Invite who you want in group calendars

Ethan Li

Good news!


We've heard your feedback here on Tech Community as well as UserVoice that you really just want to: 

  1. Put something on a shared group calendar
  2. Pick whomever you want to invite, which may not be the group itself.

Over the next few days, you will have more options when managing your group calendar: Just invite anyone you want. If you want to invite the entire group, simply add the group to the attendees list.


This change gives a lot more flexibility to the group calendar surface:

  • Invite no one: this is good for putting milestones on the calendar as a visual reminder that it's coming up. If you want to add a copy of it to your own personal calendar, you can "Add to my calendar". This is also great for a vacation calendar, where you can create a ? vacation ? event on the group calendar.
  • "Brownbag-style events": A lunchtime learning session is typically not mandatory for attendees, but is required for the organizer and the presenter. Now, you can create an event on the group calendar and add specific individuals without adding the group itself to the attendees list. This way, those individuals will get an invite from the group, and group members can freely add the event to their calendars. This is also good if you want your vacation time on the group calendar, as well as your manager's calendar.
  • Invite the group and anyone else:  For group meetings where you'd like everyone in the group to attend and edit, this is best. This is particularly handy for recurring meetings that take place over the course of many months where the a single organizer may not be around for its entire desired lifetime (i.e., if someone goes on vacation or leaves the team).

Across Outlook, not much is changing:

  • In Outlook for Windows, removing the group from a group meeting will now, in fact, actually not sent the group an invitation.
  • In the new Outlook on the web, we've updated the tooltips to match the functionality.
  • In the classic Outlook on the web, we won't be supporting this update.
  • In Outlook for iOS and Android, group calendaring is coming soon. ;)

Try it out, and let us know what you think!

Annotation 2019-05-07 163245.jpg





37 Replies

@Ethan LiThis is great news - thank you!  When choosing to intentionally invite the group and others, is it possible to track responses?  This would be a huge functionality improvement over the old public folder calendars.

@Ethan Li Still not working...


I went to a outlook.office.com, then to a group calendar. When I try to invite just one person I can add them, but Send a meeting invitation to group members is still checked and I cannot un-check it.


Am I mis-understanding something?

@cistern4, that's the classic Outlook on the web. You'll need to toggle to "Try the new Outlook" to invite select attendees.

So this is not rolled out for the Outlook desktop client? Only the "new" web client?

In Outlook for Windows, removing the group from a group meeting will now, in fact, actually not sent the group an invitation. This should also be already rolled out.

@Daniel Carp while accept/tentative/declines are not sent to anyone, responses (including Add to my calendar) are saved to calendar item on the group event. Open the event on the group calendar (not your own personal copy) and you will see the accept/tentative/decline responses.

@Ethan Li Sounds good. And no need to update to a newer version of Outlook for Windows/Outlook for Mac?

@cistern4 No need to update. 

@Ethan LiHi Ethan, my company is very new to 365. I am the admin, and have been asked to manage a company calendar showing scheduled vacation days. I set up a group calendar. Is there any way I can send out an email as an announcement, not as an invite, each time I add a new entry to the calendar? I just need to email a notice to each member; I do not need a reply.

Thanks for any insights. -Rob Schimmel

@Ethan Li This is great progress. However, you don't mention Microsoft Teams in the post. One of the significant use cases for this is meetings scheduled within a Teams Channel where only a sub-set of the overall team need to be invited. This is especially important as Groups based within Teams are not visible within Outlook! Is this on the road map?

Group Calendar Invite.PNG

@Ethan Li Hi Ethan, this sounds like great news and will be a welcomed change.  Is it supposed to be working now?  If so, it is not for us.  I have tried the web version of Outlook with the new layout.  When I create a new appointment it actually says "An invitation will not be sent to group members unless you invite them"  Yet the group is automatically added and each person in the group gets a copy of the invitation on their calendar.  These are Teams Groups if that is helpful.


@Shane Gill Let me follow up with you offline so we can help troubleshoot.

