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How to show appointments as Free/Busy/Tentative by default in Outlook?

Normally new appointments show time as busy by default in Outlook. But in some cases, you may need to frequently create appointments showing time as free or tentative, how could you show appointment as free/busy/tentative by default in Outlook? This article will introduce a solution for you.

Show appointments as Free/Busy/Tentative by default in Outlook

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arrow blue right bubble Show appointments as Free/Busy/Tentative by default in Outlook

To show new appointments as free/busy/tentative by default in Outlook, you need to create an appointment form which shows time as free/busy/tentative, and then replace the default appointment form in your Outlook.

1. Open the specified calendar, and click Home > New Appointment to create a new appointment.

2. In the new appointment window, please specify Free (Working Elsewhere, Tentative, Busy, or Out of Office as you need) from the Show As drop-down list on the Appointment tab. See screenshot:

3. Go ahead to click Developer > Design This Form. See screenshot:
Note: Click to view how to add the Developer tab on the Ribbon in Outlook.

4. Click Developer > Publish > Publish Form. See screenshot:

5. In the Publish Form As dialog box, please (1) make sure Outlook Folders is chosen in the Look In drop-down list, (2) Type the Show time as an option you specified (Free in my example) in the Display name box, and then (3) click the Publish button. See screenshot:

6. Close the new appointment without saving.

7. Now you return to the Calendar, please right click the specified opening calendar and select Properties from the right-clicking menu. See screenshot:

8. In the Calendar Properties dialog box, please select the new form (Free in my example) from the When posting to this folder, use: drop-down list, and click the OK button to save the change. See screenshot:

Now you will see the New Appointment button is replaced with the New Free button (or another name depending on the form name you specified in Step 5) as below screenshot shown. And clicking the New Free button will create a new appointment showing time as free automatically.


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  • To post as a guest, your comment is unpublished.
    Roggo · 4 months ago
    Thanks a bundle
  • To post as a guest, your comment is unpublished.
    Sha · 7 months ago
    Thanks, works!
  • To post as a guest, your comment is unpublished.
    Pascale de Lyon · 8 months ago
    thumbs up, thums up!

    THANK YOU!!
    easy to do. I will transfer it to my friends an colleague with a proper translation to French.
  • To post as a guest, your comment is unpublished.
    Sharon · 9 months ago
    Great instructions and the screen shots are so helpful. I love this tip! I block time for tasks on my calendar but I like to be free for others to schedule appointments with me if needed so I use the Free option a lot. This is a real time saver. Thank you!
  • To post as a guest, your comment is unpublished.
    Christa · 1 years ago
    Perfect. Thank you! I've been putting reminders in my calendar for years and always click 'free' and it is TEDIUS. This helps a great deal.
  • To post as a guest, your comment is unpublished.
    Myname · 1 years ago
    Very helpful and easy to follow, thank you!