Change the default Calendar folder

When I switch to the Calendar Navigation (CTRL+2), I see multiple Calendars listed for the various accounts that I have.

However, new meeting requests which I receive do not always get added to the Calendar of that account.

For instance, meeting requests I receive for my personal POP3 account get added the Calendar folder of my Exchange account from work.

How can I set the default Calendar to be the one of my POP3 Calendar?

Default Calendar buttonThe default Calendar folder in Outlook is the Calendar folder that is located within your default mailbox data file. This doesn’t always have to be the same as your default mail account.

When you receive a new meeting request, Outlook will use that Calendar to create the item in even when you received the invite message via a different account.

Of course, Outlook wouldn’t be Outlook if there weren’t any exceptions and limitations to that behavior, but (luckily) also a few workarounds.

Verify or change the default mailbox data file

Default Data File buttonTo determine which mailbox data file is currently set as the default within Outlook, use the Data Files tab in Account Settings.

  • Outlook 2007 and previous
    File-> Data File Management…
  • Outlook 2010 / 2013 / 2016 / 2019 / 2021 / Microsoft 365
    File-> Account Settings-> Account Settings…-> tab Data Files

To change the default data file, select it and press the “Set as Default” button. If you have selected a data file which can be set as the default, Outlook will now inform you to restart Outlook.

Account Settings - Data Files - pst-file - Set as Default

Extra tip: If you are not sure which data file your Calendar resides in, select the Calendar in the Calendar Navigation (CTRL+2) and then switch to the Folder List Navigation (CTRL+6).

Calendars within Exchange accounts

Exchange account buttonWhen you have added an Exchange account to your mail profile, then this mailbox data file will get set as the default and you might not be able to change that.

When you have multiple Exchange accounts configured in Outlook or have added additional Exchange mailboxes, then each account or mailbox will use its own Calendar folder as the default Calendar. This will prevent them from getting mixed up.

Calendars within accounts Account buttonSimilar to Exchange accounts, accounts will use their own Calendar folder as the default for processing anything Calendar related.

Calendars within IMAP and POP3 accounts

IMAP / POP3 Account buttonIMAP and POP3 accounts will use the Calendar folder which resides in the default mailbox data file as the default Calendar.

This is also the case even when you have assigned the POP3 account a data file (pst-file) of its own and created a Calendar folder in there.


  • You have an Exchange, POP3 and IMAP account configured in Outlook. In this case, the Calendar folder of the Exchange account will be used by all 3 accounts.
  • You have an POP3 account and IMAP account configured in Outlook with the mailbox data file of the POP3 account set as the default. In this case, the Calendar folder of the POP3 account will be used by both accounts.

This behavior can’t be changed. If you need to keep these Calendars separate, then you either need to manually move the items which get added to the wrong Calendar or set up separate mail profiles.

iCloud Calendars

iCloud buttonWhen you are using Apple’s iCloud add-in for Outlook, you can set the iCloud mailbox data file as the default in Outlook. However, this hasn’t been proven as a stable configuration as it crashes Outlook in some cases and has various other limitations.

If you want to use the iCloud Calendar as the default Calendar folder so that you can also have your appointments available on your iPhone or iPad, it would be better to use an add-in to sync your current Calendar to the iCloud Calendar. An add-in which can do this for free is: Code Two Sync for iCloud.

Internet Calendars

Internet Calendar buttonAn Internet Calendar can’t be set as the default Calendar in Outlook.

They are either being added in a special pst-file which only contains Internet Calendars or they are being added as an additional Calendar folder within the mailbox it has been added to.

Merge Calendars into a single one

Button - Calendar Overlay ModeEven when your Calendar items are spread out over more Calendars, it is still easy to get a single aggregated view of your Calendars by using the Overlay feature.

This feature is discussed in greater details in: Combine and sync Outlook Calendars