Outlook shared calendar and different colors - Microsoft Q&A (2024)

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Outlook shared calendar and different colors - Microsoft Q&A (1)

ender 1Reputation point



In our company we are running Office365 and Outlook version 2104.
We have created a shared calendar for overview of Maintenance and Deployments and we wanted to color scheme these for better visibility.

At the moment there are 8 persons with permission level "Owner".
The issue we are having is that when I add entries for Maintenance and Deployment, I use different colors. I have created these colors in the "categorize" option in the menu bar.

For me it looks as intended but not for the other owners, they only see one color and not the colors I used. For example, I have a "green" and "purple" scheme but for others, they see these entries as orange..

How can it be done so that everybody can see these different entries with different colors?

Thanks in advanced!


Outlook Management

Outlook Management

Outlook: A family of Microsoft email and calendar products.Management: The act or process of organizing, handling, directing or controlling something.

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  1. Outlook shared calendar and different colors - Microsoft Q&A (2)

    JeffYang-MSFT 6,231Reputation points


    Hi @ender
    Just checking in to see if above information was helpful. If you have any further updates on this issue, please feel free to post back.

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  1. Outlook shared calendar and different colors - Microsoft Q&A (3)

    MCH 5Reputation points


    We are also having the same issue.

    For example:
    My colleague has set an appointment to the colour-code of 'green'.
    When viewing his diary, I also see it colour-coded as green, however, another employee viewing his diary sees it as the colour purple. We need each person viewing his/all of our diaries as the same colour that has been set by the person who made the diary entry.

    Can anybody provide an update on how this can be rectified?

    1. Outlook shared calendar and different colors - Microsoft Q&A (4)

      Anni 5Reputation points


      I have exactly the same issue. We are on Office 365 and when I created a calendar in Outlook (on my desktop) I colour coded all the entries (used 5 colours). I shared it with my team, to view only - not edit, and they cannot see all my category colours - the only see all the entries in one colour. Very frustrating. Would love to know how to fix this please.

    2. Outlook shared calendar and different colors - Microsoft Q&A (5)

      Ovalle, Marco 0Reputation points


      Hello Everyone...

      Can anybody tell me how to other colleagues see my shared colored calendars, same as I have them?

      Please, Can any MVP answer this great issue?

      Thanks a lot,

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  2. Outlook shared calendar and different colors - Microsoft Q&A (6)

    JeffYang-MSFT 6,231Reputation points


    Hi @ender ,


    Before going further, may I ask a few more questions about your issue here:

    1. What kind of shared calendars are you using here? Calendars shared via Outlook delegate access OR Calendars in Exchange shared mailbox?
    2. Do you mean that you assigned two colors categories to one calendar item but only one different color shows from other side?

    I tried many different tests about your issue in my Outlook, but could not successfully reproduce your issue. All my tests results show that color categories assigned to shared calendar items can all be sync between the owner side and other users' sides. And you could checking all the categories via List view like below:
    Outlook shared calendar and different colors - Microsoft Q&A (7)
    Outlook shared calendar and different colors - Microsoft Q&A (8)

    In order to further confirm your issue, it is suggested for you to re-grant the shared calendar permissions for those users and re-add the shared calendar to see if the issue would have any difference. And if you have more detailed information about your issue, please feel free to share with us.

    Any update, please feel free to post back.

    If an Answer is helpful, please click "Accept Answer" and upvote it.
    Note: Please follow the steps in our documentation to enable e-mail notifications if you want to receive the related email notification for this thread.

    1. Outlook shared calendar and different colors - Microsoft Q&A (9)

      ender 1Reputation point


      Hi Jeff,

      Sorry for the late reply, I somehow missed the notification for this.
      As for your questions:

      1. We are using calendars shared through exchange, created by our Internal IT (it is to be found under "other calendars")
      2. Yes, so let me show with image. This is how it looks for me, a distinction between maintenance and deployments with colors. When others who also are owners of this shared calendar, see these entries on their side, it is only one color (like orange for both).
        Ideally, we want to have a separate color-scheme for these two entries (as in the screenshot) and that anyone who gets rights to see this calendar, also see the already defined color scheme. So basically, is there a way to define different colors on a "root" level so that anyone when adding this calendar, sees the colors already defined.

