Outlook Internet calendar subscribers, bad news: Reports indicate subscription feature's best days are over

Outlook on Android
Outlook on Android (Image credit: Windows Central)

What you need to know

  • Outlook has given users the ability to subscribe to external calendars and stay up to date via synchronized online calendar perusing.
  • The ability to subscribe to external calendars and stay synced appears to be disappearing, according to multiple user reports.
  • A Microsoft support thread confirmed the feature is being deprecated.

Update October 14, 2021 at 4:20 p.m. ET: In one of the Microsoft Community threads referenced in the original article, a Microsoft employee has now stated that these calendar issues are being investigated and that "Outlook has no plans to deprecate its support for .ics/ical calendars, holidays, and professional sports team schedules."

If you're a big fan of Outlook's online, external calendar subscription feature that enables you to stay effortlessly synchronized with someone else's calendar, bad news: You'll now have to settle for calendar importation, as subscribing's best days are over.

This development came to light as a result of multiple Microsoft Community posts reporting that calendar subscriptions were no longer working as intended, which were spotted by Dirk Hoffmann (via WinFuture). Across the posts, one managed to net an actual confirmation from a Microsoft agent. It goes as follows: "It has been confirmed that the calendar can no longer be subscribed. At this point, we would recommend that you import the calendar as follows instead."

The Microsoft agent then outlined how to import a calendar, which, as one can imagine, is not what the affected users in the forum cared about.

English language Microsoft forums report the same situation, signaling that Microsoft appears to have given the subscription feature the deprecation treatment.

There's no statement on why this is happening, and outside of a Microsoft agent's confirmation, there aren't any official blog posts or news blasts indicating that it is happening in the first place, though lots of user reports are bringing that fact to light in the meantime. Whether the situation is all a big misunderstanding or something equally peculiar that results in the feature being properly re-implemented remains to be seen, but based on the currently available information, it appears Outlook calendar subscribers are out of luck.

Robert Carnevale

Robert Carnevale is the News Editor for Windows Central. He's a big fan of Kinect (it lives on in his heart), Sonic the Hedgehog, and the legendary intersection of those two titans, Sonic Free Riders. He is the author of Cold War 2395. Have a useful tip? Send it to robert.carnevale@futurenet.com.