If you’ve ever had problems with potential meeting attendees forwarding requests to others, we have good news. If you have the latest version of Outlook (2016 or 365) or are an Office 365 subscriber using Outlook Web App, you can prevent meeting requests from being forwarded.
Meeting the right visitors can be frustrating. You must find a time that is available to everyone. Then you need to find a free room. Then hope that attendees don’t forward the meeting invitation to someone else who doesn’t need to be present, or worse, forward the meeting to a subordinate to attend instead. We can’t force people to be free, and we can’t mask you in a meeting room, but if you’re using Outlook, we can show you how to prevent your meeting requests from being forwarded. Let’s take a look.
Update : One of our readers brought to our attention that this method is only available in the Windows version of Outlook, and not in the macOS version. Thanks for pointing this out, Floris!
Prevent request forwarding in Outlook or Outlook Web App
To stop sending a meeting request, just click one option before sending the request.
In the full Outlook client with the meeting invitation open, click the Meeting tab. Click the Answer Option button, and then click the Allow Forwarding button in the drop-down list to turn it off (it’s on by default).
In Outlook Web App, make sure you have a meeting request open and that at least one attendee has been added. Click the «Participants» gear and then click «Allow Forwarding» to disable it for this meeting.
Unfortunately, the «Allow Forwarding» option is disabled by default. You must turn it off every time you create a new request.
So what happens if someone tries to forward my meeting request?
When someone tries to forward a message for which you have disabled the «Allow Forwarding» option, three things can happen:
If your attendee is using the same version of Outlook as you (and if they work for the same company, chances are they are), they won’t be given the option to forward the meeting request.
If they are using an older version of Outlook, they will be able to redirect the meeting request, but Microsoft Exchange will block delivery and send an «undeliverable» message to your attendee.
If they use a non-Microsoft email system such as Gmail, they will be able to forward the meeting request without any restrictions. This is because third-party systems are not required to respect Microsoft’s «do not forward» flag. In the future, maybe they’ll start respecting it (often it’s a «you scratch my back and I’ll scratch mine» situation where someone like Google wants Outlook to respect a Gmail-specific flag, so the deal is done), but also it is quite possible that no system other than Outlook will ever honor this flag.
However, as long as you make appointments with people in your organization, this should work just fine.