@Ethan Li , Will members get Mail when doing a meeting update! Can’t seem to get this to work

Thanks @Ethan Li - this is the missing functionality that we've been waiting for before showing users what they can do with Group calendars.  Following a little testing, we're still slightly confused as to who gets invites to Group meetings and when.  Could you clarify please:

  1. If you don't click on 'Invite members' or 'invite attendees', the appointment will not appear in anyone's personal calendar.
  2. If you add individuals to the 'invite attendees' field they get an invite and it appears in their personal calendar as well as the Group one.
  3. If you click 'Invite members', only some members of the Group have been receiving the invite / the appointment appearing in their personal calendar.  Does this depend on whether they 'Follow' that Group or have notifications turned on?  This is the only thing we can think of.
    1. When using Outlook client, you can expand the Group name to show all individuals so that may be a workaround if you wish all Group Members to receive an invite.
    2. When using Outlook online you can't expand the Group to individuals so is there any way around that?
  4. What happens when people are added to or leave the Group - do the invites get updated automatically?

Really hope you can clarify as this sounds like exactly what we want, but we need to properly understand it and train our users before rolling it out in anger.

Thanks again, Oz

@Ethan Li

Hi Ethan,

My organisation is still on 'classic' Outlook on the web and it looks like this update has broken the 'Send a meeting invitation to group members' option. In the last couple of weeks I have noticed that when creating meetings in an O365 Group calendar with the 'Send a meeting invitation to group members' option selected, those meetings did not appeared in the members' calendars as previously.

When editing the event, the tick box is deselected and no amount of re-selecting it changes this behaviour.

This means that now there is no way for our users to automatically add a meeting entry in all group members' calendars, which is rather annoying.

Any plans to fix this?


@Oz Oscroft  Points 1-3 are all correct. That being said, for (3), when you "stop following", the default is that you'd still get meeting invitations, just not conversations. You'd really have to try hard to turn off meeting invitations as well.


On 4, whoever received an invitation/in their calendar will still have the invitation, even if they leave the group. There shouldn't be any changes with this update in this regard.


@Gilles Couzin: Hmm--this shouldn't be happening. Let me follow up with our engineers.


@Gilles Couzin: Thanks for the report! We've found an issue and have since made a fix that's rolling out in the coming days.

@Ethan LiWe have found that when a member creates an event and adds a "Reminder" that the group will force itself as an attendee and then all members of the group get the invitation. Is there a fix for this? We were hoping we could only invite specific members and possibly add a reminder for those specific members who were invited as attendees.

Hello @Ethan Li  ,


I tried doing exactly the instructions.  I created an event in the group calendar --> removed group calendar name and added myself as the 'main' invitee.  Then I checked out the group calendar view of each member and I do not see the event i created.  However, when I checked my own group calendar view, I can see the event.  I tried creating a second event without inviting anyone and everyone can see the event.  This makes the group calendar inconsistent since we are viewing the same group calendar with an event on my view and without an event on other members' view.


Please let me know if I am doing something wrong in setting up an event.  


As most of us have mentioned, the purpose of limiting notifications to the group is really for the following:  (1) so that the group calendar event is actually created for everyone to see and be aware of (2)  so that the specific person who should be notified of the event is sent an alert; (3) so that the rest of the group members who are just part of the 'FYI' do not need to be spammed with alerts.


Hope to hear a solution from you.


Thanks and regards.





Then I checked out the group calendar view of each member and I do not see the event i created.  

Can you share more about this means? I'm not following here.

HI@Ethan Li ,
I think i identify a bug on Outlook Win10 64bit (o365 MSO

I create a group event, remove the group and add user A and B. -> only A and B receive the event: OK
Open the group event, edit the date. -> The entire group receive the notif: NOT OK

After a little investigation, when i open the groupe event, on the first view i see only A and B BUT if i go the 'schedul assistant view' the group is in the attendee list.

@Ethan Li , One user of my company report me the same problem, sometimes he create an event group, no one get the invitation and the event is visible in the group calendar just to himself, the other people in this group cannot see it (in the group calendar). :(

EDIT: When I create an event group, at first I am the organizer of the event, after few seconds the Group become the organizer. But sometimes the group doesnt become the organizer and in this case no one receive the invitation and the event is visible (in the group calendar) only by me.
/!\ Seems that event in that case disapear after few days, we just lost some important data... This functionality seems really bugged, shouldnt been released in this state.

