Yahoo Rejected Sync Attempt "(403) Forbidden" Error

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Yahoo Rejected Sync Attempt "(403) Forbidden" Error

Postby A Room with a Vue » Fri Jan 12, 2018 1:51 pm

I have a VM calendar that has been successfully subscribing to several Yahoo calendars for many months. This morning I attempted to manually sync one of my calendars and received the following error message:

Unable to update subscribed calendar "(my calendar name)"
The remote server returned an error: (403) Forbidden.

A bit less than half of my subscribed Yahoo calendars are working fine with VM, the remainder are getting the above error message (interestingly, there was no obvious notification of this error within VM until I manually tried to subscribe, but I then noticed that those calendars hadn't been updated since I ran VM yesterday).

I am able to normally access all the 'Forbidden' calendars via my browser, they all have the option "Allow apps that use less secure sign in" enabled (in case that's needed) and none of my VM (or Yahoo) settings have changed from when all the subscriptions were working correctly.

Any suggestion as to what else I can try to fix the problem?

UPDATE: I searched through the forum for "Forbidden" to see if this (or something similar) has happened before. It seems to have happened in February of 2015 to kansaifixer (which then seemed to require a VM update to fix). Based on those posts, I checked my Windows update history, and while there were a few updates this week (including some Framework updates), there have been successful Sync attempts for all my calendars after those updates. The only updates done today were definition updates for Microsoft Security Essentials and Windows Defender, and I can't see how that would affect a Sync attempt (especially since it fails with only some of the calendars).
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Re: Yahoo Rejected Sync Attempt "(403) Forbidden" Error

Postby VueSoft » Sat Jan 13, 2018 12:54 am

Hi ARWAV, I'm not sure what happened to cause some of your calendars to stop syncing. I believe the following steps will fix it:

1. In VueMinder, right-click the name a calendar that is no longer syncing and select "Delete Calendar" to remove the calendar from VueMinder.
2. On the Yahoo Calendar webpage, click the drop-down arrow next to a calendar that was removed from VueMinder and select "Share".
3. Check "Generate links (most secure)".
4. Copy the ics URL (second box).
5. Click Save.
6. In VueMinder, click the "File -> Add Calendar -> Add Calendar Subscription" menu command.
7. Enter a name for the calendar and paste the URL into the location field.
8. Change the update interval as needed. Leave the authentication box unchecked.
9. Click OK. The calendar's events should appear within a few seconds.
10. Repeat these steps for your other calendars that aren't syncing.

Does that fix it?
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Re: Yahoo Rejected Sync Attempt "(403) Forbidden" Error

Postby A Room with a Vue » Sat Jan 13, 2018 3:08 am

Dan,

Unfortunately your suggestions didn't fix it. However I discovered two things:

1) If I click directly on the ICS link from the Yahoo share page, I get sent to a screen titled "Yahoo - Error report" which says:

HTTP Status 403 - Forbidden
type Status report
message Forbidden
description Forbidden

I know this isn't normal, since in the past when I have clicked on the ICS link, I get the option to download the ICS file.

2) If I click on the curved "Reset link" arrow to the right of "View events only" text (which is to the right of the ICS link itself), after getting the "Are you sure you want to do this?" warning, and clicking "Yes, reset", the link URL doesn't change. This doesn't make sense.

Both of the above points makes me think that this is a Yahoo error, which I don't expect you to fix (and I don't hold up much hope for Yahoo fixing it anytime soon). However, I'm wondering if there would be alternative methods of subscribing to the calendars without using the ICS (for example, using the HTML link, which goes to a read-only version of the calendar page, and does not generate an error message), or using the "Invite people by email" option within the "share" box. Since this is a subscription, I only need VM to read and display the data (one-way sync). I don't have to worry about publishing VM data to the Yahoo calendar.

Since the Yahoo calendars are working from the browser (and other people need to access them), I don't want to make any changes that could affect browser access. Any suggestions on how to at least for awhile to get VM to read the Yahoo calendars again?

In case this helps...
Long before I discovered VM, I had set up a "Master" Yahoo calendar which displays all of our other calendars on a single screen. It was intentionally set up to be read-only, so that the master calendar didn't accidentally change any of the 'sub-calendars', so in one way it behaves very much like a VM subscription. The sub-calendars are linked to the Master by the use of Yahoo's "Invite people by email" option from the share sub-menu of each of the sub-calendars. And as of the time of this post, the Master calendar is still successfully subscribing to all the sub-calendars (including those that VM can't access via the ICS link).

NOTE: I've only tried your suggestions on one of our calendars (and a lesser used one at that), since even without it being updated, having at least some of the original data for the other calendars remain in VM is useful (so for now I don't want to delete another VM calendar, only to discover that re-subscribing doesn't work).
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Re: Yahoo Rejected Sync Attempt "(403) Forbidden" Error

Postby A Room with a Vue » Sat Jan 13, 2018 4:55 pm

Update from last night: I can manually export ICS files from each Yahoo calendar to local files and then subscribe to those local files from VM, and it seems to work acceptably. I've created duplicate calendars, and except for an issue with recurring events (previously deleted individual events that were originally part of a recurring series are now reappearing in the manually imported VM calendar, even though they don't show up in Yahoo and didn't show up in the previously working VM calendar subscription) the manually imported calendar matches the automatically synched calendar, up until the day the synching stopped working.

