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How to decline a meeting invitation but still leave it on your calendar in Outlook?

If you declined a meeting invitation but still want to leave the meeting on your calendar, how can you achieve it? This article provides an easy method to help you quickly get it done in Outlook.

Decline a meeting invitation but still leave it on calendar in Outlook


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Decline a meeting invitation but still leave it on calendar in Outlook

Please do as follows to leave a declined meeting invitation on your calendar in Outlook.

1. After declining a meeting invitation, the email will be moved to the Deleted Items folder, please open the Deleted Items folder and find the declined meeting invitation email.

2. Select the declined meeting email in the Deleted Items folder, then click Accept > Do Not Send a Response in the Reading Pane. See screenshot:

Then the declined meeting will be added to your Outlook calendar immediately.


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  • To post as a guest, your comment is unpublished.
    Amanda Raines · 8 months ago
    If you accept but don't send a response, doesn't that show the meeting organizer that you have accepted the invitation, which will lead them to believe you will be present for that meeting when really you won't be? If it does, this doesn't seem like a great solution. Is there a way to show declined meetings without showing the initiator that you accepted?
    • To post as a guest, your comment is unpublished.
      crystal · 7 months ago
      Hi Amanda Raines,
      The solution has been tested.
      First of all, you need to decline the meeting and send a response when receiving the meeting invitation.
      Then go to the Deleted Items folder to accept the meeting (do not send a response).
      The meeting organizer only receive a declined meeting message.
      • To post as a guest, your comment is unpublished.
        Jen · 6 months ago
        Amanda is right. The meeting organizer will receive only one meeting message. However, if the meeting organizer uses the tracking function to determine who is attending (which is ultimately easier than checking emails), then the response will update.

        That being the case, it would be as clear if not clearer to the organiser, and fewer steps, to simply reply "tentative" and then include a message to the organiser stating you will not attend but want the appointment to remain in the calendar for any updates!

        An alternative to register an actual decline but still have a record of the appointment is to

        1. Open the calendar view for the meeting day (click the "calendar" button on the invite email).

        2. Copy the appointment itself and paste the copy (Ctrl+C then Ctrl+V).
        Make sure it is the appointment that is selected, not the title. "Successfully" doing this will create a second, conflicting, appointment called "Copy: [whatever the original title was]", which you can open to adjust your preferences for how the time will show, reminders, etc.

        3. "Decline" the original appointment, including a message to the organiser if desired. This is the opportunity to ask the organiser to keep you informed of changes or send notes, etc. If the organiser uses the email attendees option, then declined attendees will be updated, however if the organizer updates the appointment per se then updates may be missed if the appointment has been declined.

        & Vote up a feature to display or continue to be included in updates to declined meetings to be included as part of Outlook: https://outlook.uservoice.com/forums/322590-outlook-2016-for-windows

        Ultimately the best workaround depends on why it was desirable to keep the appointment in the calendar. The copied appointment solution here works if the priority is to remember the meeting was scheduled for a given time to prompt follow-up or in case of a scheduling change that would enable your attendance (the "copy" retains the details of the organiser), without creating confusion for the organiser. The decline and then accept solution in the post above works if the priority is to have updates... but perhaps you should consider the simpler option of just replying "tentative" with a message why and still the advantage of the updates. Any which way you can adjust how the time shows in your own calendar (busy, free, etc.), and reminders, independently of your attendance status.

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