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How To Restrict Calendar Availability In Exchange?

Aftab Alam
Aftab Alam Published On - 21 Jun 2019

Microsoft Outlook has a significant number of features which are immensely helpful in streamlining business activities. One such feature is Outlook Calendar, where you can plan your activities, schedule your meetings, fix the deadlines, and manage the events. And the Free/Busy status of the Exchange Calendar can be shared with all the users to see so that they can plan their activities based on your plans.

For example, if you are in a meeting at 3 PM – 4 PM slot, then the other user will see that, and they can plan their meeting after watching your status. However, users cannot see the details of your events. They will only get to know that you have are busy at that time. You can choose to modify the free/busy status permission for other users and stop other users from getting your scheduled appointments.

Here is how you can restrict users from getting your calendar.

Outlook 2010

  1. Start the Outlook. Go to the ‘Calendar’ option on the left. Right-click the calendar and select Properties option.
  2. Go to the Permissions.
  3. Go to the default permission option and change the permission level from ‘Free/Busy time’ to ‘None.’

Outlook 2016

  1. Start Outlook and click the File tab.
  2. Start Outlook

  3. Click ‘Options.’
  4. Click Options

  5. Click the Free/Busy Options button under the Calendar Options.
  6. Click  Free/Busy Options

  7. In the Permissions tab, select the name for the permission level.
  8. Select the name for the permission level

  9. Select the Free/Busy time permission level from the drop-down.
  10. Select the Free/Busy time

  11. Select the None option for ‘Read’ category. Finally, click, OK.
  12. Select the None option

Now, the other users cannot see your Free/Busy status on the Exchange Calendar.

If you attend meetings regularly and schedule the meetings at the calendar, then these are recurring meetings, and you can also choose to hide its information from the other users also. Follow the steps below;

  1. Click the View tab, then click View Settings option. It will open the Advanced View Settings wizard.
  2. Check Settings

  3. Click the Filter button.
  4. Click Filter Button

  5. Now Follow Advanced>>Field>>All Appointment Fields>>Recurring.
  6. Click on advance tab

  7. Go to Conditioner tab and select ‘equals’ from the drop-down.
  8. Go to Conditioner tab and select ‘equals'

  9. Select No from the value drop-down.
  10. Select 'No' in 'Value'

  11. Click the Add List button to add the Recurring field to the filter.
  12. Click add List button to add the Recurring field

  13. Click the OK button.
  14. Click OK button

Now other users will not see your recurring meeting schedules, and you can change the permission level again to allow the users to get your calendar status.

But many times, when the users try to access a shared calendar, they get different kind of errors based on the issue. Some of the errors are following;

"Microsoft Outlook Sorry, we're having trouble opening this item. This could be temporary, but if you see it again, you might want to restart Outlook. Network problems are preventing connection to Microsoft Exchange."
"Microsoft Outlook Cannot save free/busy information. We can't complete this because we can't contact the server right now. Please try again later."
"Could not read the Calendar. Network Problems are preventing connection to Microsoft Exchange."
"Microsoft Outlook We can't complete this because we can't contact the server right now. Please try again later."

If you are facing any of the errors mentioned above, then you can rectify them using the following procedure –

  1. Open Outlook and follow File >> Account Settings >> Account Settings.
  2. Select the Exchange Account and click Change.
  3. Click More Settings and go to Advanced tab.
  4. Choose the option ‘Download Shared Folders.’
  5. Click OK.

Now the Outlook will automatically download the shared folder, including the shared calendar.

Final Words

Exchange Calendar saves crucial information about upcoming meetings, project deadlines, and events. Sometimes there is a need to backup Exchange data, including calendars. While taking a backup, the user should keep in mind to save the calendar in a protected manner so that the details are not either deleted or changed. So, you require a backup tool which can keep the calendar exclusively. Kernel Exchange Backup & Restore software is a special tool which performs such actions. It takes a backup of Exchange data in a PST file and allows to restore the PST file to an Exchange mailbox. Also, there is a separate filter option to select the calendar items, and so its data can be saved to a PST file.