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Removing Cancelled Future Appointments in Microsoft Outlook 2007: Tip #18

written by: Mojave Media Group•edited by: Linda Richter•updated: 1/28/2009

How to delete all future instances of a recurring appointment in the outlook 2007 calendar while preserving historic meetings.

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    Deleting Future Recurring Events

    Outlook 2007, like previous versions, offer the ability to create recurring appointments in your calendar. An example of such an appointment might be someone's birthday or a weekly sales meeting that occurs at the same time each week. The granularity available in configuring appointment recurrence should cover almost every likely schedule for a regularly recurring event. Figure 1 shows the window for adding recurrence to an appointment.

    Sometimes a recurring meeting is canceled. Or perhaps the user changes departments and no longer attends the weekly sales meetings. If you try to delete a meeting that is part of a recurring series, a prompt asks you whether you want to delete this single occurrence or the entire series. There is no option to remove all future meetings in this appointment series while leaving the historical items in the calendar.

    The simplest way to do this is to select a meeting in this series and double click. A prompt will ask if you want to open this occurrence or the entire series. You want to select the entire series here. Click on the Recurrence button in the Message tab of the ribbon. This will open the window as shown again in Figure 1. Here we just need to change the ending date of the series to the date of the last appointment you want saved.

    Sometimes in a standard recurring appointment, you add exceptions. Exceptions to not fit in the normal recurring schedule, but are still part of the series. Outlook keeps an exception list which references the base time of the recurrence. If you change the end date of the recurring series the exceptions get recalculated and no longer reflect the desired schedule. If you need to remove future recurring appointments in a series AND keep the exceptions, then the process is a little more challenging.

    You can create a separate temporary calendar in Outlook. Then find the recurring appointment in your main calendar and drag and drop it into the temporary one. You need to then export the temporary calender to a .csv file. A .csv file is a text file using Comma Separated Values (CSV). You can open this file in Excel if you need to make any changes or to ensure the calendar was exported fully. When you import the .csv back into the temporary calendar in Outlook, the recurring items are converted to stand-alone appointments and you can then delete the specific appointments you do not need any longer. Finally, drag and drop the appointments you want to retain back into the primary calendar.

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    Figure1 - Appointment RecurrenceFigure2 - Confirm Delete - Occurrence or Series