Last reviewed on June 27, 2015   —  7 Comments

There are two issues that affect the display of Outlook’s calendar at the beginning and the end of the month. This is the result of the limitation in the number of weeks Outlook displays on screen and the use of the compressed weekends.

There are fewer display issues with Outlook 2007 and Outlook 2010’s calendars, in part because compressed weekends are not an option.

Today’s Date is not Selected: Outlook displays the end of last month instead

When either of the following conditions are true and the month begins on a Saturday or Sunday, and ends Monday or Tuesday (causing the month to span 6 Outlook calendar weeks), it appears that the last Monday of the previous month is selected as “Today”.

  1. You use the default setting of “First Day of Week: Sunday” and the default of Compress Weekend days enabled.
  2. You use “First Day of Week: Monday”.

Screenshots taken August 31, 2004: August 30 and 31 are not shown on the calendar. The last Monday in July is selected because today (August 30 or 31) is off the screen
Calendar with the wrong day Wrong day of the week showing

The screenshot on the left shows the week beginning on Monday. The one on the right uses compressed weekends.

Wrong day calendarWhen you begin the week on Sunday and don’t use compressed weekends, it should display properly, with ‘today’ highlighted in the last week of the month.

***Note that while these settings are the default or most common, other First Day of Week: settings may have the same affect, depending where the first day of the month falls.

This happens because Outlook displays only 5 weeks at a time and it always displays the week containing the first day of the month at the top of the screen. The first day shown on the calendar (which happens to be the last Monday of the last month) is selected because ‘today’ is off the screen.

The workarounds:

  1. Change the first Day of Week or Compress Weekend settings so the month spans only 5 weeks.
  2. Press the Today button or right click on the calendar and choose Today.
  3. Wait a couple of days for the first of the next month to correct it.

To change your default First Day of Week setting, Tools, Options, Calendar button.

To change the compressed weekend settings, right click on the calendar and choose Other Settings.

Outlook’s Day/Week/Month calendar begins with last month.

Outlook’s Day/Week/Month calendar begins with last month. This is because Outlook always displays full weeks and begins the month with the first day of the week that contains a day in the current month.

Outlook does not offer a setting to display only the week containing “Today” and the next 4 weeks.

Outlook Calendar with the wrong week showingThis screenshot shows May 2005. Because the weekends are compressed, the calendar begins the week on Monday while Saturday and Sunday share the last square. Since the first day of the month is in the last square of the top row, the calendar starts at the end of the previous month.

When the compressed weekends option is enabled and the month covers 6 weekly grids, you won’t see any days that extend past the fifth Sunday and Outlook selects the first day of last month as “Today”. This is because Outlook only displays 5 weeks at a time and any month that begins on a Saturday or Sunday and ends on a Monday or Tuesday is stretched into 6 weeks when you use compressed weekends.

Wrong week calendar in OutlookWith the checkmark removed from the compressed weekend option, the calendar begins on Sunday May 1 and the entire month properly fits within Outlook’s 5 week viewing area.

Because Outlook displays the full week that contains the first day of the month, disabling Compressed Weekends will correct the view problem. To disable it, right click on the calendar and choose Other Settings. Remove the check from Compress Weekend days.

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  1. Arlene Carlson says

    Hi Diane: When outlook opens I would like the week with "today" in it to be at the top of my screen and the next 4 weeks following. I don't care what happened last week anymore...How can I set Outlook to do that?

    • Diane Poremsky says

      Unfortunately, Outlook doesn't support putting 'this week' or 'today' on top. It's like a paper calendar and the default layout is fixed.

    • Diane Poremsky says

      What version of Outlook? Are you using the print features of Outlook or something else, like Calendar Printing Assistant?

  2. Someonze says

    When you click 'Today', Outlook shows te full month in the calendar. Even if today is oktober 31! In that case, you can not look more than 3 days forward without scrolling! I don't care about the calendar - information of the past 30 days!
    Mozilla Thunderbird does better! In Thunderbird, the calendar starts with the Monday of the current week, so I can look 4 - 5 weeks forward (i.s.o. backward)

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