Outlook appointments arrive as attachments instead of appointments

Posted on 2009-02-13
Last Modified: 2013-12-12
I have a user who routinely sends Outlook calendar appointments (Outlook 2003) to other users within the company.  Just recently (probably after a Microsoft update), her appointments started arriving as attachments rather than actual appointments that others can accept or decline.  

In the attached version, the buttons labeld "Accept", "Tentative", "Decline", and "Propose New Time" are grayed out.  In fact, all options under the "Action" menu are grayed out except "New Appointment".

I've looked under Tools > Options and nothing there seems to have any affect on it.

Anyone seen this before and know what's causing it?
Question by:Around_the_World
    LVL 47

    Expert Comment

    Check that the user has the latest SP installed:

    Is this PC syncing with any devices?

    Is Antivirus is being used, if so, temp. diable it and see if they still arrive the same way.

    Can also try closing Outlook and opening using
    Start>Run>Outlook.exe /safe

    If it doesnt happen here its likely an add-in is causing this problem.

    If it still happens try
    Start>Run>Outlook.exe /cleanprofile

    Author Comment

    It sounds like running /cleanprofile might be what I need to do, but is that going to create a whole new profile?  If I do that, how do I restore all of the current user's inbox, calendar, etc.?  This is a critical user and I can't take a chance of creating more problems than I'm solving.
    LVL 47

    Expert Comment

    Wont have to restore anything running /cleanprofile

    Those settings will be retained.


    Author Comment

    I did try the /cleanprofile switch and it did not resolve the problem.  I'm still looking for a solution.  I have found no other mention of this problem, either on here or by Google searching.  But surely this is a problem others have encountered.  We have two users in our office who both have this same problem.

    Accepted Solution

    UPDATE:  I think we've found what is causing the problem, if not the why (yet).  We're using a third party software called Policy Patrol on our Exchange mail server.  We have most users on an Exchange account, but some who are using a POP3 account.  

    Those using a POP3 account have the problem.  Of those, apparently only two ever send meeting invites.  We tested this theory by having one other user with a POP3 account send a meeting invite and it also showed up as an email with the calendar appointment as an attachment.  

    We then disabled Policy Patrol and all three were able to send meeting invites that showed up as they were supposed to, not emails with attachments.  

    Hope this helps anyone else who encounters this problem in the future.

    Expert Comment

    I had the same problem with very little luck finding anything about it online.  Turns out our 3rd party spam filter was adding text at the bottom of each email which apparently messes up the formatting of the iCal message.  I turned off that option with our filter provider and it started working.

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