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By default, the free/busy information on a user's Exchange calendar is shared with all other Exchange and Office365 mail users. When you share your free/busy information, other users can see when you have appointments or meetings scheduled on your calendar. This can make it easier for others to schedule meetings, since they can see times that will not work because other events are scheduled.

Note that sharing free/busy information does not give others permission to view details of events on your calendar. All they will see is that you have something scheduled at a given time. The default free/busy sharing permission can be modified if you or your users don't want to share free/busy information.

If you do block others from seeing your availability, they will likely start scheduling meetings that conflict with other meetings that you may have. Due to confusion this may create, it is highly advised to leave the default free/busy permissions enabled.

Outlook 2016

  1. Click File in the top left and select Options.
  2. Click the Calendar tab on the left and click Free/Busy options under the Calendar Options section.
  3. Select "default" in the name column at the box at the top.
    Calendar properties
  4. Make sure the permission level is set to free/busy time, change this to "none"
  5. Click "OK"

NOTE: You can also add different "names" here from the list of people in your address list and set permissions for each of them. If you change the default permissions, you will now need to add permissions for people whom you work with that may need to query the free/busy information on your calendar in order to scheduled meetings.

Outlook 2016 for macOS/OS X

  1. Switch to the Calendar view by clicking on the Calendar icon in the lower left. 
  2. Right click on your Office 365/Exchange calendar under "My Calendars". This should be called UIC Exchange.
  3. Click Properties, then switch to the "Permissions" tab in the window that opens. 
  4. Click on "Default"
  5. Permissions levels can be changed by selecting a set of permissions from the drop down box "Permission Level". To block users from seeing your Free/Busy information, select "None". 
  6. Click "OK" to save changes. 

NOTE: You can also add different "names" here from the list of people in your address list and set permissions for each of them. If you change the default permissions, you will now need to add permissions for people whom you work with that may need to query the free/busy information on your calendar in order to scheduled meetings.


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