Hiding Private appointments from Calendar views


Office for Mere Mortals
Your beginners guide to the secrets of Microsoft Office
Invalid email address
Tips and help for Word, Excel, PowerPoint and Outlook from Microsoft Office experts.  Give it a try. You can unsubscribe at any time.  Office for Mere Mortals has been running for over 20 years, we've never, ever revealed or sold subscriber details.  Privacy policy

Keep your calendar clear by hiding private appointments like reminders to take medicine.

Sometimes we have appointments or events that we want to keep private or at least hide from the regular calendar views. You can have appointments in Outlook which will pop-up reminders when necessary but not show up in your regular calendar view.

A common example of this are recurring reminders to take medicine. Once, twice or even more times each day you can get Outlook (or linked device like a phone or tablet) to remind you to take various potions or pills.

However those reminders can clutter up your calendar view like this:

Outlook%20Private%201 - Hiding Private appointments from Calendar views

Medication reminders are a great use of Outlook, here’s how to show an appointment as ‘Private’ and hide from calendar view.


Making a Private appointment

We’ll use a medication reminder for our example. Create a new recurring appointment from New | Appointment . First setup the basic details.

Outlook%20Private%202 - Hiding Private appointments from Calendar views

Subject: anything you like. Keep it short so the message shows on a small phone screen.

Start and End time: are the same.

Free/Busy: show as Free so you don’t get any conflict warning with other appointments.

Reminder: set to ‘0 minutes’ (not ‘None’) this will trigger a reminder exactly at the Start time.

Now let’s make it a daily reminder using the Recurrence button to the right of the Free/Busy and Reminder choices. This is another Office dialog that hasn’t changed much, or at all, for many years.

Outlook%20Private%203 - Hiding Private appointments from Calendar views

Recurrence pattern: Daily – every 1 day

Range of recurrence: No end date


Make Private

Finally, let’s tag this as a Private appointment. This gives us something to filter in the Calendar view.

Go to Appointment Series | Tags and click the little ‘lock’ icon.

Outlook%20Private%204 - Hiding Private appointments from Calendar views


Filter the calendar view

Finally, switch to calendar view.

Go to Calendar | View | Change View | Manage Views.

Outlook%20Private%205 - Hiding Private appointments from Calendar views

Select the view that you want to filter – for example ‘Calendar’ – click Copy to clone it and give a new name like ‘No Private Appts’.

Outlook%20Private%206 - Hiding Private appointments from Calendar views

Then click on the newly created view and choose Modify then Filter.

This is part of the process that’s way more complicated than it should be. You’d think that, having put a ‘Private’ button on the ribbon, Microsoft would make it easy to find or filter by that criterion – but no. In all the appointment Filter options available – ‘Private’ isn’t on either of the main tabs.

Outlook%20Private%207 - Hiding Private appointments from Calendar views

Go to the Advanced tab

Field: click on the pull-down list and choose ‘Sensitivity’ from the Frequently Used Fields list.

Condition: not equal to

Value: Private

Click ‘Add to List’ to have it appear in the ‘Find items that match these’ list as shown above. Click OK a few times to get back to calendar view. Select your custom view from View | Change View and lo! it’s free of clutter and medicine reminders.

Outlook%20Private%208 - Hiding Private appointments from Calendar views

Just because you can’t see the appointments in this view won’t stop them reminding you, as configured.

There you have it. A simple calendar view filtering. You can do it for other purposes, for example use Categories to tag Travel events (flights, hotels etc) then show a view with just your travel details.

subs profile e1563205311409 - Hiding Private appointments from Calendar views
Latest news & secrets of Microsoft Office

Microsoft Office experts give you tips and help for Word, Excel, PowerPoint and Outlook.

Give it a try. You can unsubscribe at any time.  Office Watch has been running for over 20 years, we've never, ever revealed or sold subscriber details.  Privacy policy
Invalid email address