Are you sometimes a little forgetful when it comes to your friends’ birthdays? Or do you just like having all the important dates filed away in the same place? Whichever category you fit into, you’ll love this neat little trick. Facebook has lots of information on our friends, including their birthdays, and it’s surprisingly easy to now get that information somewhere useful like your calendar.
It used to be the case that Facebook birthdays could only be exported by use of an application like FBcal. Nowadays they’ve enabled a native way to get an iCal feed or an .ics file so that you can import them into your favourite calendar as you please.
Web iCal Calendar Or .ics File?
The exported .ics file is a static collection of birthdays as they appear today in Facebook. This means that any friends you add later on Facebook won’t be listed in your imported Birthday calendar.
The web iCal feed however, will update when you add or remove friends from Facebook, making it more useful in the long term. However, you may have your reasons for using a .ics file and we’ll show you how to access both.
Finding Your Birthday Feed Or .ics File For Export
Head to your events page in Facebook by going to the Home page and clicking on Events on the left. Scroll down to the bottom of the page and click on “Birthdays“. Scroll down again to the bottom of this page and click on “Export Birthdays“.
You’ll be given a webcal URL which you can use to import your Facebook birthdays into Google calendar. If you want to import the web calendar feed to your calendar, simply copy this URL and move on to the importing step.
If you want to import an .ics file, copy the URL and paste it into the navigation bar of your browser (without hitting enter). Highlight the part of the URL that says “webcal://” and delete this bit. Then hit enter and your browser will download the .ics file to your computer where you can save the file or open it in your local calendaring application.
Saving the file means you’ll have it available as a backup later if you need it – it’s also what you’ll need to do in order to import into Google Calendar.
Importing Your Birthday Calendar Or .ics File Into Google Calendar
To import your web iCal calendar feed into Google Calendar, you’ll need to look on the left at your calendar list and find the section for “Other Calendars“. Click on the drop-down arrow and choose “Add By URL“.
Take the URL you have copied and paste it into this dialogue. It will show up in the list as “Friends Birthdays“, but you can edit the calendar to change the name if you like. A similar scenario is available in Outlook or iCal if you prefer to use these services instead.
To import the .ics file into Google Calendar, follow the steps above, but instead of choosing “Add by URL” choose “Import Calendar” and navigate to the .ics file you downloaded before.
As mentioned briefly, it’s also possible to import .ics files or iCal web calendars into other calendaring software directly, such as Outlook or iCal. However, many iCal users find it’s best to create and import calendars with Google Calendar and then sync Google Calendar with iCal for backup and local use.
This Also Works For Facebook Events
This process has been possible for Facebook events for a while now, as seen in 10 Ways To Use Facebook Without Going To Facebook. You can find your Event calendar feed by going to Home > Events > Export (which hides at the bottom of the page). Then follow the instructions as above.
Bonus Tip For Google Calendar Users
Don’t forget that with Google Calendar you can get notified by email or SMS in advance for important events. You could choose to be sent reminders in advance for those really important birthdays!
Hopefully, this trick to import Facebook birthdays into Google calendar will keep you organised and out of trouble with your friends. Now you just have to hope they’ve all used their real birthdays on Facebook!