Fixing (Mountain) Lion’s iCal’s CalDAV password problem

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Quick update note: It looks like there are some users who’s also faced the same problem after upgrading to Mountain Lion. The fix described below works just the same with Mountain Lion!

So you’ve upgraded your Mac from Snow Leopard to the new roaring Lion. Once done, you browse around your Mac and is generally happy that everything remained working and all the data is still available as if nothing’s change except for the new features and functionality of Lion.

Then, you opened up iCal and noticed that your CalDAV-configured calendar isn’t working and is asking for you to reenter the password. You was sure nothing’s changed, but you go on and reenter the password anyway.

Password update

Please reenter the password…

But the dialog box just keeps popping up!

Well, I too faced the same problem and thankfully, the fix is easy.

It seems that this is caused by some ‘corruption’ of sorts with the keychain that stores your password for the CalDAV configuration. All you have to the is just as the following:-

Firstly, you would need to know the CalDAV server address of the calendar configuration. If you know way it is, then go ahead and quit iCal.

If you don’t, then go to iCal Preferences (command+,) and go to the Accounts tab. Here, go to the Server Settings tab and copy down the Server Address entry.

iCal would only recognize any changes to the keychain entries when it restarts.

Once you’ve done that, next is to open up the Keychain Access app that can be found in Applications -> Utilities -> Keychain Access. Or, you can just use Spotlight (Command+Spacebar) and type in Keychain Access to start it.

What you need now is to search for the password entry of the CalDAV account. The easiest way to do so is to just search for it with by entering the CalDAV server’s address as you’ve noted from iCal’s settings.

Once you have those entries filtered down to the ones you are looking for, just delete them. If you have a few configurations that uses the same server address, such as if the email server and the CalDAV server is using the same server address, then you may choose to just delete off the ones that stores the CalDAV password. You can easily see this by clicking onto the Keychain entry and see the Where entry. You should see it starting with “http(s)://” and has “caldav” in the address. Email settings should start with “smtp://” or “imap://”.

If you are unsure, just delete all the entries and iCal and iMail would just prompt you again to reenter the password if it needs it.

Ok, once that’s done, just restart iCal. It would prompt you for the password again and this time, it would just work.

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20 Responses

  1. EmilyM2 says:

    I continue to have this problem and wanted to try your solution but I can’t get to the server settings tab. When I go to the preferences it simply has account information and delegation tabs, no server settings tab appears. Is there something I could do to have it pop up?

    Thanks for any help with this frustrating problem. My ical works but this password message just keeps popping up all day long. Urgh…

  2. Ken Ng says:

    That’s weird. Did you save the password in the Keychain? Are you configuring the calendar to Gmail or iCloud? Those would not have a server settings tab as it’s ‘pre-set’ by Apple already. It only appears on self-configured caldav servers.

    Also, the password field should be added at the Account Information tab. For custom caldav servers, the password field will appear there. For Gmail or iCloud accounts, click on edit account and it should bring you to the Mail, Contacts & Calendars settings dialog ala the iOS. If you have an iPhone or iPad, this new management of accounts would be familiar to you.

  3. Dale Somer says:

    Thanks for the fix … this worked great for me. I had a company calendar server that would no longer let me authenticate properly after upgrading to Lion last week. Initial searches didn’t give me what I needed (lot’s of suggestions that didn’t work), but this article was spot on. I am running on a 2007 MBP and several posts indicated a problem with the old hardware. I’m not sure if there is any correlation as the same Lion upgrade on a new iMAC didn’t have this problem accessing the same calendar. This tip worked perfectly. Great work.

  4. Ken Ng says:

    Glad it fixed it for you! I too was at loss for a while. 🙂

  5. This worked for me – I spent 2 days re-entering my password over and over again. All I had to do was shut down iCal, open keychain, verify the pwd in keychain and re-open iCal. Thanks for saving me a headache!

  6. Ken Ng says:

    Yup. And it’s ridiculous that Apple’s yet to fix this bug. Every time I’ve to change my SSO password that also affects my corporate CalDav calendar, it still won’t save the password and work without needing to restart iCal! I hope the new calendar app in the coming OS X Mountain Lion would not inherit this irritating bug.

  7. Adam Blainey says:

    Thank you for the post, this helped me fix issues with in Mountain Lion, actually, however, it did not solve a write to server error I am having in

    The request for “New Event” in “Personal” in account “RBM Zimbra Calendar” failed.

    The server responded with
    to operation CalDAVWriteEntityQueueableOperation.

