What Google Calendar Triggers and Actions Are Supported?#

Supported Triggers#

  • Event Cancelled - Triggers when an event is cancelled or deleted.
  • New Event - Triggers when an event is created.
  • New Calendar - Triggers when a calendar is created.
  • New Event Matching Search - Triggers when an event is created that matches a search.
  • Event Ended - Triggers when an event ends.
  • Event Start - Triggers a specified time before an event starts.
  • New or Updated Event - Triggers when an event is created or updated (except when it's cancelled).

Supported Actions#

  • Delete Event - Deletes an event.
  • Create Detailed Event - Create an event by defining each field.
  • Quick Add Event - Create an event from a piece of text. Google parses the text for date, time, and description info.
  • Update Event - Updates an event. Only filled fields are updated.

Supported Searches#

  • Find Event - Finds an event in your calendar.

How to Get Started with Google Calendar on Zapier#

To get started with Google Calendar first click to add a Google Calendar account in your Zap.

Click to add a different account

You should then get a pop-up window from Google asking you to log-in to authorize the connection between that Gmail account and Zapier. If you are already logged in the pop up will show right away.

Log in to authorize your Gmail account

After logging in, you'll get sent back to your Zap where you now have your Google Calendar account connected!

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Popular Things To Do With Google Calendar#

Google Calendar Tips & Tricks#

Color Swatches#

View which color swatches represent which color when creating an event within Google Calendar:


How to Pull Specific Events When Using the Event Start Trigger#

Creating and testing a Zap that uses the "Event Start" trigger can be tricky. When testing this trigger out, you usually get a set default data which sometimes is not what you need in setting up the Zap.

Maybe you're trying to add a Filter to the Zap but the test data isn't helping. Or maybe you need to get Named Variables from the Description of the Google Calendar event, but are unable to map the Action template since the Zap is not getting the specific calendar event description.

Whatever is the case, below are steps on how you can help the system find a specific event for testing:

  1. Create an event in your Google Calendar. Make sure that its within the "Time before" settings you have. So if you're time before settings is 15 minutes before and it's currently 7:20pm. Then Create an event at 7:30 pm. Make sure to also include data in the description if you need data from this field.

Create Google Calendar Event

  1. Add the title of the Event on the "Search Term" portion of the "Event Start" Trigger.

Add Title to Search term field in Google Calendar Event Start Trigger

  1. Test the Google Calendar event trigger. It should be able to get the recently created event instead of the default "Test Event"

Test Google Calendar

  1. Finish setting up the Filter/Action template using the retrieved data from the test

Map out action template with test data from event start trigger test 1 Map out action template with test data from event start trigger test 2

  1. Before turning On the Zap. Delete the event created in #1 and delete/edit the search term used in #2

Delete Google Calendar event delete search term in Event start trigger

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Common Problems with Google Calendar#

Why Is The Summary/Description Missing?#

If the calendar doesn't belong to you and hasn't been shared with you, Google will not provide the Summary or Description fields. The solution is simple, have the owner share the calendar with you (even if it is public)!

Why Aren't Repeated Events Triggering?#

Repeated events in Google Calendar aren't supported with the "New Event" trigger in Zapier. A repeated event would cause an infinite amount of Tasks to occur since repeated events last forever. However, repeated events can be used with the "Event Starts" trigger.

My Events Aren't Showing Up On The Right Date or Time#

If events aren't showing at the right date or time, it's likely a time zone issue. Make sure to check the time zone setting of both the trigger and action service and Zapier. Fixing this should allow events to happen at the correct time.

If this doesn't correct the issue, you can easily modify the dates/times using Date/Time manipulation.

If you are adding an all-day event into Google Calendar, the end date is exclusive (i.e. an event that is set to start on the 10th of August and finish on the 15th of August will span 10th-14th in the calendar view). To have the event run through the end date, use the +1d date/time manipulator on the end date field.

My Events Aren't Showing Up At All#

If you set the start date time and end date time to the exact same time it's possible that you might not see the event in Google Calendar when you are looking at the calendar in some views. If you click on agenda view in Google Calendar you will see the event show up. Google Calendar doesn't show events with a length on 0 minutes in some of their other views.

agenda view

If you need your event to show up in other views in Google Calendar use the Zapier date/time modifiers to adjust the end date/time. We suggest adding 15 minutes to the end date/time.

My Event Is Showing Up As Now#

Google Calendar defaults to showing events as now. If the date/time on your Zap isn't properly setup you'll likely see events starting now. This is common with both the "quick add event" action and the "detailed event add" action.

