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How to control the Room Finder in Outlook

Summary
By default, when you open a new meeting form in Microsoft Outlook 2016, Microsoft Outlook 2013, or Microsoft Outlook 2010, the Room Finder panel is displayed on the right side of the Appointment screen and the Scheduling Assistant screen, as shown in the following screen shots.

Room Finder feature in Outlook 2016 in the Appointment view

Room Finder feature in Outlook 2016 in the Scheduling Assistant view

By clicking the Room Finder control in the Options group of the Ribbon, you can hide the Room Finder. However, the Room Finder remains hidden only if you hide it on the Appointment screen. If you try to hide it on the Scheduling Assistant screen, and then you switch to the Appointment screen and then back to the Scheduling Assistant screen, the Room Finder is visible again.

For more information about how to manage the Room Finder, see the "More Information" section.

Note There is a known issue in which no available rooms are displayed in the Room Finder pane when you start a meeting outside your working hours.For more information, click the following article number to view the article in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:
2932395 No available rooms for a meeting outside working hours
More information

Manually controlling the Room Finder

When you hide the Room Finder on the Appointment tab of a meeting form, the following data is written into the Windows registry.

Subkey: HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Office\x.0\Outlook\Preferences
DWORD: RoomFinderShow
Value: 0 (If you subsequently display the Room Finder, this value is changed to 1)

Note In this subkey path, the x.0 placeholder represents your version of Office (16.0 = Office 2016, 15.0 = Office 2013, 14.0 = Office 2010).
If you hide the Room Finder on the Scheduling Assistant screen of a meeting form, this registry data is never used.

Administering the Room Finder through Group Policy

There are two different policy values that affect the Room Finder. Which one you use depends on the level of control that you want to have over the Room Finder and the version of the "Microsoft Exchange Add-In" add-in that you have installed.

  • RoomFinderShow

    The RoomFinderShow policy value is a DWORD value under the following registry paths (by Outlook version):

    Subkey: HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Policies\Microsoft\Office\x.0\Outlook\Preferences

    NoteThe x.0 placeholder represents your version of Office (16.0 = Office 2016, 15.0 = Office 2013, 14.0 = Office 2010).

    If RoomFinderShow = 0 under these registry paths, the Room Finder behaves in the following manner when you start Outlook:

    • The Room Finder is not shown by default on the Appointment screen.
    • You can manually enable the Room Finder on the Appointment screen.
    • If you open a new meeting form after you enable the Room Finder in another meeting form, the Room Finder is not shown by default on the Appointment screen of the new meeting form.
    • If you manually enable and then disable the Room Finder on the Appointment screen, nothing is written to the registry.
  • RoomFinderForceDisabled

    The RoomFinderForceDisabled policy value was introduced in an update to the "Microsoft Exchange Add-in" add-in. It is used by Outlook only after you install the update for your version of Outlook.


    After the update is installed, use the following registry data to completely disable the Room Finder. This gives you even greater control over the Room Finder than the RoomFinderShow policy.

    Subkey: HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Policies\Microsoft\Office\x.0\Outlook\Preferences
    DWORD: RoomFinderForceDisabled
    Values: 1 = hide the Room Finder, 0 (or missing DWORD) = show the Room Finder

    Note In this subkey path, the x.0 placeholder represents your version of Office (16.0 = Office 2016, 15.0 = Office 2013, 14.0 = Office 2010).

    When you have the required update installed and you have set RoomFinderForceDisabled=1, Outlook will not display the Room Finder pane on either the Scheduling Assistant screen or the Appointment screen in a meeting form.
Another way to completely disable (hide) the Room Finder on the Scheduling Assistant and Appointment screens is to disable the "Microsoft Exchange Add-in" add-in. To do this, follow these steps.

Note We do not recommend that you disable the Microsoft Exchange Add-in because this also disables other features (such as "Protect before send" and "Voicemail integration").

  1. On the File tab, click Options.
  2. In the Outlook Options dialog box, click Add-Ins.
  3. In the Add-ins section of the Outlook Options dialog box, click Go.
  4. In the COM Add-Ins dialog box, clear the check box for Microsoft Exchange Add-in, and then click OK.
Loading the Microsoft Exchange Add-in is controlled by the following registry entry:

Key: HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\Software\Microsoft\Office\Outlook\Addins\UmOutlookAddin.FormRegionAddin
DWORD: LoadBehavior
Values: 3 = add-in is loaded when Outlook starts, 2 = add-in is not loaded on startup (and may never load), 0 = add-in is disabled
Properties

Article ID: 2673231 - Last Review: 02/04/2016 19:41:00 - Revision: 15.0

Outlook 2016, Microsoft Outlook 2013, Microsoft Outlook 2010

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