Moving my calendars from iCloud to FastMail

I used to manage my calendar with iCloud. I have basic needs, and it seemed like a good fit – until I discovered the following unexpected restriction:

iCloud Calendars keep information from the last six months, and up to three years in the future.

The practical upshot is that iCloud has been deleting my old events – it doesn’t have anything from before January this year.

Silently deleting old user data is dubious, because a lot of people won’t realise it’s missing until it’s too late to make another copy. (See also: the horror stories about iMessage deleting threads on your phone to free up space.)

I like having my historical calendar – it’s a nice companion to my written journal – and so I decided to switch away from iCloud.

Since I already use FastMail for email, I looked at their calendar service. It fits my needs, and their support team confirmed they don’t have any time limits or auto-deletion policies. I followed their migration instructions, and now I’m using FastMail and CalDAV instead of iCloud.

It wasn’t hard, but it was annoying, and I wish Apple were more upfront about this “feature”. (Or heck, retain events forever!)