The big problem is that it's all done manually, so the amount of time and effort it takes to have an up-to-date VM calendar is much greater than before. Especially if I want to remove those previously deleted recurring events from VM, it then cancels the subscription, and then I have to start again from scratch to get an updated calendar. If you have any suggestions as to how I might be able to either automate the entire process a bit more (at least on the VM side), or use an alternate method to subscribe, it would be greatly appreciated!

In the meantime, I guess I'll continue with this manual method and hope that somehow the "Forbidden" issue will eventually be fixed by Yahoo. Web searches so far can't find anyone else experiencing this same problem, but I'd be surprised if I'm the only one - maybe after the weekend more will become aware of the issue.

I'm also re-investigating the possibility of eventually migrating the shared calendars to either Google or Outlook. Though from what I read on the boards, each of those options have their own set of problems. Any recommendations?
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Re: Yahoo Rejected Sync Attempt "(403) Forbidden" Error

Postby VueSoft » Sun Jan 14, 2018 5:05 pm

Hi ARWAV, if you're unable to even access the access the URL when clicked in your web browser, then it sounds like a Yahoo Calendar problem. I know it's a longshot, but you might try contacting Yahoo for support, or to at least let them know there's a problem.

As an alternative, I'd recommend syncing with Google Calendar. I understand the impression from reading these forums is that syncing with Google has problems, but for the most part, people only post on these forums when there's a problem. The vast majority of people don't see any issues when syncing VueMinder with Google Calendar - and if any problems are found, they're usually fixed in the next release.
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Re: Yahoo Rejected Sync Attempt "(403) Forbidden" Error

Postby A Room with a Vue » Sun Jan 14, 2018 6:38 pm

VueSoft wrote:I know it's a longshot, but you might try contacting Yahoo for support, or to at least let them know there's a problem.
There is no such thing as Yahoo support (at least for calendars - believe me, I've tried to find it!). And their forums are basically useless. Nobody official ever responds to forum posts, and most of the people who do respond either don't know what they're talking about, or they have a list of stock answers that they use over and over again ("Have you rebooted?" "Did you clear your cookies and cache?" "Have you tried another browser?" etc.). Still I will monitor their forums and see if anyone reports something similar, then I may add my similar experience/comments.

BTW, to all forum readers, if you ever see a phone number posted from someone claiming to be Yahoo support, do NOT call it! They are scams who will try to get you to download and install malware and/or send them money. And if you call them (especially if it's a toll-free number) then they'll have your phone number to try scamming you again sometime in the future.

VueSoft wrote:As an alternative, I'd recommend syncing with Google Calendar.
You recommend Google over Outlook/Exchange? Could you let me know some of the reasons why? Any insight you can provide on the pros and cons of either calendar system would be greatly appreciated. Especially any advantages/disadvantages for either system specific to interfacing with VueMinder.

The only reason I am currently using Yahoo is that I inherited it. While I like (and have used in the past) Google shared calendars, I'm a bit skittish about moving my existing calendars over to yet another free service with no tech support.

For Outlook/Exchange, I can set up the calendars on a system at work that does support it (at least if/when something goes wrong). However, in starting to read about setting up shared calendars in Outlook, I find the documentation to be somewhat hard to follow and the procedures not that straightforward (it could also be that I have an automatic negative reaction to most things Microsoft! :mrgreen: ). And even if I do end up setting it up with Outlook/Exchange, I don't want to have to spend a lot of time explaining to users how to make their own reservations. With Yahoo and Google, it's quite simple. So far, I'm not so sure the same can be said about Outlook/Exchange.
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CURRENT CONFIG: VueMinder Ultimate USB 2018.00, Windows 7 Pro / 64
A Room with a Vue = ARWAV (easier to type :!:)
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Re: Yahoo Rejected Sync Attempt "(403) Forbidden" Error

Postby VueSoft » Sun Jan 14, 2018 11:15 pm

You recommend Google over Outlook/Exchange? Could you let me know some of the reasons why? Any insight you can provide on the pros and cons of either calendar system would be greatly appreciated. Especially any advantages/disadvantages for either system specific to interfacing with VueMinder.

Syncing through Google Calendar has these pros:
  • It's "free".
  • It's easy to setup.
  • There's a Google Calendar app for Android/iOS, so any changes you make in VueMinder will appear in the app, and vice versa.
  • It's more secure, using OAuth2.0 for authentication instead of a username/password.

Syncing through Google Calendar has these cons:
  • It's Google... read the privacy policy if you care.
  • Automatic syncing can take up to 30 seconds after making a change (probably not a big deal for most people).

Syncing through Exchange Online has these pros:
  • Your information is private.
  • Automatic syncing happens within a few seconds.
  • There's actual tech support, since the service is oriented towards businesses and people that actually pay for things.
  • There's a Microsoft Outlook app for Android/iOS, so any changes you make in VueMinder will appear in the app, and vice versa.

Syncing through Exchange Online has these cons:
  • It's not free. Exchange Online (hosted through Microsoft Office 365) costs $4 USD/month per user.
  • You can't configure an existing calendar in VueMinder to sync. Calendars have to first be created on Exchange and then added to VueMinder. If you have existing events in a local VueMinder calendar, those events need to be re-assigned after the calendar has been added from Exchange.
  • If you have an existing calendar on Exchange Server with many thousands of events, adding that calendar to VueMinder can take several minutes (subsequent syncs will be almost instantaneous).
  • Exchange Online passwords periodically expire, and when that happens VueMinder will stop syncing until you enter your new password.
  • VueMinder Ultimate is required. The Pro version can't sync with Exchange.
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