SOLVED

How to clean up a slew of birthdays

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Frequent Contributor

I have this problem every year ago this time. As we approach New Year's Day, I dread the large bunch of reminders I get from Outlook, telling me that some 200 people or more all have a birthday on January 1st. This is clearly false. I have been inflicted with this because of some migration of data in Outlook, in the past. For whatever reason, whatever version of Outlook I was using at the time, got it into it's head that every contact I had which I didn't have a birthday for, must all have a birthday of something like January 1, 1904 or some year longer ago then that. All 200+ have the same date of birth. Clearly wrong, but what can I say, that's what Outlook did. 

 

I hate it.

 

How do I get rid of all of those goofy, irrelevant and wrong birthdays in my contacts?

5 Replies
If you are using the desktop app, go to your Calendar > change the view to list> order ir by date and delete everything from 1904

@Ricardo Viana That looked very promising. I did as you said and changed the view to list. Sure enough, there's all of those birthday's supposedly where the person was born on 1/1/2904. I highlighted them all and then pressed the delete button. However, it failed with an error that reads:

 

"You cannot make changes to contents of this read-only folder"

 

I'm not sure what it folder it thinks are read only. I've chosen the Birthdays folder, which I would think I own and thus isn't read only. I'll try deleting them one at a time. Hopefully I can get rid of most and that way discover if some of them are read only because they were brought in from somewhere else (e.g.: Yahoo, Gmail, whatever).

 

Addendum:

Well, that didn't work. Every one of those fake birthdays are "read only". How can that be? How do I read rid of them?

 

Addendum 2:

I checked on my Yahoo mail and Gmail accounts. Those contacts with false birthdays cannot have come from my Gmail account, as I only have 4 contacts there, none of which are from that slew of contacts with false birthdays. Yahoo mail is more difficult. I couldn't find a way to list the calendar in any way other than 1 month at a time. And it didn't show me any birthdays at all, which I know isn't right. Yahoo mail seems to be to be dumb. 

 

So, how do I go about finding out why Outlook thinks all of those contacts with birthdays supposedly on 1/1/1904, are read only?

best response confirmed by Rod Falanga (Frequent Contributor)
Solution

@Rod Falanga  That sounds like the special Outlook.com Birthdays calendar.  You need to edit the contact to fix the b-day. You can do this is Outlook on the web - click the birthday in the calendar and choose Edit to open the contact it came from. 

 

If you are working in Outlook desktop, you can bulk edit the contacts to change years or remove dates, but need to turn off the b-day calendar in Outlook.com's Settings.  When you are finished editing all the contacts, you can turn it back on - I recommend waiting at least 24 hours before turning it on - and it will slowly populate over the next several days (it will be slow). 

@Diane Poremsky  Editing each one in Outlook.com is tedious, but it looks like it might work. We'll see what January 1st rolls around.

@Rod Falanga if you are removing all birthdates, not correcting them, use a list view - add the birthday field and group by it. Drag the contacts to the 'none' group. 

If you need the full steps to do this, see https://www.slipstick.com/tutorial/how-to-easily-change-the-private-flag/