Change default meeting length in Outlook - Avoid Back-to-Back meetings!


We give the following advice in our VP's blog post -

"schedule meetings to conclude five minutes before the end of the hour or half hour. This shortens your time together slightly but goes a long way towards avoiding potential burnout from uninterrupted back-to-backs."


This is now really easy!  

In Outlook:

  • File -> Options -> Calendar
  • "End meeting early"

Your meetings are now 50 and 25 minutes long - by default, no need to set it manually.  Not sure when it showed up in the options but my team is using it and it really helps.




21 Replies

@karlvAre you on Outlook O365 App on Win10 or Online ?

I can't see this option in neither of them ...

Also I'm in France so maybe it's a time zone thing ?

@karlv same here, this option is not available in Office 365. There is no "end meeting early" setting.

@karlv Thank you.. this worked great for me... Do you know of a way to do this programatically for an entire organization?



This can be done by going to Outlook Settings in O365. It is in the shape of a gear on the upper right corner of your Outlook page.


A side bar should expand on the right side. Look towards the bottom of the new side bar and click the link "View All Outlook Settings"


Select Calendar

Events and Invitations View

Click the check box to "End Meetings and appointments early. 

Go here for a complete guide:


Your outlook has to be on a min version of 1812 image-8.png



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If I change Outlook settings as per instructions, does it alter the duration of forthcoming meetings that are already scheduled? Will attendees receive meeting invite updates? thanks!

This is a great idea, but is borderline useless in practice.  Everyone knows this is an artificial stop time and still requires hard compliance being enforced by the meeting organizer and all participants.  


What is needed is a default to start each meeting 5 minutes late.  This gives you the breathing room from the previous meeting and is self-enforceable.  This is a policy I try to enforce with my teams on every project.  But since covid, it has been especially critical.


I would like all meetings to last 45 minutes. How can I make this happen?

Same here, and starting quarter past instead of ending early of a full hour.
I use this feature whenever possible. It's great.


You can't currently set events to start late or end early from the new Outlook for Mac.

If you make the change using your email account on Outlook on the web or Outlook for Windows, the new Outlook for Mac will honor the settings you made, so if you create an event on your Mac it will start late or end early depending on what you set on the Outlook on the web or Outlook for Windows.

Check the Windows Desktop or Web tabs for information on how to set your events to start late or end early.


@Jmisla My Outlook for Mac doesn't seem to honor the setting made via the web. Version is Office365 16.58. I've tried both old and new Outlook interfaces.

We will make the change for all users. While the MS support page says that if you make the change in OWA it will also reflect in Outlook for MAC, I don't see it happening. Does anyone know about how to solve this?
Indeed, it does now appear to work. It seems to be specific to the email account that I configured it under in OWA, which is fine since that's the one I'd like it for, but is that expected?
OK, so now it appears to work as a default for all accounts. I did find it a little tedious to undo the default setting for a specific meeting as it kept swapping between start and end time and moving them by 5 minutes. Eventually it accepted it.