  8. Al Denis says:

    Hello. this article appears very useful. I’m using a test computer and unfortunately am awaiting Account Password access to fulfill the Keychain Access component of your instructions. That said the first poster is correct in pointing out to you that for Mountain Lion’s Calendar application (as oppossed to the retired iCal) does in fact provide a differnt Accounts dialogue window without the Server Settings tab. Fortunately I had the server address for my google calendar anyhow, so I was able to skip that step of your instructions. You may want to update your article with this distinction. 😉

    Thank you for authoring this article and I hope to succeed at fixing the problem with your solution. I’ll let you know how it turns out.

  9. Ken Ng says:

    Ah. This was initially written for custom CalDav server configurations which settings is still pretty much the same on Mountain Lion. However, it seems that some are also facing the same issues with their Google accounts. I’ll investigate further and update it for Mountain Lion too! Thanks for the tip.

  10. Sean C says:

    This seems to have solved a very frustrating problem for me, so thank you and I’ll update if anything changes. My issue was only Calendar related (mail typically worked fine). I kept receiving the error message only on my Google apps account, not on my iCloud account.

    I tried everything: quitting app/rebooting, deleting/re-adding the calendar account, clearing the calendar cache, triple checking the calendar server address etc. I even went to the Apple store and the clerk reset my network settings to factory defaults. His fix seemed to work but didn’t hold.

    Three interesting items though:

    1) The issue was intermittent
    2) The error message appeared when I was on my home wireless network and not on my LAN connection at work (mostly happened at home but not all the time, thought it was home network issue)
    3) Only affected Google Apps account, not iCloud

  11. Ken Ng says:

    So far I’ve not had any problems with my Google Apps calendar yet. However, I do have Little Snitch installed and have noticed that the servers which Calendar connects to for the Google Apps differs from time to time, which I thought was weird. There was even once which it reported that Calendar tried to access a URL that had “android” in it!

    Definitely something to look further into. However, I’d need to have to replicate the problem myself in order to see what exactly is wrong though.

  12. Craig says:

    Thank you for this solution… except it doesn’t work for me. Well, it works fine until I try to add other google calendars through the delegation tab. Then I’m asked for my password almost continuously. I’ve tried just about all the fixes out there and have also done yours over and over. Now I’m ready to beat my head against the keyboard! Any other ideas? Thanks!

  13. Ken Ng says:

    Can you share the details of the scenario that you are trying to setup? I’ll see how I can help further.

  14. John Orban says:

    Yeah – same problem here. Four other users share their calendars with the Head’s secretary. She is CONSTANTLY being asked for other users’ passwords even though they are entered properly. I will try looking through the keychain, but Google Apps for Education does NOT SHOW a CalDav server in the iCal preferences, so there is no way to easily search the Keychain for the entry. I’m hoping the entries are apparent enough just to delete them and see what happens. I’ll also try a “Repair Keychain” but am not too hopeful with that since it NEVER seems to help other issues either.

    Quite frankly, I think this is a bug with iCal that just isn’t going to go away probably because of the “thermonuclear war” issue between Apple and Google. For now, I just have my users use the web interface and have (or will) delete the iCal icon from the Dock. How ridiculous is that???

  15. Ken Ng says:

    Did you make sure to enable the sharing of the calendars in Google? It could be an issue with that.

  16. LANGE says:

    Mountain lion: I use a Zimbra connection synchronizing contacts and several agenda. The method explained above (removing account, removing all relevant key, reinstalling account) works more or less stable now for all new calendar entries using CalDAV, surprisingly I felt it was not stable for elder ones( but time will solve this issue). In cases of contact cards is produces again problems: CoreDAVErrorDomain-Fehler 1 curios that things run well on iphone 4 and 4S.

    Bad surprise is the missing support by apple, … One hope left I have still the hard disk copys of our computers of OS X 10.6 in the desk. Maybe its time moving back to stable roots instead of clouds?

  17. BG says:

    Thanks for the solution. Worked perfectly on an upgrade to Mountain Lion from Snow Leopard.

  18. Aaron says:

    Not sure if it’s because I *just* upgraded to Mountain Lion and they have had updates come out since this article, but I do not have a Server Settings tab as shown in the screenshot provided in the article. I’m connected with Google through CalDAV.

  19. jasmine says:

    I don’t know what Caldav is. My ipad is not working anymore because it says that “Enter the password for calDav” i dont have any account on this

  20. Ken Ng says:

    Did you configure any calendar on your iPad? In simplistic terms, Caldav is the way calendar information is synced to your iPad.

    Where are the source of the calendar for your iPad?

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