No Outlook Reminders

We have very busy work and personal lives, which can easily involve several meetings in the span of one week.  Outlook reminders serve an important role in helping to manage scheduled appointments and meetings.  Although, it’s not sufficient to have a slot on the calendar for that demo scheduled next week with a software vendor.    This is where Reminders come to the rescue of human memory shortcomings.  A reminder will popup and say  “your demo session with Vendor X starts in 15 minutes”.  That’s not what it actually says, but you get the point.

Recently, I received a request from someone to have reminders disabled for all calendar items.  Personally, I couldn’t survive without having reminders for upcoming events, but to each her own.  This is a very simple request to fulfill, right?  Just go into Outlook and click File > Options > Calendar Options to uncheck Default Reminders.  After performing these steps, calendar reminders should be disabled…at least I thought.  After making this change, reminders were still enabled by default.

To determine why reminders were still enabled on meeting invites, we have to turn our attention to the mailbox settings in Exchange.  Specifically, we must examine the properties of the mailbox in the Exchange Management shell (EMS) to get the answer.  Since the EMS is technically Powershell just customized with a different look and loaded with Exchange cmdlets, we can use it to get the properties and methods of any object.  Naturally, one would think that a mailbox object would contain a property which contains settings for calendar reminders.  Let’s see.  In the EMS, I will run the following command to see the properties of my mailbox:

Get-Mailbox -Identity Burrs | Get-Member

The output of this command consists of a long list of properties, however the only calendar related items are:

Hmmm…not exactly what we are looking for.

If the Reminder settings are not configured by a property on the Get-Mailbox cmdlet, we must determine where that setting exists.  Let’s check in the EMS by searching for any cmdlets that are related to Calendar configuration. The following search query will reveal any cmdlets that contain the noun calendar:

Get-Command *calendar*

The output of this query shows something interesting.  It includes a command called “Get-MailboxCalendarConfiguration”.  Let’s take a look at the properties of this command to see what we are able to configure.  To do this, we must include the identity parameter in the command syntax to pipe to “Get-Member”.  I will use my mailbox name as the Identifier.

Get-MailboxCalendarConfiguration -Identity Burrs | Get-Member

Bingo!  One of the properties available for the “”Get-MailboxCalendarConfiguration” command is called “RemindersEnabled”.  Also, you can see included in the properties definition  is “{get;set;}”.  This means we can apply a value to the RemindersEnabled property using the verb “Set”.

Now we have something to work with.  If we take a look at the calendar configuration settings of my mailbox, here’s what we see:

Get-MailboxCalendarConfiguration -Identity Burrs | Format-List

It appears that reminders are enabled on my mailbox with the DefaultReminderTime being set to 15 minutes.  Here’s how he we disable reminders:

Set-MailboxCalendarConfiguration -Identity Burrs -RemindersEnabled:$false -DefaultReminderTime 00:00:00

After executing the above command, reminders are now disabled for my mailbox.



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