Automatically Adding Shared Calendar Events to a Calendar in Outlook

Configure Outlook to automatically accept shared meeting invitations.
... Thomas Northcut/Digital Vision/Getty Images

You can configure your Outlook email client to automatically accept shared calendar meeting invitations, then show the time as tentatively busy on your calendar -- as long as you own the calendar. When you enable auto-accept for meeting invitations, all meetings are automatically scheduled in the calendar, and the time is blocked and identified as “Tentative” by default. Use Outlook’s "Auto-Accept, Decline" feature to enable and disable auto-accept for your calendars. You can also configure Outlook to automatically decline meeting requests, and to send automated messages to meeting organizers.

Open Outlook, and then click the “File” tab.

Click the “Options” tab to open Outlook’s Backstage view, and then click the “Calendar” option in the left sidebar.

Click the “Auto-Accept, Decline” button in the Automatic Accept or Decline section in the Calendar settings screen. A list of auto-accept and decline features are displayed, each with a check box in front of the option.

Check the "Automatically Accept Meeting Requests and Remove Canceled Meetings" check box to configure your Outlook client to auto-accept meeting invitations. The application will also automatically delete meetings canceled by the organizer. When you check this option, a group of conditional options appears below the selection.

Check the "Automatically Decline Meeting Requests That Conflict With an Existing Appointment or Meeting" check box to auto-decline conflicting invitations, and then check any additional options, if needed -- for example, you can send an auto-response to meeting organizers by configuring the option from this screen.

Click “OK” twice to save the settings and close the dialog box.

  • Note that you cannot configure the auto-accept and decline feature for just one calendar. When you enable this feature, all of your Outlook calendars are automatically configured to use it.
  • Information provided in these steps applies to Microsoft Outlook 2013. Instructions may vary slightly or significantly for other versions of Outlook.
  • Note that meetings are always auto-scheduled as “Tentative” so that the time is blocked off on your calendar while leaving you with some scheduling flexibility.
  • When auto-accept and decline is configured on your Outlook calendars, you may see meeting invitations in your inbox for a short period of time before Outlook’s automation scripts process the requests.

Based in the live music capital of the world, Tammy Columbo continues to work in the information technology industry as she has done for more than 10 years. While living in Austin, Columbo has contributed to high profile projects for the State of Texas, Fortune 500 technology companies and various non-profit organizations. Columbo began writing professionally in 2009.