Outlook users often ask how they can edit a meeting request and not send updates to the attendees.
I need to change the location of an Outlook meeting and do not want to send the update to the other 15 people on the invite list.
Or, the Outlook user has duplicates of a meeting which the attendees have accepted and is looking for a way to delete the duplicates without sending cancellations notices.
The solution is simple, using an often forgotten feature: Work Offline.
Take Outlook offline (and disable the network connection as insurance) then cancel the extra meetings. Go to the Outbox and delete the cancellation notices before taking Outlook back online and reconnecting to the network.
If you don't use Send Immediately and don't use an Exchange server account, working offline may not be necessary, but going offline is a guarantee that the cancellation notice won't be sent accidentally.
Delete a Meeting Update
- Set Outlook offline by clicking the Work Offline button on the Send/Receive tab (Outlook 2010/2013) or File, Work Offline in older versions. Alternately, you can disable your network connection, either by unplugging the network cable or turning off the wireless adapter.
- Edit the meeting time or location.
- Click the Send Update button when finished.
- Go to the Outbox, select the meeting update and delete. Or you can open the meeting update then click X to close and the meeting disappears from the Outbox.
- Repeat Step 1 to put Outlook back online.
This is not a perfect solution and I know of at least one issue: if someone accepts or declines the meeting after you delete the update, meeting tracking wont be updated. You'll need to change their status manually.
This also works with the initial meeting, although I recommend creating an appointment if you don't want to send a meeting request to the other person(s).
Adding Notes to a meeting request should never send updates. If Outlook wants to send an update and the only change was notes, make sure you have the latest updates for your version of Outlook.
Cancel a Meeting without sending an Update
If you need to delete a meeting from your calendar and don't want to send updates, try this:
- Open the meeting you want to delete, go to File and the click on Move to Folder, select the Deleted Items folder.
- A dialog will come up: Responses to this meeting will not be tallied. If you want Outlook to tally responses for you, move the meeting to the Calendar folder for this account. Click the OK button.
- Close the Meeting.
The meeting is now cancelled without sending any emails.
Published March 3, 2011. Last updated on March 17, 2016.