How to fix: Shared calendar only showing basic free/busy information


Users with access to Microsoft Outlook may share their calendar information, both free and busy, with other users. As a result of the free and busy information, other users may simply choose a good time for meeting needs. In this article, we’ll go through how to configure permissions in Microsoft Outlook so that other users may see the free and busy information. The see Free/Busy information permission will share a portion of basic information in your Microsoft Outlook with other users, and it requires an exchange email account. So how you see more free/busy information.

There are quite a few ways you can do it both from an admin dashboard and individual users. Although individual users may need to acquire a level of permission from the global or network admins to use this permission setting. We will show from the user perspective.

How to show more free/busy information with shared users in Microsoft Outlook?

  • First, sign into your Microsoft Outlook account.
  • Go to the calendar selection by clicking on the calendar icon.
  • Click on “folder” in the menu bar.
  • Now click on “calendar properties”.
  • In the properties panel go to “permission”.
  • There are four kinds of permission levels: select the one that’s most relevant to the amount of information you want to send.
  • Click on “OK”

Using Outlook for Windows or Mac, you may change your free/busy settings. These features aren’t accessible in Outlook on the Web or the Apple Calendar app. Everyone will be able to view the subject and location of the items on your calendar if you use the setting shown below (instead of just the start and end times). Your personal information will remain private. 

If you don’t regularly use Outlook, you can use it just once to make these changes. The Office 365 system will keep track of your modifications. You may modify these parameters using the IT Service Desk’s settings panel.

What are the four calendar permission settings in Outlook?

  • None:
    • You have not allowed any information to be shared with the calendar you shared with another user.
  • Free/Busy time:
    • With this permission enabled your shared users who receive the calendar will only be able to see the free busy time and nothing more. The steps above help to minitage this issue and change to a permission setting which releases more information with the users you wish to share to.
  • Free/Busy time, subject, location:
    • This permission will allow users to see more information opposed to just the time. Here users can see the subject of the agenda and the location, if you have more information such as specific tasks of the agenda for the specified time this will not be shared with the user as there is a final permission linked with this. This permission is for users who want to share more information such as location of a Birthday Party and the subject “Birthday Party” but don’t want to give the specifics away as it may be a surprise birthday party.
  • Full Details:
    • The final setting is the one you may want if you need to give lots of information from a calendar. Users here will be able to share all the information they share with other users in the shared diary. You will want to ensure the person you’re sharing to is trustworthy and is someone you need to share the information with.

Meetings with persons from outside your organisation are frequently required. Office 365 allows you to make calendars visible to “external users,” or people who need to view free/busy time but don’t have user accounts for your Office 365 environment, to make the process of finding mutually agreeable meeting times easier.

How to Edit Free/Busy permissions in Outlook – For Admins:

Calendar sharing is a global setting, meaning that you, the Office 365 admin, can enable it for all users in the tenant. Once sharing is enabled, users can use Outlook Web App to share their calendars with anyone inside or outside the organization. People inside the organization can view the shared calendar side-by-side with their own. People outside the organization will be sent a URL that they can use to view the calendar. Users decide when to share, how much to share, and when to keep their calendars private.

Step by step process for admins to edit permissions:

  • First, sign into Office 365 using your login details.
  • Now using the application launcher (illustrated by the nine dots in the left corner) go to the admin panel.
  • From the admin panel go to “settings” > “Org settings”.
  • In “services” click on “calendar”.
  • Under “External Sharing” the checkbox “Allow anyone to access calendars” should be ticked.
  • This will bring up three more settings and click on the point that’s most relevant for your users.
  • Now click on “Save” to save the new sharing presets.

Now you will need to visit the Exchange center admin center to change for individual users according to Microsoft. All you need to do is go to the Mailbox setting and from there you can edit for individual Mailboxes present on your network. “Apply external sharing to specific users, and manage more mail and calendar settings, in the ‎Exchange‎ admin center. Go to ‎Exchange‎ admin center

Indepth Step by step process – How to show more free/busy information with shared users in Microsoft Outlook?

Breakdown of steps:

  • First, sign into your Microsoft Outlook account. (app only)

Please note that the application is the only way to access the Free/Busy settings.

  • Go to the calendar section by clicking on the calendar icon.

The calendar icon is displayed as a calendar symbol, click on it to see all the Outlook calendars presets in your account.

  • Click on “Folder” located in the menu bar.

This tab holds all your menu options and here you need to click on “Folder”

  • Now click on “Calendar properties”.
  • Under the properties panel go to “permissions”
  • Now where it says “Read” it will list four bullet points and choose one of the bottom two.

From the four listed bullet points, the top two will only show a limited amount of information to the user, however the bottom two will show a lot more information, you need to choose one of the two to share the content with users.

That’s it for this Blog — thank you for taking time out to read our content. Please feel free to email our team about how it went if you followed the steps or if you need more help with the questions we answered in this Blog.

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