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iPhone Tip: A Special Way to Enter Birthdays on the iPhone, and Its Benefits

Birthdays on the iPhone

Birthdays get special treatment on the iPhone. They have their own unique way for adding them to the calendar much different from other calendar events. And it’s done in the…Contacts app? Yep.

This special method may take a little more time, but it has a few benefits. One benefit is that birthdays get a cute little red-and-white box icon next to them in the Calendar app (see image above). The other benefit is that birthdays get their own special calendar, which you can use to show just birthdays in the Calendar app, or conversely, prevent all birthdays from showing.

Check out the instructions below on how to enter birthdays using the Contacts app. Also see the end of this article for more interesting info on Birthdays and the iPhone.

Quick Instructions:

Select a contact in the Contacts app. Tap Edit > Add a Field > Birthday.

Step-by-Step Visual Instructions:

1. Open Contacts app and select a contact:

2. Tap Edit in the top right:

Tap Edit to create birthday

3. Scroll down and tap Add Field:

Scroll down and tap Add Field

4. Scroll down and tap Birthday:

Scroll down and tap Birthday

5. Enter the birthday’s day, month, and year. If you don’t know the year, choose the 3-dash line option below the current year:

Enter in Birthday date

6. Tap Done in the top right:

Tap Done in top right to finish birthday creation

And that’s it, you’ve created a birthday for that contact.

Extra Notes and Tidbits:

  • Note that all birthdays entered with this method will appear in the iPhone’s special Birthday calendar (see image at bottom of post). The calendar can be found by opening the Calendar app and tapping the Calendars button in the top right corner. A separate Birthdays calendar is useful in case you wanted to view only birthdays. To do this, tap Hide All Calendars, then tap the Birthdays calendar so that a checkmark appears next to it. Conversely, you can remove all birthdays from showing in the calendar by unchecking the Birthdays calendar.
  • If you set up the iPhone’s special Facebook integration (found in the iPhone’s Settings), all of your Facebook friends’ birthdays (along with their contact info and email addresses) will be downloaded into the iPhone’s Contacts and Calendar apps. Their birthdays will then show up in the special Birthday calendar. You can prevent this from happening by going into Settings > Facebook and sliding the tabs under Allow These Apps to Use Your Account for Contacts and Calendar to Off. This option will only appear after you have logged in to the special Facebook integration for the first time.
  • If you enter the contact’s birth year and sync with the Mac version of Calendar, the person’s age will show up in Calendar (example, “Anne’s 36th Birthday”). The person’s age does not show up in the iPhone/iPad Calendar app, however.

Special Birthday Calendar

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  1. Lauren says:

    Great tip! I’m curious – how did you get the super-long screenshots? Did you just edit multiple screenshots or did you do it on your phone?

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  2. Alan says:

    I edited multiple screenshots together.

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  3. Carla says:

    I don’t want to all 26 grand kids to my contacts list I want them attached to their parent I that possible?

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    • jane fitzpatrick says:

      I have same problem. What’s the answer to Carla’s qtn? Can you add friends’ children and grandchildren’s birthdays via the parent contact info?

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    • Alan says:

      While you can attach your grandkids’ names to to their respective parents in the contacts list, you can’t add their birthdays as well and have them appear in the calendar. To attach your grandkids names to their mother/father, follow these instructions while viewing the parent’s contact entry: tap Edit > Add Field > Related People > tap the default name “Mother” and change it to “Child” or whatever, then enter in name of child.

      Another suggestion: in the Contacts app, there is a field called Notes where you can jot down anything about a contact. This is an alternative way to list all the grandkids under a parent along with their birthdays, but again, those birthdays would not appear in the Calendar app.

      So to sum up, if you don’t want to create individual contacts for your grandkids, you’ll have to enter in the birthdays one-by-one into the Calendar app, and just set their birthdays to appear every year in the Calendar.

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  4. Zoey says:

    Why do only some of my contacts birthday appear on my calendar while others don’t?

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