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Using VCalendar files in Outlook

A Microsoft Outlook application logo

Microsoft Outlook uses vCalendar files to exchange meeting and appointment information with others in your home or organization. With vCalendar files, you can easily schedule appointments with others, even if they don’t use Outlook as their primary calendar.

What is a VCS file?

With a vCalendar file, which has a .vcs file extension, you can exchange calendar events with other people. You can save an Outlook calendar event in a VCS file and send it to someone to share that event details, even if the recipient is outside your organization.

Some other email applications also support VCS files, so this also works to exchange files with people who don̵

7;t use Outlook.

How to Create vCalendar Files

Click the “Outlook Calendar” icon at the bottom left of the screen to open your calendar.

Right-click on a date in the calendar and select “New Appointment” to create a new entry.

Add the appointment information, including the date, time and any relevant details. Click on “Save and Close” to add the item to your calendar.

Save and Close

Double-click the calendar entry to open it.

double click on calendar entry

Click on ‘File’.

click on file

Click ‘Save As’ in the sidebar on the left.

Save as

At the bottom to the right of the ‘Save as type’ dropdown, select ‘vCalendar format’ and click ‘Save’.

insert vcalendar file

How to Email vCalendar Files

In Outlook, click the “New Email” icon at the top left to send a new email. Address it as you normally would, with a recipient, a subject line, and any relevant information in the body of the email.

new email icon

In the “Insert” tab, click “Attach File” to add the vCalendar file.

In my case, the file didn’t show up in the drop-down menu, so I click ‘Browse this PC’ at the bottom of the list. In most cases, especially if you just created the file, it should appear at the top of the list.

browse this pc

Locate the vCalendar file and click to select it. Click on “Insert” at the bottom to add it to the email.

insert vcalendar file

Click “Send” to send the email as usual.

How to Import vCalendar Files

In Outlook, click “File” to import a VCS file.

click on file

Click ‘Open and export’ in the sidebar on the left.

open and export

Click on ‘Open calendar’.

Navigate to where you saved the vCalendar file. If you can’t find it, check the format options at the bottom and make sure you have “vCalendar format” selected.

Click on the file to select it and press the “Open” button at the bottom.

click on file and open

Click “Copy to My Calendar” to add the vCalendar file to your primary Outlook calendar.

Confirm the addition by clicking the “Yes” button in the popup.

You can now create your own vCalendar files to share across platforms. You can also send and import them to your Outlook calendar. Once you get used to using vCalendar files, you will find that they are incredibly useful for staying organized no matter what platform you and your colleagues use.

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