Respond to Outlook Meeting Invitations

When you are invited to a meeting, Outlook does the following two things:

  • Put a tentative meeting in your calendar (the tentative status is indicated by a stripe bar on the left hand of the meeting)
  • Sends an invitation email to your mailbox

You can respond to the meeting requests by selecting one of the four options from either calendar or the invitation email:

Accept, Tentative, Decline, Propose New Time.

  • If you accept the meeting invitation, the meeting will no longer be tentative in your calendar but appear as a regular meeting (indicated by a solid line on the right hand side of the meeting).
  • If you decline the meeting invitation, the meeting will be removed from your calendar.

What happens when you don’t respond to a meeting invitation?

  • If you don’t respond to the meeting invitation but keep the email invitation in your mailbox, the meeting will continue showing as tentative and the tracking status indicate that you have not responded.
  • If you don’t respond to the meeting invitation but delete the email invitation from your mailbox, the meeting is removed from you calendar as if you have declined the meeting.

It is highly recommended that you respond to a meeting invitation before you delete it from your mailbox.

How to retrieve a deleted meeting request

If you have not purged Deleted Items folder in your mailbox, go to that folder and find the meeting invitation, then click “Accept” button in the message, the meeting will be placed back in your calendar again.

If you have purged Deleted Items folder within ten days or so, go to “Tools” in the menu bar, select “Recover Deleted Items…” option, from there first restore the deleted meeting invitation, then click “accept” in the message after it’s recovered.

If meeting invitations are no longer recoverable, you have to set up the meeting manually in your calendar. Please note, since the meeting you set up is not linked to the original meeting, you won’t be able to receive any updates or cancellation notice.