How to Specify Default Reminders in Google Calendar

Tell Google Calendar when and how to alert you to events

Old-school calendars adequately remind you of appointments, tasks, and special days—as long as you remember to look at the numbered grid hanging on the wall or sitting on the desk. One enormous advantage that electronic calendars such as Google Calendar offer over traditional paper calendars is the ability to alert you of important events wherever you happen to be, whatever you happen to be doing. You can set it up so that even minor tasks and events raise an alert, so you stay on track throughout the day.

You can specify up to five default reminders for each color-coded calendar in Google Calendar. These alerts are automatically in effect for all future events to alert you of anything you've scheduled.

Choosing a Calendar's Notification Method

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

  1. Select the Settings (gear) icon in Google Calendar.

  2. Select the calendar you want to edit, then select Edit Notifications.

    Screenshot depicting Google Calendar Edit Notifications tab
  3. Select Add a Notification.

  4. For each new notification, choose whether you want to receive a message or an email reminder, along with the time you want to receive it.

    The default notification time is 10 minutes.

    Screenshot depicting notifications settings in Google Calendar
  5. In the All-Day Event Notifications section, you can choose how you want to be alerted to events that occur on specific days without specific times.

  6. Select Remove notification (the X icon) to get rid of an unwanted reminder.

These default settings affect all events within their respective calendars. But, any 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.