Change the default event length in iCal

Feb 13, 2011 - 5 Comments


iCal automatically assumes that a new event will be an hour long, but you can manually adjust that into shorter minute intervals by using the defaults write command.

Here is the syntax to enter into the Terminal:

defaults write "Default duration in minutes for new event" 15

You can set the 15 at the end to any other number of minutes you want, then just quit iCal and relaunch it for changes to take effect.

This tip is from CmdComma, although if you copy/paste it from their site the command doesn’t execute properly due to the improper use of quotation marks.

If you’ve forgotten what defaults write commands you’ve used recently, check out this tip to query your command history.


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Posted by: Paul Horowitz in Mac OS, Tips & Tricks


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  1. Philip Robinson says:

    Will this automatically change it on iPhone 6 if I change it on Mac?

    Thanks very much.


  2. sault says:

    Is ir possible to change the defaut evevn lenght to “all day”?


  3. Thomas says:

    Why go to the added complication of doing this from the command line, when it is is a Preference opinion (under the General tab)?

    • Cedrik says:

      I have no such settings in iCal preferences, maybe you are reading the Day Start/End?

      This is quite useful, I set mine to 30 minutes which is more accurate for meeting schedules.

  4. hishamaus says:

    Where do such hacks or simple terminal lines come from?
    is there like a website that we can learn from?
    Thanks a lot

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