Posted on 15 July 2021

Top Tip Thursday: Learn how to respond to meeting invitations in Microsoft Outlook

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When accepting a meeting invitation in Microsoft Outlook you have a few options. You can either choose ‘Send a response’ or ‘Do not send a response’.

Whilst many of us may think choosing ‘Do not send a response’ is the best thing to do to make sure the organiser won’t be inundated with emails; in most situations this can actually create more work for the organiser.

If you choose ‘Do not send a response’, the meeting will only appear in your Outlook calendar and no response will be sent to the organiser.

The organiser can only see your response if you click ‘Send a Response’. This allows the organise to track responses to the invite using the Tracking tab in the meeting planner.

How to send back a response

If a colleague sends you a meeting invitation in Outlook, you will need to reply. Follow these four steps to do so:

  1. Double-click the invitation in your Inbox to open it.
  2. In the Respond section on the Meeting tab, choose whether to ‘Accept’, ‘Decline’, accept as ‘Tentative’, or ‘Propose a New Time’ for the meeting.
  3. After you have made your decision, select ‘Send the Response Now’ to send your response to the meeting organiser.
  4. Now the meeting will appear on your calendar and the organiser will receive an email update detailing your response.

What responses can you choose from?

  • Accept: this means you can attend, and Outlook will put the meeting in your calendar.
  • Decline: this means you cannot attend, and Outlook will not put the meeting in your calendar.
  • Tentative: this means you are unsure whether you will be able to attend. The meeting will still appear on your calendar, just as tentative.
  • Propose New Time: If you chose this option, you can use the scheduling window to suggest a new meeting time to the organiser – this will also appear as Tentative in your calendar.


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