I'm currently trying to subscribe to my Google Contact's Birthday calendar from Hotmail, so far without success.

I've used the ical link from the calendar settings in Google to create the subscription and it appears to create successfully.

Going back into the calendar settings in Hotmail the same error is repeated five times:-

Errors: This calendar wasn't updated because of a problem with the publisher's file. We'll try updating it again later.

A search on that phrase hasn't turned up anything useful to date.

3 Answers 3


Currently this isn't possible due to the fact that the iCal address for your Contact Birthdays Calendar isn't a personalized URL.

This is the url that you get for Google Contact Birthdays: https://www.google.com/calendar/ical/%23contacts%40group.v.calendar.google.com/public/basic.ics

This will only work from within a Google calendar page.

  • Thanks. Unfortunately, while your answer admittedly covers the question title it doesn't seem to work with the specific case of the Contacts Birthday Calendar mentioned in the question description where a number of the steps you suggest aren't possible.
    – MichaelPh
    Mar 2, 2012 at 7:47
  • Gah... birthday calendar. Rechecking... it wasn't in the title. Mar 2, 2012 at 15:21
  • Ok, so the reason that your birthday contact's calendar isn't working is because the address that is available to you isn't personalized. https://www.google.com/calendar/ical/%23contacts%40group.v.calendar.google.com/public/basic.ics and it uses the authentication from you being signed into your google account to display it. Updating answer Mar 2, 2012 at 15:26
  • 1
    I wasn't sure whether to edit the title or edit the content to fit your answer (as it was pretty comprehensive) and then ask another question. Will change the title.
    – MichaelPh
    Mar 2, 2012 at 16:29

You need to change HTTPS to HTTP when pasting the address to Hotmail, in order to make it work.

  • 2
    This is incorrect. As Dez says, the Google Contacts Birthday Calendar doesn't have a personalized URL and so can't be linked to in this way.
    – MichaelPh
    Apr 8, 2012 at 8:46
  • Actually, I changed my ical from https to http, and it DID work... Apr 1, 2013 at 5:28

Mismatch of syntax between calendars....

One syntax check which can lead to this in Outlook, is a line in the ics data


which should set the date but not the time. The time should be left at default 00:00


will set the start time to 19:30.

If the top format is used in Outlook it will fail with the given error message. Took me three hours to find that. I would not be surprised if other minor 'errors' creep into public calendars. Google handles the problem by ignoring the extra time data.

To check/solve you could download the ics file and check it with a text editor. There are almost certainly more than just this one problem I have had. But as the error message says, it won't update if the source is faulty.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.