Can I import a CSV file into Mac Reminders?

In today’s fast-paced world, managing tasks and reminders efficiently is crucial. Apple’s Reminders app, available on Mac, is a popular choice for keeping track of tasks and appointments. But what if you have a list of tasks in a CSV (Comma Separated Values) file and want to import them into the Reminders app? Let’s explore whether this is possible and how it can be done.

Understanding the Compatibility

Firstly, it’s important to understand the compatibility of the Reminders app with external file formats. The Reminders app natively supports import from specific file types, primarily from its own export format (.ics – used for calendars and reminders). However, it does not directly support CSV files, which are commonly used for data exchange because they are simple and compatible with many applications, including spreadsheet software like Microsoft Excel or Google Sheets.

Converting CSV to a Supported Format

Since direct import of CSV files into Mac Reminders is not supported, the key is to convert the CSV file into a format that the Reminders app can understand. One common approach is to convert the CSV file into a .ics file. This can be achieved through a few steps:

  1. Convert CSV to Calendar Format: Use a spreadsheet program to open your CSV file and format the data to suit a calendar format. This typically involves ensuring the data has fields like date, time, description, etc.
  2. Export to ICS: Once your CSV data is organized correctly, you can use the spreadsheet or calendar program (like Google Calendar) to export it as an .ics file.
  3. Import to Reminders: Open the Reminders app on your Mac, and then import the .ics file. The app should be able to read the .ics file and import your tasks and reminders accordingly.

Alternative Methods

  • Third-Party Applications: There are several third-party applications available that can help bridge the gap between CSV files and the Reminders app. These applications can directly convert CSV files to a format compatible with Reminders.
  • Manual Input: If the list is not too long, manually inputting the data from the CSV file into the Reminders app might be a feasible option.

Automation and Scripting

For tech-savvy users, automating the conversion process using scripting languages like AppleScript or Python is a potential solution. Scripts can be written to read CSV files and create reminders in the app based on the data. This approach requires a good understanding of programming and the specific scripting APIs of the Reminders app.


While importing a CSV file directly into Mac Reminders isn’t possible out of the box, there are workarounds. Converting the CSV file to a compatible format like .ics is the most straightforward approach. Alternatively, third-party tools, manual entry, or scripting can also achieve the desired result. It’s all about finding the method that best suits your technical comfort level and the size of the task list in the CSV file.

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