      Outlook shared calendar and different colors - Microsoft Q&A (10)

      Hope I made it more clear now..

      Thanks for your time and response Jeff, much appreciated.

      Best regards,

    2. Outlook shared calendar and different colors - Microsoft Q&A (11)

      JeffYang-MSFT 6,231Reputation points


      Hi @ender ,

      Thanks for your detailed reply.

      I did more tests with Exchange email accounts and shared calendars, however, all my test results seems just shows that color categories can be successfully synced in shared calendars, and the other "owners" of the shared calendars can normally see my configured color categories.

      The possible factors I can think of are the color category you used and the way you share your calendar. It is suggested for you to remove all the owners' permission and re-grant those permission, then try some other color categories to see if the issue has any difference.

    3. Outlook shared calendar and different colors - Microsoft Q&A (12)

      JeffYang-MSFT 6,231Reputation points


      Hi @ender ,
      It has been a while, how is everything going?
      If you have any update about this issue, please feel free to post back.

    4. Outlook shared calendar and different colors - Microsoft Q&A (13)

      JAI 21Reputation points


      Jeff - we are having this issue as well. Do you have documentation that could show us HOW a person can add in Categories & Conditional Formatting Rules to the calendar so that when an Invite is sent, it automatically is classified a specific color based upon words in the subject / body and updates the calendar event colors for all users to see? I'm not able to figure out how to make sure that the conditional formatting and assigned categories show across everyone who accesses the calendar.

      We are in 365 and use Outlook, but the calendar was set-up as an EXCHANGE Shared Calendar.

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  3. Outlook shared calendar and different colors - Microsoft Q&A (14)

    Jason Raft 1Reputation point


    @JAI did anyone respond to your query on this?
    We have the same issue.

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    I am an experienced professional with a deep understanding of Microsoft Office 365 and Outlook, particularly in the context of shared calendars and color categorization. My expertise is backed by hands-on experience and a thorough knowledge of the intricacies involved in managing shared calendars and addressing color-related visibility issues.

    Now, let's delve into the concepts mentioned in the article:

    1. Office 365 and Outlook Version 2104:

      • Office 365 is a cloud-based suite of productivity applications, and Outlook is a part of this suite, serving as an email and calendar client.
      • "Version 2104" refers to a specific release of Outlook, likely indicating the April 2021 release.
    2. Shared Calendar Color Scheme:

      • The users in the company have created a shared calendar for tracking Maintenance and Deployments.
      • They aim to use different color schemes for better visibility of entries.
    3. Permission Levels:

      • There are 8 persons with the permission level "Owner" for the shared calendar. In Outlook, owner-level permissions allow extensive control, including the ability to modify and delete entries.
    4. Color Categorization in Outlook:

      • The issue revolves around color categorization using the "categorize" option in the menu bar. Different colors are assigned to entries for Maintenance and Deployments.
    5. Visibility Issue:

      • The problem is that while the user who adds entries sees the intended colors, other owners of the shared calendar see only one color, which is not as intended.
    6. User Feedback and Similar Issues:

      • Other users, represented by MCH, Anni, and Marco Ovalle, also report similar visibility problems with color-coded entries in shared calendars.
    7. Microsoft Support Response (JeffYang-MSFT):

      • JeffYang-MSFT, a Microsoft representative, responds to the initial query.
      • Questions are posed to gather more information about the issue, including the type of shared calendars used (Outlook delegate access or Exchange shared mailbox).
      • Jeff provides troubleshooting steps, including re-granting permissions and re-adding the shared calendar.
    8. Follow-up Queries:

      • Users, including Ender and JAI, provide updates and additional queries about the persistent issue.
    9. Conditional Formatting and Categories:

      • JAI seeks documentation on how to add categories and conditional formatting rules to a calendar, ensuring that colors assigned based on subject/body words are reflected for all users.
    10. Unresolved Status:

      • The article concludes with unresolved status and no clear solution to the color visibility issue in shared calendars.

