Skip to main content

IT@Cornell


Free/Busy Settings in Office 365 Calendar

With Office 365 calendar, people can schedule you for meetings using what's called your "free/busy" times.

Your free/busy times are shown when someone invites you to a meeting they are scheduling. The meeting proposer can see your free/busy times in the Scheduling Assistant. 

A color-coded grid shows this information:

  • Tentative - something is scheduled on your calendar, but it's okay to schedule another meeting then.
  • Busy - something is scheduled on your calendar.
  • Out of Office - you've blocked time on your calendar and tagged it as "Out of Office."
  • No information - your calendar information is not available.

Free/Busy grid in Outlook Web Access Premium (Windows IE)

If you're happy providing this level of information to other calendar users, you don't need to take any steps. Your Office 365 calendar comes set up this way.

If you would like everyone, or just some people, to see more details about your Office 365 calendar, you have a few options.

  1. You can adjust your free/busy settings (see below).
  2. You can share your calendar, so other people can open it just like they can open their own calendar.
  3. You can delegate your calendar, so other people can manage it just like you can.

Adjust Your Free/Busy Settings

You can adjust your free/busy settings using Outlook for Windows or Mac. These options are not available in Outlook Web App (OWA) or Apple's Calendar application. The setting recommended below will let everyone see the subject and location of the items on your calendar (instead of just the start and end times). Your private items will still be private.

If you don't normally use Outlook, you can use either one just once just to adjust these settings. Your changes will be stored on the Office 365 system. The IT Service Desk has a computer you can use to adjust these settings.

This affects only what people see when they use the Scheduling Assistant in Outlook when proposing a meeting. It does not allow everyone to open your calendar and browse it.

For Outlook 2013 (Windows): Go to Outlook 2013's Sharing Your Calendar with Everyone at Cornell.

  • In Step 6, for the Permission Level, choose Free/Busy time, subject, location.

For Outlook 2010 (Windows): Go to Outlook 2010's Sharing Your Calendar with Everyone at Cornell.

  • In Step 6, for the Permission Level, choose Free/Busy time, subject, location.

For Outlook 2011 for Mac: Go to Outlook 2011 for Mac's Sharing Your Calendar with Everyone at Cornell.

  • In Step 6, for the Permission Level, choose Free/Busy time, subject, location.