Ask the Expert

Keeping Microsoft Outlook calendar appointments private

Is there a way to share Outlook calendars for certain users in a limited way? For example, they would only see the reserved dates and times, but not any specifics of the events? We have Windows Small Business Server 2003 with Outlook 2003 clients.

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In Outlook 2000 and Outlook 2003, you can mark an appointment as private. The time will be blocked out on the calendar but only the owner would be able to see the details of any appointments marked private.

Follow these steps:

  1. Create an appointment.
  2. Before saving and closing, select the "Private" checkbox in the far right bottom corner; or right click the appointment and select private from the dropdown menu.

There are other issues when you use Outlook Web Access (OWA):

  1. Appointments marked "private" with Outlook 2003 are not visible using OWA, even to the owner of the Exchange mailbox.
  2. It does not seem possible to mark an appointment as "private" using OWA.

—Jean Luc D.


Another option is to use third-party software called Plus Pack 2003 for Outlook Web Access from Messageware. It enhances OWA closer to Outlook providing private appointments and more.
—Patricia Guerrero, Clients and Mobility expert

Do you have comments on this Ask the Expert Q&A? Let us know.

Related information from

  • Reference Guide: Managing Microsoft Outlook and Exchange calendars
  • Reference Center: Microsoft Outlook calendar management resources
  • This was first published in September 2005

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