Allow calendar appointments to be created without inviting all Group members
Right now, when you create a calendar appointment, the group itself is automatically invited, and so the calendar functions like a distribution list, inviting all the members of the Group.
We would like the calendar to have the ability to act more like a separate calendar, or a teamsite calendar. The overlay function would be powerful if we could use the calendar for ... say a leave/Out of office calendar and overlay it over our own calendar.
We shipped the ability to add an appointment that is only shown in the groups calendar. The minimum build to get this feature is 16.0.8429.1000, and the flight is now rolling out to Insiders fast, and will rollout to the other channels in the regular cadence over the next few months.
Bill Blais commented
In our environment (split fairly evenly between desktop app users and office 365 users), the issue is fixed for the 365 users because of the 'send invitation to the group' checkbox (uncheck the box) for all calendar events.
The problem is that desktop users don't have that option in Outlook 2016. There is no relevant checkbox. Adding such a thing to Outlook 2016 would effectively solve this for us.
JEB Sheriff commented
When creating the calendar event if you set the "Status" to "Free" and "Reminder" to "None" the appointment will be set on the calendar; however, an invite to the group will not be sent.
Andreas Mouritsen commented
Why is this not an option yet?
We started using groups instead of our old team sites and used to use the team site calendar, so that the entire team could see upcoming events without filling up their own calendars.
It also seems like you already had this option, but changed it...
Robert Buljevic commented
ok, it could be that my tests worked fine as I also explicitly set via Powershell the parameter AlwaysSubscribeMembersToCalendarEvents to False (something which would until end of April throw an error):
You could try that and see if it gets any better.
Mark Evilsizor commented
Robert that is not my experience. Testing for us with the scenarios and options described below, this is what I have found.
1.) For a new Group calendar (created directly or as part of an MS Teams), any new Meeting setup using Outlook 2016 invites the whole group, it is unavoidable even if I delete the To list, and click the X to close the window and choose to save without sending.
a.) When I ask a Group member to check whether they are subscribed or not, it offers to subscribe in the Outlook 2016 Group Ribbon so I am believing they are not currently subscribed.
2.) If the same Group member opens the meeting invitation email, and clicks the Unsubscribe link in the text at the bottom of the message, then they no longer automatically get invited to future Meetings setup using Outlook 2016.
a.) But the person who creates any Meetings in the group calendar does continue to get these invitations and automatica imposition of the Meeting on their personal calendar
3.) If I use the browser based version of the calendar, using the O365 portal, then there is an additional option "Send an incitation to the group", if I uncheck this box for a new meeting then no one is invited automatically and no one has it forced onto their calendar.
a.) But if I edit this existing appointment in Outlook 2016 and add some notes, then when I save it, it does send an invite and it does add this meeting to each Group member's calendar (unless they unsubscribed as described in nbr 2 above).
i have a question. If a member of my team creates a meeting in the calendar and invites let's say 3 persons but not me. I can see the meeting in the calendar but i cannot see the persons involved. Is there a posibility to see all the persons?
Robert Buljevic commented
This seems to be resolved finally: calendar meeting requests are not sent to each member (and introduced into their personal calendar), only to explicitly invited people. So it looks to me the behavior is now correct both for Outlook and web app.
Can others confirm?
I was able to get all of my team members in our group to click the unsubscribe link at the bottom of one of the appointments that was sent out and that stopped all of them from getting the emails and the appointments from showing up on their calendar.
However, I still cannot find a way to stop the appointment from showing up on my personal calendar if I make the group calendar appoint from within Outlook 2016. If I use O365 web app and uncheck the send to group box, it does not show up. But I would like to be able to use the Outlook 2016 app and the calendar view to add/edit appointments and not have them show up on my calendar every time.
I think I've managed to work my way around this.
I was aware of the difference between members and subscribers, so when I created my group I thought I could short-cut the process by creating the group with Subscribe Members set to Off.
I was wrong. It seems even doing this, when you add members they are automatically subscribed and therefore receive invitations every time anyone adds anything to the group calendar.
This is what I did today and so far it's working fine:
Removed all members.
Reconfigured the group so Subscribe Members is On.
Added back all the members.
Unsubscribed all members.
Now when I send a meeting invitation to the group (i.e. no individuals names in the To line, just the name of the group), group members do not receive invitations, nor does the meeting appear in their calendars - it just appears in the group calendar. If I add individuals into the To line, they get invitations as normal. Which was exactly what I wanted in the first place.
I hope that helps somebody.
J Yates commented
The work around is to create the event and save it, not send it.
Two years later... and this is still an issue :(
You could really just tie this into the "Unsubscribe" feature.... If I unsubscribe please stop the calendar invites too!
I would give all my votes for this. There is a work around from the owa side (send in invitation to the group" buy my people use native outlook 2016.
This is already an option - if you go to create an appointment on Office 365 in a SharePoint Group, there is a checkbox to the right under "People". It says "Send an invitation to the group." If you uncheck that box, no one gets an invitation, but the appointment stays on the group calendar. My issue is, since I'm the one who creates them, Outlook keeps adding the appointments to my personal calendar (even after I've declined them). No one else in the group has that problem. I don't know how to keep it from doing that!
This is crucial. Groups and shared mailbox calendars are mess when everyone belonging to group / mailbox recives meeting invite which is not even adressed to them.
It should work this way:
every member of group should be able to create events and view group calendar, but when new event is created it should ask which members of group should be invited to this event. So invite for this event is recived only by selected group members, but this event is visible in group calendar to every member of the group.
JW Walton commented
I have several clients looking at transitioning from distribution list(DL) groups to Office 365 Groups and who are looking to start leveraging Teams with new Office 365 Groups. All of them, to this point, have found the group calendar to be a roadblock in their roll out planning because the calendar automatically sends invites to the team without a way to change this behavior.
The common thread seems to be that these DL calendars (and SharePoint calendars) have been used as places to note common major events that are not meeting style events and therefore should not be blocking time on personal calendars. Most users currently overlay or open an additional calendar tab to see these calendar events. These clients do acknowledge that there are actual meeting events on the DL calendar but these group meetings are the exception and easily handled by inviting the DL to the already existing meeting.
I've just recommended one of our departments move to a group calendar from their paper calendar. It should be easier to create typical calendar appointments than group meetings in both the online & Outlook versions of the calendar. The fact that they're all getting notifications of every event is seriously complicating this process.
Mamma Duck commented
We recently moved to 365 and have been very dissatisfied with the lack of functionality that are shared calendars now have. We considered using the groups as a place to migrate to, with that being said the group calendar is creating a mess. The expectation was to have the ability to add events to the group calendar and have the option to invite the employees involved, w/o sending the invite to the entire group.
Mathew Smethurst-Evans commented
I've voted on this now as I see it as a major cause of frustration for staff.
I like to get all of the project meetings and deadlines in the group diary so people are aware, but the whole team is unlikely to need to participate in every single meeting!
It's very confusing to staff
Jim Klarp commented
I agree that this should be an option
Tanner Perkins commented
+1 We just migrated over a shared mailbox calendar to a Group calendar without knowing about this issue. Every Group member was blown up. No we'll have to delete everything from the Groups calendar until this is fixed. This will seriously effect buy-in of Groups. Using OWA is not an option as everyone is deeply ingrained in Outlook.