Starting this week, you will see a new feature in CIRES event emails: ICS files. CIRES Communications is creating these calendar event files for your convenience—they may help you quickly import events like CIRES Town Halls or seminars into your personal calendars.  

What’s an ICS File? 

An ICS file is a calendar file saved in a universal calendar format used by several email and calendar programs, including Microsoft Outlook, Google Calendar, and Apple Calendar. It allows users to share calendar information on the web and over email. ICS files are most often used to send meeting requests to other users, who can import the meeting’s details into their own calendars. 

Do I have to use it? 

It’s up to you. Our hope is this option will allow many of you to add events to your personal calendars with just a few clicks. However, ICS files work differently on different machines, and in different email set ups. So this might be an easy option for some users, and not for others, and initial setup may require a little troubleshooting. Below, we’ve listed some directions that may help for some setups. If you have trouble importing the ICS file, feel free to submit a ticket to the IT team at  

How do I use it? 

When you see we’ve linked an ICS file in, for example, a weekly events email, click the linked words and save the file to your computer, or add it directly to your calendar, if you have the option. See below for instructions based on some specific scenarios. 

How to download an ICS file 

In our weekly events emails, for example, you’ll see something like this: Add this to my calendar. Click the linked words and save the file. 

Then, add it to your calendar. 

This will work differently on everyone’s computer, depending on the application you’re using and its setup. Things to try: 

  • Drag and drop the downloaded file into your desktop calendar application 
  • Import it into your desktop calendar application 
  • In Outlook, select File > Open & Export > Import/Export. 
  • In the web browser version of Outlook, go to your calendar, and click on “Add a Calendar” in the left side bar. 
  • “upload from file” and select the ICS