How to Use 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 other people, even if they don’t use Outlook as their primary calendar.

What is a VCS file?

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

Some other email applications also support VCS files, which also makes it possible to exchange files with people who do not 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 any date on the calendar and select “New Appointment” to create a new entry.

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

save and close

Double-click on the calendar entry to open it.

double click on the calendar entry

Click on “File”.

click on file

In the sidebar on the left, click on “Save as”.

save as

At the bottom right of the “Save as type” drop-down menu, select “Format vCalendar” and click “Save”.

insert vcalendar file

How to send vCalendar files by email

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 doesn’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

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

insert vcalendar file

Click “Send” to send the email normally.

How to import vCalendar files

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

click on file

In the sidebar on the left, click on “Open and export”.

open and export

Click on “Open Calendar”.

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

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

click on file then open

Click “Copy to my calendar” to add the vCalendar file to your main Outlook calendar.

Confirm the addition by clicking the “Yes” button in the pop-up window.

You can now create your own vCalendar files to share between platforms. You can also send them and import them into 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 coworkers are using.

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