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“As the meeting organizer, you do not need to respond to the meeting”

There is no great troubleshooting involved in fixing this but thought I would share it coz it gave me some real hard time.

Issue: Some users getting the message in Outlook while trying to respond to a meeting when they are just attendees and not the organizer of the meeting

“As the meeting organizer, you do not need to respond to the meeting”

First logical troubleshooting was to check the same meeting in OWA and was surprised to see the same message displayed. Everyone tend to follow the logic that “If the issue can be replicated in OWA, then it is a server error and not client issue”.

I can tell you – That aint right and you know why!!!

When Outlook is configured for a user, data isn’t downloaded from server to client ONLY. Outlook sync with the server and uploads some information back – Like OOF settings, Outlook rules and god knows what not.

So, the point is if there are some Outlook addin’s which are not tested and approved by the IT team in your company or which are “not recommended” in any corporate environment the user in question is bound to have problems.

In my case this is what happened. To resolve this issue, Exchange folks Moved mailbox, Disabled and re-enabled the user, Updated Outlook from 2003 to 2007 etc. Nothing worked.

This is what I noticed:

I configured the user mailbox in a different machine and opened one of the affected Meeting requests. Surprisingly the meeting status showed as “Searching for meeting update” and immediately came back stating “Approve, Reject”.

Then I flipped back at the same meeting invite in the user’s machine and waited for about 2-3 minutes and re-opened Outlook and there we go – The error is no more. It came up with “Approve, Reject”. I could replicate the same behavior for all affected Meeting invites.

So, I had the helpdesk uninstall Outlook and ensured there are no traces of outlook in the machine and re-installed a different build of Outlook than what was previously installed on the client.

Issue resolved.

Ratish Nair
MVP Exchange
Team@ MSExchangeGuru

8 Responses to ““As the meeting organizer, you do not need to respond to the meeting””

  1. Anupam Says:


    We recently encountered the exact same problem @EMC but we drilled down the problem to all the affected users having an iOS device(iPad or Iphone) which syncs with their exchange calendar & in our case even configuring outlook on a different machine was not helping .. so we had to remove the iphone from the users profile & then configure Outlook which fixed it .. did u experience any such issues in particular with iOS .

  2. Ratish Sekhar Says:

    Makes sense… Its about a user profile pushing corruption to the store level which causes it…
    So, I think your step holds good… removing the device partnership will remove the traces of the device from the server and force the device to download data again… So yes corrupted mobile partnership can be a cause for this behavior. We dont have a lotta documentation surrounding this issue on MS kb’s…

    I would also look for events 10xx- Source MSExchange ActiveSync on the internet facing CAS servers and backend Mailbox servers to see if we have any users mobile devices hitting the server hard.

    Thank you Anupam.

  3. Franc Says:


    we have something that looks like this but is different still.

    A secretary has to take care of the calendars of user A and user B.
    She plans a meeting as User A and invites user B.
    When she wants to Accept the meeting request from user A to user B, she gets the “As the meeting organiser, you do not need to respond to the meeting” message. This is done often but she doens’t get the “error” message from all meeting requests.

    any ideas on this?



  4. steelyeyedlogicman Says:

    For Franc,
    You need to have her SEND AS user a when she sends the meeting, and then SEND AS user B for the response. Set her as a DELEGATE for them to recieve the messages from them, or just give her the rights to their box and calendar, add send as permission, and delgation, and then have her use only their calendars to make the changes.

    First, I think you should add a Group to your AD and Exchange (both security and mail group, so you’ll need to set that yourself); Then you add her to the security group, grant her the access through the group, so it doesn’t open up a second box in her outlook, and then you can apply her to delegate settings using her own email (mail groups are iffy at best with this one and I doubt it will utilize a security group). Add her to the Send As permission by whatever group possible, or by her own email.
    Wait 2-24 hours for it all to take effect.

    By adding the send as, you can have her send the meeting requests as either one, and send the responses as either one; by adding full control of the box, she now has calendar permissions, and can access it right from those calendars by opening them as shared calendars; they do not show up as extra mailboxes because you add her control by a security group, not a single user; To top it all off, you can set them to forward to her by delegation and she can respond as a delegate, from her box, through their send folder.
    She can pick how she wants it to work for her, and that way, she can even make sure they don’t delete certain meetings. If you set permissions for their calendar processing in the shell, and give them the ability to edit all theirs, but only delete their own (the ones they organize themselves), she can set up appointments that only she can delete. If you’d rather they have the capability to delete them from their own calendar, that’s up to you. Personally, I chose the Send AS route, because it allows them to send the cancelation to any attendees if person A decides he’s busy at the time the secretary set the meeting.

  5. steelyeyedlogicman Says:

    The Three levels of Permission:
    Delegate—–>I can make decisions on behalf of somebody else, if the box is checked, I get meeting requests and tasks sent to my box and I can accept, reject, or propose new times on behalf of somebody else, without affecting my own mailbox.
    Send AS——>I can send requests, emails, and responses as somebody else, without any access to their mailbox. The system sees places anything I send in that user’s Sent items box, and sees anything sent in this manner as coming from them. Meetings and appointments, no matter where they are placed will get sent as this person if I set this in my default; I can select the FROM part of the dialogue box for meeting requests and emails, along with tasks I send, in order to have responses to these go to the person I impersonate.
    Access Rights (full control is the assumption;)—–>Two ways:
    Method 1—>by user; Their box is added to my outlook file when I use the Client program on my computer. I can open their mailbox, get their mail, see their calendar, all exactly as my own appears. After this is processed into the server, when I first open outlook, it is added for me. However, I do not necessarily have the ability to accept everything for them without error… It will go to my primary identity if I’m not careful.
    Method 2—->by group (AD security group); Similar to method one, but it doesn’t add their box to my outlook automatically. I can open it myself If I wish and have the ability to create a secondary file for the information, to keep from contaminating my own identity. Using the secondary file allows me to act as if I had full control, and I can accept for them without error using that new file linkage.

    In order to get the proper results, you should mix the controls listed. For Calendaring, you often need all three to be set in varying ways. Access rights may need to be adjusted, or limited to the calendar folder only, and the others should be applied to single users.

  6. steelyeyedlogicman Says:

    For meeting request purposes you should see SEND AS and Delegate permissions as opposite ends of the chain. Send as to send the request, and delegate to respond.

  7. steelyeyedlogicman Says:

    If you have them forward meetings to her, then she gets an error that she organized and requested a meeting, and was turned also into a recipient. DO NOT AUTOFORWARD MEETING REQUESTS TO ANYBODY if you want them to respond normally. You can use a REDIRECT to add recipients, as well as a forward, but if you use a redirect, the response goes straight through to the organizer. If you want somebody to be able to accept on your behalf, DELEGATE and have EXCHANGE SERVER forward to them (a checkbox near delegate permissions forwards to them without making them a recipient, and temporarily uses your send box and ID to respond, if they delete it, it falls to you to make the choice, if they deny, it rejects, and if they accept it goes to your calendar).

    Don’t be a forwarder\hater; be a delegator.

  8. steelyeyedlogicman Says:

    I hope it all helps.

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