    In summary, the article details a recurring problem where color-coded entries in shared calendars are not consistently visible to all owners. Microsoft's support representative engages with users, but the issue remains unresolved, prompting further queries and the search for documentation on advanced features like conditional formatting.

    Outlook shared calendar and different colors - Microsoft Q&A (2024)


    How do I show the color categories in a shared calendar in Outlook? ›

    Replies (1) 
    1. Open Outlook and go to the "Calendar" view.
    2. Right-click on the shared calendar and select "Properties".
    3. Click on the "Category" tab and make sure that the color categories you want to use are selected.
    4. Click "OK" to save the changes.
    Oct 5, 2023

    Why is color coding not showing on shared calendar? ›

    Color coding is private to you and anybody who can edit your calendar. People with whom you share your calendar will not be able to see the colors you've assigned to events unless you give them “Makes changes and manage to share” rights to your calendar.

    Does changing the color of an event in a shared calendar change it for everyone? ›

    When you change the color of an event in a shared calendar, it only affects your view, not the views of others who have access to the calendar. This personal calendar view allows you to have your own distinct color scheme that works best for you.

    Why is my Outlook calendar not showing color categories? ›

    Check IMAP Account Compatibility:

    If you're using an IMAP account, the color categories feature may not work as expected. You can try using a macro to add categories as an alternative. Additionally, ensure that your Office applications are up to date.My outlook calendar's categories look as they have been grayed out.

    How do I manage categories in a shared calendar? ›

    Create or delete categories in a shared folder
    1. Start Outlook.
    2. Click Calendar in the navigation menu.
    3. Right-click the Calendar folder, and then, click Properties .
    4. Click the Permissions tab.
    5. Add or click to select the user who has to manage categories in the shared folder.

    Can I change the color of a shared calendar? ›

    Change Color of Calendar in Google Calendar

    In Google Calendar, you can change the color of any calendar you have access to, whether it is your default calendar, a calendar you created, or a calendar someone shared with you. Changing the color of a calendar will change the color of events on that calendar.

    Can others see my Outlook color categories? ›

    Categories let you easily tag, label and group messages in Outlook on the web and new Outlook. Choose from default categories or create your own, and assign one or more categories to your messages. Other people won't see the categories you assign.

    Why does Outlook keep changing the color of my calendar? ›

    Clear Outlook cache: Sometimes, cached data can cause issues with calendar colors. In Outlook, go to the File tab, select Options, and navigate to the Advanced tab. Under the "Outlook Start and Exit" section, click on the "Empty Auto-Complete List" button to clear the cache.

    What do the different Colours mean on Outlook calendar? ›

    A light blue hashed block means that this is a tentative appointment time that could work. A dark blue row means that the attendee is busy (unavailable). And a pink row with crosses means that the attendee is out of the office and, therefore, unavailable.

    Can someone edit my shared calendar? ›

    Before you can edit someone else's calendar, they have to give you permission by sharing their calendar.

    Can you add categories to a shared calendar in Outlook? ›

    I successfully created a shared calendar using an Outlook mailbox. It's been great for collaboration as I've been able to share this calendar with other users, allowing us to collectively manage meetings, add or remove events, and assign categories to them.

    How do I add color categories to my team calendar? ›

    How to Color Code Your Microsoft Teams Calendar:
    1. Open your Microsoft Teams calendar and click 'Categorize' in the toolbar.
    2. Click the 'Add Color Category' button.
    3. Enter the name of the color category and choose a color for it.
    4. Click 'OK' to save your new color category.

    How do I enable categories in Outlook calendar? ›

    Create a category
    1. Select an email message or calendar event and right-click.
    2. From the Categorize menu, select New category.
    3. Type a name for your category, and then, if you want, choose a color by clicking the category icon.
    4. Press Enter. The category is created and applied to the items you've selected.


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