Q. When I search for old events on my Mac in Sierra’s Calendar app, it doesn’t show anything older than about two years. What’s going on here?
A. That’s a glitch in Apple’s new macOS Sierra, also known as version 10.12, and we seem to have been the first to bring it to the attention of the company’s developers. (You’re welcome.)
The behavior in question happens when you type a search into the Calendar appfor an event that happened more than two years ago: You won’t see it. For example, the CES electronics gatheringhas been on my schedule every year since 1998 —something one could regard as a cry for help — but in Sierra, Calendar only shows the 2015 and 2016 shows.
This happens whether you have your calendars saved on your Mac or synced from a service like Google. But as a post in Apple’s tech-support forumnoted, if you try the same search in Sierra’s Spotlight search, you’ll see those older items — but with much less detail visible, and mixed into a list of results from every other app on your Mac.
My query to Apple PR yielded an explanation that Sierra’s version of this app, intentionally or not, had picked up on the way Calendar has treated recurring events in searches. Going back to at least last year’sEl Capitan release, this program would only show the last two and the next two years’ instances of a repeating event.
That makes sense for recurring appointments — who needs to see that you have New Year’s Day on your schedule from now until the end of time? But for separate appointments that have the same title, it’s less than helpful.
Apple says it will fix this in an upcoming update to Sierra, although it’s too soon to say how soon. The first patch for Sierra is already in a fourth round of beta testing, so I would not expect this fix to ship with that upcoming “10.12.1” release.
Meanwhile, don’t forget that you have alternatives to Apple’s software. Most cost money, but since the operating system itself is free, you shouldn’t make that a sticking point. Among Calendar alternatives, Flexibits’ $40 Fantasticalseems particularly well-liked: Macworld’s Glenn Fleishman gave it 4.5 stars out of five in his review, and iMore’s Lory Gil gave it the top ranking in an August roundup of calendar apps.
You could also use Google Calendar in a Web browser, but staying on top of your schedule when you’re offline won’t be too satisfying.
Using a third-party calendar app makes even more sense in Windows 10, where Microsoft’s built-in Calendar appsomehow offers zero support for time zones. That invites chaotic scheduling once you fly too far east or west. The best-liked alternative in the Windows Store appears to be a free app called OneCalendar— but that, too, doesn’t support time zones. If you’ve got a replacement in mind that will let me put different events in different time zones, please submit your nomination in the comments. Rob Pegoraro is a tech writer based out of Washington, D.C. To submit a tech question, e-mail Rob at [email protected] Follow him on Twitter at twitter.com/robpegoraro