@Ethan Li 



Is there a way that we can have specifically invited people of a group see all meetings in this calendar and then any other contributors see only the meetings they set up and all other meetings scheduled by others show as "busy"

Here is a scenario.

We have a global publishing calendar that around 50 people post events that are happening around the world. We only want selected individuals (senior executives) to see all events and we want the contributor who posted an event to the calendar to see the event they posted but not any other contributors post and vise a versa. Is this possible?



@Ethan Li 

Thanks for the update. It seems the fix has not rolled out to our O365 tenant (uob.sharepoint.com) yet. Any idea when it's likely to happen?


@Ethan Li "Across Outlook, not much is changing:"


You missed Outlook for the Mac.

@Ethan Li  It doesn't appear to have been updated in our version of Outlook for Windows (desktop application). When a member of our group adds a calendar item to the group calendar, it sends a meeting invitation to everyone in the group. There isn't an option to create a simple appointment. When you create a new calendar item, it automatically opens a meeting request, with the To: line auto-populated with the group email address. If you remove the email address, the calendar item won't save. The version of Outlook on my computer is Microsoft Outlook 2016 MSO 16.0.4849.1000


I was able to add an all day event from OWA without sending a notification or meeting invitation to the group so I am assuming this is related to the desktop app.


If it makes a difference at all, our Group was created as a by-product of creating a Team, which I had made visible so that we could use the shared calendar. 

@Ethan Li I seem to be having the same issue as one of the users above. Outlook for Windows... when creating a NEW meeting, only those invited get the notification. But, when UPDATING that meeting, the group itself gets notified/invited. :(

I think I found where the issue is (not a bug... just need to be aware how it works). When I invite myself I am set up as the organizer. But, if I delete my own name from the invite list, then the meeting automatically sets the group as the organizer which is why updates get sent to everyone.

I think.....??
Nevermind... my comments above weren't accurate. After a little while no matter what I try, the Group itself becomes the organizer (replacing my name) and any updates to the meeting go to the entire group thereafter. :\

@Ethan Li The group still receives an invite even after removing them from the TO field when creating the meeting. I'm using the Outlook 365 desktop (version 1907; build 11901.20218). 

@Shane Gill We have the same problem.  Our Support Staff Team is trying to use the group calendar to track vacation days, when someone is covering for someone else, out of office notices etc...  


What we want to do is to put my doctors appointment on my personal calendar and "invite" the support group calendar so it posts for everyone to see WITHOUT sending the entire group an email.

@Ethan Li I am having the same problem @cbarroso stated.


On the group calendar, I make an event, delete the group name from the invite list, add a few people, send.

When I open the invite again, it shows the group as the organizer under scheduling assistant, and the entire group has received the invite on their personal calendars.


I'm not seeing a solution - has this been solved?


I essentially would like everyone to have visibility to the group calendar, and to specifically add it to certain people's personal calendars.

Just look at this thread. This option seems like the one we want as the Event calendar on Sharepoint is incredibly limited. It's a pity it doesn't seem to be working as intended though. Will try it out on my tenant.

@Ethan LiIt appears through our testing that the Group Calendars are not consistent. In addition to the above functionality, how does this relate to the following:

  • Group settings in Outlook--subscribe new members so they receive group email in their inbox--checked
  • Group settings in Group Admin--Send copies of group conversations and events to group members--checked

I understand three scenarios explained--invite no one, brownbag-style, invite group but what are the recommended settings within the Group?

@Ethan LiSo where is this functionality gone, to not invite the whole group to the group event?  Seems to have disappeared, and it was working so well for us!  

I notice the 'try the new outlook' toggle has gone, but the functionality of specific invites has also gone.  Am I missing a way to have this working again? 

That's exactly what we want @klineberry 

I assume the current situation is that its just not possible?

@Ethan Li, our users are experiencing the same issues as @cbarroso described in this reply.

A meeting is being planned in an Office Groups calendar using the desktop client and the group is explicitly not invited (removal of the group as organizer). The group members don't receive the initial invitation mail, but all members of the Office Group receive mails for updates of changes .
When a meeting with a limited number of invitees is created in an Office Groups calendar via https://outlook.office.com only invited users receive updates, as expected.

P.S. why did you stop replying to this post? Multiple people have indicated that this is an issue.

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