Managing Recurring Outlook Meetings for Departed Users in Office 365 Exchange Online

In any organization, managing personnel changes is crucial, especially when it comes to administrative tasks like maintaining Outlook calendars and meetings. One common challenge faced is handling recurring meetings scheduled by employees who have left the organization. In Office 365 Exchange Online, these meetings continue to recur unless explicitly managed, which can lead to confusion and clutter in calendars. This blog aims to guide administrators on how to effectively handle such situations.

Understanding the Issue

When an employee leaves the organization, their recurring meetings in Outlook continue indefinitely unless action is taken to cancel or delete them.

This can create confusion for current employees and waste time as they attempt to attend or manage meetings that are no longer relevant.

Solution Options If a usermailbox is not deleted:

Option 1: Delegate Access and Cancel Meetings

  • Delegate Access: Assign delegate permissions to a trusted administrator or colleague who can manage the departed user’s calendar.
  • Cancel Meetings: The delegate can access the departed user’s calendar, locate the recurring meeting series, and cancel it. Here’s how:
  • Access the Calendar: In Outlook, go to the calendar view and open the departed user’s calendar using delegate access.
  • Locate the Recurring Meeting: Find the recurring meeting series that needs to be canceled.
  • Cancel the Series: Right-click on the series and select “Cancel Meeting” or “Delete Series”. Choose whether to send cancellation notifications to attendees.
  • Confirm Cancellation: Confirm the cancellation to remove all instances of the meeting from the calendar.

Option 2: Use PowerShell Commands

For administrators comfortable with PowerShell and managing Office 365 via scripts, PowerShell commands offer a scalable solution to automate the cancellation of meetings for multiple departed users.

  • Connect to Exchange Online: Use PowerShell to connect to Exchange Online.
  • Find and Cancel Meetings: Use PowerShell cmdlets like Get-MailboxCalendarFolder and Remove-CalendarEvents to identify and cancel recurring meetings for departed users based on specific criteria.
  • Confirm Cancellation: Ensure the meetings are canceled successfully and review any notifications sent to attendees.

If usermailbox is permanently deleted

PowerShell for Permanent Deletions

For situations where the employee’s Office 365 account has been deleted for more than 30 days or restoration isn’t feasible, PowerShell offers a solution:

PowerShell Command: Use PowerShell to search and delete the meeting from all recipients’ mailboxes.

Example Script: Search for and delete email messages in your organization | Microsoft Learn

New-ComplianceSearchAction -SearchName “Remove Phishing Message” -Purge -PurgeType SoftDelete

New-ComplianceSearchAction -SearchName “Remove Phishing Message” -Purge -PurgeType HardDelete


  • A maximum of 10 items per mailbox can be removed at one time. Because the capability to search for and remove messages is intended to be an incident-response tool, this limit helps ensure that messages are quickly removed from mailboxes. This action isn’t intended to clean up user mailboxes.
  • You can remove items from a maximum of 50,000 mailboxes using a single content search. To remove items from more than 50,000 mailboxes, you’ll have to create separate content searches. For more information, see Search for and delete email messages in your Microsoft 365 organization.
  • Unindexed items aren’t removed from mailboxes when you use this switch.
  • The value of the PurgeType parameter controls how the items are removed.

Solution from GUI:

However, there is one option to delete all meetings at once if you have assigned a Defender for Plan 2 license to users in your organization.

Go to the Threat Explorer window on the security portal and search for emails using MessageID, Sender, Subject line, etc.

Once you have the results, select all emails.

Now, you have the option to choose what action you want to take: SoftDelete, HardDelete, Move to Junk, or Move to Deleted items.


Effective management of calendars and meetings in Office 365 Exchange Online is crucial for organizational efficiency and clarity. By leveraging delegate access, PowerShell automation, or utilizing shared mailboxes, administrators can efficiently handle recurring meetings for departed users, ensuring calendars remain accurate and productive workflows are maintained.

Thank you for reading! We hope this guide helps you effectively manage recurring Outlook meetings in Office 365 Exchange Online.



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