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Zombie Meetings

By August 11, 2016September 11th, 2020Best Practices, Blog, Exchange, Office 365, Office 365
Appointment Recurrence Removal Screenshot

Have you ever tried to cancel a meeting series in Outlook, only to have that meeting come back the next day? An overzealous Exchange server was happy to recreate it for you, because you MUST have accidentally cancelled that series!

Now that more people are moving to Office 365 to enjoy the benefits of the latest Exchange has to offer, they are noticing mysterious side effects on their calendar. Meetings come back from the dead, and seemingly can’t be deleted. Try as you might to send a series cancellation, it just keeps coming back!

Exchange has had corruption issues with meetings and meetings series in the past. Particularly when users tried to view or modify those meetings on their phone. In an attempt to resolve these issues Microsoft introduced new features in Exchange that look for meetings that appear corrupt, and recreate them to help battle issues cause by imperfect phone interoperability.

While Microsoft’s attempts to combat issues caused by Exchange Active Sync have helped in some cases, they have made it extraordinarily difficult to cancel a simple meeting series.

But, there is a way to fix this problem! The best course of action is to remove the recurrence from the meeting series, and then either delete or cancel the original (single) meeting occurrence.

1. Click the recurrence button in the ribbon to access the recurrence options:


2. And then click “Remove Recurrence” and “Okay” to save the changes:


Outlook will warn you about modifying meetings that happen in the past, but it’s okay. Just click “OK” on the following prompts until you get the option to send an update for the meeting. This removes all meetings except the first instance of the meeting series. You can send a follow up cancellation for the original occurrence, ask users to delete it, or simply ignore it since chances are good the meeting is well in the past by the time you’re trying to delete the meeting series.
Hopefully this helps you get a few zombie meetings off your calendar!

Allison Sousa, PEI

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