Conditions that affect the display of Free/Busy time in Outlook

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Article ID: 196885 - View products that this article applies to.
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SYMPTOMS

After you make an appointment in your active Calendar in Microsoft Outlook, other people may not immediately see that time as busy. This condition may also occur when someone attempts to invite you to a meeting.

CAUSE

There are three possible causes for this behavior:
  • By default, Outlook updates your Free/Busy time every 15 minutes. If the update is not complete, others will not see your appointment as busy time.
  • Outlook publishes your Free/Busy time for only the next two months. If your appointment is beyond the published limit, others will not see your appointment as busy time.
  • If the appointment Show Time As property is set to Free, others will not see your appointment as busy time.
The unavailability of Free/Busy information appears as black hatched lines in the Attendee Availablity dialog box.

RESOLUTION

Updated Free/Busy Time

If the cause is how often Outlook updates Free/Busy time, follow these steps:
  1. On the Tools menu, click Options, click Calendar Options, and then click Free/Busy Options.
  2. In the "Update Free/Busy information on the server every <15> minutes" box, type how often you want the server to update.
  3. Click OK three times to return to Outlook.
    Note: This setting can be an issue when you use Exchange Resource Accounts. For example, the administrator can log on as the resource account using Outlook and set the time to publish to 12 months. If, at a later date, the administrator logs on to the same account using a different Outlook installation, the default setting of 2 months from that installation can be written to the account. This can result in the Free/Busy time being reset to show 2 months, rather than the 12 months that was originally set.
    222214 Free/busy options not unique to each profile
    216177 Publishing 12 months of Free/Busy information with Outlook

Published Free/Busy Time

If the cause is how far ahead Outlook publishes Free/Busy time, follow these steps:
  1. On the Tools menu, click Options, click Calendar Options, and then click Free/Busy options.
  2. In the "Publish <2> month(s) of Calendar Free/Busy information on the server" box, type how far ahead you want the server to publish Free/Busy time.
  3. Click OK three times to return to Outlook.

Appointment Property Not Set Correctly

If the cause is that the Appointment Show Time As property is not set to Free, follow these steps:
  1. Double-click your appointment to open it.
  2. Click the Appointment tab.
  3. In the Show Time As list, click Busy or Out Of Office to indicate that you are not available during the appointment.
  4. On the Standard toolbar, click Save And Close.

Properties

Article ID: 196885 - Last Review: January 23, 2007 - Revision: 3.3
APPLIES TO
  • Microsoft Outlook 2000 Standard Edition
  • Microsoft Outlook 2002 Standard Edition
  • Microsoft Office Outlook 2003
Keywords: 
kbcalendar kbdisplay kbprb KB196885

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