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You want to cancel a single occurrence of a recurring Outlook meeting for yourself when you created the event

You are the meeting coordinator for a recurring meeting. You want to use Outlook to create a recurring meeting, but you also want to be able to sometimes skip/cancel the event from your calendar without canceling the event for everybody that has accepted the meeting invite.


Woah, that sounds complicated! So this happens when you setup a recurring meeting, attend it regularly, but find that now and then you can’t make it. You want to keep your calendar clean by deleting the event for that day, but when you try that Outlook wants to send out a Cancel notice to all meeting attendees. No good.

You can solve this by creating a separate Calendar in your Outlook to use only for recurring meetings like this. You would then invite yourself along with others. If you delete the event off your main calendar then it’s as if it was an event sent by somebody else because you aren’t deleting the event from the Recurring Calendar.

The LONG Version

I am using Outlook 2010 for this example.

Create Your New Calendar

The first step is to create a calendar used only for CREATING recurring meetings.

  1. Open Outlook.
  2. Go to your Inbox.
  3. Right click on your Exchange account and click New Folder.
  4. The Create New Folder window will appear.
  5. For the name, enter “Recurring Meetings”.
  6. For Folder contains, select “Calendar Items”.
  7. Select your Exchange account.
  8. Click Ok.

View Your New Calendar

Now you have a new Calendar.

  1. Click on Calendar.
  2. Notice your new Calendar! It’s available, but not showing yet.

Creating the Safe Recurring Meeting

Okay, here’s the trick.

  1. Select both Calendar and Recurring Meetings so that you can see Recurring Meetings.
  2. Notice how both are now showing in your Outlook Calendar View.
  3. Create a new recurring meeting in the Recurring Meetings calendar. NOT YOUR DEFAULT CALENDAR. In this example I created a recurring meeting for M-W-F.
  4. In the recurring meeting, add yourself as well as others to the meeting.
  5. Click Send.
  6. Outlook will see what you are doing and ask if you wish to add this invite to your default calendar. Say yes!

Delete an Occurrence without Deleting the Meeting

The new recurring meeting will now show up on your default calendar. Now let’s test the result. Let’s remove the event from Fri 11/22 on our default calendar to see what happens.

  1. Select the meeting in your default calendar and delete it.
  2. Notice how Outlook is treating this as an external calendar event. Click No to not notify the sender.
  3. Notice how the event is off of your default calendar but still on the Recurring Meetings calendar.

Once done, you can deselect the Recurring Meetings from your Calendar View if you wish.

Special note: If you need to cancel the recurring meeting for everybody, you must now do it from the Recurring Meetings calendar. If you delete it only from your calendar, then everybody else will still be invited. So an extra step to delete a recurring meeting forever, but that’s the point right?

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