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Calendar Invitations

Outlook provides two methods for sending out a meeting invitation with your email messages: Outlook Meeting Invites and iCalendar Meeting Invites. The advantages of each method are outlined below to help you decide which is best for your situation.

Outlook Meeting Invitation iCalendar Meeting Invitation
  • Ideal for meetings where most recipients are expected to attend
  • Meetings appear directly in the recipient’s calendar as Tentative.
  • Updates to meetings automatically update the recipient’s calendar. These updates will erase any changes made by the recipient.
  • Ideal for announcements for meetings where attendance is optional.
  • Meetings can be added quickly and with little effort if the recipient chooses.
  • Recipient’s retain control over how the meeting appears in their calendar. Updates are not automatically applied.

Outlook Meeting Invitation

Outlook Meeting Invitations allow you to create and send meeting requests to colleagues that will automatically add to a recipient’s calendar.

Essential Do’s and Dont’s

  • Make a Choice: Accept, tentative, or decline each meeting you receive.
  • Accept/Decline on Each Computer & Device: Don’t accept a meeting on one computer and delete the invitation on another. Choose the same option on EVERY device.
  • Accept/Decline from Your Inbox: Accepting an appointment directly within your calendar view can cause trouble in the future.
  • Keep your Meeting Notes Separate: Any updates to an appointment you accept will be overridden if the creator sends a new update.
  • Don’t Move Meeting Requests: If you have a rule or manually move a request from your inbox, it may not automatically appear in your calendar.
  • Don’t Move an Instance of a Recurring Meeting: Instead, delete single instance you want to change and create a new single meeting in its place.

Accept or Reject an Invitation

When an Outlook Meeting Invitation is received in Outlook, a tentative appointment is automatically added to your calendar.

Click Accept/Tentative/Decline on any message you recieve. It is best to take action on an incoming message. If you delete the meeting invitation from your Inbox, it will remove the meeting from your calendar as well.


Create an Invitation

  1. Click the New down-arrow on the Outlook toolbar and choose Meeting Request.
  2. Fill out the To, Subject, Location, Time, and Message for your meeting then click Send.

iCalendar Meeting Invitation

Attaching an iCalendar meeting invitation provides your recipients with an easy way to add the meeting to their calendars. The iCalendar format is widely accepted across many services and programs. Including these invitations can help those attending your meeting remember the event.

Accept or Reject an Invitation

An iCalendar Meeting Invitation will appear as a file attached to a normal email. If you would like to add the file to your calendar, double-click on the attachment and then click the Accept button.

Create an Invitation

  1. Create and save an appointment in Outlook.
  2. Double-click on the appointment to open it.
  3. Click the down arrow next to Forward and choose Forward as iCalendar.
  4. Compose and send your message normally. You can remove the FW: for your subject line.

Forward as iCalendar

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