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Manage Scheduling in Microsoft Outlook 2016

Respond to meeting requests

When you receive a meeting request from another Outlook user, the meeting appears on your calendar with your time scheduled as Tentative. Until you respond to the meeting request, the organizer doesn’t know whether you plan to attend.

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A meeting request in the Reading Pane

The meeting request displays your current calendar information at the time of the meeting, so you are aware of any schedule conflicts at that time. You can respond to a meeting request in one of these four ways:

  • Accept the request Outlook deletes the meeting request and adds the meeting to your calendar.
  • Tentatively accept the request This option indicates that you might be able to attend the meeting but are undecided. Outlook deletes the meeting request and shows the meeting on your calendar as tentatively scheduled.
  • Propose a new meeting time Outlook sends your request to the meeting organizer for confirmation and shows the meeting with the original time on your calendar as tentatively scheduled.
  • Decline the request Outlook deletes the meeting request and removes the meeting from your calendar.

If you don’t respond to a meeting request, the meeting remains on your calendar with your time shown as tentatively scheduled and the meeting details in gray font rather than black.

When accepting or declining a meeting, you can choose whether to send a response to the meeting organizer. If you don’t send a response, your acceptance will not be tallied, and the organizer will not know whether you are planning to attend the meeting. If you do send a response, you can add a message to the meeting organizer before sending it.

To respond to a meeting request

  1. In the meeting window, in the Reading Pane, or on the shortcut menu that appears when you right-click the meeting request, click Accept, Tentative, or Decline.
  2. Choose whether to send a standard response, a personalized response, or no response at all.

To propose a new time for a meeting

  1. In the meeting window or in the Reading Pane, click Propose New Time, and then in the list, click Tentative and Propose New Time or Decline and Propose New Time to open the Propose New Time dialog box.

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    You can respond to a meeting request by proposing a different meeting time

  2. In the Propose New Time dialog box, change the meeting start and end times to the times you want to propose, either by dragging the start time and end time bars or by changing the date and time in the lists, and then click the Propose Time button.
  3. In the meeting response window that opens, enter a message to the meeting organizer if you want to, and then click Send to send your response and add the meeting to your calendar as tentatively scheduled for the original meeting time. If the meeting organizer approves the meeting time change, you and other attendees will receive updated meeting requests showing the new meeting time.