all. So then if you import events created in eM into your Google Calendar (or if you use eM as a calendar client to add events to your Google Calendar) and then share your Google calendar, all eM-created events will show full details, overriding the “free/busy” setting you chose when sharing the Google calendar. Your events created in Google or iPhone will show only their free/busy status and not their details, so what someone sees when they look at your shared calendar is a combination of busy slots with no details and busy slots with full details, depending on which app you used to create the individual event. The work-around for eM is to manually open every event you create in eM and mark the “Private” box. That event will now be shown as busy on your shared Google calendar, but details will not be displayed. [See the above thread if you have a lot of events to change from “Public” to “Private”]

If you want to test this out to see what others will see, make up a new gmail account, share your existing calendar with your new account, then go to the new account (log out, log in under new name, etc.) and see what’s visible.

This explanation got kind of long, so if it’s not clear, reply back and I’ll try to clarify. Good luck.


thank you Bryan for your explanation on how it works, even I wouldn’t write it this detailed :slight_smile:


Very thorough Bryan thank you.

Just one follow up point though. When making the decision to move from Google Apps Sync for Outlook I noted that technically Outlook as the email client layer was mirroring the settings from the Google Calendar. How are they achieving this? Effectively in Outlook you do not have to tick the private box as within eM Client.



I don’t have any specific expertise here, but it would be consistent with other observations to assume Outlook is keeping the event as either “default” or blank/missing. I assume that if this attribute is blank/missing, most software will use it’s own default behavior to deal with the “public” vs. “private” attribute. The free/busy attribute probably comes over from Outlook to Google as blank/missing, allowing your Google settings to take precedence. Again, this is only a guess, so if anyone knows for sure, feel free to add your thoughts.