How to Specify Default Reminders in Google Calendar

Tell Google Calendar when and how to alert you to events

An advantage that electronic calendars such as Google Calendar offer over traditional paper calendars is the ability to alert you of important events wherever you are, and during whatever you are doing.

Set it up so that even minor tasks and events raise an alert, so you stay on track during the day. Then, specify up to five default reminders for each color-coded calendar you created in Google Calendar. These alerts are automatically in effect for all future events to alert you of anything you've scheduled.

Choose a Calendar Notification Method

To set the default method and timing of reminders for any Google Calendar:

  1. Open Google Calendar and select the Settings gear.

    The Settings menu in Google Calendar
  2. Choose Settings.

    Settings in Google Calendar
  3. Select the calendar you want to edit from the left side of the screen under Settings for my calendars.

    The "Settings for my calendars" section of Google Calendar
  4. Scroll down to the Event Notifications section and click Add a Notification.

    Alternatively, click Event Notifications under the calendar name on the left side of the screen.

    The "Add Notification" button
  5. For each new alert, you have three choices to make:

    • Notification or email.
    • A number.
    • A unit of time. You can choose between minutes, hours, days, and weeks.

    The maximum time for a notification is four weeks, regardless of which unit of measurement you use. The other limits are 0 to 40,320 minutes, 0 to 672 hours, and 0 to 28 days.

    Notification options in Google Calendar
  6. In the All-Day Event Notifications section, choose how you want to be alerted to events that occur on specific days without specific times.

    You can only receive notifications for all-day events up to four weeks (or 28 days) in advance, but you can specify the time the notification arrives.

    The All-day notifications settings in Google Calendar
  7. Select Remove notification (the X icon) to remove an unwanted reminder.

    The X for a notification in Google Calendar

These default settings affect all events within their respective calendars. But, reminders you specify individually as you set up a specific event will override your default settings. In other words, you can set up a different notification for a particular event when you first create it in the calendar, and it will override your default settings.

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