Set your scheduling policies

Not all appointments are the same. Some take only a few minutes, while others can take hours or more. In Microsoft Bookings, the Booking page is where you set the scheduling policies for your business. Scheduling policies include the length of appointments, acceptable lead and cancellation times, and automatic notifications of booking changes. Additional customization can be added for each service within the Services page, with additional duration settings and policies that apply only to that service.

Note: Bookings is turned on by default for customers who have the Microsoft 365 Business Standard, or Microsoft 365 A3 and Microsoft 365 A5 subscriptions. Bookings is also available to customers who have Office 365 Enterprise E3 and Office 365 Enterprise E5, but it is turned off by default. To turn it on, see Get access to the Microsoft 365 business apps for enterprise subscriptions.

The policies you set here are the top-level policies. They are automatically applied to all the services you offer unless you choose to modify them on a per-service basis. For example, let's say that for most services, such as initial consultations, one-day notice for cancellations is acceptable. But for those services that require facility reservations or fees, such as golf lessons, you might require three days' notice. You can set this service-level policy on the Services page. See Define your service offerings for instructions.

Types of scheduling policies

This table explains the various scheduling policies available on the Booking page.



Time increments

Determines the intervals between appointments. You can set your time increments from 5 minutes to 4 hours. You can also set your own customized time increments. An interval of 15 minutes, for example, means a customer could schedule a 60-minute appointment at 8:00, 8:15, 8:30, and so on. Conversely, a 60-minute interval means that appointments are only available on the hour. (To set service durations, see Define your service offerings.)

Lead time in hours

You build your staffing plan based on the appointments that are scheduled so it's important to know in advance how many customers are coming in for service on any particular day. The lead time policy enables you to specify the number of hours in advance that customers should book or cancel an appointment.

Maximum days in advance

If you want to limit how far in advance customers can book appointments, then this is the setting for you! You can set the maximum for 365 days or more.

Notify when a booking is created or changed

Select this option when you want to receive an email any time a customer books an appointment or changes an existing one. The email will go to the mailbox specified on the Business information page. See Enter your business information for details.

Set your policies

  1. In Microsoft 365, select the app launcher, and then select Bookings.

    AppLauncher with Bookings tile highlighted

  2. In the navigation pane, select Booking page.

  3. Select your policies under the Scheduling policy section.

  4. Select Save and publish.

Publish the booking page

When you're ready to publish your booking page, select Save and publish. See Publish or unpublish the booking page for more information.

See Also

Create your staff list

Set employee working hours

Schedule business closures, time off, and vacation time

Say hello to Microsoft Bookings

Expand your Office skills
Explore training
Get new features first
Join Office Insiders

Was this information helpful?

Thank you for your feedback!

Thank you for your feedback! It sounds like it might be helpful to connect you to one of our Office support agents.