Happy Patch Tuesday everyone. For those who don't know, Patch Tuesday is the 2nd Tuesday of each month, when Microsoft (and now supposedly also Adobe) release their security patches each month. I'm the network administrator for a small college, and one of the things we do here is a have a planned maintenance window on the Saturday following Patch Tuesday each month, so that we can apply the new updates to our servers and restart them.

We use Google Apps for Education for our e-mail and calendar here, and I would like to put a recurring event in our public IT calendar that corresponds to this maintenance window. Unfortunately, I can't find a way to do it. I can do a 2nd Tuesday event easily enough, but the Saturday following is killing me — sometimes it's the 2nd Saturday, and sometimes it's the 3rd.

Any ideas?

  • As a compromise, why not - say third Saturday? Commented Mar 8, 2011 at 15:15

2 Answers 2


Although Google Calendar doesn't allow you to create or modify arbitrary recurrence rules like "Saturday after second Tuesday", the iCalendar specification which it uses and understands is quite robust in this regard. Simply create a *.ics file for the event with a custom recurrence rule or RRULE.

For your example, note that since the second Tuesday of a month falls, by definition, between the 8th and the 14th (inclusive), the Saturday which follows four days after it must fall between the 12th and the 18th (inclusive). So for a four-hour monthly maintenance window event from 3am to 7am, you'll want something like:

SUMMARY:Microsoft Security Patch Maintenance Window

To import the *.ics file: In the left-hand list of "My Calendars", click "Settings", then "Import Calendar" link. You can specify which calendar you'd like to import the event to, but you won't be able to edit its recurrence rule from within Google Calendar, aside from deleting the event and reimporting it.

If this helps, you may wish to read more about the flexibility offered by custom recurrence rules in the iCalendar specification.

  • 1
    +1 Thanks for this! It's too bad you can't edit the recurrence in Google, but nice that you ARE able to edit the rest of the event and the recurrence is preserved.
    – mghicks
    Commented Dec 15, 2012 at 18:22

Unfortunately, Google Calendar isn't that flexible. I don't think you're going to be able to do what you want.

The upside is, of course, is that there can't be more than 12 of these in a year, so it's not going to be overly burdensome to do each one individually.

  • Even if you were able to figure out how to do this you would still have to manually maintain the calendar to schedule downtime for out-of-cycle security patches.
    – Andris
    Commented Mar 8, 2011 at 20:11
  • It is funny how we in IT are so focused on automating repetitive, mundane task that we can sometimes spend more time on automating it than the actual task would take us in the foreseeable future. :) I'm talking from own experience here.
    – Andris
    Commented Mar 8, 2011 at 20:15
  • Turns out Google calendar is that flexible, at least 10 years later. :) Still can't edit, but it seems to digest the ics file just fine.
    – JohnL4
    Commented Oct 25, 2021 at 19:00

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