The 12 Year Bug

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Have all your friends’ birthdays disappeared from your Calendar? Maybe they suddenly decided to change their recurrence pattern to every 12 years instead of every 1 year. Or maybe they’ve changed to recur every 144 months. Either way, this bug is a great way to get you in trouble for forgetting some one’s birthday. My dependency on Outlook syncing birthdays with my Windows Phone has always been essential for planning enough time to buy birthday presents. Unfortunately, there’s a bug in Outlook or WMDC or something where if you’re syncing your Calendar with more than one source, somehow Outlook decides to change all of your annually recurring appointments to recur every 12 years. That means you’ll only get notifications for your friends’ birthdays when they’re 12, 24, 36, 48, etc. It wouldn’t be so bad if the bug changed the recurrence to every 10 years, since those tend to be the more important birthdays anyway.

The easiest way to see if you might be suffering from this bug is to follow Laura Rooke’s instructions:

From the Calendar, select View, Current View, Events.

Now look for Events that are categorized as ‘Recurrence: Yearly’.

It should say to the right, every *date*.

If any show up as ‘every 12 years on *date*’, you probably have the 12 year bug.

In this thread, Jack Cook goes over some possible fixes that may or may not work. Firstly, you can try changing the appointments from “All Day” appointments to having a finite time span. Secondly, you can add an “End Date” to the appointments. This may sound a bit dismal for birthdays, so make sure the end date gives the person a fulfilling life span.

Have you had this bug? Did you miss anyone’s birthday because of it? Let us know in the comments.

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About The Author
Adam Z. Lein
Adam has had interests in combining technology with art since his first use of a Koala pad on an Apple computer. He currently has a day job as a graphic designer, photographer, systems administrator and web developer at a small design firm in Westchester, NY. His love of technology extends to software development companies who have often implemented his ideas for usability and feature enhancements. Mobile computing has become a necessity for Adam since his first Uniden UniPro PC100 in 1998. He has been reviewing and writing about smartphones for Pocketnow.com since they first appeared on the market in 2002.Read more about Adam Lein!