Quick Add Event Action: To use this action, the describe event field on Step 5 must be formatted in a way that Google can recognize. A good example is "Dinner with Michael at 7pm on 07/23/2012". Some more tips on using this action:

  • You can include an event name, location, and time, and that information will automatically be added to the event details
  • If you enter an event with no date, it will be added at the next available time in the future
  • If you don't enter a start time, an all-day event will show up
  • If you don't enter an end time, an hour-long event will show up

Detailed Event Action: To use this you must supply a date and time on the "State Date & Time" and "End Date & Time" fields in the action

Google Calendar Detailed Pic

Some events are missed by the Event Start Trigger#

If you're on the Free or Starter plan, we check for updates in your trigger apps every 15 minute. This means you'll need to set the Time Before to 16 minutes (or more). If you're on the Professional plan or above, we check for updates in your trigger apps every 5 minutes. This means you'll need to set the Time Before to 6 minutes (or more).

If you need to trigger your action closer to the actual start time of the event, you can workaround this by adding in a Delay Until action. For example, lets say you want to trigger the zap within 2 minutes of the event starting.

Your Event Start trigger will look like this:


And then your Delay Until action will look like this:


Then you can add the other actions you want to perform. Keep in mind that the Delay action will queue the task to run, so it may be off by a couple seconds here or there, but should be pretty close.

Events on a Calendar I Subscribe to do not Trigger (New Event Trigger Only)#

For the New Event trigger, Zapier has some logic to filter out old events. On calendars that you subscribe to, Google does not have an accurate creation date, so it applies a default date of Jan 1, 1900. This causes the events to be filtered out.

The recommended workaround is to use the Event Start trigger and set it to look several weeks ahead.

With this trigger, if you set the "Time Before" field to be 2 weeks, it will trigger on events that start 2 weeks from now. If you then schedule an event that is less than 2 weeks away, it will trigger on those events as well.

403 Forbidden when adding events#

This usually indicates you do not have permissions to edit or add events to the calendar you picked. To fix this, you'll need to login to the calendar owner's Google Calendar account, click on the settings gear icon, and the head to the "Settings" menu option.

settings gear

settings menu item

On the next screen, head to the "Calendars" Tab.

calendars tab

Next, you'll need to head to the calendar you want to share permissions on and then click on "Shared: Edit Settings".

shared settings

Once on the next screen, the last steps are to type in the email address of the person you'd like to share the calendar with, click on the drop-down under "Permission Settings", choose the "Make changes to events" option, and then click "Add Person.


Once you've done that, click "Save" at the bottom of the page. Now, if you refresh your Zap, you should be able to access the calendar without any errors.

I want to invite attendees to events via a zap#

You can do this by adding a comma delimited list of emails to the Attendees field in the New Detailed Event action.

Events on the Google generated Birthday Calendar trigger multiple times#

Unfortunately, Google changes the ID of events on their auto-generated calendar in a way that causes the same event to trigger multiple times. We don't recommend building zaps on Google generated calendars because of this.

I'm getting a (400) Bad Request and said "The specified time range is empty." error#

If you are sending a start and end time but getting this error, it could be because the start time you're sending is after the end time. Check the mapping of your zap to make sure you didn't mix up the fields!

Attendees aren't receiving an invitation to the event, it's just being added to their calendar#

Unfortunately the Quick Add Event action doesn't allow you to invite users to an event, it'll just add it to their calendar. If you'd like to send the user an invitation that they can accept/reject, you'll want to use the Create Detailed Event action instead.

My dates are being formatted incorrectly!#

Google Calendar's API only accepts dates in MM/DD/YYYY format, regardless of your individual calendars' settings. If you enter dates in DD/MM/YYYY format, Google Calendar will try to convert it to MM/DD. Try changing your input or using a Formatter step to put your date in MM/DD format.

Event Updated is triggering multiple times on the same event#

If you have a recurring event and you update the series, the zap will trigger once per event. So if the event repeats 10 times, it will trigger 10 times. There isn't a way around this really, as each individual calendar entry that is part of a series is considered it's own event.

Find Event action isn't finding my event#

Google has a bug in their search code that doesn't return events if they have a 's in the description of the event. Since we rely on Google's search, the same thing will happen when trying to find an event via Zapier. To fix this, remove all 's from your event names and it should work correctly.

There's also a bug in the search code that prevents events with an underscore _ in the event name or description from being found when the search term also contains an underscore. For example, if your event name is example_event and your search term is example_event no results will be returned.

How does the Event Start "Time Before" setting work?#

The Event Start trigger offers a Time Before setting from which you can trigger the Zap to fire.

This includes events that are created inside of that window. For example, if you have a Time Before of 3 days configured, should you create a new event 1 day from now, your Zap will trigger off of this new event the next time we poll Google Calendar for new data.

I want to book a room for my meeting#

You can book resources and rooms by adding them to events as attendees, using their email address. When they receive the invitation, they automatically accept or decline the event based on the availability and access right of the inviting user.

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