Change Outlook meetings but don't send updates

Last reviewed on February 9, 2015   —  20 comments

Outlook users often ask how they can edit a meeting request and not send updates to the attendees.

I need to change the location of an Outlook meeting and do not want to send the update to the other 15 people on the invite list.

Outlook was designed to send updates when you change the location or time of the meetings because the attendees need to know when and where the meeting is. You also can't avoid sending an update when you add a attendee, for the very same reason.

Adding Notes to a meeting request should never send updates. If Outlook wants to send an update and the only change was notes, make sure you have the latest updates for your version of Outlook.

If you are changing the time to add travel or preparation time, I highly recommend creating an appointment for the extra time instead. Use the Notes field for location changes.

Work offline iconHowever, there is a way to trick Outlook into thinking the update was sent: set Outlook offline before sending the update, then open the Outbox and delete the update before going back online.

Delete a Meeting Update

  1. Work offline iconSet Outlook offline by clicking the Work Offline button on the Send/Receive tab (Outlook 2010/2013) or File, Work Offline in older versions. Alternately, you can disable your network connection, either by unplugging the network cable or turning off the wireless adapter.
  2. Edit the meeting time or location.
  3. Click the Send Update button when finished.
  4. Go to the Outbox, select the meeting update and delete. Or you can open the meeting update then click X to close and the meeting disappears from the Outbox.
  5. Repeat Step 1 to put Outlook back online.

This is not a perfect solution and I know of at least one issue: if someone accepts or declines the meeting after you delete the update, meeting tracking wont be updated. You'll need to change their status manually.

This method will work for all new meetings or to delete meetings when you don't want to send the cancellation notice.

About Diane Poremsky

Diane Poremsky
A Microsoft Outlook Most Valuable Professional (MVP) since 1999, Diane is the author of several books, including Outlook 2013 Absolute Beginners Book. She also created video training CDs and online training classes for Microsoft Outlook. You can find her helping people online in Outlook Forums as well as in the Microsoft Answers and TechNet forums.

Please post long or more complicated questions at Outlook forums by Slipstick.com.

20 responses to “Change Outlook meetings but don't send updates”

  1. Salome

    Would this delete the meeting in the invitees calendar as well?

    1. Diane Poremsky

      No, if you don't send updates, the meeting won't be deleted from the attendees calendar.

  2. Molly Dunton

    If you change the description and don't send the update, does the change show up in everyone else's calendar?

    thanks!

    1. Diane Poremsky

      No, if you don't send updates, their calendar will not be updated.

  3. Ron

    how can i simly update a change on the meeting invite as an informational update and not require anyone to respond to my update?

    1. Diane Poremsky

      Once they accepted it, the meeting should update automatically, they don't need to accept it again.

  4. Ev

    Sometimes when I add/delete attendees to a meeting,Outlook will ask if I want to send the updated to all attendees or only to the ones added/deleted. Other times it does not ask me that question and all attendees get the update everytime I change attendees. What do I need to do to assure that I always get that option?

    1. Diane Poremsky

      You should always get the all or one question if you only changed attendees. If you made any other changes, it will send to all. I don't know of any way to change that behavior.

    2. David

      In Outlook 2007, whether you are prompted or not for a decision when adding or deleting attendees depends on which screen you send the update from.

      Clicking the "Send Update" button from the "Appointment" screen results in the decision prompt. Clicking the "Send" button from the :"Scheduling Assistant" screen will not result in a decision prompt. Weird but true.

  5. Paula

    How do I delete one person from a meeting without Outlook sending a cancellation to the whole group? Why does it do that!

    1. Diane Poremsky

      It should only send the cancellation to the one person, not everyone.

      Set Outlook offline, remove the person's name, delete the update from the outbox, go back online.

  6. Mi

    How can I avoid that an update sent by the one who organises the meeting overwrites all notes any invitee had made in the originally planned meeting? (i.e: someone accepts an invite, writes down some items as a memo for this meeting - the meeting gets postponed - he/she gets an update, and al their notes are gone)

    1. Diane Poremsky

      The only way to totally avoid it is to not update the meeting - copy it in place and edit the copy (select it, ctrl+c,v). You can't block updates from the organizer.

    2. Gary

      Hello Dianne, when I click send update it does not send it. The screen just sits there and never sends updates to everyone. But when I close the meeting update it does appear on calendar.

  7. Gemma Sturtridge

    Thanks very much for this! I recently changed job and needed to remove meetings from my calendar but not the other attendees.

  8. John

    I recently set up a bunch of meetings and invited attendees and made a silly mistake. I was supposed to set them up on behalf of my boss in her group calendar, but instead set them all up in my own personal calendar... I hesitate to ask as I've been searching all over online for an answer to no avail, but is there any way to move these meetings to the calendar I should have set them up in? If so, will this move the attendees to the new calendar as well?

  9. david4eye

    Great tip, thanks!

Leave a Reply

If the Post Comment button disappears, press your Tab key.

This site uses XenWord.