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Disable Windows Calendar in Windows Vista

If you don’t use the built-in Windows Calendar or use it to display your Google calendar, you might be interested in removing the application from Windows Vista.

Unfortunately, Microsoft doesn’t give us a good way to completely remove it, so we’ll have to do the next best thing and use system policies to disable it.

You’ll still see the icon in Windows Mail even afterwards, however:

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When you click on the button, you’ll get this error message indicating that we disabled it.

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At least we can remove it from most everywhere else.

Manual Registry Hack

To make this change, type in regedit.exe into the start menu search box, and then browse down to the following key, creating the key if it doesn’t exist.

HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Policies\Windows

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Create a new 32-bit DWORD value named TurnOffWinCal and give it a value of 1.

Remove From Start Menu

Paste the following into the address bar in Windows Explorer, and then browse down into the Programs folder.

shell:Common Start Menu

You’ll see the shortcut for Windows Calendar, which you can delete to remove it from the Start menu.

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If you’ve deleted this shortcut and want to re-enable it, you’ll have to manually create a shortcut to wincal.exe in this folder.

Download Registry Hack

Download TurnOffWinCal.zip, unzip and double-click on TurnOffWinCal.reg to disable Windows Calendar through group policy. You can also use the TurnOn registry hack to put things back to normal.

Lowell Heddings, better known online as the How-To Geek, spends all his free time bringing you fresh geekery on a daily basis. You can follow him on if you'd like.

  • Published 08/31/07

Comments (9)

  1. benny

    How do I stop windows calander to stop opening on startup?

  2. Dan Lovetere

    Will this hack work for the other annoying programs, like contacts and mail? I’m not in front of my Vista machine, so I can’t try it, but I’d be in heaven if I could disable all three of them.

  3. Sherri

    My windows calendar disabled itself and I want it back. Can you tell me how to do that?

  4. Albert

    Sherri the reverse of that just turn that 1 into a 0

  5. Paul Creamer

    on Windows contacts..

    Note that if u use OUTLOOk…the WINDOWS CONTACTS is your outlook contacts.

    I do wish though I could force WINDOWS CALENDAR would pull from OUtlook caLendar…. i AM CURRENTLY USING outLOOK CALENDAR DIRECTLY.

    WINMAIL I wish I could kill or remove.

    Changing defaults & disabling it still is not enough.

  6. Paul Creamer

    Looks like my next programming effort will be to right some sort of shortcut (exe shortcut to actually point to OUTLOOK).

    Already tried a ‘regular shortcut’ and all other usual tricks.

    Even with defaults changes & regedit… winmail still finds a way to come up…

  7. Paul Creamer

    For me…this is typical of microsoft…to add stuff that you cant easily undo.

    Those who say ‘just dont use it and remove shortcuts’..

    Dont relize that the these items will occasionally still come up once in a while…even if you never use them.

    Even if you do some of the recomendations including changing mailto and similar.

  8. Curtis

    It appears that I have somehow turned off my windows vista calendar, How do I turn it back on?

  9. hexaae

    If you have troubles with Vista Calendar always reporting the ERROR: disabled, read here how to solve: http://www.vistax64.com/vista-mail/88893-windows-calendar-disabled.html#post529545

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