How to Schedule a Meeting in Outlook

Get one-time and recurring meetings on the calendar

A hand about to write on a planner

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When you schedule a meeting in Outlook with another person or group of people, they receive an invitation email with the meeting details. From this email, they can accept or decline the meeting invitation. Outlook adds the meeting to your Outlook calendar, keeps track of your attendees' responses, and sends a reminder before the meeting starts. 

Instructions in this article apply to Outlook for Office 365, Outlook 2019, Outlook 2016, and Outlook 2013.

How to Send a Calendar Invite in Outlook

Here’s how to schedule a meeting in Outlook:

  1. Select the Home tab.

  2. Select New Items > Meeting. Alternatively, press Ctrl+Shift+Q.

    Outlook showing how to create a new meeting invitation
  3. In the Meeting invitation, enter a description of the meeting in the Title text box.

  4. In the Required text box, enter the email addresses of each attendee required to attend the meeting. In Outlook 2016 and 2013, enter the email addresses in the To text box.

    To select contacts from your address book, select either Required, Optional, or To.

  5. In the Optional text box, enter the email addresses of people not required to attend the meeting, but their attendance would be appreciated. 

    A new meeting invitation in Outlook showing the meeting details
  6. Choose a Start time and End time for the meeting.

  7. To block out an entire day on your calendar for the meeting, select All day.

  8. In the Location text box, enter the address or room number where the meeting will be held.

    A new meeting invitation in Outlook
  9. In the Message area, enter other information your attendees will need to know before the meeting and attach any files you want them to review.

    A new meeting invitation in Outlook with an attached file

    To attach a file to the meeting invitation, Select the Insert tab, then select Attach File. To add a link to a document on your OneDrive, select the Link dropdown arrow.

  10. By default, when you send a meeting invitation in Outlook, the invitation includes a request for a response and gives the recipient the option to suggest a new time for the meeting. To change these options, Select the Meeting tab, then select Response Options.

    A new meeting invitatin in Outlook showing how to change response options
  11. Select Send.

If your schedule changes or if your attendees must make other plans, either cancel the meeting or reschedule it.

How to Set Up a Recurring Meeting

  1. Select the Home tab, then select New Items > Meeting.

  2. In the Meeting invitation, enter the Title, Required attendees, Optional attendees, Location, and a message describing the purpose of the meeting.

  3. Select Make Recurring.

    A new meeting invitation in Outlook showing how to schedule a recurring meeting

    In Outlook 2016 and 2013, select Meeting > Recurrence.

  4. In the Appointment Recurrence dialog box, enter the Start time, End time, and Duration of the meeting.

  5. In the Recurrence pattern section, choose when the meeting will reoccur. For example, a regular weekly meeting that occurs every Monday.

  6. In the Range of recurrence section, choose a length of time the recurring meetings will continue. A recurring meeting may be automatically canceled on a certain date or after a certain number of meetings.

    Set a recurring meeting in Outlook with the Appoint Recurrence dialog box
  7. Select OK.

  8. In the Meeting invitation, select Send.

How to Use the Scheduling Assistant to Create a Meeting

If you use Office 365 at work and are an Exchange user, use the Scheduling Assistant to find the best time to schedule a meeting with others. When you open the Scheduling Assistant, you’ll see the calendars for the people you invited to the meeting.

The Scheduling Assistant for meeting in Outlook

To use the Scheduling Assistant, create a Meeting invitation, the select the Meeting tab > Scheduling Assistant.

How to View the Meeting on Your Outlook Calendar

  1. Select the View Switcher, then select Calendar.

  2. To find the meeting, scroll through the calendar or use the search box and enter the title of the meeting.

  3. To view the meeting details, double-click the calendar item.

    View a meeting in the Outook Calendar
  4. To view responses, select the Tracking tab. The Response column shows which attendees have accepted the meeting invitation and which have not responded.

  5. If you received a verbal acceptance from an attendee, select None, then select Accepted, Declined, or gave a Tentative response.

    Tracing who replied to a meeting invitation in Outlook
  6. Close the meeting invitation when you're finished.

How to Add People to an Existing Meeting Invitation

  1. Find the meeting on your calendar.

  2. Double-click the meeting item.

  3. Select the Scheduling Assistant tab > Add Attendees.

    Add attendees to an existing meeting in Outlook
  4. In the Select Attendees and Resources dialog box, choose the name of the attendee.

  5. Select either Required or Optional to indicate whether the attendee is required to be at the meeting or if their attendance is optional.

  6. Select OK.

    Select an attendee to add to a scheduled meeting
  7. The attendee is added to the All Attendees list in the Scheduling Assistant.

    A new attendee added to an existing meeting in the Outlook Scheduling Assistant
  8. Select Send Update.