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Organize meetings with Outlook

When someone sends a meeting request to your Inbox, the meeting is tentatively added to your Calendar. When you accept the meeting by clicking Accept, the meeting time is marked as busy and a response is sent to the meeting organizer.

So, the request lands in your Inbox and the meeting time is blocked out tentatively in your Calendar. Now, it's up to you to respond to the organizer's request.

To respond to a meeting request, all you need to do is click one of the buttons in the request. When you do this, a meeting response is created and sent to the meeting organizer. Once you respond, the request is removed from your Inbox.

Click the Play button on the left to see an animated example.

Note    You can keep meeting requests in your Inbox after you respond to them if you prefer. We've included a link to steps that tell you how in the Quick Reference Card at the end of this course. If you do this, you'll need to pay extra close attention to the text in the Infobar so that you don't respond multiple times.

These are you main choices for responses:

Button image Accept    Accept a meeting that you know you'll be able to attend. When you accept a meeting, the meeting is scheduled in your Calendar and you receive updates if the meeting organizer changes the details of the meeting. If others view your free/busy time, the time appears as Busy by default.

Button image Decline    Decline a meeting if you can't go. Declining a meeting deletes the item from your Calendar (freeing that block of time), but it does not sever your ties with the meeting: You'll still get updates if the meeting organizer makes them and you'll have the opportunity to respond to the update. (If you truly want to opt out of a meeting, you may want to ask the organizer to remove your name from the attendee list.)

Caution    If you simply delete the request without responding, you will lose the meeting request from your Calendar.

Button image Tentative    Use this option if you're interested in the meeting, but aren't sure whether you'll be able to make it. The meeting is scheduled in your Calendar and that block of time is displayed to others as tentatively unavailable.


  • Before you respond, read the text in the Infobar to make sure you're responding to the most up-to-date version of the request.
  • If you want to check your calendar before you respond to a request, you can click the Calendar button on the Standard toolbar of the request.
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