by Svetlana Cheusheva, updated on
The tutorial shows different ways to create shared calendar in Outlook for Office 365 and Exchange-based accounts, explains how to share calendar in Outlook without Exchange and troubleshoot various syncing issues.
Want to let your colleagues, friends and family members know what's on your schedule so they can see your free times? The easiest way is to share your Outlook calendar with them. Depending on whether you use a locally installed desktop application or Outlook Online, an Exchange Server account within your organization or a private POP3 / IMAP account at home, different options will be available to you.
This tutorial focuses on the Outlook desktop app used in conjunction with an Exchange server and Outlook for Office 365. If you are using Outlook Online, please see How to share calendar in Outlook on the web.
Since Microsoft Outlook provides a few different calendar sharing options, it's very important to understand exactly what each option does in order to choose the one best suited for your needs.
By sending an invitation to other users, you enable them to view your calendar in their own Outlook. You can specify different access level for each recipient, and the shared calendar will update automatically on their side. This option is available for Exchange and Office 365 accounts as well as Outlook.com and Outlook Online (aka Outlook on the web or OWA). See how to share Outlook calendar.
By publishing your Outlook calendar online, you can give anyone an opportunity to view it as a webpage in a browser or import an ICS link into their Outlook. This feature is available in Exchange-based accounts, accounts that have access to a web-server supporting the WebDAV protocol, Outlook on the web and Outlook.com. See how to publish Outlook calendar.
A static copy of your calendar is sent to the recipient as email attachment. The recipient will only see a snapshot of your appointments at the time you sent the email, no updates you'll make thereafter will be available to them. This option is provided in Outlook 2016, Outlook 2013 and Outlook 2010, but no longer supported in Office 365, Outlook 2019 and 2021. See how to email Outlook calendar.
For Office 365 or Exchange-based accounts, Microsoft provides the option to share a calendar that is updated automatically. For this, you simply send a sharing invitation to your coworkers or people outside your company.
Note. Our screenshots were captured in Outlook for Office 365. The steps for Exchange Server accounts with Outlook 2021, Outlook 2019, Outlook 2016, Outlook 2013, and Outlook 2010 are essentially the same, though there may be slight differences in the interface.
To share your Outlook calendar, carry out these steps:
Note. The prohibition sign (circle-backslash) next to someone's name indicates that the calendar cannot be shared with that user.
A sharing invitation will be sent to each recipient that you've added. Once the user in your organization clicks Accept, your calendar will appear in their Outlook under Shared Calendars. For external users, the process is a bit different, for full detail please see How to add a shared calendar into Outlook.
Tip. Sharing isn't limited to the default calendars automatically created for each Outlook profile. You can also create a new shared calendar. For this, from your Calendar folder, click Home tab > Add calendar > Create New Blank Calendar, save it to any folder of your choosing, and then share as described above.
To stop sharing your calendar with a particular user, this is what you need to do:
Note. It may take a while for Office 365 to sync and remove your calendar from the user's Outlook.
In a shared Outlook calendar, permissions mean the level of access you wish to provide to other users. The options are different for users within and outside your organization.
The first three levels can be provided to both internal and external users:
Two additional options are available for people inside your company:
One more option is available for your entire organization, not individual users:
To change the permissions of someone who currently has access to your calendar, do the following:
This will open the Calendar Properties dialog box on the Permissions tab, showing all users your calendar is currently shared with and their permissions.
The recipient will be notified that their permissions have been changed, and the updated calendar view will display in their Outlook.
Most issues and errors occur due to various configuration or permission problems. Below you will find the most common issues and how to resolve them.
If the Share Calendar button is grayed out or unavailable in your Outlook, most likely you do not have an Exchange account, or your network administrator has disabled calendar sharing for your account.
If you cannot send sharing invitations because of the "This calendar can't be shared with one or more of the people…" error, perhaps the email address that you've added is invalid, or in an Office 365 Group, or in your sharing list already.
Quite often, outdated and duplicate entries in the Permissions list cause problems. To fix this, open the Calendar Properties dialog box on the Permissions tab and check the user list for duplicate entries. Also, remove users who left your organization or are not allowed to access the calendar. Some forums reported that removing all current permissions besides the default ones resolves the issue. If none of the above suggestions helps, try these general Outlook fixes:
If the problem persists, the reason may be on the Exchange Server side, so try contacting your IT guys for assistance.
The sharing feature described in the previous sections is only available with Office 365 and Exchange-based Outlook accounts. If you use Outlook as a standalone application with a personal POP3 or IMAP account, consider the following alternatives.
Publish your Outlook calendar on the web, and then share either an HTML link to open the calendar in a browser or an ICS link to subscribe to the Internet calendar. For more information, please see:
If publishing does not work for you, the easiest way might be creating a new or importing an existing calendar to Outlook.com, and then using its calendar sharing feature.
Please bear in mind that you will need to maintain an actual copy of your calendar in Outlook.com if you wish further updates to sync automatically.
For the detailed instructions, please see:
When you wish to share your calendar with multiple users without sending individual invitations, you can publish the calendar on the web and provide a direct link for people to view it live.
Here are the steps to publish a calendar from Outlook:
Outlook will notify you whether publishing has completed successfully or not.
If you'd like to share a non-updatable copy of your calendar, simply email it as attachment. This option may come in handy, for example, when you have made the final version of some event calendar, which is subject to no further change, and wish all the participants to have a copy.
To email a snapshot of your Outlook calendar, perform these steps:
Optionally, click the Show button next to Advanced and configure additional options:
When finished, click OK.
Your recipients will get an email and can view the calendar details directly in the message body. Or they can click the Open this Calendar button at the top or double-click the attached .ics file to have the calendar added to their Outlook.
That's how to create a shared calendar in Outlook. I thank you for reading and hope to see you on our blog next week!
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