Family calendar frustration

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I want to share a calendar with my immediate family, for access with Windows 10 and Android Outlook apps. I have tried the Outlook.com family calendar but haven’t got it to work properly, despite hours of trying. I think it possibly worked first time I set it up but having added family members, and possibly added members to the family account in different accounts, I have ended up with multiple family calendars and none of them work.

An example frustration is that the family members must only be added via one member’s account. You can end up unable to add a member because Outlook says they are a member of another family, but there’s no way of determining which family that is.

Also, there is a known issue that Outlook 2016 (desktop) does not support Outlook.com shared calendars. So you can’t edit a family calendar with Outlook desktop. (I am surprised they have not fixed this as it seems fundamental to a family situation where students use Office 365).

Should I persevere with Outlook.com family calendars or is there a better solution?

Comments (4)

4 responses to “Family calendar frustration”

  1. jwpear

    Are you using the recently introduced Family calendar or did you create and share your own "Family" calendar. I went the route of creating my own family calendar with Live/Outlook.com years before they introduced it as a first class feature of Outlook.com. I haven't had any problems sharing my original family calendar with the folks in my immediate family. Haven't had a need to share beyond that. They're able to edit just fine.


    The new Family calendar feature threw us for a loop when it was first introduced. It just appeared and was named the same as the one I created and shared manually. As such, my wife started putting appointments on it. I was using the other family calendar, so we were confused by missing appointments and other events. Finally figured out that she was seeing the one MS created in such a helpful manner. I renamed it "Do Not Use" since it seems you cannot get rid of it. We're sticking with the original family calendar I created because it was already working perfectly for us.

    • davida

      In reply to jwpear: I'm trying to use the recently introduced Family calendar.
      I'm interested that you set up your owned shared calendar. How did you do that in Outlook.com?
      Regarding deleting Microsoft's Family Calendar, their notes say that the calendar should be automatically deleted when all family members are removed from a family account. This didn't seem to work for me though.
      I wish I could have a good route of support for Outlook.com. I wouldn't mind being a beta tester if that were possible. It is hard to report problems effectively to Microsoft.


      • Breaker119

        In reply to davida:
        Set up your own shared calendar - when Outlook.com first came about I set up a new account just for the family stuff and then shared that out. I have since moved on from that and deleted all of my extra calendars (had a family room one from Windows Phone, a shared one from a dedicated family account, and then the new Family calendar automatically created in conjunction with account.microsoft.com/familiy)
        Deleting MS Family Calendar - I also can't recommend that. What I do recommend though is getting your family accounts in order. It is incredibly helpful particularly if you have kids. I manage all of there privacy settings, screen time management, app restrictions, etc. from there. I don't know what I'm going to do when their Lumia 640s die and I have to move them to Android - having control over the sites and apps they can use is imperative to me.
        Sharing a Calendar from Outlook.com - from your own Outlook.com account have you tried just adding a new calendar (on the ribbon click the Add Calendar option and choose Secondary Calendar). That calendar will be added to the left hand navigation. Right click on it and choose 'Sharing permissions'

        Hope this helps some...


  2. AnOldAmigaUser

    As others have done, I created a family calendar long ago as part of a group (no longer supported) and shared it, so that is what we use. It appears that you can create a secondary calendar, and just share it with the people you want to be able to use it. You might need to send separate invitations for those that can view and those who can edit, but that should work just fine.


    The Family calendar is part of the Family feature of your account, and there are several issues with that. The one that I have recently run into, is that there are only Children and Adults, and all Adults get to see the activity reports for the Children. The issue is that Children grow up, and at the point they are going off to college (and as far as I am concerned, once they juniors or seniors in high school) they need to be changed to Adult status. I have not found a way to do that. Neither have I found a way to add an adult that does not get access to activity reports for the remaining children.

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